This is undoubtedly likely to be one of the standout innovations introduced at this Summer NAMM show. It is evident that Wild Customs Guitars has been working on this project for a while. They have come up with a modular rotating drum system of pickups - where Seymour Duncan single size pickups - any variety - regular, rails, mini-humbucker etc can be attached to a capsule and snapped in as one of 3 pickup options per modular ’barrel’ / cartridge.
In effect you have 3 switchable pickups in the two pickup position layout - where you can rotate from one to another at any stage. You can then further slot in new and different cartridges or barrels effectively - each with 3 different pickups attached. In addition to this you have a 3-way toggle pickup playback selector, as well as single master volume but individual tone pots - each with a push/pull action for coil splitting. Meaning that you have 6 pickup options on your guitar at any time - with 15 different combinations.
All this innovation though does not come cheap - as these guitars seem to be currently uniformly priced at $16,000! You do though get a very custom tour-ready case with 8 further fully loaded pickup cartridges / barrels, and a variety of accessories. I obviously thought that the recent PRS Mordern Eagle V was steep at $10,300, but this is another thing entirely.
I see this as the ideal studio tool or touring guitar even - and besides down-tuning etc. you could easily get away with having just this one guitar. I personally don’t mind the body-shape - it’s not exactly my favourite, but I feel it’s sufficiently elegantly balanced. I am not really au fait though with the unergonomic headstock and its inefficient string pull and perpendicularity. Obviously the pricing will mean that this is a very expensive tool - only properly affordable to the most successful of touring musicians. It’s still heartening to see that there is some innovation going on with the old guitar format.
There are other innovative alternatives out there in the guise of MusicMan’s Gamechanger Pickup Control System, Relish Guitars own handy individual pickup switching system, and the forthcoming Boaz One Plastic Modular Guitar. For effortless pickup changing on the go - and giving you the best possibility of switching between Les Paul, Tele and Strat Style sounds - I feel that the Gyrock is probably the mosts compelling proposition right at this moment - although it’s pricing obviously puts is out of the reach of most.