Nineboys Wedge review

  • £79

A UK-made, off-the-shelf diddley bow!

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Our Verdict

Strangely addictive. Sure, you could make your own, but if you can't be bothered, Nineboys has done it for you.

For

  • Well, someone had to do it.

Against

  • Nothing... if one- string blues/world music slide does it for you, that is.
Buying options
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We've tested some strange things over the years, but this has to take the biscuit, or indeed the tin can.

The diddley bow was created in the American South - and before that in Africa - by nailing a piece of wire to the side of a shack (or something more portable) and creating a vocal-like wailing tune by sliding a piece of metal or glass up and down it: a one- string slide 'guitar'.

Our sample is more sophisticated, but not much - like a one-string lap-steel with a bolt as the nut and a slightly flattened tin can as the bridge/ resonator. A rather over-spec'd Gibson-style humbucker picks up the sound, and we even get a volume control.

All of this, along with a transparent stick-on fret guide, is mounted on a tapered piece of two-and-a-half by four-inch pine.

Sounds

"We made a right ol' bluesy racket that modern slidesmiths such as Jack White or Seasick Steve would be proud of"

We tuned the thick unwound string to G, picked up a slide (a kitchen knife worked well!) and made a right ol' bluesy racket that modern slidesmiths such as Jack White or Seasick Steve would be proud of.

Fans of African and Asian music will easily find a use for it, too. It has a honky resonance, very different from even the cheapest lap-steel, and plugged in with some gain it also has a tendency to self-oscillate like a kind of lo-fi Fernandes Sustainer or other-worldly theremin, but in a good way.

Tech Specs

Special FeaturesThe 'blues scale' is indicated within the 'fret' markings
Circuitry Type1 x volume
Pickup TypeAlnico Humbucking pickup