When you step outside the box of mainstream brands, you’ll find new sources of inspiration.
I have been obsessed with these unique looking guitars for years. They are one of the first companies in my lifetime that created their own shapes, headstock, and designs that are really different. Even their take on the Les Paul Junior, the Sensei Jr, is just so eye catching. Combining Joe Naylor’s amazing pickups with the leadership of the Hess family and high quality overseas production has lead to a huge spike in their popularity. They even scored signature guitars for some pretty big names like Reeves Gabrels and Billy Corgan. The best part? Most of their models are under $1000, combining superb quality with accessibility. I’ll let the pictures and videos speak for themselves.
A new company that I was fortunate enough to review for this site, Howl has been teasing even better looking guitars than the wonderful Sirena 3 I got. Based out of California, they are churning out high quality guitars with unique features at shockingly affordable prices. Made overseas in a high quality South Korean facility, these LPs feature Korina body wood and Roasted Maple necks. Plus, that single chrome covered humbucker is coil splittable. If LP Juniors (and Customs) are your thing, this is the perfect marriage of simplicity and luxury.
I’m really not sure why G&L isn’t a bigger deal. It seems like everything they put out is well liked, well built, and it all looks amazing. It was even started by arguably the greatest guitar maker of all time, Leo Fender, and makes unique, modern improvements on his classic designs. As large as the company is, including both overseas and domestic made models, shouldn’t they be much more of a household name?? I don’t know, maybe they are and I just don’t know, but look at these stunning takes on classic designs.
Another wonderful brand I actually have had the pleasure of reviewing, D’Angelico should be on any semi-hollow player’s mind. I tried their smaller body, DC Premier Mini, a ES-339 style guitar with excellent looks and appointments. D’Angelico may not stay this size forever, as their recent purchase of Supro and Pigtronix could have them rising up the guitar ranks soon. Their guitars have been played by everyone from Melanie Faye to Bob Weir and will not disappoint those looking for pop, jazz, or blues-centric instruments. That’s not to say that they can’t rock out as well.
I first discovered Godin’s big hollowbody jazz box-type guitars and kind of wrote them off as the Canadian D’Angelico. However, recently I realized they have a ton of sick looking solid body guitars that would fit right in to my indie and garage rock rigs. Recently, this LP Junior style guitar has captured my attention and I’m really hoping they will lend me one to review. These are also really unique in the sense that they are built in Canada but are still really inexpensive. No boutique prices here, in fact they are closer to some Korean-made products than USA-made products in pricing.
Schecter may be really well known for their more metal, shredder, and high-gain instruments. But did you know they have an absurd amount of affordable and stunning vintage inspired models. Better yet, they are just plain out bizarre in the best way possible. Take the Ultra III I reviewed earlier this year, it plays like a Les Paul Custom, but has three filter’tron-style pickups, a bigsby, and jumbo frets. They are also constantly releasing new, sick looking guitars like the PT Fastback, Corsair guitar and bass, and many more.