Truly a guitar from another world, the Mothership pushes the boundaries of what an instrument can do in every category. Built for Dave Wolfberg of Aviations and Earthstomper; the instrument needed to have an extremely wide range of tonal options to accommodate Dave's writing style that fuses progressive metal, jazz fusion and electronic influences.  On the most basic level it is an Ellipsis MS8 with an alder body, figured spalted maple top, single piece maple neck-thru construction and a purpleheart fretboard. As if a fanned 8-string isn't unusual enough, the custom-multiscaled DiMarzio D Activator 8's have been wired to a 6-way toggle switch, with a tone roll-off switch on the volume pot allowing for full series and split single-coil operation while maximizing use of control cavity space.

Accompanying the "standard" electronics are 6-strings of 13-pin guitar synth access and a full 8-string piezo-acoustic preamp with an eq revoicing switch on the acoustic volume control. The electric, acoustic and synth functions all have designated volume controls as well as a quick-selection switch that allows for all three to be hard-switched or blended between up to three separate amplifiers.

Last but certainly not least, the Mothership is our first (but certainly not the last) collaboration with AYP Audio Technology and has been outfitted with an optical proximity sensor that outputs raw MIDI control data. The proximity sensor can be assigned to any guitar synth patch as an expression control, providing the capability for real-time audio manipulation via any computer program or hard-synth that accepts MIDI information.

As an example set-up, the Mothership could have the electric pickups run to a mic'd tube amp, the acoustic pickups run to an acoustic DI straight into the computer, and have the top 6-strings playing through a synth patch in the designated recording program. Any or all of these separate tracks could have effect-swells, pitch-shifts, gated waveforms or countless other functions added to or altering their sound using the sensor. According to AYP, their goal is to provide versatile, practical interfacing between the guitar and modern electronic music control, without sacrificing the fundamental guitar-playing experience. I'm thrilled that we have had an opportunity to showcase their products. Stay tuned for full demoes of Equilibrium/AYP collaborations!

Check out Dave's projects: