Relish Guitars Switzerland is a new luxury guitar brand headed up by Pirmin Giger and Silvan Küng and based in Lucerne. Its first model, Jane, prompted technology magazine Wired to proclaim: "If Apple made a guitar, it would look like this."
The reason for the excitement is Jane's unusual pickup selector system, which incorporates touch sensors built into the body to turn the pickups on and off without touching the volume control.
The sensors are accompanied by tasteful white LED indicators, and coupled with the guitar's extreme contouring, the overall effect is indeed quite futuristic. Feedback from players has been positive so far, according to Küng:
"Players love to switch the pickups with the palm of their hand. Also, they love to mute the guitar on stage without having to turn the volume down; instead, just turn off the signal with the sensor and no signal goes out!"
Each Jane is handcrafted, and the body design comprises three layers. Sandwiched between two layers of walnut, cherry or ash wood is an aluminium frame, designed to provide more intense vibration and longer sustain than a traditional wood body. The back panel can be removed using a plectrum to access the battery pack for the lights, and to restring the guitar.
Jane has a quartersawn maple neck with a 24-fret, 25.6-inch radius bamboo fingerboard, and a pair of Swiss-made Good Tone humbuckers. There are three Janes to choose from - Ashy, Cherry and Walnut - and the retail price is £3,600.
Relish describes Jane's sound as "warm and vibrant" - see a video of the inimitable Greg Koch putting her through her paces below to decide for yourself.
For more information head to www.relishguitars.ch