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It was funny to watch the numerous reactions to Blur at NAMM. "Wow!" and "WTF?" encompassed 90% of the responses.

One man walked by angling his neck further and further so he could keep looking at it while he was walking. Eventually, I suggested he either stop walking or stop looking because he was going to be in severe need of a chiropractor.

Most people did not want to play Blur as much as they wanted to take pictures of it, touch it, or ask "What the @#$% is that?"

I admit to being afraid to play it...and enjoyed watching Tosin's initial reaction to it as well. The difference is, I'm guessing, he's gonna ride that bull for more than the allotted 8 seconds.

I am an amateur luthier. Seeing Blur I think I know how those hominids felt the first time they saw the Monolith in 2001: A space odyssey.
You have dispensed with trying to re-invent the wheel and have instead built a hover-car.
Congratulations to you sir. Blur is an amazing accomplishment and something to be very proud of.

Hi Rick,

Two Questions:

1) Is the neck on Blur as flat as it looks in the shot of the back of the guitar?

2) What are your thoughts on using the precision tuning bridge in a 6 string instrument without the nut/headstock hardware? I see you haven't used it here and wonder if you could do something like Buckskin T2 with strings locked at the nut and then a traditional headstock shape (useless accept for aesthetics)?

Basically, if I want to build a traditional looking guitar using the nut that has a useless, but still traditional looking headstock — what am I giving up?


I agree with James. That instrument is truly different from anything else out there. And is why it should be celebrated. I need to get myself another job to save up funds to get one for myself.

...even more intrigued by Mr. Toone's work now.

Nick — Exoskeleton neck on Blur is completely flat on the back. There is a slight compound radius (12" to 16") to the fretboard. To your hand this neck feels slender...invisible...almost like fretting your iPhone.

The overall thickness of the neck is a total of about 5/8" including: aircraft aluminum, fretboard, frets, AND strings. Consistent across the full width.

Very thin.

Zero fret necks (like Blur) perform just like a traditional guitar. Intonation is the same as a conventional guitar. This design is the best choice for Tosin because it allows the area around the extended range frets to be minimalist so he can work both sets of frets simultaneously.

Also, he is doing more single note runs than chord work.

In contrast, the intonation adjustable nut provides piano-like clarity to chords. The ability to dial in intonation from both ends of the string is no small thing. Any guitarist who is heavily playing chords will love the stunning separation of the intervals — you can listen deeply into the mathematical ratios between pitches.

As you can see, it is a matter of matching the instrument to the musician.

How does the fully flat neck profile work, ergonomically, compared to say a normal C-profile or your trapezoid/intersecting plane profiles?

Bravo Rick. I totally get where you are coming from aesthetically; but more impressive is the imaginative engineering you apply to make these things capable of doing so much more than a regular guitar.

As a luthier, I'm always trying to push the boundaries of what it is possible to build, but there are very few musicians who can (or are willing to) exploit those extended boundaries. I guess you could say I'm looking for my own Tosin...

Bart — Your question is worth an upcoming dedicated article.

Blur's neck is an alternate embodiment TNP with extended-width P1 surface. Significant benefits accrue for the classical hand position player.

I think you have created a very thoughtful and well designed ergonomic guitar. Your design takes the traditional ergonomic guitar design and makes it cool! Your thoughtfulness and ingenuity are certainly inspiring.

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Rick Toone

Neck Profiles

Tuning Systems

  • NUT

    Intonation adjustable.


    Ultimate tone and sustain.


    Precise headless tuning.