Features

Space-Age Design, Music for Eternity

By extracting some of the best design elements of previous generations of instruments made for ‘two-handed tapping’, in addition to using patented custom materials for lightness and enhanced tone, we’ve succeeded in creating an instrument with these superior playing features –

  • Incredible ‘groan-tone’ bass, and crystalline high melody tones.
  • Light weight, to keep your body comfortable all during the gig.
  • Enhanced ergonomics. It may look big, but it’s easy to play
  • Finally! High-end features at affordable prices.

Detailed Feature Photographs

** Full Twelve Strings

The first thing you notice is that the ZenTapper has the full twelve strings you expect on a professional touchstyle guitar … six for bass, and six for melody.

Why is this important?

Because with this string arrangement, left-hand in bass-strings position and right-hand in melody-string position allows the strings and notes beneath each hand to be exactly identical across all six strings.

This makes for faster learning, because it’s just one scale in your mind, and both hands operate in exactly the same way.

You can even practice both hands simultaneously! And when you learn faster and easier, it simply means you’re making more music, faster.

** Superior-Design String Dampener

By using a precisely-engineered support for the string dampener (instead of relying on a fretboard), you will get a better and more active dampening of inactive strings.

This means a quieter background as you play, and eliminates any ‘false notes’ created when you let go of a string, because the open strings won’t ring random notes as you play.

It’s just a small detail. But many small details add up to one magnificent playing experience, and your magnificent playing experience is what creates your magnificent music!

** Custom ‘Uni-Body™’ Construction

Everybody knows that the harder the instrument’s materials, the longer strings sustain, and the sweeter the high notes.

So it’s clear that metal construction would be good for both sustain and brilliance of tone. (And this gives more bass ‘groan tone’ as well.)

But attempts in the past to make an ‘electric guitar’ out of metal had two dreadful side-effects — these guitars were expensive, and they were heavy as all get-out. But we’ve overcome these limitations.

Aluminum, the lightest of metals, and our custom Uni-Body construction, allows a light-weight instrument with strikingly superior tone. You play it, you hear it, you’ll rejoice that at last, somebody has got it right!

** “Flat-Top™” Dual-Rail Pickups

We’ve licensed this design from Mobius Megatar, who developed this ‘flat-top’ custom rails design.

You see, normally the dual-rails type of pickup is excellent for great guitar tone, because they produce a powerful and clear tone because of the characteristics of the dual coils set side to side.

But on normal dual-rail pickups the top of the rails is curved, to match a common stratocaster-type curved fretboard. And that doesn’t work on flat-fretboarded instruments made for two-handed tapping play!

Until now, there’s been no solution. But now, the custom-built ‘flat top’ rails give a much more balanced output across all the strings.

** Dual Support System

You have your choice of a custom (patented) strap system, or a ‘cross-bar’ system that rests the instrument’s weight on your thighs when you play seated.

Shown here: Two standard strap buttons can be used to attach the patented ‘MegStrap’ that holds the instrument in perfect upright playing position — this is good for your body’s posture and health, and makes it easy for your hands to reach any location on the extended-range fretboard.

Not shown: On the rear panel of every instrument, a built-in connector allows you to attach a ‘cross-bar’ support, so that the instrument’s weight can rest upon your thighs as you play music in a seated position.

** Stereo Controls for Stereo Output

On the left you can see dual volume knobs.

The outer knob controls the output of your bass strings; the inner knob controls the output of your melody strings, to get just the right balance of sound as you play.

Dual stereo out-jack. In addition, the output jack is also a stereo jack, with bass and melody signals wired separately. Although you can of course combine the two signals, most musicians like to use different effects on bass and melody, to optimize your music and it’s sound!

** Fully-Adjustable Bridge

Just as you will find on any high-end guitar or high-end bass, our custom bridge and its bridge saddles allow you to precisely set both string height and playing action, as well as precise intonation adjustment for your best ‘in-tune’ performance.

In addition, these custom bridge parts look sharp, with custom black adjuster screws against the shiny chrome saddles and bridge plate.

Other Features

  • ZenTapper’s built-in “Tactile Edge-Dots™” included free
  • Sharp-looking metal-and-black appearance
  • Playing surfaces feel smooth and good to your fingers and hands
  • No trussrod adjustments needed — ever!
  • Long-term stability — no need to re-adjust optimum playing action, ever!
  • Amazing tone and projection from the semi-curved aluminum Uni-Body™ construction.
  • Fast-learning standard tuning, and custom tunings available.
  • Space-age design. Music for eternity.


Sterling Systems here gives special credit to R.J. Goos of Fargo, North Dakota and to the members of Tappistry.Org online touchstyle forum. Because some time back, Jay created an original design for a touchstyle instrument. He called it the TapLadder™. (See Jay’s History of the TapLadder here.) On the Tappistry online forum, an active discussion then ensued with many new ideas emerging. And then, to Jay’s brilliant original design concept we’ve updated materials, methods, and measurements according to our shop experience repeatably manufacturing our accurate Mobius Megatar (professional traditional-design wooden instruments). We are extremely proud of our contribution and development, but the original concept was completely that of one man, R. J. Goos. We give credit, and we offer our thanks, for the original idea that can bring affordable, great-sounding touchstyle music to thousands of musicians around the world!

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