Russell Rubman’s Gittler Guitar. (via kickstarter & Russell Rubman)
Guitars, or stringed instruments, haven’t changed much over the few thousand years since their inception. (A 3,300-year-old stone carving of a Hittite bard playing a stringed instrument is the oldest iconographic representation of a chordophone. Wiki) They still feature a body of some sort, neck, fretboard and headstock that is usually outfitted with six or more strings. On acoustic guitars, it’s the hollow body that produces sound when the strings are strummed, however on electric models, the sound is produced through electronic pickups that channel the sound to an external speaker or amplifier. Various designs have been produced over the years to give both kinds a distinctive look, however they still feature the traditional parts. Back in the 70’s, musician Allen Gittler looked to minimize his guitar’s makeup, stripping away all unnecessary parts but still retaining the instrument’s basic function without the loss or handicapping of its sound. His resulting design did away with the guitar’s body and headstock but retained the frets (situated on a single rod), strings and small strumming area.
Taking a page from Allen’s minimalistic design, Russell Rubman has taken that layout and given it a 21st century makeover. His Gittler Guitar still maintains a minimalistic design but is manufactured with aircraft-grade titanium, outfitted with 31 cylindrical frets (complete with LED lighting) and six string tuners positioned on the bottom of the instrument. Sound is captured using magnetically isolated transducers that send a signal to any MIDI interface or computer and then piped to an amplifier. The bottom also features an ‘E-Box’ that has both tone and volume controls to alter the signal to produce different sounds, much like an electric guitar. Russell is currently funding his Gittler Guitar on Kickstarter in an effort to acquire backing to manufacture his futuristic remake. Those looking to get their hands on one can pledge $2,000 or more with delivery just in time for the holidays (estimated delivery by December of this year).
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