About The Coo’stik Dominator
A description of the concept,
and an introduction the my newest project, the "Blu'stik Harmonizer"
The "Coo-stick" was (is?) used by certain Native Americans
as a status raiser. A status seeker might take the stick and run into the
opposing village, wack a high status individual there with the stick, and
then escape with his life. This is called "counting Coo" and is considered
way coo' by the tribe-mates.
As in "acoustic". Did I need to tell you that?
Coo’stik is an abbreviation of Cool Stick. Dominator means
this is the loudest guitar in the room.
The Coo'stic Dominator is an Arch-top Guitar. There are three ways to make
Carved: Traditionally, great Arch-tops are built around a top and
back which are carved, inside and out, into thin arched surfaces (hence
the name) which produce exceptional volume and tone. This process take
a lot of time by a highly skilled craftsmen, resulting in an instrument
that is out of the price range of many people.
Plywood: Most arch-tops you’ve seen are made by pressing a piece
of plywood into the shape of a carved guitar. While this method is fine
for an electric guitar (most Gibson’s are made this way), it is unlikely
that a decent sounding acoustic guitar has ever been made this way. Trust
me, trust your ears.
Hybrid: The Coo’stik Dominator is made, like most good handmade
guitars, from solid wood of the highest quality. The top and back are arched
by an innovative system of braces glued to their inside surfaces. This
allows the use of an arch-top type bridge and tailpiece arrangement, without
the danger of the top caving in due to the pressure. This bridge arrangement
creates much less stress on the top than a conventional pin-bridge round-hole
guitar has, resulting in a tone more reminicent of an arch- top that a
flat-top. Because there is so much less wooden mass than a carved guitar
has, there is much greater volume.
Clarity of Tone is what it’s all about.
The big Martin dreadnought style flat-top guitars can have a full, warm,
loud sound that does a good job of supporting a singers voice, but the
serious guitar picker will rarely be satisfied with it’s solo voice. And
the smaller guitars (00 and OM) can achieve a decent balance for the player
who is more interested in the guitar playing than the singing, but mid-range
volume (open “G” to highest “A”) is enhanced, without an overpowering bass.
Listen to what happens when you play partial chords (two or three notes
at once), each of the notes can be clearly heard as an individual. On a
flat-top these notes would blend together into a warm muddy sound that
buries much of the subtlety that the serious player has been practicing
to create. This clarity is why so many players are spending the big bucks
for arch-top guitars. Coo’stik Dominator’s got it at just over half
While I originally conceived this as a Jazz guitar for people who wanted
great performance for about half the price of the carved guitars I make,
it turns out that this instrument is sensitive enough to finger-pick with,
and loud enough to sing with. I have kept the first one myself, and I use
it in all kinds of situations. It works well for Delta Blues, Country pickin’,
New Age open tonality, Jazz comping, and just sitting around the kitchen
February, 2001: I have a new, but
related instrument in the spray booth at the moment. The name "Coo'stik
Dominator" is too clever by half, of course, and domination is a dubious
way to approach playing musice, I'll grant. So on with the show. The new
effort has the working title "Blu'stik Harmonizer". It is a smaller, prettier
shape, less compromised for volume alone (the C'Dom really is unbelieveably
loud) and incorporates the new Schertler "BLUESTiCK"
bridge pickup, which totally impressed me at the recent NAMM trade
show in LA. And, now that it's OK to build blue guitars again (the passing
of Scott Chinery), it's blue! The Schertler PU is NOT a piezo, and it is
a beautiful sounding piece of equipment, as well as affordable and easy
to install (for a skilled craftsman). I am really excited about this guitar.
Flat tops/ Arch
tops/ Pictures/ Inventory/