Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Latest Unique Guitars and a Few Oldies, But Goodies

Unique guitars. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! The following instruments are among some of the newest offerings by some well known and not so well known guitar manufacturers. Just for fun, I’ve thrown in a couple “oldies, but goodies” from Gibson’s What Were We Thinking About Department. Enjoy!

Mr. Hartley Peavey’s company has created a new series of guitars that are aimed at the youth market. So Daisy Rock and Squier Hello Kitty, move over, because Peavey has now come out with the Super Heroes of Marvel Universe series of guitars. If not a hit with your kiddos, these may be a hit at Comic Con.

All of the guitars are licensed through Marvel and feature, Captain America, Wolverine, X-Men, Spider Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Thor.

(I guarantee your fingers will be Mighty Thor if you string these with heavy gauge Black Diamonds.) All instruments come with detailed artwork on the guitars body from the artists at Marvel Comics.

The Marvel electric guitars in the series are ¾ sized, except for the full-sized Rockmaster. The acoustic Marvel character guitars are ½ sized. The series also includes guitar picks and straps adorned with Marvel characters.

Robert Godin of his namesake company has come up with a couple of off-the-wall 5th Avenue guitars archtop guitars for the recent NAMM convention. These instruments were hand painted by artist Joseph Arthur.

For those unfamiliar with Arthur, he is a singer/songwriter and hails from Akron, Ohio. He was discovered by Peter Gabriel. Arthur is well known for his poetic lyrics and sonic palette. He is also an acclaimed painter. .

A Hawaiian company called Mahalo has come up with a trio of unique instruments, two of which resemble Hallmark guitars and one is reminiscent of a Mosrite creation. The Hallmark style instruments are both ukuleles. The larger surfboard shaped instrument is a six string steel guitar.

If you looked closely in the Godin article, there was a video link to the Godin Multi-oud. For the unfamiliar, the Oud (pronounced Ooood) is an ancient lute shaped fretless instrument that has been used for centuries to play Middle Eastern music.

The instrument has eleven strings and is played with a stiff plectrum. Most Oud players do not play chords; rather they play single note melodies and counter melodies.

The Oud has a very unique sound and has been incorporated in some traditional music.

Godin has designed this as an electric model that has an advantageous cutaway, to extend the instruments range. It can be played acoustically or played through an amplifier. The Multi-oud has built in microphones and piezo electric pickups.

A company called Moses has created this year’s answer to the Dan Armstrong Lucite guitar. Moses is well known for their carbon graphite guitar and bass necks.
A company from Belgium has come up with an instrument that is much like The Stick. For the unfamiliar, The Stick is strapped onto the player so that both arms are free and is played by tapping the strings.

The Kelstone is played in a similar manner, the difference is this instrument is played flat and supported by a stand.

Does anyone remember that in the late 1990’s Gibson’s own design team decided what the world needed was a Dale Earnhardt Les Paul guitar. Now I consider NASCAR is a great sport, but I have no idea how Dale Earnhardt and Les Paul got together in the minds of Gibson designers.

Gibson built a limited run of 333 of these instruments. I have yet to see anyone play one.

In another move that left me scratching my head, Gibson designers decided to produce a Les Paul Jr. style guitar under their Epiphone brand that had licensed USA University Team logos on the body and headstock.

This was at a time when players desired to purchase Les Paul Flame tops. As you can imagine, the Collegiate Les Paul line was not a success. There used to be a music store called Shreve Audio that advertised in Vintage Guitar Magazine. Within a year of offering the University Logo Les Paul’s Shreve had a close-out on these for $99 each.

ESP offers this Kirk Hammett KH-2 model. I understand you can not only play Thrash Metal on it, but you can also ask the spirit world what Dave Mustaine is up to these days.


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