Megatar: Another Option for You Two-Handed Touch Instrument Aficionados

Man, it seems like you can’t swing a Chapman Stick nowadays without hitting yet another Warr Guitar player in the scene. Actually, no, that’s a lie. The most intimidating of instruments is still unsurprisingly rare in metal, with your Behold the Arctopuses and Felix Martins still being the exception to the rule. And that’s not to imply that touch guitars really are one type of instrument. The Warr and the Chapman Stick are different beasts, and Felix is really playing a double-necked guitar, just usually in a tapping style.


Well let’s add another variation to the mix. Megatar has relaunched itself as what is essentially a new company. The name may be new to you, as I’ll admit it was to me. But familiarity with the brand may be a moot point since it’s now under new ownership, and with a new product line. Say hello to the Megatar 12-String Extended-Range Bass. It’s similar in layout to some other touch instruments, with one side favoring the low end a bit more heavily, but both sides are strung in 4ths. One half is essentially a 6-string bass, tuned BEADGC. The other is more like a baritone guitar, strung C#F#BEAD.

A question to those of you who’ve delved into these dark arts: do you prefer having the second set of strings tuned to 5ths, or does that just break your brain? Personally I’ve always thought that having both of the deepest strings in the center makes more sense, and I’ve thought of the 5ths set as more like 4ths but upside-down from the center. But to be fair my experience with Warr guitars is limited to a couple sessions of “dude, can I try messing with that for five minutes?”

The full feature rundown is below. Whatever your preference for tuning, it looks like the build quality is no joke. Head over to Megatar’s website for more info.

  • Construction:    Solid Neck-Through
  • Body:    Quartersawn Sapele
  • Fretboard:    Wenge
  • Scale Length:    33.5″
  • Frets:    25, with zero fret
  • Finish:    Water-based ultra-hard musical instrument lacquer
  • Pickups:    Standard with WSC gold or chrome case alnico humbuckers. Bartolini humbuckers and/or Graph Tech Ghost Acoustiphonic piezos optional
  • Controls:    Standard bass tone, melody tone, nested volume, side mount stereo output. Optional three-way pickup switches, stereo/mono switch, dual mono output, etc. Customizable.
  • Intonation:    Buzz Feiten Tuning System
  • Accessories:    strap with locks, method books, tool kit, extra .009 string, stereo output cable.


Source: No Treble

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

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  • The beauty of Emmett’s original tuning of 4ths + bass in 5ths is that they are inversions of one another. For example, holding a bass note C with the left hand and voicing a C major triad in the right. Move everything one string “up” (i.e. toward the left) and you’re ascending a 4th to F in the melody strings, and descending a 5th in the bass, which is also to F. You don’t need to know anything in particular about intervals and their inversion though: there is something very intuitive about it, which you notice the moment you start playing.

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