Teuffel Birdfish Olive ~ Secondhand

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Teuffel Birdfish Olive ~ Secondhand
Studio pics will be up on Monday...
2005 Teuffel Birdfish, previouly owned by David Torn, his name is engraved in the chrome on the bottom of the instrument.
This rather marvelous guitar comes with 2 sets of tonebars, one set in alder on the guitar and a set of maple in the case, 2 extra single coil pickups, flight case and display stand.
Condition is very good apart from a little chrome flaking down by the volume control.
The previous seller had this on thier website from the builder
From Ulrich in 2015:
"David Torn's birdfish is from Sept 2005. Definitively the new model. Two of his pickups, I think the single coils are painted in fire. Both tone bar sets and the three humbuckers are painted in olive. This way it is a one of a kind guitar. In addition to this: there were only three birdfishs delivered in olive. This is the rarest color amongst all birdfishs."

Some notes on different birdfish years (still from ulrich) (had the opportunity to acquire ex ken parker birdfish or david torn)
The birdfish of Ken Parker is one of the very first models before the major update in 2003. The headless neck has a one-way trussrod and the Schaller string clamp with a bone nut. The guitar came with the leather bag.
David's guitar is made after the update with aluminium parts cut from solid blocks. The neck has a two-way truss rod and the new adjustable locking nut. The guitar came with the flight case.

The birdfish set consists of the standard guitar (without midi) with the tonebars of American alder, a set of tonebars of Michigan maple , three different Humbuckers, two single coils pickups,
Comodo Secure


The body consists of the two tonebars which are screwed on both central elements "bird" and "fish". The neck is bolted onto the upper element "bird" while the lower "fish" carries the control box in which you find the guitar electronics. A rail between "bird" and "fish" holds the slideable pickups. All three pickups can be exchanged with each other within seconds.

I manufacture all of the hardware parts (including some of the screws) in my workshop in small series according to my own exact needs. This guarantees that all parts harmonize together in the best manner. Only the Tune-o-matic bridge comes from Gotoh and Schaller

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.
The pickups of the birdfish are easily movable and interchangeable by hand. All in all there are five different pickups available: two single coils and three humbuckers. The character of the single coils is vintage. The tone of the humbuckers are like a P90, a PAF and a hot PAF. Each pickup can be placed in every position.

For the pickups I use AlNiCo Magnets which are custom-made according to my requirements. All the pickups were wound and tuned in my workshop.
The pickups can be slid onto the pickup-rail easily. You only have to move the little slider beneath the pickup. The friction of the slider can be adjusted with a little screw.
The little knurled nut locks the pickup shaft. At the same time the nut allows adjusting the height of the pickups. You can turn the pickup by loosening the hex bolt at the shaft.
A wire harness connects all pickups with the control box. The connectors are 2.5 mm plugs from Switchcraft with mini-jacks in the pickups.

These little screws are there to tilt the pickup rail towards the treble string or the bass strings.

    All wires are high-end teflon-shielded sound conductors with silver cores. The wire is shielded twice. A military screwed joint connects the wire harness and the control box safely.
  The control box carries volume and tone control as well as the Swithcraft 1/4"output jack. The pickups are switched with a Megaswitch from Schaller:
Bridge / bridge+middle / middle / middle+neck / neck.
  The clamping screw allows varying the position of the control box. You can adjust the perfect position for the volume control.
The birdfish's neck is made of old bird's eye maple. It is a one piece neck. First the neck plank is cut down the middle with a ultra-thin saw to prepare the integration of the truss rod. Then the truss rod chamber is cut into the left and right half. Finally the joint is prepared for gluing.

To prevent the truss rod from corroding and blocking up, some manufacturers apply something which in online forums is called a "truss rod glove". It is a thin plastic tube that is put over the truss rod. Of course this doesn’t exactly improve the tone of the guitar.

Therefore I produce my own truss rod from a high-alloyed stainless steel which gets a hard finish. This gives my truss rod only 30% of the weight of a common rod. Its weight is only 48 gramm (1.7 oz) For comparision: the most popular 2-way truss rod has a weight of some 200 grams (7.1 oz).

Since the weight of the neck itself is just 320 grams (11.3 oz) a common truss rod has a share on the neck of 60%. The truss rod channel has to be three times as large. I think accurately selected tonewood creates a better tone than a lot of steel. That is why I do all that extra work.
I have been applying this new 2-way truss rod since 2006. Because the majority of my guitars are finding the way overseas I regard it as very important that the truss rod functions in both directions. You can be sure that your birdfish can be set up perfectly either in extremely dry or in tropical environments.
Have a close look at the joint. Can you locate it? Don't get confused by the shadows of the strings. In 2003 I began sealing the fingerboard on the top side to avoid the wood from getting dirty. The back of the neck is sealed but the pores are open. This gives the neck a natural feel.
Each fret edge is rounded off and polished by hand. The fret slots end just before the neck edge so the frets can't stick out and affect playability during dry times in the winter.
    The fret markers are two-tone: outside there is a black circle for visibility under bright conditions. Inside I have included phosphorescent minerals to let the dots glow on a dark stage.
    There are three threaded inserts that connect the neck solidly with the guitar through the neck screws. No overtightened screws anymore. The "bird" has got the same round back as the neck does, and this holds the neck in its position.
  At the top end of the neck is a steel locking nut which locks each string seperately. The locking screws are made of extra durable stainless steel. I get them from a precision turning shop. For the price of six screws you could buy a whole Les Paul copy from China ex works. The ends of the string can be pressed into the little cavities behind the screws, so the string ends can't hurt you. The nut is height adjustable with little screws after fret dressing. The edge of the nut is adjusted to assure harmonic intonation.
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Model Birdfish
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