The president of the company always suddenly announces, "I want to make an anime guitar. Whether it was an idea or a long time in the making, a group of anime enthusiasts was assembled to discuss what kind of anime to make and how to embody it. From "Sazae-san" to "Evangelion," they all had different tastes and ages. From the beginning, the concept was not to make a guitar just to print on the top, so the meeting was difficult. Suddenly, one (relatively) young employee asked, "What about Tachikoma? When one (relatively) young employee asked, "What about the Tachikoma?" and we all checked the video, I thought I could see where we were headed with its rounded design and lovable character.
The staff was immediately asked to create a rough design, and the complicated procedure was groped through. The president of the company, who had been asking "What is Tachikoma? but it seemed that the president had secretly watched the entire animated TV series from the first to the last episode, and before long, his office was lined with figurines.
Thus began the "TACHIKOMA GT" project.
If we were going to do this, let's make something great as a musical instrument, and if it is a guitar made by a music shop, let's make it as good as it can be. The specs were a through-neck, headless, and shiny fingerboard. As our dreams were filled with more and more ideas, the cost of the guitars increased. I struggled over and over again, but I knew that if I had to compromise on cost, it wouldn't be the model of my dreams. We decided on the specs with the desire to create a model that we would stick to thoroughly until we felt it was the guitar we really wanted.
And if we were going to make it, we wanted to do it here in Japan. If we were going to collaborate with an anime work representing Japan, we wanted it to be a handmade guitar made with Japanese technology and soul. We want to stick to "Made In Japan. TC Instruments has finally launched guitars that showcase Japanese culture to the world.
Based on the design, a miniature sample was completed with everyone's love on it, such as making this part a little more rounded, or making it more Tachikoma-like!
Everyone at Production I.G. was pleased and relieved. After going through various procedures, it was time to start production!
We went to one of the best guitar studios in Tokyo to discuss and refine the production process over and over again.
Our dreams were finally coming to fruition as we discussed what kind of wood to choose, how much weight to consider, and so on.
We also considered the playability of the neck heel and the ease of tuning from the headless end of the body, and careful discussions about the body shape continued day and night.
After many re-drawings, we finally completed the drawing of the actual size base.
Even though the drawing was finalized, the actual wooden form may not play as well as expected. We take this into consideration when preparing various templates.
Making a wooden form.
The final shape is decided by combining various patterns.
After trying many combinations, they finally decided on this wooden form!
Carefully selected wood. Flame maple is used sparingly for the through-neck construction. After much trial and error, basswood was chosen for the body sides because of its weight balance and straightforward acoustic characteristics.
It is exciting to see the shape of the guitar!
Small, lightweight, and straightforward. But the core is solid. We were able to select a material that would make the most of Tachikoma's unique characteristics.
The bridge and headpiece are made of German ABM.
The pickup switches were made in the image of the Tachikoma's red lamp.
We are looking forward to seeing how this will turn out.
The position of the parts are decided according to the temporary assembly.At this stage, the volume knob is still a sample.Since this is an important part that determines the Tachikoma's expression, we had it reworked many times without compromise.
What is the Tachikoma's expression when actually installed? The size and spacing of the dots can change the atmosphere considerably. We repeated prototypes until we were satisfied. I would like to thank everyone at the factory who made it again and again.
Finally, we started processing the glowing fretboard lines and
We are now working on the glowing fretboard line.
Carve the same lines over and over again, gradually widening the grooves.
Once the groove has been carved, it is time to embed the neon. Finish carefully.
The fingerboard with the neon built in is installed and finished.
Second point! Fretting. The fretting requires a particularly high level of skill due to the fingerboard's built-in OLED neon.
For this reason, it is better to make the frets last as long as possible. Stainless steel frets were used for this reason, despite the time and cost involved.
The first step is to process the frets.
The work is extremely difficult because of the high hardness of stainless steel frets.
Cut the fret foot according to the position of the neon.
The bottom side is the processed fret. The 24 frets are hand-cut one by one to match the neon positions, which requires a lot of time.
Careful fretting to avoid damaging the neon.
Fretting is completed. Test for light emission. It glowed!
Now it's time to paint. The paint is blended to a Tachikoma-like blue. To obtain the texture of Tachikoma, the blending of blue and silver is carefully selected.
A solid guitar before painting. Spraying is done delicately and boldly.
The guitar is dyed in Tachikoma blue. The most exciting moment!
The drying process begins. When the masking is removed, the beautiful through-neck is revealed.
After drying, clear is sprayed.
Part of the "GITS S.A.C. 2nd GIG" logo has been added.
Blue anodized parts made by B,W&R prepared for this purpose.
The knob was painstakingly created, but simply placing it on the body did not give the Tachikoma's eyes the right atmosphere. For this reason, a special aluminum plate was made. This made it look much more like a Tachikoma.
After painting was completed, it was time to install the knob.The escutcheon is two-tone with the blue by interspersing white, increasing the Tachikoma look. I don't even notice that much! I'll do it.
Here it comes! The red light.This is what I wanted to do.
The engraved back plate is super gorgeous!
Each special part is built in and wired.
The output jack is also very particular, installed at the mouth of the Tachikoma.
The story may seem to fly by in a flash, but it was a long road that took two years from the conception and one year from the design. When the first model was completed, we were deeply moved. I felt as if I had met a real Tachikoma and wanted to say something to it.
The TACHIKOMA GT is waiting for you.