For whatever reason, guitar manufacturers and players all seem to be stuck re-implementing "classic" designs from the 1950s rather than addressing issues to improve playability and ergonomics. While there's nothing wrong with the classics, I think it would be nice to see if the guitar industry could innovate and go beyond just coming up with the latest greatest pickup. The good news is, there are boutique guitar manufacturers and hobbyists who are starting to push the envelope.
I've long been interested in alternative guitar designs, ever since I saw my first Steinberger bass many years ago. I'm particularly fond of "headless" designs which can potentially make a guitar more compact and lighter.
There's an excellent web site called Building the Ergonomic Guitar by Robert Irizarry that includes a lot of well thought out material on better, more ergonomic guitar designs. Irizarry clearly knows what he's doing and is completing his first design of an ergonomic (and headless) guitar reminiscent of a typical Klein guitar using a Steinberger bridge. The result should be slightly under 6 pounds, which is
Irizarry's blog takes you through all of the various decisions in his design and on the building of the guitar. I'm not a luthier, so I wouldn't attempt to do this myself, but those of you with a hankering for woodworking adventure may be inspired to try to follow along.
The site also includes photos and links to other ergonomically designed guitars, some quite obscure. I hope at the very least, this will inspire players to consider new designs rather than just settle for retro models.