Family-built by Brian May and his father, the Red Special has been reproduced several times by brands like Guild and Burns since the eighties. In 2006, May created ‘Brian May Guitars’ to market his own take on the ‘Old lady’. Loaded with three Burns Tri-sonic pups, it’s a great quality instrument for $800.
One of Fender’s prototype at NAMM 2012 this winter was the Fender Voyager. Designed by former Charvel master builder Josh Hurt, the Voyager has their pickups hidden below the pickguard, just like on the original Fender Marauder
Marc Bolan’s Les Paul was a FrankenPaul. It was built out of several LPs from different eras. Its whereabouts are unknown, but Gibson believed its last state to be a 50s Les Paul body with a 70s LP Custom neck. That’s on these specs that they built the Custom Shop Marc Bolan signature Les Paul. Of course, its a limited run of 100, on top of which another 350 VOS have been produced.
The name Byrdland is a mashup of the names of Billy Bird and Hank Garland the two guitarists who participated in its design. They had requested a short scale archtop that would be less bulky than the traditional hollowbody, and this is basically what they got: A short-scale thinline L5CES.
P90s, PAF pickups, venetian or florentine cutaway, the Gibson Byrdland went through several phases, but was always seen as a remarkable and prized instrument. Some of Gibson’s finest. Hear it
One thing to know about Magneto guitars is that they are entirely, and beautifully, hand crafted — a rare feat in the modern world. Magneto founder and luthier Christian Hatstatt was inspired by the powerful sound of Gibson SGs when he designed this Magneto Velvet. Two Lollar Imperial pickups deliver a sound with a lot of emphasis on the mids and an impressive sustain. Visually, the guitar looks stunningly clean, and the hand rub oil finish really makes the grain of the wood shine. Nice job Frenchies. Hear it.
Since an international ban on tortoiseshell in 1973, Dunlop has been successfully offering the most iconic and recognizable pick in guitar history. The variety of colors/thicknesses makes any decently obsessed guitarist want to try them all. And that logo is spot on. Keep smiling, Turtey.
Yamaha came up with a new line of guitar called Silent Guitars in the early 2000s. Basically electro-acoustics with a headphone jack, the SLG are available with nylon strings (SLG-100N) or steel strings (SLG-100S). Yamaha also included a set of FX controls: Two reverbs, a chorus and a delay. The Silent Guitar has been designed with travelling guitarists in mind, as the frame can be dismantled easily. Hear it
And now for something completely new and different, here is a digital guitar that is basically the evolution of our beloved 80s synth guitars. The guitar hides a LINUX OS in its shell. Just like a Guitar Hero instrument, you press buttons instead of strings, but unlike the video game, It has 24 frets with 6 buttons on each, and a very cool strumming pad.
It has both MIDI and standard output, and it seems possible to pull few pink-floydish sounds out of it. +1 for the design effort. Hear it laser
While Gibson tries hard to appear on the forefront of innovation (with its painful and unconvincing Firebird X), others feel already at ease. Hard to believe this Teuffel guitar hosts an ultra compact 30” scale.