The Vootar

This bizarre instrument is called „Vootar”, a combination of the words “Voormann-guitar”, as this was built especially for Klaus Voormann to his specifications!
He played his first 8 string which was made by Vox as a member of the legendary “Manfred Mann”-band in the 60`s (Mighty Quinn, Ha!Ha! said the clown, etc.)


Klaus was closely associated with The Beatles „Revolver“ & „Anthology“ Albums (Artwork) and played bass for John Lennon´s „Plastic Ono Band“ & „Instant Karma“, “Imagine“ etc. as well as on George Harrison's „My sweet lord“, „All things must pass“ etc. Indeed some people regard him as “the 5th Beatle” because of his contributions to so many of the boys' solo projects! More details are available on Suzanne O'Brian's wonderful website www.iheartklaus.com”, or on his own “myspace” & home pages.

But now more about this instrument: The „Vootar“ has, as you can see, 8 strings.
4 bass guitar-strings at the top plus 4 strings from a normal guitar. The neck is a longer scale: 760mm.

The front pickup functions on all 8 strings at the same time, whereas the middle & rear pickups seperate the top 4 strings & bottom 4 strings, so that they can be activated with mini switches in 3 different positions. (top/both/bottom). Using a stereo output, you can run the “Vootar” through a guitar amp & bass amp separately. Just listen to the sound samples which Klaus played especially to demonstrate the possibilities (another kind gesture from him). It is helpful if you are able to play finger picking style of course!

Other pictures showing Klaus playing this instrument can be found in the “references“ section, plus the making of „Rusha“, our 2nd project (an „art deco“-style accoustic-guitar) which will be available in summer 2008.

The „Vootar“ is fitted with a set of special strings, designed together with Max Junger from „Pyramid strings“ Germany (Thanks, Max, for your help!!)
Body & Neck is made of Brazilian cedar, with a lot of help from Günter Eyb (EYB guitars, Germany) A big “thank you”, Günter for your help on the project!

The pickups, except the neck pu., are custom made & handwound, in cooperation with Harry Häusel (Häusel Pickups). So another big “Thanks” is due in that direction, too!Also I would like to thank Norbert Heinzinger (ETS bass & guitar hardware) for the specially custom made single bridges! It was really great to work with you all on this project, without your participation this guitar would never have seen the light of day!!
Klaus´s comment on the project are published as a copy in the section: References”.
There were dozens of mails & phone calls going back & forth between Klaus & myself, and now, in the meantime there are so many drawings & sketches (including the ones from our “Rusha”-project), that I will probably bring out a little booklet featuring these mails & comments to preserve them for posterity.