660 Guitars have announced today that they will be introducing a new model at the upcoming 2016 NAMM show: The Patriot. The US-based maker uses what it calls aircraft-grade aluminium as the main material for their instruments, along with carbon fibre for the necks and quality hardware from both TonePros and DiMarzio.
Drew Emory and Myke Wilkerson are friends that have combined their skills in guitar building and machining aluminium to create a line of guitars; the pair have been showcasing their products at guitar shows in their native USA to garner interest from players, A/B-ing them with more traditional wood bodied instruments.
The guitars are milled from one single piece of aluminium and then powder coated in different colours. The use of aluminium (or aluminum, if you’re from the US) is likely to make them very stable. The weight, the company claims, is further reduced by removing aluminium where it is not needed and since this material is light already it could mean a very light instrument indeed, while also offering great sustain. That’s the theory, at least.
What seems clear, though, is that these guitars will be far less susceptible to changes in temperature and moisture, unlike traditional wooden guitars that can suffer greatly from changes in either. One would assume that this would entail stable tuning characteristics. There are several aspects of these products which might be interesting for us guitar players.
I myself would say their main hurdle will be getting the traditionalists (as guitarists are usually all about the vintage instruments and ‘tone’ qualities of woods) to open up and look at these guitars. The stuff I have heard from their online videos sounds great and compares favourably to some traditional wood-bodied guitars. For full disclosure: I have owned a Parker Fly and a headless Steinberger guitar in my lifetime, so I suppose I’m the sort of player who might well enjoy these instruments a lot.
Their website is about to launch very soon, but if you’re interested in this kind of guitar you can register your interest with them at the site address and they pledge to let you know when their site goes live. They do, however, have an active Facebook page and lots of good quality promo material on YouTube that you can check out.
It will be interesting to see and hear how they do at the upcoming NAMM show in January as well.