We are constantly on the lookout for something different, innovative or exciting; a departure from the guitar design status quo if you like. After all it is always good to see something other than a Strat, Tele, Les Paul or SG body shape clone! The good thing is that we are experiencing what we think is a shift in guitar design. Small guitar makers are challenging what is possible and in the process coming up with some really exciting guitars. This is especially true when you consider Berlin based Schorr Guitars. With their minimalist design and innovative functionality the guitars and basses are quickly gaining a cult following.
Schorr Guitars was founded by Nicolai Schorr who hand builds all his guitars from his workshop in Berlin. He has a quirky design style and utilises his fine arts background to create guitars and basses which are quite unique.
There are currently two guitars in the Schorr Guitars range the Neptune and the Owl. Both are body shapes which perhaps draw their inspiration from the Gibson family of guitars, but that is where the similarity ends.
Schorr is heavily influenced by European guitars from the 1950s and 1960s. However, we have to say that the design features, in particular the control dials and pickups, remind us of old sci fi TV shows such as Flash Gordon and Star Trek from this era.
There are a couple of nice design features which set Schorr Guitars apart from other guitars. First off is the innovative decision to make the pickup moveable. Apparently this is not a new idea, which came as news to me, and is one that Schorr has said he is surprised no one else is doing. By fitting the pickup to a bar and connecting it outside of the body the pickup position can be changed giving you the opportunity to play around with the tonal possibilities of the guitar. If you want to find out more about how the position of the pickup changes the sound of your guitar read our article.
The second design feature we think is pretty cool is the way Schorr has designed the neck joint. It is based on the Howe Orme neck joint which was used in instruments produced by the Elias Howe Company of Boston. Schorrs is an interpretation of this famous neck joint and is designed in such a way that it can be fully adjusted and disassembled without tools.
All Schorr Guitars are hand built and finished by Nicolai Schorr and so each instrument can be considered to be unique. Schorr uses a range of light resonant wood types in his guitars such as poplar, spruce and pine. For the fretboards he uses bog oak, plum, walnut or maple. All the electrics are designed and built by Schorr which contributes to the guitars unique look.
He choses to finish his guitars with chalk paint, which gives the guitar a aged matt look, and then oiled. The necks are either oiled or French polished. All in all the attention to detail that goes into every guitar is a testament to Schorr’s abilities as both an artist and a craftsman.
As you would expect Schorr Guitars are not mass produced so if you want one you have to contact Nicolai Schorr directly. For more details you can check out his website.