Babicz Identity Series Spider

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Babicz Spider Review from Guitar World Magazine

"Extremely balanced tone, full sound, fast and advanced neck adjustment system, great value for price" Guitar World • February 2006


The Identity Series Spider, the latest evolution of Jeff Babicz's unique take on acoustic guitar design, represents a new high-water mark for the company. A striking, high performance, pro-grade instrument, the Spider is a perfect storm of breakthrough patented technologies, authentic acoustic tone and ambience and sheer head turning aesthetic beauty.

The Spider has been a huge hit with top-tier, pro musicians and touring bands. Its combination of superb resonance, projection and super-cool good looks has attracted high profile devotees such as Todd Rundgren, Porcupine Tree's John Wesley, Don Dokken, Billy Sherwood of prog rockers Circa, long-term David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick, Howard Leese, touring guitarist with Paul Rodgers & Bad Co., Judas Priest's metal god, KK Downing, Tim Palmieri from jam band Breakfast and The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde. In addition, the instrument has garnered lavish international industry praise and was recently inducted into the prestigious Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA, recognising it's insanely innovative design.

An extremely welcoming and comfortable guitar to get to grips with, the Spider's sleek, cutaway body dimensions and incredibly low action will immediately appeal to traditional acoustic guitarists as well as to migrating electric players. Its fast neck allows full access to all twenty frets with an even response up the fingerboard... every note rings strong and true, whether played as hard strumming chords or lighting fast leads.

The current generation Spider features a solid Englemann Spruce top and a solid Mahogany back, producing a rich, well-defined, thoroughly modern tone with precise attack, excellent clarity and excellent separation of bass and treble voices, eliminating much of the "woody" midrange typical of older style guitars. Utilising the latest L.R. Baggs Element Stage Pro on-board pickup system for superb amplified reproduction of its crisp, balanced sound, the Spider provides ultimate versatility in any style, in any setting... and you can get it in any colour you want... as long as it's black!

The Babicz ID Series Spider Features


  • Solid Engelmann Spruce Soundboard
  • Solid Mahogany Back & Sides
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Solid Rosewood Bridge (Adjustable for intonation)
  • Babicz Continually Adjustable Neck
  • Babicz Torque Reducing Split Bridge
  • Babicz Lateral Compression Soundboard
  • L.R. Baggs Element Under-Saddle Pickup + Element Stage Pro Preamp
  • Satin Black Finish Top & Neck
  • Gloss Finish Body
  • Babicz Custom Arched Top, Hard Shell Case

Babicz Lateral Compression Soundboard


One of the most striking features of the Babicz concept is the manner in which the strings span out from the bridge assembly in a web-like pattern to attach to the bottom of the soundboard. Of course, it looks incredibly cool, but as Jeff Babicz explains, far from being a mere visual hook or gimmick, the idea is entirely functional...

"The best way to convey the function of the string anchors is using this analogy: When the stings are attached directly to the soundboard, 'lateral compression' (or tightness) is created in the top. A drum head that has no tension is acoustically dead, but once tightened, is becomes alive and sonically vibrant. This is the same principle used for Babicz guitars. The soundboard uses the pull of the string to compress and 'energize' the top, making it more lively. It's also much stronger because the strings are attached near the rim of the guitar, which allows internal bracing to be lighter - again aiding in making the soundboard more flexible and acoustically pure."

Babicz Continually Adjustable Neck


All Jeff Babicz guitars are equipped with this revolutionary neck joint system, which allows the player to quickly adjust the guitar's string height on the fly, with a simple turn of an included Allen key, to accommodate any playing style required. This is all achieved without knocking the guitar out of tune or altering the intonation. The system allows you to instantly change action for delicate fingerpicking to bluegrass banging to beefy slide action in just seconds, then crank the neck back down in less time than it takes to introduce the next tune. 

Torque Reducing Split Bridge


Like the other innovative Babicz appointments, this unique system is strictly functional and serves three important purposes...

  • Separated into two pieces ('Bridge' and 'Retainer') the assembly helps reduce forward rotational torque.
  • The bridge is adjustable for intonation because it is not glued to the soundboard but instead attached by special fasteners.
  • The retainer serves to keep the strings in perfect alignment to the bridge.

L.R. Baggs Electrics


The Spider is fitted as standard with an L.R. Baggs Element under-saddle pickup, which boasts impressive body sensitivity, articulation and feedback resistance (as well as one of the most dynamic ranges of any acoustic instrument pickup) in conjunction with the side-mounted Stage Pro on-board preamp, whose all-discrete circuitry is based on the company's award-winning Para D.I. and specially voiced for the Element transducer.

  • Element Pickup
  • Chromatic Tuner
  • Volume, Bass, Midrange & Treble Controls
  • Notch Filter
  • Phase Inversion Button
  • Easy Click-lock Battery Access 
  • Class A Discrete FET Input Preamp/EQ for Warm Analog Sound

Babicz Identity Series 06e Spider Cutaway Electro-Acoustic

 Body  Solid Mahogany Back & Sides
 Top  Solid Engelmann Spruce Babicz Lateral Compression Soundboard (U.S. Pat. # 7,112,733)
 Finish  2-Tone Black Catalysed Urethane (Top: Satin / Body & Neck : High Gloss)
 Neck  Mahogany, 'C' Contour Babicz Continually Adjustable Neck (U.S. Pat. # 7,157,634) with Dual Action Truss Rod
 Fingerboard  Solid Rosewood with Dot Inlays
 Bridge  Solid Rosewood, Adjustable Babicz Torque Reducing Split Bridge (U.S. Pat. # 7,534,945)
 Pickup  L.R. Biggs Element Under-Saddle Transducer
 Electronics  L.R. Baggs Stage Pro Element On-Board Preamp
 Hardware  Chrome Trap Plate & String Anchors
 Tuners  Chrome Grover Mini-Tuners with Black Buttons
 Saddle  Tusq
 Scale Length  25.5"
 Nut Width  4.44cm (1.75") Tusq Nut
 Lower Bout Width  40.6cm (16")
 Body Depth  10.2cm (4")
 Origin  Constructed in Indonesia, under Exclusive License
 Extras  Babicz Custom Arch Top Fitted Hard Shell Case
 Warranty  3 Years

 L.R. Baggs Stage Pro Element Preamp

 Size  8.9cm x 7.1cm x 5.6cm (3.5" x 2.8" x 2.2")
 Weight 158g (5.6oz) Including Battery
 Battery  Single 9 volt
 Current Consumption  Preamp: 4.5mA / Tuner : 14mA
 Battery Life  100+ Hours
 Bass  +/- 9 dB @ 80 Hz
 Mid  +5/-9 @ 1 Khz
 Treble  +/- 12dB Unweighted
 Signal to Noise  -90 dB Unweighted
 Input Impedance  10 MegaOhms
 Output Impedance  620 Ohms
 Notch Filter  off to 320 Hz (Sweepable), 1/8 Octave, fixed -18 dB

Continually Adjustable Neck


U.S. Patent # 7,157,634

The proprietary "Continually Adjustable Neck" by Babicz Design Ltd. (also known as the “Variable Set Neck™”) is a patented and innovative approach to adjusting the string height ("action") of a guitar in a fast and seamless motion. This is achieved by allowing the neck to slide up or down, with the turn of an ordinary Allen key, on command, by the musician. This adjustment has little or no effect on the intonation of the guitar.

By lifting the neck up or down to adjust the action, you are essentially adjusting the neck to the string height instead of the other way around. You are not re-pitching the neck, so a simple height adjustment does not affect tuning (pitch) or scale length.

The Babicz Continually Adjustable Neck is much like an electric guitar neck - because it is continuous. There is solid wood under the fret-board past the body. This is integral to the neck itself and offers extreme stability and sustain in the upper register. The dreaded fret-board 'drop off' past the body becomes extinct. The soundboard can vibrate more freely because the neck/fret-board is not attached to the top of the guitar like on conventional acoustics. Heavy upper bout bracing is unnecessary and eliminated. The height of the bridge's saddle never changes for the life of the guitar. High action warrantees are a non-issue.

For the acoustic musician, this represents a totally new level of performance. The guitar can now be "fine-tuned" to the exact string height for the performance desired – instantly.

 

Torque Reducing Split Bridge


U.S. Patent # 7,534,945

The Babicz "Torque Reducing Split Bridge" (also known as the "Variable Set Bridge") is not glued to the soundboard, but secured via special fasteners. For optimum performance, these fasteners can be released, and the entire bridge can be repositioned to achieve proper intonation throughout the entire life of the guitar.

This is possible due to the absence of bridge pins (and glue), as well as the incorporation of proprietary fastener slots provided in the soundboard.

Additionally, the patented bridge is a split design with a separate String Retainer. The separate String Retainer aligns the strings and applies downward pressure on the bridge's saddle. 

By separating the two components, the classic forward rotational torque is substantially reduced - resulting in less soundboard stress. The bridge can never become unglued or lifted because the strings are not directly attached to the bridge. The separate String Retainer actually holds the bridge down.

 

Lateral Compression Soundboard


U.S. Patent # 7,112,733

When the strings are removed from the bridge and anchored to the top of the guitar, a lateral compression force is created (compression of wood within the soundboard, not compression of tone or frequency).

This creates a fully energized soundboard. The design is extremely strong because the strings are anchored directly to the soundboard, near the outer edge of the top, in a fan-like pattern. The string pull is almost entirely lateral and is spread out over a larger area. Because there is very little stress on the center of the soundboard (which is the weakest and most flexible part), traditional 'X' bracing can be removed and replacedwith a much more delicate and lighter bracing pattern. Internally, the new soundboard bracing pattern uses two semi-parallel braces (much like tone bars on an Archtop guitar) that start at the upper bout.

They pass along the edge of the bridge, and end deep within thelower bout. This allows the string vibration to pass from the bridge to the two primary braces, traveling laterally, using the entire length of the soundboard.

Flattops with strings attached to the bridge pull from the center of the soundboard, which creates a very taut top. This makes 'true' acoustic bass reproduction very difficult. Most conventional acoustic construction will have a choked bass response the further you play up the neck. The soundboard is not allowed to vibrate (pump air) as well because the top is too tight. With the Lateral Compression Soundboard, what you will hear is a new level of sonic purity. The purpose of extending the string below the bridge and attaching them to the top directly is to create lateral compression in the soundboard. We call it 'acoustical perpetuation'.

Another benefit to the design is a much more relaxed string feel to the player - especially when bending notes. Even though the Babicz guitar uses standard length strings, a longer portion of the string is used overall, (the core of the string is extended past the bridge). Musicians have commented on how 'buttery' the strings feel, and they thought that the gauges were .010" or .011", when in fact they were heavier .012" or .013".

Jeff Babicz


The Babicz founder demonstrates the amazing "Continually Adjustable Neck"

Tim Palmieri Rocks The Spider


Babicz artist Tim (The Breakfast) at their Fort Wayne, Indiana HQ

Babicz Spider Review


Guitar World reveal the many revolutionary features of the Babicz Spider

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