It took some time, and real dreaming to make the Convergence a reality. Some design elements of the guitar came easily however, such as the body, because we simply knew how it should be.
The extreme rout in the belly cut for instance – we wanted the CV to be ultra comfortable to wear. This extreme rout in the rear serves two purposes. One is to make sure that the guitar “fit” each player (regardless of body type), so that the guitar would essentially mold itself to the player’s torso. The other purpose was to reduce the weight of the guitar – we all know that mahogany is not light – but the inherent heft of mahogany, helps to create the tone that we all seek. We elegantly shave off a big chunk to make the guitar light enough that you could comfortably play the guitar for 4 sets a night, if you have to.
The arch top was also always part of the plan – we wanted to give the guitar a 3D effect and there really is no better way than with a beautifully contoured arch, but play a Convergence and you will find that there is no forearm pain with our arch unlike most other arch top guitars – it’s simply designed better than the others.
The Ultra Deep cutaways on the front of the guitar allows for maximum playability – making sure that all 24 frets are easily within reach. Also, the Origin exclusive Thumb Ledge above the neck plate provides an area for you to rest your thumb while you are attacking those high frets. Try it, it really works.
Recessing the Switchcraft jack deep into the side of the body is not a new concept but it’s simply the best way to keep the guitar cord from getting in your way.
EMG and Seymour Duncan Pickups
When we designed the Convergence, there were really only two pick up brands in our minds – they were EMG and Seymour Duncan. That said, since they say that variety is the spice of life, we’ll put in whatever brand of pickup you like for a custom order guitar. However, if it’s not EMG or Seymour Duncan, you’ll have to supply us with the proper pickups in advance of production.
We like the EMG 81 / 60 and 7 string equivalent or the Seymour Duncan JB / 59er set and 7 string equivalent, so that’s what you will find in our stock instruments.
Tone Pros and Floyd Rose bridges
There is a reason why all the best guitar makers use Floyd Rose for their tremolo bridges and Tone Pros bridges for their fixed models. They’re simply the best bridges available. Enough said.
The ALT5 - The Ultimate Bolt On Neck Joint?
We think so. Part of the luxury of designing a guitar from the ground up, is being able to make decisions on key construction elements. The fact that the Convergence was going to be a bolt on instrument was a given, since we're big fans and students of the tone, stability and durability derived from Leo Fender's original bolt on concept. But how could we make the ultimate bolt-on neck joint?
We decided early on that having a neck plate was crucial. We knew that the seamless and solid transfer of sound between the body and neck required a neck plate from our experience at major guitar companies, working with players like Paul Gilbert and other pro players who knew the difference.
We also knew that we did not want to give up any of the playability that a "plateless" all access type of neck joint allowed. Therefore we designed a neck plate shape that would allow us to contour a neck heel that would allow effortless upper fret access and playability. We then decided to recess the neck plate cavity essentially allowing the neck plate to elegantly disappear into the body.
Another key element for us was the 5 bolt design. Having decades of experience with mainly 4 bolt guitars, we knew that in stressful situations, being on the road for months at a time, experiencing severe weather changes and being thrown around by roadies and airport employees alike, that the neck would shift in minute increments over time. Although not an entirely new concept, the addition of the fifth bolt and critical placement of the bolts reduces this type of movement dramatically, further stabilizing the neck.
Then the real R&D began. What would the material of the neck plate be and how thick should it be? We tried it all - traditional steel, brass and some less conventional materials in varying thicknesses. After months of research, a friend in the metals industry told us about a type of aircraft grade aluminum not only known for strength and light weight, but it's ability to transmit vibration. We found that generally, thicker was better, so we went with rather beefy 4mm thickness. Our search was over. We played the guitar and it guitar simply came alive, with rich low end, clear highs and beautiful, singing sustain. That's why we decided to anodize the ALT5 neck plate red. It's in many ways, the heart of the guitar.
We designed in excess of 50 headstock shapes before we arrived at one that met all of our demands. Defining the neck shape was another area where we spent considerable time. We finally arrived with a neck shape that’s comfortable (somewhere between a slim C and sleeker D shape), fast, robust and most of all friendly. The neck is only finished with several light coats of Tung Oil, so the guitar feels like an old friend at first touch. Yes, it will get dirty over time, but it’s worth it.
Headstock and Tuning Stability
Tuning stability was something that is of prime importance to us. Therefore, we felt that straight string pull was absolutely necessary. In addition, before any Origin Guitar ships out, we make absolutely sure that there is no obstruction of the strings moving back and forth between the tuning machines and the nut.
Traditionally, the neck area behind the nut is the weakest spot on a guitar. Not on an Origin. A massive volute behind the nut ensures that there will be maximum protection for your neck, if it should ever be subjected to a careless roadie, or thrown around by an angry UPS guy during shipment. Coupled with a 3 piece hard rock maple neck construction, even Pete Townsend would have a hard time breaking this neck. Another benefit is tone. The extra mass at the headstock provides a generally thicker tone and greater resonance.
Glow in the dark Inlays
Glow in the dark side dots give the player the ability to see exactly where they are on the neck, even under the dimmest lighting conditions. In artist custom shops, this is possibly the single most requested feature for a custom guitar. Now, you can experience this simple but enlightening pleasure with an Origin Guitar.
Our basic finishes are hand rubbed oil based finishes in natural and transparent black. There is a reason for this. We believe that guitar bodies sound their best, when they can breathe. This means no paint to choke off any of the tone. It also means less protection from the elements, but we're generally willing to make that sacrifice. However, we also realize that many of you will prefer the look and protection of a hard shell gloss finish. So we offer a variety of gloss and matte colors as well, including graphic finishes by famed graphic master Dan Lawrence.