Ed Roman was neither a luthier or an engineer, he was not a designer of any kind. He was a salesman that was willing to bend the truth in order to sell his products.
Ed Roman is dead but there are still fanboys who believe him. Here are his lies
1.-Les Paul Desing:
Ed Roman talked about facts, well the first Les Pauls (1957-1960) feature in countless records by Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Eric Clapton and countless Hard Rock and Progressive bands from the late 60’. Four things made Les Paul a superior design:
- The neck is slimed below the fretboard, from the 16th fret comes in full contact to the body
- The body is almost 6cm thick at bridge
- The TOM bridge offered better sustain (copied by Ed Roman)
- The two humbucker configuration (copied by Ed Roman)
2.-PRS’s Heel from Hell
Ed Roman copied the long tenon of a PRS but complains about their long heel. This is what PRS answers
” PRS went to the new longer neck heel to improve the strength and tone of the guitar. When you reduce the length of the neck you increase the strength by its cube (x3). When you increase the thickness you increase the strength by its square (x2). The playability of the guitar is opinion based since we have found no problems with this design in reaching notes at the upper register.
Comments from Ed Roman
I believe that answer to be ridiculous, the neck was already plenty strong, I have only seen one PRS neck break anywhere near the heel and it was a later model one. I suppose if you needlessly overbuild something just so you can say it’s better than the original because the old ones were in demand and the new ones weren’t. I suspect that the new automated plant required some type of flat spot on the neck so that a machine could easily grip the neck while it was being carved robotically.
Paul told me while driving to a restaurant for lunch that the reason for the large heel was to add mass to the neck to eliminate any so called dead spots on the neck. I suggested a number of other options.
Ed Roman talked a lot about facts and physics, but he discarded them when there was something he didnt want to hear. He “suspected” without having any proof. He was just mad Paul didnt followed his advice, instead Paul went for a more simple solution.
Ed Roman also said that the Mcarty model was named after Ted Mcarthy to give PRS some credibility, in fact few players knew about Mcarthy (as they just dont care about history) Paul found his name in many of Gibson patents. PRS dont need extra credibility. Ed Roman claimed Paul was full of bullshit, but Ed Roman was hiding information.
His more “scientific” article says that a 22 fret guitar will have the neck pick up in the node of the 3rd overtone. That is a syllogism, the neck pick up can still be moved below the 3rd overtone in a 22 fret guitar (like some strats)
Another fact, between the 3rd and 4rth overtones there is no room for both coils of a full sized Humbucker.
Jeff Earlwood of Jet Guitars says this :
“Concern about the null spot is valid - but only when you play open strings. As you play up the neck the null spot shifts accordingly, along with the the harmonics on the strings.”
Jeff makes a mistake, Open Strings, 5th and 12th frets have this issue. But he is right when he says:
“Most players use the neck pickup for higher register soloing (rock) or comping (jazz), and it is here where it makes a BIG difference in the tone compared to being placed further back”
Some Jazz players like 19 fret fingerboards for this reason.
Ed Roman hated glue because doesnt vibrate. Jeff Earlwood says this
“True, glue does not resonate, Then again it doesn’t have to. All it has to do is CONDUCT vibrations. With the tight joints we use, this isn’t an issue”
Ed Roman said JET were the best guitars in the market, then again he was the main seller.
5.-Laminated vs Solid Wood
When Ed Roman talked about the new buzz feiten sistem he says “Equal temperament may be mathematically “perfect”, but it is not pleasing to the ear.” This is true and It can be applied to everything he said in his web site.
For example in theory Solid Wood should sound better but Gretch guitars and 335 models are all Laminated. A Laminated top is usually three plys of wood around 5 mm thick and has the best feedback resistance but the thinest acoustic sound.
If you build a Semi Hollow of solid top, back, and sides with a center block the sound would be more akin to a chambered solid body than to a Semi Hollow. Just try a Collings I-35 and then a Sadowsky and hear what Im saying.
Ed Roman was sued by Music Man for stealing Petrucci’s design and for insulting Music Man. He erased all his comments about Music Man guitars.
He also stole his Pagan design from Boris Dommenget. He is an European builder. This is what he has to say about Ed Roman:
“I’d like to point out that there is a guy called Ed Roman who actually stole my design [Mysterion, Mystique] and produces it in Mexico without my permission”
This “original” model steals from three different companies
1.-The PRS neck pocket
2.- Ken Parker pick up mounting
3.- AANJ used by Ibanez in Japan, Ran Guitars In Poland, etc.
The concept of Direct Coupling preached by Ed Roman was misleading. A real direct coupled guitar wouldnt have a Top Wood (dowels are not enough to transmit vibration from the top to the body) and instead of a TOM bridge would need a Fixed bridge with the strings through the body.
While the deep neck tenon was indeed invented by Randy Curlee on his basses, the inventor of the “set through” used in Ed Roman’s Centurion is Dave Mcnaught.
Again the Parker pick up mounting method and dowels to join the top, the body and the neck, because Ed Roman “doesnt trust glue”.
Fact is without glue there wouldnt be laminated necks.
Ed Roman went as far as to photoshop one of his “Fab Fakes” into the hands of Eric Clapton.
In the Cream reunion Clapton was playing with a black strat NOT AN SG
PD: Ed Roman claimed to do his frets with a Gold-Titanium alloy (probably the one usually found in dentistry). He developed this alloy with Rick Turner, after a while Rick Turner went back to stainless steel Why?