12 Guitars You’ve Never Seen Before

The coolest looking guitars

  • By TR Staff @tonereport
  • January 28, 2014


We’ve enjoyed discovering and re-discovering some of these more obscure builds… Can you name all of these beauties?  Feel free to suggest others too…  Enjoy!







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  1. Steve Moore

    Truly some of the most hideous guitars I have ever seen.  I will probably have nightmares tonight .  Thanks a LOT .

  2. Brian

    I only recognized the Framus for certain, most of those are eastern bloc.

  3. Bill

    None of these look they have a prayer of staying in tune for more than ten seconds. And UGH-LEE!

  4. Eugene

    These are old Soviet guitars and Eastern block too, as metioned in cooment before. I’d play some of these guitars (Ural, Tonika, Formanta) while studying at school and it was nightmare, really. I’ve read some fact that when Sid Visious while visiting Moscow said that punk should be born at USSR with these guitars

  5. Daniel

    I reckon the white guitar I built (dubbed the “White Queen”) looks alot better than most of these, though I may be biased, but at least it isn’t some weird looking Fender copy

  6. Jon

    I’m pretty sure all of these have been shown on the guitarz blog

  7. Jeff

    Never seen before, and never want to see again!

  8. Baz

    In a word, hideous!!

  9. Lukas

    They all look kinda like kids drawings

  10. Mike

    Don’t mind the Bass, but the rest look like a luthier puked on the floor and then decided to make a guitar using the shape of the puddle.

  11. aimo pamaus

    The first one is russian made Ural, Elektra is from the old DDR.

  12. MrGitarist

    Hah))) I played on three of them!

    P.S. About the first in list:

  13. gwyn jones

    i like the first guitar shown ,it has a good look about it ,i like the paint job red sunburst, brilliant ,switches remind me of an old guitar i had futurama,and the horn of a rickenbacker,,,name it futuraymer,,,,,,,,,,but yes nice guitar

  14. kevin O'Shea

    They all have those old sockets for cassette recorders and not the regular quarter inch jack plug - so that’s the first thing that would have to be changed…...............followed by the rest of the guitar LOL!!!

  15. Serge

    Why, good lot of those are ole good Soviet “Ural"s. Not really good guitars by any stretch of imagination, but sometimes playable and adequately sounding.

    Though, it’s THE Ural solidbody Bass, that got itself legendary status — in a weird way. It actually sounds pretty nice, but it’s damn freakishly heavy. They joke that one Ural bass got a whole forest packed into it by some military nano-nuclear technology. They say it was the first prototype of Ural bass that caused Tunguska explosion, and not some meteorite. They say only strongest of compounds can be used for the strap — everything else snaps in seconds. Well, you get the drill. There are some funniest lists like these here and there about the Ural bass.

  16. Anton

    harsh Soviet guitars))))))))))))
    made to survive in the nuclear strike)

    i had one in my garage)  it’s called Aelita)

    and one more - why in this list (on a second page) doing the 4th foto of old framus… they showed the model at the previous summer namm 13 show…

    ...from the third minute

  17. Wayne

    Wow, who thought these models up? Without a doubt a collection of the ugliest guitars I’ve ever seen. Some look like Eastwoods, Framus and another escapes my memory.

  18. riz1

    Ural is the best guitar ever! grin I’ve played this guitar!

  19. MrGitarist

    №5 the bass is “Orfey”
    By the way sounds not badly

    №3 is “Aelita 2”  and the las one looks like “Aelita original”.

    №1 is famous Ural)

    And what do you think about this -

    Me favorite one, Formanta Cherry Burst, mmm… ))) I have nostalgia! lol

  20. Walt Peters

      Nice Job - Show Us a Bunch of Weird Look`n Guitars - BUT NO NAMES
      on the things… S T U P I D…

          Wal of the`RAPIDS``CEDAR`that is….......LATERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  21. GJ

    Many look like substandard copies of a Magnavox Typhoon from the 1960’s, and off shoots of certain Teisco models.

  22. Tom

    I like that many of these don’t have all their strings. Because, after all, when you have a cool guitar, you don’t need all the strings.

  23. Mark

    My first guess is most of these guitars are junks from the late ‘60s - early ‘70s.  I’ll bet are barely even playable, or be able to set intonation properly.  Although interesting, I’ll stick with Gibsons and Fenders.

  24. Dennis


  25. Steven Mathews

    You forgot the Metropolitian Tanglewood on the list…........pretty wild looking guitar and actually a very good sounding one.

  26. mattyboy

    these guitars remind me of my very first electric guitar.i found it in my buddys garage,..and begged him to let me have it.what a hunk of crap it was…being a far better guitar player then most,i was always destined to have a gibson in my super talented hands…i have 5 now..including my baby can keep these funky guitars..they dont do anything for me..other then make me very greatfull that orville gibson decided to build guitars and not become a cespool cleaner..practice you guys..or youll never be able to mow my lawn

  27. troy

    they all look like they were made in the same factory

  28. Dallas

    The bass at the end reminds me of the poster for “Metropolis”

  29. Dave

    “Listen, you SLAGS - jus’ because none of them have Fendaaaah or Gibson, Yah? on the effin’ headstock does not mean that they’re shit, raht? “

    Actually - they all look ‘kin hideous, especially the four pup jobs. Lord be praised for common sense and progress

  30. John "bassman"Lee

    There is a bar in Memphis Tenn. that has these kinda guitars hanging on every available space on the walls.Could be hundreds of them.Cool to see all the different weird guitars.My dad had a music store in the 60’s and sold a “Thunderball 007” (japan)guitar.He also played one that was a 12 string. I do have pictures but dont know how to post them here.

  31. Louie Miramontes

    Never seen for a reason….buttUgly like the Goldblatt’s Dept. store guitar I learned on 30 years ago.

  32. Marcelo Valença

    They remind me of Hound Dog Taylor’s Teisco guitar. Another really strange brand to search and look.

  33. Ray Lujan

    Thanks for the post.  Those are some beauties!  I wouldn’t want to attempt to play one unless I was current on my tetanus shot.

  34. blues

    If you owned all these guitars you still wouldn’t have a guitar—all look like an aftermath explosion in a Teisco factory.

  35. Bryce

    I count ELEVEN guitars. It’s bad enough that you don’t even proof read your Tone Reports or know how to layout a page so that you don’t have to re-read the same sentence as it carries onto the next page, but if you’re going to email blast us with “Articles” that are really just you snagging pics off message boards, at least, check your counting.

  36. MIchael

    well these guitars are nice looking if you compare them to the Jolana Big Beat. that is one ungly guitar.

  37. Grif Torres

    I love the striped finish on that hollowbody!

  38. Jon Malugin

    I have seen most of these on EBAY, Russian, UK made some have the midi pin connector to plug in the amp.I have a guitar most have never seen before, it’s Schecter Original California Custom Hellcat, 25 1/2 scale (not the baritone model) made in Los Angeles California. Black with gold metal flake paint, orange perliod pickguard with three Seymour Duncan mini Humbuckers 3 way switch on the lower bout and coil split Wilkingson tremelo and Sperzel Tuners.I have only seen one other and it was a different color.I think your European guitars look cool but I’m not sure they are play worthy. They remind me of the old Japanese guitars of the 60’s. My first electric guitar was a Kingston Swinger. It had a good sound but it wouldn’t stay in tune.

  39. Fuzzman

    Is #2 for sale?
    The black oblong guitar with 2 pickups and the gold flake pick guard.
    If this one is not for sale, WHERE would I be able to get one? What is the brand and model name?
    Any help would be very highly appreciated.
    Thank you.


  40. Willie Tyndall

    I’ve seen pictures of most of these in the book I have called “The Ultimate Guitar Book” by Tony Bacon.  What amazes me is that while they tried to emulate the guitars of the West, they did not stick with a true “me-too” mentality - just rudimentary things like a “zero” fret on the neck and the switching by simple on/off switches.

  41. Scott Gebhardt

    I’m not a mod…or a hipster… but these are some of the coolest guitars I’ve seen.
    Hideous…Gangly… yes… but cool all the same!

  42. Mapka

    I own a Ural (pic1 and last). Soviet built. Not easy to play, but electronics sound pretty good. Has a Telie sound in my opinion.

  43. Milen

    1st guitar is URAL USSR
    2nd & 3rd - no idea
    3rd & 4th are Orpheus Plovdiv, Bulgaria - the body is made from pine?!? i’ve owned one like the green one, paid 5euro and took, then 500eu for the full repair and she began to look like a guitar:)

  44. Regats

    All the six string guitars here have one thing in common:
    They are all solid body instruments - sticks with strings.
    It doesn’t take a lot of skill to cut up a piece of lumber and bolt on a neck.

    How about a rare beauty like this 1963 Aristone archtop made by Framus?

  45. Emil

    Second, third and fifth guitars are “Jolana” made in Czechoslovakia in the seventies.  Ugly as hell!

  46. scott

    I love these weird body style’s,and they have a freakish sound like no other.and they can be pricey for the rarer one’s.

  47. Fabao

    I always had a thing for weird guitars.

  48. Rick

    Bulky bodies, too many humbuckers in a row making them look very hard to play…maybe that’s why I’ve never seen them…they’re not for me but to each his/her own…

  49. richard grodus

    sure glad they don’t have a contest to win one of these

  50. Bob

    These gave rise to designs today from their primitive forms.

  51. Alberto Noya

    The real effects of drugs in R’n'R…

  52. Conrad

    I have a 1957 Goya GS100 LesPaul copy of 57 LP cherry burs, solid mahogany one piece neck with ebony fret board and pearl inlays. Dad bought for me when I was seven. It is the first solid body electric. It is a great guitar. I have never seen another, or heard from any one who does have one.

  53. nic

    Very nice vintage guitars indeed!
    I just learned that my Goya guitar is actually a GS100 Les Paul copy.
    I agree with Conrad that it is a really great guitar.
    would love to learn more info..

  54. Jay

    Yes, I think the ones with the square pup poles are from the former USSR or Eastern Bloc.

  55. Michael McVay

    Does that blue-ish bass have a name?

  56. Stefaun

      These were the only choices in electric guitars when I started playing in 1965, unless a Fender, Gibson, etc. could be paid for. My first guitar was about $70., being of the type shown above. I was unaware of any other brand other than the one that I had bought. About 25 years ago, I saw the same model guitar, used, for sale in a music store, but did not have the money at the time to buy it. Every detail, and each part of it was SO familiar to me, being the first type guitar that I had started with.

  57. Peter Johnson

    So… “12 Guitars You’ve Never Seen Before”.
    And with any luck will never see again!

  58. Bohdan Kurch

    What a shame, you posted Ural guitar (first 2 pictures), though Urals were much more famous for their basses. People call them “paddles”, because the only thing you can do with that bass is rowing ahah.
    I even played one of those about 10 years ago and it wasn’t that bad for a $40 bass.

  59. Alx

    I have all Soviet electro guitars (URAL, TONICA, AELITA) in my collections. They are special., they have unique sounds, not like gibson or fender. I really like it!

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