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Monday, February 28, 2011

Electric Saz for the Secret Chiefs



This is The electric Saz played by Trey Spruance the leader of the band Secret Chiefs. (Trey is on the right, that's me on the left. )

This instrument is the brain offspring of my friend John Beal of Bealtown Guitars. John and I went to the San Francisco Art Institute together in the early 1990's. Since those days at SFAI John has become a real Orthodox priest and he has a deep interest in Byzantine chant. Now I mean to say John did not get his priestly vestments from a Cracker Jack box or some flim-flammer online buy a degree website. He went to seminary, put in his time as a novice and eventually became a full priest. Among his many talents, he can play the blues and he puts together the odd electric guitar. He also wheels and deals in vintage amplifiers.

John put this very nice electric saz together by putting a traditional saz neck on a Danelectro Longhorn body. And then Trey bought it from John and played it so much in Secret Chiefs that the sunburst saz became identified with Trey's band. Do a youtube search on Secret Chiefs and you'll likely find Trey with saz in live concert footage. ( here you go- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1p4Qa_z65g&feature=related )

After a few tours the saz' neck began to work loose and move forward, that is when John mentioned to Trey I could re work the neck joint. He brought it over and I changed the headstock to accommodate guitar tuners to replace the wooden pegs on the saz neck. Then I grafted some new wood onto the end of the neck and made it a bolt on neck that could easily be reset. I did some touch up work to the finish to make it all look original and then Trey ran off with to Europe on a tour with the rebuilt saz. I also found him a case for that thing which was not easy. Ended up after trying several cases a Gibson 335 case fit it perfectly.

John wants me to make more of these sunburst saz'. I've got ideas, lots of ideas.

What is the plural of saz? sazzes? // If you know, let me know!

3 comments:

  1. I just saw Trey in Ferndale MI a couple of nights ago. He is putting that saz to excellent use.

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  2. saz's :D

    in turkish the plural would be sazlar, and english sometimes uses the plural of the noun from the original language, so i guess sazlar would be fine (:

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  3. Hello!
    Do you know where can I find similar instrument? I am searching for this for a long time and it is really difficult. I am also a big fan of Secret Chiefs 3 and I play saz for a while but I want to add effects without the feedback problem.
    Thank you!

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