Nineboys Wedge review

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

  • £79
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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.

Pros

  • Well, someone had to do it.

Cons

  • Nothing... if one- string blues/world music slide does it for you, that is.

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.

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Tech Specs

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