Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2013 Edition

Packrat Barry


Controllerism for Guitarists

This year, Oddities favorite Visionary Instruments had a guitar with a dizzying array of buttons, switches sliders, and touch pads which all generate data as a class compliant USB device. This opens up an amazing number of possibilities for laptop guitarists. I also loved that binary notation was used for the fret inlays.

Visionary Instruments

80s Renaissance

No, not big hair and gated reverb, it's the Gittler guitar that had a limited production run in the 80s.

No, it's not big hair and gated reverb, but the Gittler guitar that had a limited production run in the 80s.

If you're old enough to remember when MTV actually played music videos, you'll remember this as the guitar Andy Summers played in the Synchronicity video.

Gittler Instruments, LLC

The Devil's in the Details

As usual the Museum of Making Music had a nice display of assorted instruments.

"Trixie" (and her matching combo amp) took Rob Mock around 1100 hours to carve. That's almost 7 months if you worked 8 hours a day, five days a week. Make sure you check out the gallery on the Triple C site.

Triple C Woodworking

Beam Down a Guitar

Before you start thinking that 3D printing is going to give you Star Trek Replicator-like abilities to pop out quality instruments on demand, you should know that doing so is going to run you $3-4,000. Technology does have the tendency to get cheaper as time goes by so it may just be a matter of time.

  • 3D Systems, Inc.
  • 333 Three D Systems Circle
  • Rock Hill, SC 29730
  • (678) 338-3480
3D Systems, Inc.

Future Retro

These Retronix guitars look like they were artists' futuristic guitar concepts from the 50s. They've definitely got a cool vibe.

  • J. Backlund Design
  • 100 Cherokee Boulevard, Ste 123
  • Chattanooga, TN 37405
  • (423) 643-4999
J. Backlund Design

Western Cred in Spades

That would be an Ace of Spades, hidden in your sleeve, next to the Derringer two-shot.

This guitar comes complete with a rattle snake tail encased in resin and rattlesnake skin wrapped around the sides. The pièce de résistance is the use of wood with a knot hole.

McDaniel Guitars

What was Old is New Again

I nearly missed these because when they were sitting on stands they just looked like they had oversized pick guards. Until the builder pulled one down and started playing I had no idea there was a built-in light show like the old Rickenbacker 331LS.

  • Freedom Custom Guitar Research
  • 6-31-14, Machiya, Arakawa-ku
  • 116-0001, Tokyo, Japan
  • 81-3-6458-2861

Flying V Fortress

Guitars made from metal made a strong showing at NAMM this year. I don't think there's anything I can say about this guitar that the picture doesn't already say.

  • Warwick GmbH & Co Music Equipment KG
  • Gewerbepark 46
  • D-08258 Markneukirchen
  • +49 (0) 37422 555 0
Warwick GmbH

Aim For The Brain

I suspect these stainless steel neck-through guitars would make outstanding weapons in the upcoming Zombocalypse.

D and H Guitars LLC

Holey of Holies

This one isn't a solid chunk of aluminum. It's got a Tulip Wood core with an aluminum skin. It gets boonus Oddity points because it's also got an X/Y pad below the bridge.

Too bad these weren't around when Buddy Holly was still with us. We could have had Holly's Holey of Holies.

Manson Guitar Works

Ti Tack (Weld)

You'd expect these guitars to weigh a ton but they're hollow body guitars made out of titanium so they're lighter than they look.

I definitely like the muffler shop Explorer better than the etched skull guitar below it but both are pretty cool.

Bad Seed Limited

A Splash of Color

Last in my round up of metal guitars are the anodized solid aluminum guitars from BOSStosh.

I suppose the inclusion of a pseudo pick guard is there for purely aesthetic reasons. It's not like you're going to damage a guitar body made from a solid billet of 6061 aluminum.


One Flashy Axe

This flashy axe looks like, well, an axe. Around the other side of the display is an ultra-distressed guitar that looks almost as bad as one that I saw at NAMM last year.

Recycled Vinyl

The old vinyl LP makes an excellent pick guard. But of course my first thought is that I would like to see them wire up a cartridge needle that you could manually drag along the grooves. Kind of like Laurie Anderson's tape bow.

Nik Huber Guitars

Working Class Hero

I may have included these guitars just because of the company name: Peekamoose. Once I found out that the body was made of laminated 2x4's it definitely qualified as an Oddity.

Apparently "Peekamoose" is a ski run in New York which was most likely named by a surprised skier.


If Ikea Made Guitars

Just like Ikea furniture, the Loog Guitar is shipped unassembled. These 3-string beginner guitars are intended to be simple to build so they can act as a project for the child interested in learning to play. If a kid builds his own, he/she might be more motivated to spend time playing.

Loog Guitars, LLC

A Pair of Aces

Stephallen draws into a strong hand with a 13-string half-fanned fret tapping instrument and a solid body acoustic with MIDI.

Stephallen Guitars

Time For a Cold Shower

Not only did Musicvox have guitars that appear to be "really glad to see you," they also have 12-string basses, thus ensuring their inclusion in the Oddities.


Image Rotation ⇒ 90° CCW

These look good when they're hanging on the wall, but strange when they're played. Unless, of course, the player is fond of striking shredder poses.

Paracho Elite Guitars

One for the Wall, One for Playing

At least these guys are providing options.

Someone really ought to make one of these with a picture of the inside of a guitar.

  • Longsound Guitar Maker
  • 1 Baisha South Street Baini Town, Sanshui District
  • Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China
  • +86-757-87560888
Longsound Guitar Maker

Classy & Brassy

GMP was showing both a beautiful Les Paul-style guitar with an Old World map motif and a guitar that had a zombie gambler/gunfighter thing going on.

GMP Guitars

Clean Carbon

I quite liked the simplicity of the paint jobs on these lightweight carbon guitars. Maybe that's because they remind me of lightweight carbon mountain bikes.

  • Viktorian Guitars
  • 1550 Larimer St. Suite 104
  • Denver, CO 80202
  • (303) 219-1483
Viktorian Guitars

Snared Again

Neither guitar on its own would have garnered my attention but combining a carved Strat and a translucent guitar sealed the deal for the Oddities.

  • Sonor Musical Instruments, Ltd.
  • 1111 Chonghua Road
  • High Tech Development Zone, Jinan, China
  • 0086-531-88883337
Sonor Musical Instruments, Ltd.

Beware of Sharp Edges

Halo Guitars has a penchant for making guitars that look dangerous. I'll bet there's some angle in there that would work as a bottle opener.

Why hasn't anyone made a guitar with an integrated bottle opener before? The closest thing I could find was this capo.

Halo Custom Guitars

Beefy XXL Neck

The shape and thickness of this neck reminds me of my Ironwood Chapman Stick (before Emmett worked it over). With a Stick you never wrap your hand around the back of the neck, so thickness isn't an issue.

Strandberg Guitars AB

Scaramanga's Guitar

Maybe Francisco would have lived longer if he'd taken up the guitar instead of the gun. Then again, maybe not.

Burns Guitars London
Next Up: Other Goodies

©2013 Barry Wood