***This post has been annotated with updated information as of 6.5.18.***
"Back in the early post Northstar days, sometime shortly after the founding of the original Wavelength Studios, I purchased an electric guitar from a then new start-up company from Virginia. One of the musical instrument distributers I had a dealership with carried the new brand so I thought I'd give it a try. "Shane" was the manufacture's name and the model of the guitar was the "Targa". It was roughly based off the '80s Charvel / Jackson designs.
(***Update*** Wavelength Studio is now solely owned and operated by my longtime friend and ex-business partner Jason Carter. He also operates Atomic Mastering and, with his wife, Silver, operates Atomic Disc. These are all very high quality businesses and I strongly recommend them.)
I think the list price was around $550.00. I paid around $250.00 dealer cost. Either way it was a relatively inexpensive guitar but was touted as a good value for money. It featured an "HSS" (hum-bucker,single,single) coil pickup configuration, licensed Floyd Rose vibrato, Schaller style tuners, maple neck and a two octave (24 fret) rosewood fingerboard. Surprisingly, it, indeed, seemed a good value and played well. I especially liked the neck with it's traditional full c-shape cut. The neck felt very similar to that of a Gibson Les Paul, which I found to be an interesting design choice for a "shredder's" guitar. In fact, the feel of the neck is what kept me coming back to the guitar for studio use and, over time, I began to modify / replace the pick-ups and hardware. I eventually changed the all black bridge with a chrome Floyd Rose along with chrome tuners, knobs, etc. I replaced the stock EMG style hum-bucker with a Seymour Duncan. I played around with various other single coil pickups over time as well. . . The headstock shape of the guitar kind of mimicked an '80s Jackson with the addition of an extra flare or "hook" in the middle. While this type of design was popular for its day, I always thought it looked too much like a witches hat or something. I have never been one for sharp angular cuts. One day I took the neck off and re-cut the headstock with a band saw. I got rid of the "witches cap" and rounded off the angles to what was more aesthetically pleasing to my eye. I continued to use the guitar for recordings. . .
(***Update*** Engedi One now has a DiMarzio Evolution bridge pickup and an Original Floyd Rose in "Satin Chrome").
As I look (or rather listen) back now, I realize just how many recordings this guitar has found its way into! Classic songs from SONCOMBER like: "Where Is Your Charity?", "Believe In Love" and "A Beautiful Way" to name a few. Songs which I won awards for. . . Songs which I have plans to re-master and re-release as part of a "best-of" type collection sometime in the future. This guitar has been completely taken apart and re-assembled in different configurations several times. I've modified this instrument so aggressively over the years it really doesn't represent the original design anymore. I guess I did this because it was "inexpensive" (again, relatively). I suppose I felt I could afford to "play around" with it, that I wasn't afraid to "touch it", etc. It's manufacture has long been out of the guitar making business.
(***Update*** A re-mastered version of Soncomber has since been released which you can download for free HERE. The album is now connected with my on-going charity drive.)
My highly modded Shane Targa (re-named, "Engedi One"), often referred to as, "Zac's guitar" (my son) because he claims I gave it to him!! Cost (including mods): $500.00?? Next to my Fender American Strat with Super-Vee vibrato (referred to as "Smoothie"). Cost: $2000.00. Which one will show up more in this summers recordings? Who knows, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be "Zac's guitar"! So much for the cost vs. performance ratio in instruments. I guess the term, "you get what you pay for" IS NOT necessarily true, although Smoothie is a nice guitar, just more expensive.
Last month, in pieces, after a long hiatus, I put this faithful old guitar back together again. This time stripping off the black lacquer at the headstock and re-finishing the natural wood. You see, this instrument has some type of magic in it. At least it seems that way to me. . . Something in the way it plays, something in the way it sounds, something in the way it looks. . . I'm expecting to employ it's special charm again in the new songs I'm recording. Is it an expensive, fancy guitar? No. Was it ever so? No. It's features are quite standard and ordinary but there's something in it that I have never been able to find with anything else. . . So, hello old friend. Despite acquiring and selling countless other guitars I keep coming back to you, like a love one can't get over. It's nice to have you in use once again. LET'S MAKE MORE MAGIC!! (no pun intended toward the song REAL MAGIK, that guitar was "Kate", the Telecaster).
(***Update*** The picture below shows Engedi One in its most recent configuration. This is one of the most long time serving instruments I have, going on 25 years!).
Sidenote: Why the name "Engedi One?" Because, a long time ago, I seriously considered entering the lutherie trade and "Engedi" was going to be the brand name of my hand built guitars. As with most budding luthiers I started out by modifying other maker’s instruments. The headstock of this guitar originally had the same black finish as the body. It sported the manufacture label, "Shane" and the model "Targa" printed on the stock. When I re-shaped the headstock I cut right through the labeling and the only visible lettering left was the "ane" from the word "Shane". The style of the font used, in any case, tricked the eye into thinking it read "One." Hence, the inevitable retitling to "Engedi" (my guitar brand name idea) and "One" . . . "Engedi One".
Professional musician / composer / audio engineer who also ventures into fine art photography, geometric design, lutherie, artisan bread baking, electrical engineering, blogging, charity drives, and other things that keep life crazy and amazing. . .