Why Modular Guitars?

A Message to Electric Guitar players -

Why is it that in a world of rapidly developing technologies, the electric guitar is basically the same as it was in 1950? Why has no one developed a way for you to readily sample the myriad of new electronics produced every year for electric guitars? Why is it that your guitar has to have the same electronics day after day, year after year as the one owned by your Prudential agent and the manager of Fastcopy? It doesn’t! The Dodge Convertible, within ten seconds, can exchange a set of vintage telecaster pickups with a Roland GRI synthesizer pickup or a dual humbucker set up, and you get to decide what exactly is installed. You, rather than some creatively challenged, fascist, cigar-smoking bean counter, can choose from a plethora of fantastically wonderful sonic experiences. The electronics manufacturers – Seymour Duncan, Lace Sensor, EMG, Harmonic Design, Roland and others – are falling all over themselves to produce the mellow, juicy, jazzed, effervescent tones that you read about every day in electric guitar magazines or in catalogues.

But wait…can’t you just buy an effects box? By all means do it – we’re the last people in the world to suggest you don’t need one, but first think about how the electric guitar processes the notes you have so carefully picked, strummed, banged or ripped from its strings. Pickups translate the vibrations of the strings to an electronic signal, which can be wah-wahed, funked, distorted, and delayed to your heart’s content, but the primary electronic signal will have already been produced via the pickups. Therein is the soul of your sound. Lucky for you there are so many to choose from. Use your browser, man. Check out the electronics manufacturer’s sites. It’s incredible!

The current trend in achieving a variety of sounds is to take two humbuckers, split the coils to achieve both single coil and humbucker tones. This system works well but is still very limiting, as a bridge humbucker that is split to have a single coil tone will never, ever, sound like a nice telecaster type pickup because placement of the pickup along the strings’ length is crucial to the tone that it will produce, and the distance from the strings makes a big difference in the way the pickup sounds. You may think that because electronics plays such an important part in the Dodge Convertibles system that we are coil-tapping, phase-inverting, coil-splitting, in-series or parallel hookup nutheads. Well, of course we are. However, simpler is usually better. And although we strive to make all of our customers happy, we are also aware of the CSFS – chronic switch flipping syndrome – a terrible illness that befalls many otherwise reasonable guitar players. If there is s switch, one must flip it. That’s why we prefer to keep it simple but interesting. Each module strives to create a few very specific tones. It is not necessary, nor actually desirable to cram every imaginable electronic unit into one guitar electronics configuration. This is what leads to CSFS. Far better is to have a versatile guitar which will accommodate all the tonal qualities of your dreams. The Dodge Convertible has an infinite variety of sonic textures, and with its brilliant electronics exchanging scheme, it will always accommodate the electronics of the past, present and future.

Rick Dodge, inventor of the Dodge Convertibles, started out his instrument building career way back in the 70’s, when he apprenticed with Paris Bancetti, a builder of classical and fine acoustic guitars in Miami, Florida. After apprenticing for two years, Rick entered the custom-cabinet business but his real passion remained the building of musical instruments, which he continued to do over the years. In the early 90’s he considered opening a custom electric guitar manufacturing company, and while developing his guitar designs, it occurred to him that there were so many new pickups and interesting electronic devices that one could install in a guitar, that there should be some way that his customers could sample these products before they buy them. This was the catalyst that started him thinking about ways to exchange complete electronics systems.

What might have happened…

It was a hot July day, and he was out on his porch, playing his newly built guitar, the Offender, when a lightning bolt came down and burnt a hole through the body of his guitar the size of an eggplant, very similar in form to the current shape of the Dodge Convertible electronics-containing modules. His hands were smoking and black. His hair was standing on end (which is not necessarily unusual), when he picked up the smoldering embers of what used to be the center of his guitar. Dazed and confused, he slowly inserted the crispy pieces through the back of the guitar toward the front. It was then he experienced an epiphany. Some say it was divine intervention. Some say it was just dumb luck. Some call it brilliant. Some call it just dumb. You can call it what you want. Voila! The Dodge Convertible.

Rick believes that the players are the experts on the sounds they desire from their instruments. He invites your ideas, expertise and inspiration regarding custom instruments. After browsing the website, call Rick to discuss your requirements for sound. If he’s not in, he’s in the shop sweating over a hot router, so leave a message – he’ll call you back.

(850) 228-2735 or (850) 562-4331

rickdodge@dodgeguitar.com