Author Topic: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!  (Read 1568 times)

Mark Hammer

Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« on: February 26, 2018, 09:52:57 AM »
I have long been interested in the Bond Electraglide guitar ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bond_Electraglide ).  The brainchild of Scottish inventor Andrew Bond, for a guitar produced in 1985, it was miles and miles ahead of anything else produced at that time, having many innovations like a "stepped" fretless fretboard, and distinctively-coloured visual displays of the settings for the on-board electronically-controlled EQ.  It used a 2-piece moulded synthetic body, similar to old Supros, but made of different material than either fibreglass or carbon fibre.

Other than meeting up with Stephen Giles at Heathrow Airport, the only other must-do I had planned for our trip to Scotland last year was seeing the Bond "in the flesh" at the National Museum of Scotland.  Frustratingly, when we visited there and I searched for it in vain, a guide told me it had been moved back to the permanent collection the month before (most museums will rotate their holdings, due to a lack of display space).  I had written to the son of the late Andrew Bond some years back, inquiring about a possible circuit diagram.  He did write back, informing me that he had looked but could not find any such information.  So, the Bond secrets remained out of reach.

I had hoped to be able to learn more at the museum, but to no avail.  Encouragingly, the museum guide directed me to the information desk, who provided me with the e-mail address of the curator of that section of the museum.  I finally got around to writing him, and this morning received a reply with some photos.  I've cropped and reduced slightly, this photo, which shows the principal circuit board.  He also sent a pic of the disassembled body and the back of the circuit board.  And no, Dino, I am not going to send you the front/back photos and ask you to reverse engineer it.  But the pic gives some idea of the complexity of the electronics.  I'm guessing that the LM13600s were for the EQ and volume settings.

Enjoy!



slashandburn

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 11:12:53 AM »
Mark, your far reaching knowledge never fails to surprise me. I've lived in Scotland all of my life (played guitar most of it) and never heard of this guy or his invention.

Interesting stuff. Until now I though the only good thing to come out of the Black Isle was the beer!

digi2t

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Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 11:24:56 AM »
I do believe that Edge "abused" one on "The Joshua Tree" album for three songs.
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287m

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 11:41:20 AM »
Hell, that layout  :icon_twisted:
Hope someday, i can make like that in perf. Bless me!
not with lots of jumper in bottom, of course

Mark Hammer

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 12:37:32 PM »
Mark, your far reaching knowledge never fails to surprise me. I've lived in Scotland all of my life (played guitar most of it) and never heard of this guy or his invention.

Interesting stuff. Until now I though the only good thing to come out of the Black Isle was the beer!
Perhaps you have to be old enough to have seen it initially show up. I actually forget where I first heard of it, but it was around the time it first came out.  I was especially intrigued because I had sort of predicted guitars with similar sorts of electronics in the 1979 article I had in DEVICE magazine/newsletter.  So, seeing all these ideas fully realized, and so exquisitely, captivated my attention.

Here's the 2-piece moulded body:



And the display viewed from the player's angle, showing the settings for volume, treble and bass.


And here's the fretless stepped fretboard.


Like I wrote back to the NMS curator, this beats seeing "Dolly" in the flesh by a long shot.  I've been listening to a CBC podcast series on the Scottish Enlightenment of the late 18th century.  For my money, Andrew Bond ranks up there with the Adam brothers, Adam Smith, David Hume, Francis Hutcheson, William Cullen, Robert Watt, and the rest.

bluebunny

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 01:39:59 PM »
This is really interesting, Mark, and brings back memories.  Not sure where I would have read about it: it's a bit early for Guitarist magazine (which I've been reading forever).  It seems there's a bunch of information around the webz, including at the NMS.  Also came across this link with some interesting information and anecdotes - including Dave Sidley, who designed the electronics, and also the son of the late Andrew Bond.  And even more interestingly, on page #2 of the comments, there's a familiar-looking name - one "pinkjimiphoton" - who appears to have had one of these beasts, at least back in 2012.  @Jimi: tell us you still have it!  :D
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Kipper4

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 01:45:40 PM »
Intrigued. Brilliant .
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Mark Hammer

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 02:20:27 PM »
This is really interesting, Mark, and brings back memories.  Not sure where I would have read about it: it's a bit early for Guitarist magazine (which I've been reading forever).  It seems there's a bunch of information around the webz, including at the NMS.  Also came across this link with some interesting information and anecdotes - including Dave Sidley, who designed the electronics, and also the son of the late Andrew Bond.  And even more interestingly, on page #2 of the comments, there's a familiar-looking name - one "pinkjimiphoton" - who appears to have had one of these beasts, at least back in 2012.  @Jimi: tell us you still have it!  :D

Many thanks for directing me to that thread.  Some interesting information in there.

I tracked down David Sidley, and just sent him a note asking if there was more technical info on the guts available.  Fingers crossed that he writes back.

And Jimi, have you been holding out on us?

Mark Hammer

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2018, 02:28:08 PM »
Oh, and folks DO realize the subject line is from this scene in Goldfinger, right?


anotherjim

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2018, 03:39:43 PM »

First thing that occurs to me is...
They were never, ever, ever going to be able to produce an affordable left handed version.
I can play a right handed guitar turned around, but I wouldn't be able to see the display on the Bond - I suppose I could add a mirror though.

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Mark Hammer

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2018, 04:24:57 PM »
Dave Sidley notes in the thread that Bluebunny linked to just how much difficulty, cost, and retooling, they had to go through just to install a tremolo arm in time for Musikmesse.  A left-handed version would have bankrupted them a year or two earlier.

Of course, even with a mirror, the numbers would be backwards, as would the colour sequence.

PRR

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2018, 05:19:25 PM »
> the subject line is from...

If _I_ expected a dead Bond, I'd knock him out with a laser-wrench, drag him out behind the Lair to avoid clean-up, and use a gun. The only reason to slice a guy with a laser beam is great movie scene and probable (inevitable) villain gloating and hero turn-about.

EBK

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2018, 05:42:15 PM »
I can't help but think of this Bond parody, from xkcd:
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BetterOffShred

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2018, 06:00:21 PM »
> the subject line is from...

If _I_ expected a dead Bond, I'd knock him out with a laser-wrench, drag him out behind the Lair to avoid clean-up, and use a gun. The only reason to slice a guy with a laser beam is great movie scene and probable (inevitable) villain gloating and hero turn-about.
The Simpson's parodies of the inevitable escape scenes are so hilarious.   I like the episode with Scorpio.. Homer Leads to the hero's demise. 

That guitar is cool too Mark, sorry to get off on a tangent!

rockola

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2018, 03:22:35 AM »
Of course, even with a mirror, the numbers would be backwards, as would the colour sequence.
Last year's camera phone set on selfie and some duct tape. Problem solved.

anotherjim

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2018, 04:26:43 AM »
Quote
Of course, even with a mirror, the numbers would be backwards, as would the colour sequence.
That's ok Mark, we lefties are naturally expert mirror writers/readers.
"So lets stay within the limit of sureness: lets consider the fuses you have available and lets see what you have to do to light them up..." Farfisa Partner 15 drum machine manual.

Rob Strand

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2018, 05:30:41 AM »
Thanks a lot Mark.  Very cool indeed.   That fretboard is really thinking outside of the box.
The mind often distorts without gain.

DIY Bass

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2018, 06:31:13 AM »
I remember reading about this one back in the day as well.  I did always wonder how they were going to deal with "fret" wear.  Would need an entire new fingerboard and maybe neck to accomplish that.

Digital Larry

Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2018, 02:57:59 PM »
> the subject line is from...

If _I_ expected a dead Bond, I'd knock him out with a laser-wrench, drag him out behind the Lair to avoid clean-up, and use a gun. The only reason to slice a guy with a laser beam is great movie scene and probable (inevitable) villain gloating and hero turn-about.
Premise re-used several times in every Batman episode ever.  Must devise especially clever and time consuming way to kill Batman, but we can't possibly stick around to make sure it works, don't cha know.
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pinkjimiphoton

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Re: Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond! I expect you to die!
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2018, 06:34:39 PM »
mark,
my friend doug carroll is still an "authorized" electraglide repairman, so... if ya need parts, or power supplies or whatev, let me know.

i sold mine on ebay for 1800 a couple years ago.

honestly, they LOOK cool, but they sound like an anemic strat. using push buttons to control volume and tone and pickup selection was really lame imho... noisy too. the little computer screen thing was cool. they weigh too much and i just found the whole thing dodgy as hell.its really a crappy plastic over designed guitar. i was glad to be done with it when it went.
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