The background story from designer, Martin Pitcher.
For business reasons, in early 2014, I was going to be living in Hong Kong for several months. As anyone who plays guitar knows, even if you go on holiday for a couple of weeks and stop playing your finger tips soon go soft and you get out of practise. So I thought I’d get a travel guitar and as I would be in a small flat an iRig, so that I could practise and record using my computer and headphones. A bank of Vox AC30’s wasn't really going to be practical.
Although there are plenty of travel guitars available, none of them really had the features that I like in a guitar. I wanted something that would sound and feel like my Red Special and would not be a compromise, or contain any gimmicks, not just a travel guitar but one that could equally be used for a gig, but would physically take up less space.
I find walking great for creative thought and on a stroll along the banks of the river Alde in Suffolk, England, I designed the basis for the guitar in my head and then drew up the final shape and design when I got home.
Although it had to be as small as possible, I still wanted a 24inch scale length with a seven and a quarter inch radius and Tri-Sonic pickups in exactly the same positions as on my Red Special, to maintain the same harmonics, in or out of phase. This meant using a headless guitar design with the tuners on the tremolo. The bridge had to have rollers and be fixed to the body of the guitar, not floating like a Strat' and the tremolo had to have the same feel as my Red Special. On off pickup switching and phase switches and a built in switchable KAT Treble Boost, one volume and one tone control. A quick email to Nigel Knight confirmed that this was all possible with such limited space.
As for the body shape, it was slightly inspired by the communicator badge on the Star Trek character uniforms and I think has a bit of a seventies look about it. The small indent on the bottom edge means that it will not slip off of your leg when playing sitting down without a strap, and the two strap buttons on the rear end mean it can be left standing against an amp without tipping over sideways and is also “lefty ready”. As the guitar would need to contain all the electronics and a battery it seemed practical to include two sound chambers and to have a glued in through neck.
I put all this and more details into a Pages Document and sent it off to top luthier, Andrew Guyton, to see if he could make it for me. However, it turned out there wasn't enough time to make it before my travels, so the project sadly got shelved.
That is until mid 2016, when I got an email from Andrew saying,”This RS Transporter design is too good a guitar not to be made, can we collaborate on it”.
And so we embarked on this extremely exciting project where Andy is going to make a limited edition run of very high quality RS Transporter guitars.
We hope you’ll love them.
I think they are awesome!