Jane offers pickup switching by touch

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Pickups are selected using touch sensors under the volume and tone knobs

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Even at first glance, there's something a little different about the Jane guitar from Switzerland's Pirmin Giger and Silvan Küng. It's not quite a single cut, nor is it a double cut. Its body is made up of three layers – an aluminum frame and two veneer wood panels. The back plate is not screwed in place, but is held in place by magnets and can be opened up using just a guitar pick. And its handmade humbucker pickups are selected using touch sensors rather than a 3- or 5-way pickup switch. It certainly looks like an appetizing combination that lives up to the brand name: Relish Guitars.

The top and back of Jane's body are made of five layers of wood veneer, pressed into shape by a trusted supplier in Germany, and available in three different finishes. Sandwiched inbetween the wood is a one piece aluminum frame to keep the hardtail hipshot bridge, pickups and circuitry in place and onto which a truss-rod adjustable, 25.6-inch scale, 24-fret maple neck is bolted. Relish Guitars says that the aluminum also vibrates with more intensity than wood, which should offer players bucketloads of sustain.

The Jane guitar is available in Ashy, Cherry and Walnut models, each coming with a different dot-free fingerboard wood and boutique pickups by Good Tone Pickups in different combinations. The Ashy model features an ebony fretboard and Twängster neck and Hot Vintage 59 PAF pickups, the Cherry packs a rosewood fingerboard and two Vintage 59 PAF humbuckers and the Walnut is graced with bamboo fretboard and a Classic PAF for the neck and a Mr Brown for the bridge.

Selecting pickups on the Jane guitar is a little different to the 5-way switches found on Strat-like guitars or 3-way toggles on Les Paul variants. Relish Guitars has opted for LED illuminated touch sensors hidden below the wood veneer instead, with the light indicating which pickup is in use. The sensors can also act as a kill switch, muting the output without having to turn down the volume.

The back plate is held in place by nine magnets and can be removed by slotting a pick into a recess at the back edge and lifting up. Within the cavernous body enclosure (with more than enough space for hackers, tweakers and modders to have a great time), there's a 9 V battery that powers the LEDs and relay, and is reported to last for months. The volume and tone pots, the underside of the pickups and electronics are also on show here.

The Jane guitars each tip the scale at just over 7 lb (3.26 kg) and are available direct from Relish Guitars for US$4,900 each.

Have a look at the video below, which shows a Jane guitar being given a thorough workout from Greg Koch.

View gallery - 6 images

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