The Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul electric guitar models are the all conquering and enduring Goliaths of the guitar industry. Both designs have their origins in the 1950s, the jet age. Both designs still appeal to aesthetic tastes today and are incredibly popular. They must have got something right! However they come to electric guitar design from different philosophies, the Fender with it’s unprecedented body shape and bolt together construction and the Gibson with the more traditional construction and materials which make them, in general, more expensive.
The best guitar you can’t buy
If a company were to blend the best of the Stratocaster and Les Paul into one guitar many would consider that to be the ultimate in electric guitar design. However it can’t really be done officially as the two guitar makers are not, any time soon, going to get into bed together. You also won’t be buying Pepsi Coca Cola any time soon but likewise you can make it for yourself. Just put two cans in a big cup, or if you’re less ambitious two half cans in a regular cup. This also works for the guitar, sort of… You can make the guitar for yourself! You can also write Lesocater (or Stratpaul) on it. Just don’t try to sell it, nothing good will come of that.
Above you can see the result of my musings and mixing of Pepsi/Coca Cola one day. The outline drawings have 3 degree slants but the illustrations have 5 degree slants, so they look a little bit different. I think perhaps 4 degrees is Goldilocks…
A hybrid Stratocaster and Les Paul design and encapsulating some of the sound properties of those classics would really be a great feat. In actuality I have messed around with a few strats and tried to get more Les Paul style sounds with various humbuckers but it’s never really got there. The worst sounding attempt was using the Seymour Duncan Little 59. I’m pretty happy with HSS Stratocasters of various types and flavours, they are so flexible, I love the neck single coil and bridge humbucker config. So this hybrid has adopted that scheme.
I don’t know if many people are in the same position as me; I don’t have much room for guitars on my wall, just 3 and a bass. I like to have variety on the wall but I also like to have as many sounds as possible in one guitar so I think a Hybrid electric guitar is a winner. I’d also really like to have a piezo bridge pickup on it for a passable electric acoustic sound, why not?
Anyway I hope some people like the shapes of these guitars and perhaps even make one of them. If you want, get in touch and I can send you the outlines as a scalable vector EPS or PDF. Combine it with one of the original headstock designs I’ve made previously here, or here and I think you could have a cracking guitar in your hands after a bit of work. The Lesocaster and the Lazy Book headstock would be extremely cool I think. Please anyone, except for Michael, leave any comments or questions below.