IQ Custom 8-String, Local Woods

Fingerstyle 5+3

8-string edition of our acoustic guitar IQ with five steel strings and three bass strings. Excellent for advanced fingerpicking. Guitar nerds, who do not get enough of the bass range of a conventional steel string guitar, get their money's worth here.



8 string 5 steel 3 bass fanned frets bevel local woodsOne of our oldest customers, we built an eight-string electric guitar for in the 1990s, wanted to transfer this concept to an acoustic guitar. It was important that the neck should be wider than with the electric guitar, but relatively narrow for an acoustic guitar. with eight strings, you have to act carefully, so that the neck width can still be handled and fingers can be placed cleanly as well.

Our client wanted the most comfortable feel possible with an 8-string. Consequently, we built it like the electric 20 years ago with fanned frets and also with an armrest. In addition, the guitar should be made of local woods.

The fretboard had to be much more fanned for this guitar than with the standard 6-string model. While with the standard IQ the fan spreads over 4 cm, the fanning of the model presented here measures 10 cm. The reason for this extreme fanning are the three bass strings. To create a decent sound, a corresponding length of these three strings is needed. This in turn results in an extremely tilted bridge.

The bridge position again leads to a sound absorbing impact on the top. At the same time, the string tension increases due to the number and thickness of the strings. Here we were faced with a very tricky task. On one hand we had to provide enough stability to the top to withstand the increased string tension, on the other hand the construction had to be light enough to compensate the attenuation caused by the bridge.

The Wood

For back and sides of this acoustic guitar we used European Walnut as well as for neck, headstock, tail purfling and rosette. The latter was also provided with a maple purfling. Fingerboard, bridge and bindings were made of Black Locust. The top is made of Spruce.

8 string 5 steel 3 bass fanned frets bevel local woods

Machines / Strings / Pickup

The headplate is equipped with Schaller tuners 5:3. Model M4 was used for the bass strings, M6 minis move the steel strings. For the bass strings we used Tru Bass RS88 shortscales by Rotosound. They are threaded to the bridge, the steel strings are Elixir Nanoweb 80/20 .012 and are attached with pins as usual.

The guitar has two separate pickups. We used Mi-Si Acoustic Trio  with L. R. Baggs Pickup for both. The Mi-Si Acoustic Trio provides a stable, active signal and produces a natural sound. The preamp works battery-free. This was also important, because the batteries might have unbalanced the overall construction.


Designed to be played amplified, this exceptional steel string guitar even develops a considerable acoustic volume. The sound is balanced and consistent over the entire fingerboard. The guitar reacts to the player at lightning speed and rewards his efforts with soft, present highs. The bass strings accompany the steel strings with a rather dry tone and add volume without being predominant.


Steel String Guitar

Back/Sides: AAA European Walnut
Top: AAA Spruce
Neck: European Walnut, spanish constructed heel
Neck Width at Nut: 54.5 / 64 mm
Scale Length: 630 / 730 mm
Fingerboard: Black Locust
Machine Heads: Schaller
Strings: Rotosound Tru Bass RS88 shortscales 
Elixir Nanoweb 80/20 .012
Nut/Bridge: Black Locust / Bone
Finish: Nitrocellulose, satin gloss
Pickup: 2 x Mi-Si Acoustic Trio
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