Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2019 Edition

Packrat Barry


Eight by Eight

I'm not quite sure why there are two 8-string necks on this guitar but on a certain level I don't care. A double-necked instrument with illuminated frets is enough for me.

Claas Guitars

Z Axis Utilization

I absolutely love the look and design of these three guitars. I don't have to say anything about them that the picture doesn't already say.

Red Layer Guitars

Awareness Ribbon Overspecialization

While this could be the symbol for Autistic Catholic Pirate Awareness, I think it's just another art guitar from ESP. Until I looked closely at the head stock I never knew that ESP stood for Electrical Sound Products.

ESP pirate guitar

A Better Name Would Be Bender

They call this folding guitar The Ascender. They may have considered Bender but dismissed it due to potential legal issues. In any case, this is the most thorough approach I've seen to the guitar folding problem.

Fishin' & Fission

I last covered Versoul 14 years ago with a more pedestrian entry. They have seriously stepped their game with this salmon skin beauty that appears to have some sort of embedded Stark Industries power source.

Versoul guitar


Spalt never fails to deliver amazing examples of luthierological excellence, which I think should totally be a word.

Spalt Instruments guitar

Bee All You Can Bee

A hive with an integrated amplifier is the perfect accessory to this bee-themed hollow body guitar.

Malinoski guitar

Batting 1000

I can always count on Minarik for something wonderful. It's usually extravagant inlay work or an interesting body shape. This year it's that and some unique carved-top guitars that seemed to be inspired by the work of Sid and Marty Krofft.

Minarik guitars

Varicose Guitar

They were probably thinking of a different sort of vein when they created this guitar, like the kind your Aunt Viola goes to the doctor for.

ESP guitar

A Unique Quartet

The Fender Custom Shop has been busy. Here are a pair of Strats and a pair of Teles, each with their own unique character.

Fender Custom Shop guitars

Cut From the Same Cloth

Separation anxiety will be negligible for this particular guitar.

Sankey guitar

Far Out Man

I thought that watching this video and then looking at the guitar would make it look normal, but I did that and now I think my brain is going to fall out.

Wylde Audio guitar

Alternate Histories

Alsip Guitars uses "The New Vintage" as a marketing catchphrase, but in the case of these guitars that look as though they came from an alternate universe where steam power was the dominant energy source in WWII, it's more like "The Vintage That Never Was."

C. R. Alsip guitars

Q*bert's Axe

If the classic arcade game character actually possessed hands, he would feel right at home with this guitar.

Alloy Guitars

Freaky Friday

Orville Ortega created a guitar that looks like a combo amp. This needs to be paired with this amp I saw a few rows over.

Orville Ortega guitar

Six Feet Under

Even a startlingly unique guitar can benefit from presentational augmentation.

Spalt Instruments guitar


Just your run-of-the-mill carbon fiber, hollow body, Telecaster with orange pinstriping. If Fender had named this model the Forecaster, I think that San Lorenzo would have had to use a different naming convention.

San Lorenzo guitars

Sharpie on Deck

Many people look at modern art and say "my three-year-old could do that," but there actually is some design imbued into these guitars.

Sjuman Instruments guitars

The Professional

When you put together your Jammy you have to feel like a hit man assembling his high-powered rifle just before zeroing in on your mark.


Freedom To Resonate

The guitar is one of the few instruments where the player acts as a damper for the backplate. Oroborus corrects this by creating an outer shell.

Oroborus Customs acoustic

Guitar Rotisserie

It was the six-string cookout that attracted my attention, but the Tele in the middle sports Valvebucker active pickups driven by tubes, which is something I've never seen before.

No Cavity Required

I saw these guitars in 2017, but this year I took a closer look at the knobs. When I saw them before it didn't occur to be that a body that thin had no room for electronics inside.

Didonato guitar

Plywood Chic

This has the look of a bitchin' custom speaker cabinet made by that friend of yours (you know, the one with the custom Chevy van) circa 1977.

Sqoe/Chard guitar

The South Will Rise Again

…but most likely more in a Walking Dead fashion.

Hygent guitar

Option Paralysis

This guitar opens up a Pandora’s box of the options by offering three pickups in any combination of pickup choice, coil tap, and phase. You could spend all day just deciding on that before even starting on pedal and amp selections.

Nutter guitar

Stealth Tech

Appearances can be deceptive. What looks like a vintage lap steel guitar is actually a modern instrument made of carbon fiber.

San Lorenzo lap steel guitar

Release the Kraken

If those are islands, then this is a sea monster of unusual size and it's flying through the air, which would technically make it an air monster.

Gibson guitar

Bonus Bling

Not only is this a one-of-a-kind hand-painted guitar, it's also set with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds in the sleeve and dirigible.

Fender hand-painted guitar

21st Schizoid Strat

For the 50th anniversary of King Crimson, PRS created this guitar for current band member Jakko Jakszyk.

Paul Reed Smith Schizoid Strat

Archtop Progenitor

Orville Gibson made this archtop guitar around 1898 which would make it the Lucy of archtops.

Original Gibson archtop

The Pretty & The Pandering

As nice as the inlay work is on the one guitar, the crass commercialization of the Woodstack guitar would cause the hippies of old to cringe if they weren't now wearing Crocs with socks.

Martin guitars
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©2019 Barry Wood