First allow me to start with an apology to anyone who has been following the progress of BTLX Guitars. This blog has gotten a bit dusty and there are cobwebs everywhere due to lack of updates.
While this is totally inexcusable, there are a few pretty valid reasons for it.
First of all, as BTLX is a new brand, we're still in that awkward, difficult stage of any new venture where there's absolutely no money coming in, but tons of money going out.
This of course isn't sustainable, so I (Sam) am working 10 hour night shifts in another job to ensure the bills get paid and BTLX remains a viably funded project.
Naturally this cuts down on the time available to devote to BTLX, but I still strive to ensure goals are met and work keeps on going.
Secondly, we've had a few unexpected interactions from third parties who are very interested in what we're developing, so a lot of time has been devoted to establishing and building relationships in those areas. Can't say too much about that yet, but it's exciting.
In addition to that, we've been working closely with a local charitable institute to see if we can do something positive with the BTLX launch that will help them. Watch this space for further news regarding this.
But perhaps the biggest delaying factor has been the drive for perfection. The constant changing of design elements which just didn't feel right. Changes in the configuration of the instrument, and the custom options that will be available.
Adjustments to materials, the development of our own proprietary BTLX Blade Sensor Array (or pickup arrangement as normal people would say).
So with all that in mind, what are the changes I hear you all ask.
The biggest change is in the headstock of the guitar.
Previous prototype models had a boxy square carbon fibre cast headstock, which quite frankly looked just plain ugly and didn't compliment the overall look of the instrument in any way.
In a fit of rage, this got lopped off one morning with a saw and some furious scribbling on a notepad followed.
We now have a modular approach to the headstock - while the body and neck are cast in one hollow piece from carbon fibre, the headstock will now be a wooden piece, grafted onto a resin plug with a pinned and dovetailed scarf joint.
The great benefit here is that we can offer a range of headstock designs and layouts to custom customers.
In addition, we feel that we've developed a far superior system of internal sound chambers and acoustic amplification horns, all centered around the acoustic focal point, approximately 1 inch below the bridge saddle., giving around 10% more volume than the previous design.
A decision has now been made however.
A line has been drawn in the sand.
There comes a point where we have to stop changing things, and say "Lets start producing these things".
We feel that time is now. The design has been refined to the point where only tiny little cosmetic tweaks are being considered.
The drive and focus over the next few weeks now is to get the first few production models complete and ready for sale. We have something very special planned for BTLX001, so stay tuned.
So that's where we're up to at the moment.
Making dust and a lot of noise in a workshop the size of a bus shelter, making slow but steady progress.
You can't rush perfection.