NGD Switch Vibracell Stein III, a poor man's Aristides?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by littlebadboy, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Squier-Meister

    Jul 13, 2018
    I was scanning through Facebook Marketplace and I found this interesting guitar. It is not much of a looker, but I found out that it was a one-piece guitar made of resin. So, it's kind of a poor man's Aristides! I don't really need an extra guitar, but it was being sold for an irresistible $100! It was just in my neighborhood, so I just had to snatch it!

    About "Switch", from Wikipedia...

    Switch was a brand of electric guitars and electric basses that featured a one-piece body-and-neck construction, made by injection moulding of a patented polyurethane resin-based synthetic material called Vibracell, very similar to Cort's Luthite. The brand belonged to the short-lived Switch Music company in the mid-2000s. The primary designer of the various Switch models was Trev Wilkinson, later of Fret-King.
    The company first presented their guitars at the 2004 NAMM show. The instruments weighed roughly the same as comparable wooden instruments. The sustain was described as excellent.

    Fretboards are of either rosewood or synthetic Ebonol. The front and back of the guitar body were sculpted.

    The body is made of a resin that they call "Vibracell Technology. I know that "Tonewood" is a pretty much-argued topic here. But, here is what a description from the net says...

    Traditional wooden guitars and basses can be produced from a number of different types of woods or combinations of wood. It is the selection of the type of wood that will give the instrument its character. Not all woods are created equal nor are two pieces of wood exactly alike. Another factor to consider when selecting the wood is the cost. Good quality woods simply cost more and are no longer in abundant supply. The wood for guitar bodies is not the only consideration, woods for the necks and fingerboards are equally as important. Different types of wood used for fingerboards and necks will transfer energy at different speeds and intensity.
    Now, imagine for a moment that you could give the guitar designer a piece of wood with the exact density to deliver ultimate vibration and frequency. Imagine a piece of wood that can be styled and shaped and also have a perfect balanced weight. Imagine a finger board that could deliver energy to the guitar body faster than traditional wood. And consider the cost for a guitar or bass guitar with a neck and body made as one piece. Wouldn't this be the ultimate neck-thru body? Are these ideas too far out in the future?

    Vibracell Technology delivers all of this and more...

    Vibracell is a patented process of completely molding both electric and bass guitars including the neck and headstock, from the patented Switch Vibracell material creating an instrument with precise harmonic resonance and sound frequency. Vibracell allows the entire instrument to be created as a whole with complete control of neck, body weight and density by controlling the internal cells. With the ability to control the cells we can effectively tune the body and neck to exceed the characteristics and response of those instruments made from the best available woods in the world. Additionally, Vibracell has the pure strength to withstand extreme temperature changes that affect traditional wooden bodies and necks.

    The ability to control the cells density allows the neck to be formed with the body as one piece. Vibracell allows a true one piece neck-through design that eliminates the gluing of two half bodies to the neck. The one piece neck-thru body approach allows for energy to be transmitted through the entire body not only with extreme efficiency, but at a higher rate of speed ultimately delivering pure sustain and clarity.

    Vibracell technology allows the instrument to be created equally, time and time again without variances in sound due to the variances in wood.

    Vibracell models are offered with traditional Rosewood fingerboard and our proprietary Ebonite fingerboard. Ebonite provides the bold rich smooth warm sound of ebony along with the punch of hard rock maple. Ebonite transfers the energy from the neck to the body at an extreme high rate of speed and intensity resulting in superior crystal clear harmonics and extraordinary sustain.

    Vibracell is considered one of the few, if not the only, major breakthrough in the creation of musical instruments today. Since the beginning of time change has been inevitable. However, change would never be a consideration if there were never a question of need or improvement.

    Based on a catalogue I found, I believe I have a "Stein III" model...

    Specs (If I got the right model):
    • Vibracell® One Piece Body & Neck
    • 2 Switch Designed Single Coil Pickups
    • 1 Red HotHumbucking Bridge Position
    • Roller-Saddle Tremolo Bridge
    • Black Hardware
    • Grover Tuners
    • Rosewood Fingerboard w/ Pearl Dot Inlays
    • Pickguard (Black)
    • 5-way Lever Switch
    • Single Volume control
    • Dual Tone Controls
    • Scale: 25 1/2"
    • Neck Width @ Nut 1 21/32"
    • 22 Frets
    • Weight: 8.2 lbs.
    The guitar has not been used for 15 years says the owner. It needs a lot cleaning but it looks like structurally intact!
    More pictures:
    Oh... did I mention that for $100, it included a nice gig bag, Alesis Spitfire 15 Guitar Amp, stand, and a cable?

    I haven't looked at the electronics yet and the strings are already rusty. Not really good at fixing guitars, but I will try to set the guitar up to playing condition in the next few days and probably give you guys a demo.

    I will be coming back to ask questions on how to refurbish this interesting guitar!

    I am still working on house renovations (honey-do list) which are keeping my busy on my summer break. I hope I will have some time soon to work on this guitar! I'm thinking of stringing and tuning this to drop B.
    mwmeci, Big tuna, cool gouhl and 7 others like this.
  2. AllroyPA

    AllroyPA Squier-Axpert

    Dec 14, 2009
    Very cool find ! Great deal too ... HNGD :cool:
  3. MI redneck

    MI redneck Squier-Meister

    May 7, 2020
    Pretty interesting. I'm eager to hear a demo.
  4. Michael7

    Michael7 Dr. Squier Gold Supporting Member

    These are from the company that also makes Drive guitars and amps, such as my set neck Wildfire and cheaper bolt-on one. Same body shape as the Switch. The set neck is slightly awkward to play, note the stop bar so close the the rear strap button. The bolt-on is interesting in that it uses a string-through bridge setup, but otherwise is Gibson-ish. I know the set neck is 24.75", can't recall about the right one.

    2007-01-15 09.05.17.jpg WF2[1].jpg
  5. Block Head Ike

    Block Head Ike Squier-holic

    Alternate materials have an interesting history in the electric guitar world, but never seem to catch on and have "big time" commercial success.

    The Gibson Sonex and Ovation UK2 come to mind. Never played a Vibracell guitar, but they look interesting.


  6. RhinestoneStrat

    RhinestoneStrat Squier-Meister

    Aug 24, 2019
    It has a bit of a Parker Fly vibe to it.
  7. Kenneth Mountain

    Kenneth Mountain Squier-Axpert

    Great Score ! Congrats !
    littlebadboy likes this.
  8. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2017
    Newnan ,Ga.
    Nice haul for a hundo !

    Congrats !
    littlebadboy likes this.
  9. Block Head Ike

    Block Head Ike Squier-holic

    On Tampa Bay CL for $275:

    littlebadboy likes this.
  10. Mystrat

    Mystrat New Member

    Jul 25, 2020
    I have the same model....wouldn’t sell it for anything....found your post when I was looking to see if any others were available. I bought it new when I read good reviews about regrets
    littlebadboy likes this.
  11. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Squier-Meister

    Jul 13, 2018
    I couldn't find enough information around! Nice to know there's fellow owner here! What model is this thing?

    Mine is undergoing some mods. I will post about the outcome when it's done.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
  12. lespaul1968

    lespaul1968 Squier-holic

    Jan 26, 2019
    here awhile back gc in Florence KY had about twenty of them for sell . I've played a few seem pretty solid
  13. DougMen

    DougMen Squier-holic

    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    The Dano/Ampeg plexiglas guitar probably was the most successful, but only 'cause Keef played one, and that still only helped a little. It still wasn't very successful.
  14. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Squier-Meister

    Jul 13, 2018
    Well... this happened.

    My Switch "Bluebird" (it has Firebird pickups now + modified eldred wiring and more)!

    drewcp, Michael7, Big tuna and 2 others like this.
  15. jefffam

    jefffam Dr NC Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2015
    Portland, TN
    Looks good. Did you cut y0ur own pickguard? Very nice.
    drewcp and littlebadboy like this.
  16. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Squier-Meister

    Jul 13, 2018
    Hey thanks!

    Friend cut one from a board clip and carbon fiber faux topped.

    A demo will be coming up in the future.
  17. Big tuna

    Big tuna Dr. Squier Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2014
    east Tn
    That is an interesting guitar man. I would have to put on my Devo helmet to play it nice score!
    littlebadboy likes this.
  18. Block Head Ike

    Block Head Ike Squier-holic

    Wow, that just look RIGHT. If they had looked that way to start I would probably own one! IMHO You have turned and "odd duck" into a striking statement.
    littlebadboy likes this.