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1. BA Ferguson Shirley McLean
BA Ferguson Guitars made its first NAMM show appearance this year with a collection of acoustics and electrics built from recycled materials and repurposed wood. The Shirley McLean model pictured here features a chambered cherry body with a maple top, a maple neck with a persimmon fretboard, Heavy Air single-coils, and momentary mid-boost and kill switches made from ’80s Nintendo Entertainment System controller buttons.
2. Mario Martin Serpentine 2
This Tennessee-based company’s short-scale, Mustangesque Serpentine 2 uses TV Jones pickups and a super-lightweight paulownia body to create crazy-lively and overtone-rich sounds. At 5 pounds 7 ounces, it’s like slinging a feather!
3. HeliArc Guitars Arc Light
Based in Santa Ana, California, this new outfit debuted its line of aluminum-bodied guitars that combine quasi resonator-style construction and Lace Alumitone pickups for tones ranging from fat, Tele-like bark to super-mellow jazz vibes.
4. Larrivée Bakersfield
The boutique veterans from Vancouver, Canada, unleashed their beautiful Bakersfield T-style solidbodies, which feature contoured bodies, chunky D-profile necks, an optional neck humbucker, and jumbo frets— they’re sweet players, too.
5. J.D. Vokes Art Guitars
J.D. Vokes’ Art Guitars made its NAMM show debut this summer with an eye-grabbing collection of customized production guitars from other manufacturers. The “Slashin’ Assassin” Epiphone Goth Explorer (left) features an inlaid chainsaw blade and rusted-steel pickguard, while the “Home on the Range” Kona KE35 has hair-in cowhide and a leather-covered pickguard.
6. Burly Guitars
Burly Guitars builds ornately carved semi-hollowbodies that incorporate a patented Internal Resonance System to get a wide spectrum of growling tones. The company says the resonance system uses “tuning forks” carved into each guitar’s core to “recirculate vibrations back into the strings” for added sustain.
7. Burns Dream Noiseless
US distributor Saga Musical Instruments debuted the Burns Dream Noiseless, which marries vintage Burns appointments such as the Rez-o-Tube tremolo and Gear-o-Matik truss-rod adjuster with new Burns Rez-o-Matik Noiseless pickups and locking tuners.