Wandre Twist Solid Body Electric Guitar (1963)

Wandre  Twist Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1963)

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Item # 8046
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Wandre Twist Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1963), made in Milan, Italy, black/grey smoke finish, hardwood and plastic body, aluminum and plastic neck, black hard shell case.

"What are those guitars…man we don't have those in the STATES!" So spoke Bob Dylan in 1965, captured on film looking into the window of an English music store full of Wandre guitars. These amazingly futuristic and completely original instruments, sold under several brand names in Europe, have fascinated electric guitar fans since the '60s, but many players have still never seen or handled one. All Wandres are eccentric to the extreme; this one has the best of this Italian artist/engineer's concepts wedded to a more functional guitar superstructure than many.

The full Wandre story is a book-length epic tale of creativity and commerce, and indeed there is a book available for the curious! This very rare guitar is the Deluxe version of the "Twist" model, as seen in the Italian catalogue from 1963. This particular instrument is one of the more "conventional" of Wandre Pioli's 1960s designs, using two of the Davoli pickups he favored in the "Model Korak" Pickguard/bridge assembly floating over the body. These are controlled with two volumes and a tone knob, mounted to a separate stamped aluminum box lower on the face. Even the knobs are eccentric, with a sort of space age look to their flanged tops.

Wandre's proprietary plastic-sheathed aluminum neck is mounted on a fairly "normal" solid body in a modified Fenderesque model. Since it's a Wandre, that body is also sheathed in plastic; in this case, a spectacular two-tone grey and white "smoke" finish. The "W"-badged tremolo system and fully adjustable bridge are also unique Wandre creations. This guitar is unlike any other in both sound and feel. While feeling somewhat more "conventional" than many of Wandre Pioli's more eccentrically-shaped electric children, it maintains all the best sonic and engineering features of the line combined with a more solid playing feel than most.
 
Overall length is 40 3/4 in. (103.5 cm.), 14 in. (35.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This extremely rare guitar has survived in the best condition that we have ever had one of Wandre Pioli's creations. The instrument is all original; these guitars are often missing parts or have damaged bodies due to the quirky nature of their construction. The plastic coverings to the body and neck are fully intact with some slight checking from typical shrinkage. The fragile thin plastic neck sheath (often completely missing by now) shows some internal checking but is still complete, solid, and smooth to the touch.

There is some dirt and scuffing to the elevated pickup/pickguard assembly, but it too is fully intact with none of the commonly seen cracks. The control plate and "spaceman" knobs are also intact; the rubber grommet around the bass shows shrinkage and tiny cracks but is also still solid. There is a small wooden wedge added to the bridge on the treble side to help keep the movable saddles in place, and the adjustable bridge and trem work as intended. The often-missing trem arm is also intact, with a particularly attractive gold swirl plastic tip!

This guitar plays and sounds fantastic, with the airy-but-biting sound the Davoli pickups impart to Wandre's space-age construction. Being a solid body, this Twist is sturdier feeling and a bit more aggressive sounding compared to the ethereal semi-hollow designs that make up much of the Wandre line. A fantastic example of the most far-out reached of '60s guitar design, ready to go in a period Italian molded plastic case. Excellent Condition.