Prokiev Touring

[URIS id=490]

Design: 2014

Build: 2014 – 2020

First setup: 2020

Quicrk Description:

Simple, short scale electric traveler.  


  • Body shape: Slightly offset single-cut.
  • Body construction: Solid
  • Body wood: Cherry, one-piece
  • Body finish: Clear polyurethane
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Neck finish: Clear polyurethane
  • Scale: 18.542″
  • Bridge: Tele-style humbucker mount combo.  String-through.
  • Neck joint: bolt-on.
  • Truss rod: Homemade, one-way, heel access.
  • Pickup: Single humbucker
  • Controls: None
  • Headstock: Flat, 6 in line, reverse Tele shape

The story: When I designed this guitar, I had already designed two guitars that I hadn’t started building yet, I was in the process of hacking the pseudostrat, and I was prototyping the Bender.  The process of buying and fitting aftermarket necks was getting to be harder than I thought.  So the main goal was to complete a scratch build, neck and all.  I figured that a small scale traveler was a good start.  The materials were cheaper, I could use a one-piece body, and I didn’t need a large drill press to get the string through holes straight.  A bonus is that I enjoy bike touring and this would allow me to carry a guitar with me, paired with a little practice amp, which I did in 2021 on a ten-day tour along the St. Croix.

The general Tele style is a result of wanting the pickup mount and bridge to be on the same piece of hardware, and the general stability of the single cut design with such a small neck pocket.  There are no controls, as the assumption is that you will be playing though a mini device close by that would have a gain control, and to save space.  Troubleshooting a bad connection is also easier.  There are only three solder joints: jack +, jack – and bridge ground.

I arrived at the scale out of my reluctance to saw fret slots – I bought a pre-slotted, 24.75″ scale fingerboard and cut it off at the 5th fret.  Tuning aside, it’s like playing with a capo.

Regarding the tuning: I fit this with 13 gauge baritone strings.  I always go up a gauge for short scales.  My Gibson scale solids get 11s (hollows get 12s) and Fender scales get 10s.  This gets 13s.  The Ensign will most likely get 12s.

Play the high E string open, and then play the same note on the second string.  Now play the same note on the third string.  Each time you’re going up in string gauge and down in length.  You can hear the difference in tone. Long, thin strings sound floppy, all else being equal.

The dot markers are green glow in the dark pigmented epoxy resin.  

Design considerations for a second build:

  • 3×3 or 4×2 headstock to reduce overall length.  I would probably also go with a scarf joint and 10 degree pitch, copying what I did with the Portland.  Depending on this design, it may be possible to fit it in a standard ukulele case.  I would be open to adjusting the scale length for that reason as well. 
  • White dots, still glow in the dark but brighter.
  • Source a proper two way truss rod.  I’m not worried about this one, but it was annoying to build.
  • This guitar suffers badly from neck dive, as the heavy maple neck takes up such a large percentage of its mass.  I don’t consider this a major issue since it’s so light in general, can be comfortably played standing up or sitting.  Just something to note.  Let go of it with the strap on and the neck with fall.  I would offer an all-maple body option in a second build.

No further prototypes are currently scheduled.  

This prototype is available for free viewing or one-week checkout with a $200 refundable deposit.

This design is available for purchase as a commissioned prototype.