The 5 Most Exotic Headless Guitars Ever Made

Source: Spalt Instruments

There is more variety in headless guitars than ever before and many of the models have their own unique characteristics in terms of body shape and overall design. Yet, at the same time, many of the designs are not so different compared to the headstock guitars we’re used to seeing. They are just a modern and minimalistic take on the electric guitar that happens to come with many advantages— which you can learn more about here.

What you’re about to see here, on the other hand, is a far cry from anything that resembles the traditional idea of what a guitar looks like. Instead of looking at it from the starting point of designing the guitar and then adding strings to it, these luthiers seem to have approached the process from the other way around— starting from the strings and designing something very unique around it. The results are truly spectacular and unlike anything else we’ve seen before.

1. QTG 043


(Michael Spalt QTG 043)

Designed and built by Michael Spalt at Spalt Instruments, the QTG 043 might look like something built for E.T. if E.T. had hands better suited for guitar-playing and exceptionally good taste in modern design. Its beautifully shaped spruce body wings appear to levitate around the instrument’s body frame which features a single Harry Häussel humbucker next to the bridge. The 24 3/4″ scale guitar has a beautiful flame maple neck and rosewood fingerboard with a Floyd Rose nut. It has a tone and volume knob control.

If you would like see more, head over to spaltinstruments.com and check out his many amazing creations!

2. USM Atmosphere


(Rick Toone USM Atmosphere)

Carbon fiber is highly popular due to its great strength and has seen many applications for that reason. What you might not expect, however, is seeing it used on a guitar, which is exactly what Rick Toone has done with the USM (Ultimate Shred Machine) Atmosphere as well as with many of his other designs. This super unique-looking instruments combines carbon fiber, swamp ash, figured maple, and an ebony fretboard. It features a patented Advantage neck profile as well as patented Intonation Cantilever individual string tuners. The pickups are exclusive DiMarzio pickups.

To check out more of Toone’s creative designs, head over to: ricktoone.com

3. Birdfish

(Teuffel Birdfish)

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Ever since Ulrich Teuffel debuted his new and innovative design back in 1995, the Birdfish has become one of the more recognized guitars out of all the exotic guitar designs that have appeared over the years. Billy Gibbons, Kirk Hammett, and Hans Zimmer, among others, are some of the notable people to have played it. The idea behind the minimalist design was to make it possible to easily switch between the different woods, or “tonebars,” including alder, maple, mahogany, and ebony. The three pickups are also interchangeable by hand, so it really gives you lots of flexibility in terms of what configuration you feel like on a particular day.

To learn more about the Birdfish and see his other instruments, head over to: teuffel.com

4. Gittler Classic


(Gittler Classic)

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When it comes to guitar design, you can’t get any more minimalistic than this. If you tried, you won’t have a guitar anymore, as far as we’re concerned. The 31-fret (!) guitar is fully made of aircraft grade titanium and features LED side dots, making the position you’re playing in easily visible. Each string has its own pickup and is well-isolated from one another, reducing the degree of “crosstalk.” The Gittler also has built-in MIDI and works great as a MIDI controller thanks to the very precise tracking that the company boasts of. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of not having a full neck to rest your thumb on, it also comes with a see-through neck that can be easily snapped on.

To learn more, head over to: gittlerinstruments.com

5. Tesla


(Teuffel Tesla Prodigy)

Another highly original instrument by Ulrich Teuffel, the Tesla has a unique body shape very different from old and classic designs. What’s interesting, however, is that while it may look new and modern, some of its features really allude to the past. This includes, interestingly, buttons and knobs that activate a 60 cycle hum, controllable feedback, and signal interruption— all the things that guitarists had to deal with in the past and have since been greatly improved. If it sounds strange to purposefully include this in a modern guitar, consider it a tribute to all the sounds that we associate with old guitar records. As Teuffel notes, it’s like the crackling and popping sounds we’re used to being a part of vinyl records. There’s something nostalgic about that.

Learn more about the Tesla and its features at: teuffel.com

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