The Devil’s Upside-Down Guitar

Hear the words of Yi-Luen Tan, this guitar’s “an evolution of man’s quest to create a figure and form that resonates sonically, visually, and philosophically of the times in which he resides.” Whoa doggy. The balance is different – less weight in the neck. But the ability to tune from the body, is it worth it? How well will you strum? At what cost a new ax?

The tuners are in the base of the body. Roller bearings are used for bridge, Boron Polytrinate for the nut. Boron Polytrinate is, and I quote, “It is a very resonate chemically graphed polymer (15% more sustain than steel)” – so says the folks at Graph Tech, makers of the String Saver, which also employs the same material.

Wood sourced from Queensland (go Australia!) Lace Alumitone pickups for their 70% reduced weight (over “conventional pickups” – so says Tan), and clear tone.

Some words from Tan

More than any of this, the guitar is simply a great guitar to play. The maple body gives it a smooth, rounded tone, while the walnut cap adds sustain. Combined with the Alumitone pickups, the overall tone is bright, full and clear. The body contours make it very comfortable to play and its ergonomics are second to none. To the untrained eye, it is a very different to existing designs; to the avid guitar player, it is completely different to anything out there, both in appearance and feel.

I suspect problems with tuning. More than this, a difficulty with getting used to the weight by “guitar veterans.” But the look! The look!

Just look at it!

Designer: Yi-Luen Tan


  • Annette says:

    Considering balance: It’s not like it’s the first headless guitar or bass… So that should be not reason to drive a guitar player away.

    It’s just that a lot of guitar players prefer the traditional styles.

  • Henrique Staino says:

    Like Annette said, this type of guitars and basses have been around for ages now.

  • matt says:

    not to mention the dagger of a corner this thing has on the bottom of it.

    • Jason says:

      Agreed. You can’t lean this up against anything, meaning you need a stand or you have to lay it on the floor like the renders.

      And another flaw with headless guitars, the headstock and the neck matter in quality of sound in the guitar. The tuners in a typical headstock are like a power plant at the end of the neck, and it provides extra “give” when bending strings.
      Imagine bending strings on the first fret of this guitar

  • Ekove says:

    Pointless, sacrificing a lot of functionality for something that doesn’t even look good. And reversing asymmetrical tools isn’t an interesting thing either.

  • While it is an interesting design, strumming that thing would not be pleasant. The tips of the guitar strings can leave nasty cuts and scratches. Exposed ends in the strumming area is not worth taking tetanus shots daily.

  • it’s crazy and beautifull

  • Tom says:

    Personally i’d go for function over craziness, the tuners at the top of the neck make the guitar far easier to tune between songs etc.

    Have to say it looks cool though.

  • Spoon says:

    Interesting Concept. I dont know much about guitars but it looks like the more experienced have some problems with it. I love the renders, very interesting and refreshing to see yet another rendition of a common object such as the guitar. I am losing the base of the guitar in the background of the last shot. Maybe a white or darker background can really pull out the interesting work you put in the areas where the tuners are mounted. Keep grinding.

  • zeroemision says:

    i love original one

  • Marko says:

    I am a guitar player for over 9 years now.First thing i dont like here is the fact that this kind of guitars can not have FloydRose tremollo system ever!

    For the looks i think its interesting, buts besides that this kind of guitars are not that functional.

  • Larry Kalina says:

    Umm,…..a Steinberger (headless guitar) Spirit GT-Pro has a licensed Floyd-Rose Tremelo system on it. You have been playing guitar how long?

  • fernando says:

    there is already one like that its the bich by B.C. rich

  • This one could have a Floyd Rose, because where would you install it?

    He would have to design a second model, specially designed for the Floyd´s.

    Anyway, it changes something aesthetically, but doesn´t improve it functionally.

    Guitars work the same way for quite some time.

    Some big brands try to innovate from time to time, like Gibson, with it´s robot guitar…But I guess guitarists are very traditionalist and don´t dig this innovations in fact.

  • Leandro says:

    Great guitar, It´s seems easier to tune the guitar…

  • Henry says:

    This was done for a uni assignment. I know the fella and it’s pretty clever and i listened to him play, sounded just fine, but i’m no guitarist. But for a uni project, i think it’s fantastic.

  • ANDY says:


  • Jap says:

    How’s the sound quality? guitar collector will love this.

  • Jim Smith says:

    Is one of those things priced so, “if you have to ask…”?

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