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Gittler guitar (ca.1970-1985) exhibited at MIM PHX

A Gittler Guitar is an experimental designed guitar created by Allan Gittler (1928–2002).[1] Gittler felt that sentimental design references to acoustic guitars are unnecessary in an electronically amplified guitar, and designed his instrument with the objective of reducing the electric guitar to the most minimal functional form possible.

History[edit]

He made 60 guitars in New York in the mid-1970s to early 1980s (selling one to Andy Summers, which he plays in The Police's "Synchronicity II" video). In 1982, Gittler emigrated to Israel, settled in Hebron, changed his name to Avraham Bar Rashi, and licensed the design to a local company in Kiryat Bialik called Astron Engineer Enterprises LTD. They computer-machined around 300, Bar Rashi commented later to the effect that he was unhappy with the manufacturing. Astron, however, claims that their instruments are precisely manufactured copies of the original construction, and that the addition of a plastic body containing electronics for simplified handling, while arguably compromising the minimalism of the original idea, had no influence on the sound or the style of playing.

The first 60 are sometimes described as the Fishbone Gittler guitar. Three Gittler basses also exist, made in New York and numbered 1, 2, and 3.

During this period, he also made a portable, battery-powered amplifier, cylindrical in shape, with a long handle that allowed it to be rolled around like a grass-seed-roller. Rolling was necessary to transport it through the street, since it was quite heavy due to the large number of D batteries that powered it. He frequently used this set-up to play his guitar in a street adjoining Astor Place in lower Manhattan, where the reverberation from the surrounding buildings amplified the sound.

The Gittler guitar has six strings. Each string has its own pickup. Later versions have a plastic body. The steel frets, consisting of stainless steel bars pressure fitted into the stainless steel neck, give the instrument a sitar-like feel, as it is possible to bend the strings downward past where a wooden fretboard would prohibit the movement in a conventional guitar. The six individual pickups can be routed to divided outputs via D-sub-9-pin. or be mixed to a 1/4" TS connector. The built in pre-amps are powered by a 9 V battery or via D-sub connector. The New York version came without a pre-amp section; the individual pickups' signals were led into single cables, which could then be plugged into a mixing box or each separately amplified.

The Museum of Modern Art, MOMA has one instrument in its collection, as does the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (which also has a later Bar Rashi wooden electric guitar). Gittler guitars can also be seen in several other museums and collections.

The only left-handed Gittler guitar known to exist was made by Bar Rashi himself in 1995 or 1996. It is a signed minimalist instrument, identical to the one he played in the later period of his life and made to order for a client in Jerusalem. There are only 12 separate parts in total and the frets are one long thread of nylon. This creates a unique sound.

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gittler_guitar — Please support Wikipedia.
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32 news items

 
Audiofanzine
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 07:31:12 -0800

Pour rappel, la Gittler Guitar est une guitare électrique en titane réduite à son strict essentiel (voyez cette news pour les détails). L'instrument avait été produit de manière très confidentielle dans les années 80 (quelques dizaines de modèles ...
 
Gizmag
Tue, 22 Oct 2013 09:54:01 -0700

Back in January, the beautifully minimalist Gittler Guitar made its public debut at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. Little more than a long rod topped by 31 rounded frets with built-in electronics, the all-titanium guitar has now launched on ...
 
Gizmag
Tue, 16 Oct 2012 12:46:37 -0700

He methodically stripped away all that he deemed unnecessary and redundant, and embarked on a minimalist instrument design adventure that resulted in the iconic Gittler guitar. Steel sitar or electric fishbone, the instrument had arguably its most ...

Geeky gadgets

Engadget
Tue, 15 Oct 2013 22:31:34 -0700

... knobs for both bass and treble. The funding goal stands at $80,000, although it's hard to put a price on good shredding. Via: Engadget Japanese. Source: Kickstarter. Tags: electricguitar, gittler, guitar, instrument, titanium, video. Hide Comments ...
 
Sonic State
Sun, 27 Jan 2013 11:18:45 -0800

When it was announced toward the end of the last year that the Gittler guitar would be making a comeback, there was a great deal of buzz online. We spoke to a member of the Amped community who owns one of the original limited run guitars, and the ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:48:45 -0700

The world's first all-titanium, futuristic-looking Gittler guitar was the brainchild of a musician and minimalist artist Alan Gittler back in the 1970s. Gittler's vision was to strip away individual elements of a functional guitar to find out what lay ...
 
Sonic State
Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:45:21 -0700

Gittler Instruments are to release their famous Gittler guitar, a design which first saw the light of day in the 1980s and won praise for its minimalist ergonomic design. During the original release of the guitars in the 1980s, only 60 were produced ...
 
Engadget 日本語版
Tue, 15 Oct 2013 18:48:35 -0700

米国のGittler Instruments が、ボディもネックもない総チタニウム製エレキギター『Gittler Guitar』を発表しました。現在は市販化のためにKickstarter で出資者を募集中です。 これは米国のギタリスト・音楽家の故Allan Gittler 氏が1970年代に考案したギターを現代の技術で ...
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