Versoul has re-imagined the electric sitar-guitar for the 21st century as the Caspian Electric.
The simple melodic line George Harrison played on "Norwegian Wood" brought the Indian sitar to western pop music just as psychedelia was poised to burst into full flower. But the rigors of learning to play a fiendishly non-western instrument (you balance it on the sole of your bare left foot) posed a problem — was there any way of getting a sparkly sitar-like sound from something more familiar, more like a guitar? Vinnie Bell answered the challenge with an electric sitar-guitar briefly produced by Dan Electro.
It enlivened a surprising number of late '60s pop hits and even made its presence felt on country and jazz sessions. But pawnshops claimed most of those instruments in the '70s as musical tastes changed. The electric sitar-guitar went into deep hibernation for nearly half a century.
Intrigued by the possibilities it suggests, Kari Nieminen has re-imagined the electric sitar-guitar for the 21st century as the Caspian Electric. It features an innovative adjustable bridge that lets the player optimize a sparkling sitar-like buzz or project a clean electric 12-string sound. The Caspian's extended scale length (26.75") contributes to its tonal richness and sustain. Getting that message across loud and clear are Versoul magnetic pickups (you have the option of one or two). Since the bridge is the crucial component in the sitar sound, players may choose to emphasize that with an optional under-saddle AKG C 411 PP condenser contact microphone. A phantom power adapter is included. The magnetic pickup has a standard 1/4" jack, and the AKG has an XLR connector.
- Body: heavily chambered Finnish alder or aspen
- Bridge: Versoul East Indian rosewood
- Nut: moose shinbone
- Tailpiece: Versoul East Indian rosewood
- Neck: aspen/maple/aspen w/ two-way adjustable truss rod
- Fingerboard: East Indian rosewood (9.5" radius)
- Frets: 19 / Dunlop 6150
- Scale length: extra long for loose sitar-style sound
- Tuners: Golden Age nickel plated
- Pickguard: tortoise shell plastic
- Colors: black, dark purple, purple burst
- Pickup: Versoul magnetic single coil or humbucker
- Controls: one volume, one tone for Versoul single coil
- Finish: nitrocellulose lacquer
- Saddles: adjustable for each string pair (for adjusting desired buzzing quickly)
- Bridge: floating for adjusting fine tuning
- Dot inlays: green abalone shell
- Nut: moose shinbone
- Neck width at nut: 46.5 mm
- Scale length: 26.75"
- Overall length: 1020 mm
- AKG C 411 PP condenser contact mic w/ phantom power adapter and XLR connector
- Two Versoul magnetic pickups