Guitars are like surfboards: you can never have too many of them.
Especially if you really enjoy playing them. Sometimes you want the warmth of big hollow body; other times you want the sharp steel of dobro. And that's before you get to the versatile shredability of a Tele.
So when we saw the Somnium Guitar — a modular axe that let’s you reconfigure the fretboard, body, pickups and controls without removing the strings — we thought, “OK, cool, new toy for the rack.”
somnium (3 images)
But then we looked closer, and here’s the rub: A) we don’t know how it sounds; B) we don’t know what it costs. If it costs more than a grand to gain a bunch of configurations, you might as well buy the configuration you want in a trusted artisanal brand (see below), because it’s an investment that will definitely appreciate. Guitars made by brands like Fender and Gibson, meanwhile, are sometimes made in Mexico, China and South Korea. This doesn’t mean that they’re bad guitars. In fact, they offer great value for the novice. But if you’re a hardcore hobbyist, consider one of the following:
From Jazz to Hard Rock: Duesenberg Mike Campbell
This half-hollow body is rich and warm and let’s you easily dial the tone by 10db.
From Rock to Metal: Suhr 80s Shred MKII
A thin neck with close action, the Suhr 80s Shred may be light, but those Selector 5-way pickups mean it can rage.
From Blues to Rock: Anderson Icon Classic
When you’re ready to graduate from the Fender Strat, you get the Anderson. It’s that familiar S-shaped wood body, but with higher grade hardware and a tone that’ll ensure you don’t leave the practice bench for hours.
From Blues to Rock: Anderson Raven Superbird
Like the modular guitar, you can fidget with this axe's tone and volume setup. But here, you get higher quality sound.