The main elements, bird and fish, are made of aluminum. This material has the property of transferring vibrations almost without a filtering influence. What you hear with the birdfish is the tone of the neck and the tone bars.
With the first generation of the birdfish in 1995, aluminum was cast in a sandbox. Starting in 1996 ceramic forms were used. Currently I use a high-alloy aluminum that cannot be cast. Therefore, both sculptures are now carved from a solid block of aluminum. Subsequently they are sanded and buffed to a high gloss. Now comes the most demanding part: first a layer of nickel is applied, then copper. In between these steps, the forms are polished. On top of that goes a layer of nickel and then chrome. Finally, they are polished to a high gloss finish.
It is quite a bit of work, as you can imagine. Until recently, a German auto-maker used this same process to produce car doors, but stopped because it became too cost-intensive. Now they paint the aluminum parts with a transparent finish. New it looks good, but the shine reminds me of those cheap lamps that you can buy at home improvement stores.
Incidentally, not only the bird and fish are galvanized, but so are all of the other aluminum parts: the knobs, the control box, the tuners, the string clamp, and the pickup mounts.
It's a headless guitar, so it is tuned using this tuner. The body is made from aluminum, and so are the tuning sliders. All spindles are made from stainless steel.
|Although it would be much easier to make them from brass, the control knobs are of pure aluminum. They are lighter of course, but my real reason is: the crack which you hear through the amp when you touch a brass knob doesn't occur on pure aluminum because of its HF character.|
|Even the strap pins for the Schaller Security Locks are made in my workshop. I give them a smaller bed-plate, so they appear more elegant.|
|It's the small things which make the big things. The wire clamp is almost a piece of jewelry and that is how it is made: cast in brass and buffed to a high gloss by hand and then chrome plated.|
|There are better looking things than flaked off chrome on screws. Therefore all the screws you can find on the birdfish are of stainless steel with hex heads. Each screw is buffed to a high gloss by hand.|
|copyright by Ulrich Teuffel|