Wow...#8 took almost 6 months to get done but worth it. I experimented and learned a lot. The base design idea is from the Maccaferri/Selmer guitars of the early 30's. I added some of my own. One of them being that the sides of an acoustic guitar ought to be acoustically inert. That is, they should not do anything more than enclose the volume and provide the spacing between the top soundboard and the back. If they participate in vibrating with the top and back they will absorb energy. That's my theory anyway. I can't tell yet if I've proven it or not. I'll have to play it for a bit and in different settings to get a feel. Plus, it's a 'thinline' and therefore somewhat of an acoustic compromise. #9 is in the process of finishing and it's a full-on acoustic so it should be a better platform for determining whether I'm completely out in left field or not.
Another idea or design/playing/tone preference of mine is low break angles at the bridge and nut. Low break angles make a guitar more playable; the strings bend and fret easier. Low break angles also seem to add a ‘chimey-iness’, kind of piano-like, to the tone of the instrument. But they also bring other problems like tuning stability and intonation issues. Plus, the low angle over the bridge means not enough downward pressure to activate the top. My solution for this was to add a little bar I call a Tensioner to pull the strings down before going up and over the bridge saddle. The idea here is to have an upward force on the top by virtue of the strings going through the tensioner from the tailpiece, followed by a downward force on the top as the strings transition from the tensioner over the bridge. The theory being that these forces more or less cancel yet cause the top to be an element in the overall tension of the string. Being that the top is not having to directly carry the load of the string tension (the tailpiece does that), the top can be braced lighter and the top thinner and more responsive. Yeah, we'll see.
UPDATE: I'm getting closer to my perfect electric guitar. Number Three in the Gallery is really a sweetheart - even though the neck is ultimately not to my liking. It sounds amazing and is extremely comfortable and efficient to play. Number Four (left) is in the works now and will be similar to Number Three but will have Lollar P90's, a slightly slimmer 1-piece mahogany body, and neck specifications will be more like Number Two. Number Five is in the planning. I have a beautiful 1-piece mahogany body blank that I may chamber instead of fully hollow out. I'm thinking of using a thinner top on it and a Tone-Pro wraparound bridge instead of the hardtails I've used on the first four.