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Turtle Mound Flutes is pleased to offer our beautiful hybrid classical/electric guitars featuring the beautiful pyrographic (wood burning) artwork currently found on our Native American style flutes.

Guitar accompaniment for the Native American flute is becoming increasingly popular, as witnessed by groups such as the Jeff Ball Band, Autumn's Child (featuring Mark Holland), Elysium Calling, Painted Raven, Rae Denton & Paul Warren, and others. 

My primary guitar over several decades has been the 12-string, of which I currently play two. Although a versatile instrument, the steel-stringed 12-string can be overpowering when accompanying a soft flute song. When Laura, co-founder of the Indian River Flute Circle, and I thought we might pursue a flute/guitar duo of our own, I decided to add a nylon-string classical style guitar to my personal guitar inventory to offer some variety to our sound. Rather than go out and purchase one, I decided to make my own (from a commercially available kit) and also use it as a "canvas" for the type of artwork I love burning onto my flutes. I've put out the guitar I made at the October 2010 Silverhawk Flute Gathering at Dade City, Florida and the next month's Native Rhythms Festival in Melbourne, Florida. The response has been overwhelming, especially from experienced guitar players. 

The Prototype TMF Hybrid Classical/Electric Guitar

I can't part with my first TMF guitar, which I created as a "proof-of-concept" prototype. I consider it a success and It has become a real workhorse in my playing, both acoustically at home and through the electronics in the church Praise Band and on various stages. The basic instrument is carried over to the production "Waya" model, but with several visual refinements.

The prototype Turtle Mound Flutes hybrid classical / electric guitar in its first public appearance on-stage at the 
Brevard Cultural Alliance Fall for the Arts festival, October 1, 2010.

The following video was taken at the 2010 Native Rhythms Festival of Easy Feelin' (Laura Covel Clark and me) playing an original piece called Autumn Snowfall. The prototype hybrid classical / electric "Waya" guitar is featured in this piece.

The acoustics aren't the best on this amateur recording, but you can get a good idea of how this guitar sounds through an amplified sound system.

 

Photos of the prototype "Waya" guitar on stage at the 2011 Native Rhythms Festival.
Photos used with permission from Alicia M. Busch (www.facebook.com/pages/Photography-by-Alicia-M-Busch/276594429193)

Below find examples of Hybrid Classical/Electric guitars now being offered by Turtle Mound Flutes.

These guitars all illustrate the classic animal-themed artwork derived from the artwork offered on our Native American Style Flutes. Themes from our American Heritage art, as illustrated on some of our steel-string guitars, are also available for an additional charge.


Custom "Painted Raven" Guitar

Annette Abbondanza of the flute/guitar duo Painted Raven requested I make the first production TMF Hybrid Classical/Electric guitar with artwork that she created capturing ravens in various poses. Although this beautiful artwork clearly illustrates the possibilities for making you a truly unique, personal guitar. Watch for copies of this guitar to be offered as the "Painted Raven Signature Series", each guitar personally signed by Annette..

Annette takes ownership of her new guitar at the Green Frog Moon Festival in St. Petersburg, FL. (March 13, 2011) The custom "Painted Raven" guitar. Rosette is inlayed walnut. Fret markers are mother-of-pearl - not traditional classical guitar. A walnut headplate is laminated to the headstock and is inlayed with the Painted Raven logo.
Artec pre-amplifier with 6-band equalizer. Note the beautiful grain of the stained side. The beads and simulated raven feathers add a nice finishing touch. The back & sides of the body and neck are stained red mahogany.
The pyrographic (wood burn) artwork was designed by 
Annette Abbondanza for her special guitar.
The pre-amp output is either 1/4" (High-Z unbalanced) or XLR (low-Z balanced). Note the crushed abalone inlay over the body seam and the strap button (not traditional classical guitar).

Awohali (Eagle) Guitar

The eagle (Awohali in Cherokee) is the majestic symbol of our country, and also an important element of Native American culture. Most indigenous peoples believe that birds are messengers, and the eagle is special in that it can fly higher than any other bird, and is therefore the one who carries our prayers to the Creator. The imagery on this guitar honors the eagle in all its majestic glory.

This guitar is currently available at the introductory price of $500.00, including a nylon gig bag. Price does not include shipping or Florida sales tax, where applicable. Detailed specifications appear at the bottom of this page.

The body art on this guitar depicts a majestic eagle nesting in a tree, looking up at another in flight. These images are "burned" into the spruce top of this guitar.
The "Awohali" (eagle) themed guitar. Rosette is inlayed walnut, fret markers are turquoise. A walnut headplate is laminated to the headstock. The image of an eagle with a raised wing is burned into it, and the Cherokee characters for Awohali are burned and inlayed in crushed turquoise. The fret markers are inlayed turquoise. The (simulated) eagle feathers and beads add to the overall theme.
The back, sides, and neck are stained red mahogany. This view shows the beautiful grain of the back. Some of the detail of the pyrography on this guitar can be seen in this view of the dominant eagle head. The "plug panel" supports either 1/4" (unbalanced) or XLR (balanced) connection to your amplifier. It also contains the easily accessible 9V battery compartment. The turquoise inlay over the body seam is visible in this shot.
The approaching eagle in flight appears in the upper bout. The Joyo pre-amp features a 4-band equalizer and an integrated chromatic tuner. A volume control and a low battery indicator are also included.

 


Tluhdatsi (Panther/Cougar) Guitar

The North American native "big cat" varies by size in different parts of the country and comes with corresponding different names: panther, cougar, mountain lion. This family of cats is known by the generic name Tluhdatsi to the Cherokee. The images on this guitar and the inlay paw print on the headstock pay tribute to our native "big cat".

This guitar is currently available at the introductory price of $500.00, including a nylon gig bag. Price does not include shipping or Florida sales tax, where applicable. Detailed specifications appear at the bottom of this page.

 

The pyrographic (wood burned) artwork on the body of this guitar depicts two panthers, one (on the lower bout) sitting on a stone outcropping and the other (on the upper bout) watching over a little rise.
This "Tluhdatsi" (panther) theme guitar has a walnut inlay rosette with mother-of-pearl and abalone shell highlights. The head has a walnut headplate laminated on its face, with a crushed abalone shell inlay of a panther's paw print. The basswood sides and back are stained red mahogany. As this photo shows, it brings out the dramatic grain of the wood.
The image burned into the lower bout is a panther seated on a rock outcropping. The upper bout pyrographic image is of panther raising its head over a rocky rise.
The fret markers and side markers are both inset with mother-of-pearl. The poplar neck is also stained red mahogany. The upper strap button is shown on the backside of the neck's heel. A heelplate of walnut is laminated on the base of the heel.
This picture shows the Joyo electronics - pre-amp with a 4-band equalizer and integrated tuner. There is also a volume control and low-battery indicator. The "jack panel" is just below the crushed abalone shell inlay over the body seam. It accepts either a common "High-Z" instrument 1/4" plug or a "balanced" XLR (microphone type) plug. The battery compartment is incorporated into the jack panel. Also visible in this photo is the lower strap button in the middle of the seam inlay.

Waya (Wolf) Guitar

The wolf is a very popular theme for my musical instruments, probably due to the affinity many people have for this animal. Wolves are very social animals and mate for life. Although they hunt in packs, a wolf will often take its kill back to its family while the remainder of the pack continues to hunt. 

The wolves on my prototype HCE-1 have drawn a great deal of attention (see above). This guitar is the production version of that guitar, far refined from the "proof of concept" detail in the prototype.

This guitar is currently available at the introductory price of $500.00, including a nylon gig bag. Price does not include shipping or Florida sales tax, where applicable. Detailed specifications appear at the bottom of this page.

 

The "Waya" (wolf) theme guitar builds on the design of the original prototype HCE-1 guitar with many refinements that make it an even more beautiful instrument.
This "Waya" (wolf) theme guitar has a walnut inlay rosette with turquoise inlay highlights. The head has a walnut headplate laminated on its face, with a crushed turquoise stone inlay of a wolf's paw print. The fret markers and side markers are both inset with turquoise.
The very popular pair of pyrographic (wood burned) howling wolves from the prototype appear prominently on the lower bout of the production "Waya" guitar. Not found on the prototype is a third, prowling wolf on the upper bout. The inlay walnut rosette is also visible in this view.
This picture shows the Joyo electronics - pre-amp with a 4-band equalizer and integrated tuner, which shows the "E" string to be in tune. There is also a volume control and low-battery indicator. In this photo, the "jack panel" is just above the turquoise inlay over the body seam. It accepts either a common "High-Z" instrument 1/4" plug or a "balanced" XLR (microphone type) plug. The battery compartment is incorporated into the jack panel. Also visible in this photo is the lower strap button in the middle of the seam inlay.

HCE Model Specifications

Model designation: HCE-1  (Hybrid Classical/Electric model 1)
Body size: 00 (standard classical guitar)
Body width: Lower bout 15"; 
Upper bout 11 3/8"
Overall length: ~39 1/4"
Scale length: 650 mm (~25.6")
Soundboard: Spruce
Rosette: 3/8" Walnut ring inlay (see below options)
Headplate: Walnut laminate (see below options)
Heelplate: Walnut laminate (see below options)
Sides/back: Basswood  (see below options)
Neck: Poplar   (see below options)
Fingerboard: Rosewood (flat)
Markers: Mother-of-Pearl side; Mother-of-Pearl fret markers
Strings: Nylon, lower three wound. A set of D'Addario EJ-45 strings provided, installed upon request.
String spacing (nut): 1 11/16"
String spacing (saddle) 2 5/16"
Pre-Amp: Joyo model JE-33 with 4-band equalizer & integrated chromatic tuner
Pick-up: Piezo under-saddle
Output: Low-Z balanced XLR and High-Z unbalanced 1/4" (mono)
Options: Back, sides, neck: may be left unstained, or stained ebony or red mahogany. Ask about other stain colors.
3/8" wide rosette inlay: Walnut, or Koa.
Headstock and heel laminates: Flamed Koa, Koa, Padauk, Walnut, etc. Ask about specific woods that interest you.

Joyo electronics modules:

Joyo JE-33 Pre-Amp with 4-band equalizer and built-in chromatic tuner.

Joyo output panel, with 1/4" (mono) unbalanced and XLR balanced connectors. Also houses 9V battery.

Joyo JE-33 Specifications:
 
(Bass) 12dB at 80HZ
(Middle) 12dB at 800HZ
(Treble) 12dB at 3KHZ
(Presto) 12dB at 15KHZ
Low Voltage (Battery) Indicator
A4 Frequency: 440HZ
Tuning Range: 1Eb-8C
Tolerance: 1%
Weight:70g
Dimension:95(L)33(H)51(W)mm
Power:9V 6F22 Battery

Price & Availability

Turtle Mound Flutes is now taking orders for the hybrid classical / electric (HCE-1) guitar with Nature-Themed art at the special introductory price of $500 (plus shipping and FL sales tax if applicable). This price includes a nylon gig bag. Designs currently available are "Awohali" (eagle), "Tluhdatsi" (panther), and "Waya" (wolf). In the works is a "Yona" (bear). If you would like a different animal theme, let me know. 

Optionally, the hybrid classical / electric (HCE-1) guitar with Patriot-Themed art goes for the special introductory price of $600 (plus shipping and FL sales tax if applicable).

Custom work is my pleasure. All designs available with natural or stained sides, back, and neck. Fret & side markers are mother-of-pearl.

All guitars are custom made to the customer's design selections. Contact us at sales@turtlemoundflutes.com to place your order and schedule construction of your guitar.

Also check out our Turtle Mound Flute acoustic / electric steel-string, flat-top guitars.


 

In the interest of full disclosure, the above described guitars are based on a commercially available kit. All embellishments, such as the inlay wood ring rosette, headplate laminate, body seam hiding inlay, etc.; the addition of electronics; and all custom artwork are my contribution to the basic guitar. In addition, I do the guitar setup, including properly aligning neck and body, setting the action (string height), truing frets, etc. Starting with a kit allows me to offer a quality custom guitar at a very reasonable price. My long term goal includes offering guitars that I will "make from scratch" while retaining this kit-based model as a less expensive alternative in my line.

 

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