Guitar in a pickguard?

ESP is one of the well known guitar builders in Japan since the seventies. There are more brand names under their umbrella: most of us are familiar with LTD. Budget/medium priced instruments, manufactured mostly outside of Japan at the plants of some big OEMs.

But what about Grass Roots? How many of you have ever heard about this Japanese brand? Not too much, I think.

Well, I’m not surprised, because it’s a non-export brand, only for the Japanese market. They are more sophisticated than the average LTDs – except the series 400. Grass Roots guitars manufactured in Japan until the nineties, then the production moved to Korea. Typical story, huh?

Feedbacks are positive considering the wood and craftsmanship, but the hardware and electronics are more criticized.
Their selection mostly covers the most popular american models and some LTD-like versions.

Recently I’ve found a rather extreme Grass Roots guitar on eBay: the model GR-PGG looks like forgot to attach the body to the neck and the pickguard.

Grass Roots GR PGGR , the Pickguard Guitar

Grass Roots GR PGGR , the Pickguard Guitar

No, that IS the guitar itself!

There's also in white... -

There’s also in white…

...and black, too

…and black

You can only see the neck and the loaded pickguard – a closer look reveals that it’s actually a body shaped like the pickguard.

Am I the only one who not convinced by this really "floating" bridge?

Am I the only one who not convinced by this really “floating” bridge?

It’s absolutely eyecatching and cool but raises a few questions. First of all, I’m pretty sure that it produces brutal neck dive on the stage. Since the half of the body is missing, there is nothing to keep the balance.

Ergonomically it’s an epic fail, neck heavy, should be very uncomfortable playing seated and there is no place to support your hand and arm. The angled jack at the back also doesn’t seem to be a good idea.

Uncomfortable, no question - at least it's funny and lightweight :)

Uncomfortable, no question – at least it’s damn cool and lightweight :)

The tremolo bridge is also almost hanging in the air – there isn’t much “meat” to keep it. Soundwise I have also concerns about the very narrow contact between the bridge and the body.

Closer look

Closer look

Otherwise it’s a pretty usual axe: alder body, bolt-on maple neck, rosewood or maple fingerboard, usual Strat-like electronics. And last but not least: it has no branding…

If you feel that you can’t leave without it, check eBay, you can get it for $350 incl. shipping.


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