Tao Disco Volante

By Tao Guitars
Republished from our “Perfect ” Issue”

The guitar’s concept began early on, at the same time we were designing our T-Bucket model, we were planning on starting a line that would cover the two great guitar families: The “F” & the “G”, so we had to design a glue-on mahogany neck on mahogany body specimen.

We had this idea of doing a non-cutaway guitar that would make the cross between the early years of the electric guitar incarnation called the “Electric Spanish” & our present time, with the “Les Paul” idiom in our mind at all time.

On the other hand, we had this funny idea of a guitar that we could call the “Uncut”, as these courthouse battles were raging between two of the guitar industry’s big names over the “Single cut” concept.

As the obvious way is not our genre, we decided not to go for a maple top but to add a lil’ “Joe Maphis Mosrite” touch and go for a hand-carved spruce top instead, thus adding some harmonic finesse to the note’s envelope & an overall springiness clarity.

After several brainstormings around finishes and overall appearance, we decided to apply the same streamlined bi-color scheme we’d already chosen for our “Phaeton” guitar, as we like to emphasize carve & curves of the body lines by keeping the hardware parts to a useful minimum.

Concerning the final “Disco Volante” name, it just came later on, when the guitar was almost finished. It all started with this classic car exhibition that was taking place here in Brussels called “Belgian Gentlemen Drivers” displaying some of the most beautiful Italian cars you could think of, one of which was a 1950 Ferrari 166 MM, a true piece of art made by Touring Carrozzeria Superleggera, a famous coachbuilder of his time. We soon became mesmerized by their work.

After some research on the Touring work we stumble onto one of their most iconic creation ordered by Alfa Romeo in the early ’50s, a wild & adventurous aerodynamic design that will make date in car history, it was time for us to pay tribute to the unavoidable Italian style!

Detailed list of the guitar:

• Chambered Honduran mahogany body with a hand carved selected spruce top.
• Quartersawn Spanish cedar neck, 24.3/4″ (Gibson) scale

• Tao Custom fretting: we start with medium jumbo to the 12th fret, and finish with smaller ones, giving your fingers more space to play up the neck.

• Custom “gauge panel” side markers.

• Gotoh 17mm strap buttons reworked in brushed finish with Lexan « neon effect » spacers.

• Lexan « magnet lock » in top matched a color

• Custom short brass bushings.

• Silkscreen logo.

• Shertler tuners with custom made « neon effect » Lexan spacers & ebony buttons.

• The Pickups are Dave Stephens custom wound VL61, wearing our handmade “front grille” covers.

• The bridge is a reworked aluminum compensated wraparound with a brushed finish.
Knobs are made from aluminum with brushed finish.

• 3 way Switchcraft switch with custom made button and ring.
ear-picked vintage style CTS pots (polished finish), polished electro-socket output jack.

• The brass spring retainer to ensure a smooth and secure action of the magnet backplates.

All dressed up with a copper powder and sandalwood beige suit.

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