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Emmett Chapman and the StickXBL Prototype
(Click for a close-up)

Stick Enterprises announces the new StickXBL, 36"-scale fretboard tapping instrument with monocoque shell composite structure by BassLab, designed by Emmett Chapman and Heiko Heopfinger.

BassLab founder Heiko Hoepfinger has developed his "monocoque design" hollow shell structures specifically to enhance acoustic properties of various electric stringed instruments. His hollow through-neck resonant beam structure for The Stick is lightweight and very rigid, and responds nicely to truss tensioning for optimum tapping setup. The resulting sound and feel are very "live," with a bouncing and percussive attack.

The hollow shell construction throughout the length of the neck-beam acoustically reinforces the mid and low frequencies, and at the high end there is a gloss and polished resonance that seems to rebound from the hard lacquer finish, reflecting harmonics back into the sustained strings. Along with this live sound is a related live "feel" in tapping the strings, a bit of a bounce and percussive attack. The combined sound and feel make the new StickXBL the perfect vehicle for Emmett Chapman's two-handed tapping method, as employed on our Stick Grand Stick and Stick Bass fretboard tapping instruments.

BassLab in Kassel, Germany, designs and builds some interesting and avante guard instruments (see their Website at www.basslab.de). Their main concern is acoustic science and unique composite materials that enhance the sound of various stringed instruments, including violins, some traditional Japanese instruments, and now The Stick.

Heiko Hoepfinger, founder and owner of BassLab, has a diploma in theoretical physics and since 1993 has applied his knowledge to improving sound mainly in electric bass guitars. In 1995, he received a patent in the field of acoustic materials and began BassLab in 1996. He blends various composites to "tune in" the desired tonal characteristics of whatever instrument he is working on. He refers to this well researched process as "monocoque design", where the outer hull is the sole supporting member.

A prototype StickXBL is being demonstrated at the 2003 Nashville NAMM show. This prototype is equipped with Stick's patented "Rails" fret system, "Flaps" dual nut system, and the standard Stick adjustable bridge, belt hook and shoulder strap. It also features our PASV-4 Villex quad pickup Block module.

Price and date of availability to be determined. Eight, ten and twelve-string models will be available.

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