Approximately two years ago, Shahab Tolouie began the realization of his long-term idea to gather the diverse strands of persian, jazz and flamenco together in a manner that incorporates modern technologies in one instrument to attain the precise timbres that are optimal for live performance of his original style – Persian&Flamenco fusion.
The name is derived from “fuse” – English for “fusion” and “tar” – Farsi for “strings”; hence ‘fusion of strings’. The nickname Lucifer is that of the mythological morning star, the bearer of light.
It took a year and half for two luthiers Mehr & Owrang to build the FuseTar. It is made of thirteen different types of wood and weighs 2.1 kg. With an acoustic chamber approximately 4cm larger than that on a regular guitar, the FuseTar possesses three necks. The uppermost is a fretless neck, which makes possible to play the quarter-tones peculiar to eastern music. The middle neck is the ‘guitar neck’, a combination flamenco/jazz guitar configured with the “true temperament” fretting technology, which produces more accurate intonations and longer sustain than a normal guitar and is used, for example, by John McLaughlin and Steve Vai. The third neck is a Iranian ‘Setar neck’ with four strings fretted for quartertones, a traditional instrument whose roots stretch back 2,000 years. This is the first time a traditional Persian instrument has been modernized with the fixed, “true temperament” fretting system.
At the same time FuseTar is a unique work of art – carefully decorated by elements from three the most significant historical periods of Persian Empire (Achaemenid: the Lion-griffin – a protector from evil, Parthian & Sassanid: Derafsh Kaviani – symbol of independence and freedom. Lion and Sun – always been associated with Persian royalty).And Faravahar – the best-known symbol of Zoroastrianism.
Luthier & designer: “Crimson Oath” custom guitars (Stockholm – Sweden)
Top: German Spruce
Back and sides: 3 types of Rosewood
Guitar neck: Spanish cedar (double carbon rods inside each guitar neck for more support)
Setar neck: Mahogany, Bubinga (Guibourtia), Purple Heart (Purple Wood), Maple & Plywood
Setar neck has a hollow through-neck inner chamber which is then connected to acoustic box to produce more sustain & resonation.
Bridge & Headstock: Ebony
Frets: (flamenco guitar & Setar): The “true temperament” fretting. (This system produces much more accurate intonations than a regular guitar and is used by John McLaughlin and Steve Vai for example)
Bracing: “Kasha system” produces more sound isolation per instrument.
Materials used for fingerboard: Purple Heart, Ebony, Brass, Mother of pearl (Abalone), Padauk & Walnut
Inlays: Mother of Pearl (Abalone), Brass, Copper, Aluminum & Bones. (The motifs are from 3 (Achaemenid, Parthian (Arsacid) & Sassanid) empires.
Net-weight: (without machine head and electronics): 2.1kg
Electronics: 3 independent pickups made by LR Baggs with dedicated volume knobs on a custom Aluminum control surface decorated by Persian Cuneiform scripts.
- Guitar: “Anthem” combination of built-in condenser mic and under saddle piezo.
- Setar: “ibeam Active” bridge plate transducer with an endpin preamp.
- Fretless Guitar: “Under Saddle” element active system.