1. Yeah, I know, I disappeared for a lot longer than planned. Forgive me. I’m back now and i’ve got piles of odd guitars to tell you about…!

    This, friends, is the Edwards Aloha-Ken. What a dreamboat. Available now from Ishibashi, this is a very fine MIJ Les Paul copy in it’s own right, near-perfect tropical finish not withstanding. I love this so much more than the over-hyped paisley telecasters…

     

  2. Sorry for the irregular posts at the moment - i’m finishing my job and travelling interstate to finish my band's new LP. More weird guitars soon, though, I promise.

     
  3. Versoul Raya, Raya Baritone and Raya Baritone 12

    (For when you have a spare $6k+, I suppose?)

    Kari Nieminen’s boutique builds may occupy a price bracket normally reserved for only the most disgustingly obnoxious of custom strats, but in a refreshing turn of events, they’re actually quite left of the norm - even if they’re well outside the grasp of anyone who doesn’t manage a hedge fund or tour global stadiums.

    This Finnish firm have been designing instruments for over 30 years, sparing no expense in the process. Moose shinbone nuts? Custom electric razor-style pickup covers? 23-carat gold fretboard markers - and the addded option of a full 23-carat gold coating on the entire guitar? Sure, why not.

    At the end of the day, though, those slightly jarred offset bodies and flipped headstocks are the reason i’m drawn to them. The three models i’ve showcased above include a standard-scale model (25.4”, fender-esque), a 26.75” A-to-A-tuned Baritone (with tremolo! Baritones with trems are too infrequent, in my humble view), and a likewise-scaled Bari-12 string - which will either strike you as completely ridiculous or absolutely genius.

    There are many other models to read up on, though, if the curiosity strikes you. Acoustics, Resonators, Basses, Sitars - they’re all there. Hell, there’s even a borderline-parodic custom model for Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, appointed with a giant functionless blue orb behind the bridge. I guess if you’re that wealthy, and you already have a world-class guitar collection to boot, then the absurd becomes almost non-optional?

    (The Versoul Website is a nice place to start if you want to learn more, but it appears to be long out of date, with the most recent news having been posted in late 2009. US dealer Destroy All Guitars seem to keep a fair stock - i’ve posted photos from their catalogue above - but they mostly appear to keep one-offs at the moment, as opposed to the production models discussed herein. Still, if you want a $6,199 resonator with a Shaman glyph on it, or a $9000+ mini-acoustic…)

     
  4. swaglessloser:

    how do i send this to weirdguitars.tumblr.com?

    Damn! That is EXCELLENT.

    (Source: tomtomdidymus, via infotapes)

     

  5. swaglessloser:

    weirdguitars:

    It looks like an SBG2000… And yet, it isn’t. Time for a Google.

    looks like a First Act logo on the headstock

    Jinx! Glad we figured this out at the same time.

    (Source: thatcoolbandpic, via infotapes)

     
  6. thatcoolbandpic:

    Matt Pike, High on Fire

    It looks like an SBG2000… And yet, it isn’t. Time for a Google.

    EDIT - turns out it’s his custom First Act 9-string.

    (via 420lbsound)

     
  7. Victor SG18

    They say it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission - bearing that in mind, I hope it doesn’t seem too self-indulgent to talk about a weird guitar from my own collection! Then again, there’s only one other article i’ve been able to find about the SG18, so I figure it’s in the best interest of the global Odd Guitar Community to document my experiences with it…!

    I can recall, back in 2010, walking into Tym Guitars to see the above-featured thing adorning the wall. The friend I was there with had to stifle a curious mix of disgust and amusement upon considering it’s mutant, mirrored body and old arcade switches. Me, though? I was instantly smitten.

    In an ensuing conversation with Tim, he mention that this particular gem was “the rarest Japanese guitar [he’d] come across”, saying that he’d seen it in catalogs (as shown in the fourth photo above!) but not on the market at any point. So here one was, waiting to come home with someone, and being the hopeless case that I am…

    So - where to start with my mate Vic? The weirdly high powered pickups which measured as high as 12k when it was last serviced? The not-quite-baritone long scale neck, which has allowed me to comfortably tune the lowest string down to B, but never as high as E? The completely unusual pickup arrangement and faux-jazzmaster-meets-pinball-machine switching system? The fact that the entire series of Victor guitars have the RCA/HMV dog logo on the headstock??? Yeah, this may just be the apex of weird guitars!

    So how does it sound? Somewhat surprisingly, it’s hotted-up pickups and solid slab body remind me a lot more of 50s American guitars than of the Teisco-style Japanese guitars from the same era. I’ve always loved the heavily trem-arm-bent, reverb soaked 50s guitar tone on early Modest Mouse LPs, and this thing nails that feel in spades, as well as being perfect for surf-esque and garage tones besides. With the aforementioned capacity to tune it quite low, too, you can also take it into Danelectro baritone territory if you’re so inclined! 

    I’m not aware of any others on the open market at the moment, but seeing as how i’m lusting after one of the Harvester guitars mentioned in my last post, i’d consider selling mine if someone was keen! The three non-advertising photos above are all of my actual guitar. Feel free to get in touch if you’d be interested?

     
  8. Harvester Guitars #27 Antonio ‘Cheetah’

    A love affair begins?

    As my Travis Bean post intimates - and as the fact of my owning two Electrical Guitar Company models makes abundantly clear - I love aluminium instrument construction. You’ll forgive me if this inadvertently sounds like i’m bragging, but I just want to make the lunatic nature of my predilections known! 

    So here I am, mindlessly browsing guitar imagery at work, when I spy the above construction. This sort of slightly angular body has always appealled to me too, so naturally I followed the URL, finding myself at the Harvester Guitars homepage - imagine my surprise at seeing that they’re based here in Melbourne! As though this guitar wasn’t neat enough on it’s own, here’s a local builder who’s passionate about Aluminium guitars in the same fashion as me, too.

    The specs for this particular guitar are just as impressive as it’s physical appearance:

    Harvester Antonio hybrid neck-through system with tremolo in the style of the Wandrè Tigre. 3 X P90 pickups custom wound for Harvester by Curtis Novak. Candled deep gold lacquer. Padauk board. 25” scale. 

    NovaksPaduak! And a reference to one of the pioneering Weird Guitar builders to boot! I hope this poor fellow is ready for the absolute tirade of enthusiasm i’m liable to send his way.

    This wonderful guitar has sadly already sold, but Anthony looks to be actively taking on work, which may just warrant a quick phone call on my part…

     
  9. hashshashin:

    More steel. That pickup configuration is genius.

    One of Loic Le Pape’s genius steel constructions.

    (Source: 420lbsound)

     
  10. Travis Bean TB1000A (Artist)

    I could’ve started a blog called “travisbeanenthusiasm.tumblr.com” and still have published just as much content as I’ve otherwise done. My profound love of these pioneering and rare instruments knows no bounds. 

    While John Veleno was marketing his Aluminium necked guitars (“aluminum” for the Americans hereabouts) in 1972 - two years before Mr Bean’s went on sale - and though Kevin at EGC has done an incredible job of re-establishing the market for TB-inspired guitars and basses, the craftsmanship and scarcity of the half-dozen assorted Bean models has led to their holy grail status for collectors of instrumental esoterica.

    There was apparently a time when you could find reasonably priced TBs on the open market quite often, but renowned asshole (and, though it pains me to say, actual genius musician) Vincent Gallo single-handedly spoiled the second-hand pricing for nearly a decade, offering twice the market value for any and all Beans he could get his grubby mitts on. Fortunately, that early-to-mid-2000s excess has died off a little, and reasonable pricing is starting to re-emerge.

    The guitar above, listed for sale by an Illinoise-based eBayer in the past few days, is one of the nicest looking Artist model TBs i’ve seen in a while - and with an opening bid of $2750 and a Buy It Now price of $4700, it’s offered for a significantly lower price than they’ve commanded in past. While the single-coil TB500 is more collectable due to rareity, and the TB1000s (“standard”) pop up a lot more often, the block-inlay Artist models have always seemed just that much nicer to me. Even at the Buy-It-Now price, this is excellent value for money, and ought to make someone very happy.

    On an unrelated note - anyone want to loan me $4700USD?

    (There’s a phenomenal fan-run Travis Bean resource here that’s definitely worth a look, even for the casual reader.)