The Hohner EGS Electric Guitar

Hohner EGS Guitar Player

A radical electric guitar, the Hohner EGS or Ergonomic Guitar System “features a patent-pending design metal made ERGO-WING which allows the player to adjust the position of his electric guitar for perfect posture.” Although details are sparse and only currently available through the Hohner Germany site, the idea is similar to a built-in neck up device. It’s a concept I’ve previously discussed with fellow guitar makers while exploring ideas for better ergonomic guitar designs. Of course, unlike the neck-up device, Hohner has incorporated the leg rest into the overall guitar’s design concept. It seems Hohner may be listening to us…

Basic specs include the following:

  • Alder Body
  • ERGO-WING Support of high grade aluminum
  • Hard rock maple set neck, ebony fingerboard and graphite nut
  • EMG 85 Active Pickups in Single/Single/Humbucker configuration
  • Piezo Pickups- Shadow Piezo pickups built into the tremolo bridge
  • Schaller M6 Locking Tuners

Here is a full look at the Hohner EGS with its leg support retracted for stand up playing. Note the integrated bevel in lieu of a forearm contour as well as the wide open access all the way to the last fret:

Hohner-EGS-Electric-Guitar.jpg

If this was the end of the story for the EGS guitar, it would still be a revolutionary electric guitar design. However, there’s more to it. This instrument represents an extraordinary commitment by a major guitar manufacturer and Hohner should be applauded. Hohner has dared to tread where only small guitar makers have gone before – designing way outside of the mainstream of Strat and Les Paul derivative designs while trying to address a real need for guitars that support better ergonomics. Meanwhile Fender and Gibson, with their comparatively huge resources, have generally committed themselves to living in the past – churning out one slightly different signature model after another. Innovation, it seems, is not in their vocabularies.

While there’s no information on the Hohner USA site at this time, I’ve contacted both Hohner USA and Hohner Germany in the hope of learning more about this guitar and its availability.

UPDATE: You’ll find additional details at More on the Hohner EGS Electric Guitar.

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29 Responses to “The Hohner EGS Electric Guitar”

  1. Holy moley! Now THAT is interesting… Please keep pestering Hohner, share your site, and fill us in on any forthcoming details.

    Roger

    1. Not to worry, Roger! I’ll keep after them. I’m really interested in this design and would love to get my hands on one to try out.

  2. That’s awesome! A quick Google didn’t turn up a price, but that’s OK.

    I agree with your comments about Fender and Gibson. Though Gibson DOES now own Steinberger, they’re still not doing anything interesting with it. Brought Ned back in for the Synapse, gave the Synapse a reasonable push in the guitar magazines, and then have sat back again, hoping to just let it do its thing. Interestingly, Hohner was one of the first companies to do licensed Steinberger copies. It makes me wonder if one of their higher-ups is a forward-thinker from way back. Or if there’s a personal story within that company somewhere.

    Since Hohner did well with Steinberger’s headless design, I’m at least a little surprised that they didn’t go headless with this one, too. Perhaps the thought of locking people into proprietary strings was a bugbear in their financial planning.

    1. There doesn’t seem to be anything out there on this guitar. So far, the only mentions I’ve come up with are on the Germany site and now this one! 😀

      A headless version would certainly be interesting to see. It would also make coming up with a balanced design a bit easier although aesthetically I can see how they might have decided on the inline headstock as it ties in with the elongated look.

      Still waiting to hear back from Hohner…

    2. It would really be something if the large manufacturers began making more ergonomic guitars. But am I the only one who at the same time would feel that something has been taken from me?

      I mean, here we have a cosy group of people pursuing a particular interest, thinking up better designs and discussing existing ones. If guitar ergonomics became too mainstream, that might be lost.

      Perhaps I am just a snob, who wants to be different 😉

      …and at least, we’d have a greater variety of bridges for headless guitars to choose from.

      1. There’s always that danger isn’t there? 😉 Personally, I’m glad to take that chance.

        I’d love to see real innovation from the major manufacturers but judging by what Fender and Gibson are putting out, we’re probably in no danger. Did you see the latest from Gibson? It’s a reverse flying Vee. Yes, that’s right. They’ve taken the vee, turned it 180 degrees and attached a neck. I’m dumbfounded.

        As far as greater headless guitar parts variety, there is supposed to be a new Trans Trem in the works. The original was/is very expensive and rather complicated. The expectation is that this one will be a little less of both.

      2. Goodness me, those guys at Gibson are really creative. On their web site, they even call it a “daring move” and a “bold new take on a groundbreaking classic”.

        I sure hope they remembered to patent this groundbreaking idea – otherwise Fender might make the and earn the profit which is rightfully Gibson’s.

        [irony ends here]

        – Where the reverse Flying V is described.

      3. The whole thing is really laughable and sad at the same time. I wonder what focus group thought that a reverse vee was a good idea for a product? Of course, these are the very same folks that brought us the incomparable Kiefer Sutherland Signature Model.

      4. Kiefer Sutherland Signature Model?

        I thought that you were kidding, but one google search and I see that you aren’t. Whoever pays $4K for that must be Jack Bauer’s mom!

      5. Unfortunately, I wasn’t kidding. Of course, there are others bits of silliness out there but at least those other folks with names attached to instruments are recognized performers.

      6. BTW, somebody actually makes a reverse Strat:
        http://www.deweydecibel.com/foutintro.html

      7. There is quite a bit of silliness out there and while I don’t intend to take anything away from folks who like this sort of thing let’s not pretend this sort of thing is “innovation”. For Gibson to take a guitar body, flip it 180 degrees and call it a “daring move” is insulting. I look at that thing and all I see is a Cheap Trick stage guitar – quirky but hardly worth writing home about. Thank goodness Gibson is limiting its run to 400.

      8. I would just welcome an inexpensive option in the ergo guitar field. I’m all decked out with a Klein and a Forshage, but for an upcoming week-long business trip, I am loathe to take either due to their value! So a relatively inexpensive and/or replaceable guitar in the same genre would be welcomed.

        I’ve asked Chris F. to build me a “bare bones” body using his design for my graphite Steinberger neck and S-trem. That might be one answer, but it won’t be in time for this trip, and it’s still a totally custom job.

        So come on Hohner, speak up…

      9. I’m with you Roger. If anything, I’d like to see a more stripped down version of the EGS – passive pickups and no piezo. I am curious to hear what these will sell for.

      10. Gosh! that Gibson! No matter how much you try to get drunk, you will never be able to get so absolutely plastered / pissed that it will look even remotely cool. It will stay ugly no matter what..:-)

        My god, they ought to have a parental advisory sticker before you even turn to that page.

        Mind you, an ordinary flying V, as well as the Explorer series has – actually – good balance when standing up. They’re not THAT bad when it comes to balance. On the contrary. Sitting down though, they are a bit bulky.

        Reminds me of those experimental Fighter aircrafts they used to make way back, with reversed wings. Made of composite material. The most retarded design I’ve ever seen, this Gibson. It seems that Gibson, Fender should stay, and let the other ones, Klein, Steinberger, Hohner et al come up with the new ideas. The cobbler should stick to his last!

      11. I agree with your points Mats about the Gibson. In fact I agree with everyone’s. It is a real shame that companies like Fender and Gibson buy out companies like Steinberger and Benedetto, and then do nothing with their work. They simply buy the competition. They aren’t only not contributing to the improvements in guitar design they are actually hurting it by destroying what innovation is actually out there.

  3. Hmmm…interesting, but I would still keep the headless design, and absolutely NO WOOD behind that bridge. Excess wood.

    Mailed the swedish innovators of the new CENTREFOLD guitar but devillain guitars. http://www.devillainguitars.com
    Have you seen this? A foldable neck. So you can bring it on airplanes hand luggage. A SG shape, with lots of excess body and a head.

    I asked the through mail “How long is it folded?” the replied “55 cm” (19,7 inches) . Well my Kleins still 70 cm (27,5 inches) which is 15 cm longer and STILL allows to fit in all airlines overhead compartment baggage.

    They remained silent. :-) :-)

    I think, whenever you bring something onboard a plane, it’s not something that can go with the ordinary luggage, it’s something valuable. This “devillain” is sort of – well, if it gets destroyed, just get a new one, – for insurance money – there are lots of them around they’re factory made. I think there was this Chrysalis guitar too, but hey, I mean, what’s the point?

    1. I agree, Mats. If I were working on my own design, I’d prefer the headless design and would eliminate the wood behind the bridge. Still it’s an exciting design.

      And, I’m with you on the Centrefold guitar. I’ve come across it before and its a neat idea but I’m not seeing the value proposition here either.

  4. Did you hear any more from Hohner? This is something quite innovative.

    1. Still waiting anxiously. :) But not to worry – as soon as I have something I will post. Stay tuned!

  5. What do thing how much will the EGS cost?

    1. Take a look at the follow up article – More on the Hohner EGS Electric Guitar and welcome to the blog.

  6. Spoke to Hohner. The original plans called for a headless design. I told him to be bold make a statement and go headless with a neck thru and it will put Hohner back on the map. A headless egs would be the ultimate guitar . If we went back 100 years to the stART OF MASS GUITAR BUILDING, IF THE HEADLESS DESIGN was available everyone would have used it because of the ease of string changes and it stays in tune. Imagine somebody coming out 30 years later with traditional tuning machines. They would be laughed at. I believe Hohner is going to go for it and make a headless egs model.

    1. That’s exciting news, Ed! Thanks for sharing. Back when I contacted Hohner, they were a bit hush-hush about things and it was a special order type model. I’d love to see a limited run at the very least.

      1. E-mail hohner and show a demand for a headless neck-thru egs guitar

    2. when I inquired a year ago, it was bloody expensive. No demand unless the price is right, maybe around 1-1.5k USD.

      1. Agreed. With several custom builders offering instruments in the $2500-$3000 range, I’d expect Hohner to come in with a competitive price. They already have experience with headless neck through guitars so they’d be part way to the necessary tooling.

  7. I usually like Hohner guitars, but this one is not that pretty, but I must admit, the wing is a nice catch in terms of usability.

    1. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Pretty is as pretty does”. To that end, the Hohner is an elegant solution from a usability stand point.

      That said, I would have preferred a headless guitar design with head piece that could accept both single ball and double ball end strings.