Aug 25, 2013
I stumbled upon this really awesome clip on Facebook this afternoon. Here’s the story behind this guitar:
This rare and unusual handbuilt double neck Bunker Duo-Lectar is an early touch guitar that was invented and built by Dave Bunker. The first Duo-Lectar made its debut in 1955 when Bunker was only 21 year old. He lived and designed in Puyallup, Washington at the time. In 1960 Dave Bunker introduced his touch guitar on the national television show, Ozark Jubilee.
Dave Bunker not only invented and built the Duo-Lectar but also invented the method of playing the instrument which can be seen in YouTube videos of the Jubilee. The instrument did not have great commercial success at the time and it is likely that only 50 of these early Duo-Lectars were ever built. The strings were touched or tapped rather than plucked or strummed and both necks can be played simultaneously. The fingerboards are made of maple with 32 plastic square and rectangular inlays.
There are 18 slanted frets on the bass neck and 23 unslanted frets on the lead. The Duo-Lectar weighs 10 pounds and is made of spruce. It is 39 1/4″ long and 11 5/16″ at the widest point. There are twelve hand wound pickups, one for each string housed in groups of three. There are two volume knobs and four sliders. Two of the sliders control pickup selection and two control tone. The Duo-Lectar has two output jacks one for each neck. All of the electronics are in working condition. This highly unusual instrument is a nice example of mid century creativity and innovation from the Pacific Northwest.
Cool stuff, huh?