Every once in a while, I stumble upon a unique builder who throws tradition into the wind creating imaginative designs which challenge the core concepts of what a guitar is. Here's a few worth checking out.
- Emerald Bahamut - Ireland's Emerald Guitars created the Bahamut for Taiwanese superstar Leehom Wang, complete with light up eyes. The guitar became a star in its own right with it prominently featured on tour, you can even buy a action figure of Leehom holding Bahamut. Read more here.
- XOX Audio Tools Handle - XOX Audio Tools promises never to produce a copy of another instrument, and if their debut model is a preview of things to come I believe it! Implementing a acoustically optimized carbon fiber frame, the Handle weighs only 5 pounds.
- J Backlund Designs J400 - John Backlund describes his designs, which are built by luthier Bruce Bennett, as "retro-futuristic", which is a perfectly apt description of the company's J400 model.
- Halo Guitars XSI - Halo Guitars specializes in custom, extended range instruments. Founded in 2005, every feature of a Halo instrument is built to order. The below pictured 10 string XSI covers a 6 octave range tuned low A to high E
- Teuffel Birdfish - The Teuffel Birdfish is the very definition of a futuristic guitar throwing tradition out the window in favor of a truly unique avant-garde design. But the design isn't simply art for art's sake, the guitar's features include the ability to pivot the angle, adjust the height, or even swap position of pickups without any tools and offers the option of a piezo bridge with Roland 16-pin output. Tone bars can be swapped out or even removed for a different tonal response.