The James Bond of travel guitars: meet the briefcase guitar – an all-in-one amp and foldable Strat that packs into a tweed carry case

The briefcase guitar and amp – built by Yuji Shimano
(Image credit: Yuji Shimano / YouTube)

We’ve seen a few travel guitars in our time, but nothing so elegant as this briefcase guitar – a complete setup of folding electric guitar and amp, all incorporated into an appealing tweed-covered carry case.

The instrument (spotted via is the invention of Sendai City, Japan resident Yuji Shimano (who builds and repairs instruments under the name Blues Walker). You can see Shimano demonstrate the briefcase guitar/amp setup and sound in the clip below.

Early iterations of the folding guitar design feature on Shimano’s YouTube channel as far back as 2011, but the briefcase amp is a relatively recent invention and appears to have surfaced in the last year.

In the clip, Shimano models the briefcase – we love the touch of doubling the guitar strap as a carry handle – before opening it to reveal the folded guitar and amp switches contained within.

The instrument, which offers a Fender Strat-inspired three single-coil pickup configuration, is unfolded and the neck clamps with a similar mechanism to Ciari’s Ascender folding guitar design.

The guitar is headless and is therefore tuned using knobs located at the bridge end, while two of the three control knobs are relocated on the side of the guitar. Shimano then connects the vibrato and plugs it in to the built-in briefcase amp.

It’s a remarkable concept and, despite its radical build, somehow manages to capture something of the 20th century golden-era guitar design. Indeed, the aesthetic is like something from a ’60s-era James Bond film.

According to Shimano’s site, his initial line of work was in automobile modification and he later took his talent for clever mods and repairs to the instrument world. He’s also responsible for repairing and restoring instrument exhibits in Belgium’s Matsushima Orgel Museum.

For more information, head to Yuji Shimano’s website.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.