Rhett Shull has taken to YouTube to reveal that he and Novo Guitars have been closely collaborating on an all-new custom electric guitar model, dubbed Idris.
The guitar itself debuts a totally new design shape to the Novo catalog, and has been developed by Shull and Novo over the past seven months. It’s not quite ready for an official release just yet, but now Shull has lifted the veil off the elusive instrument and given us a glimpse of what we can expect.
According to the YouTuber session ace, the custom Idris was conceived earlier this year when Shull approached Novo owner Dennis Fano about developing a new Coodercaster guitar together, one inspired by Ry Cooder's iconic 1967 Fender Stratocaster.
As it just so happens, Fano had a guitar in the pipeline that he said would provide the perfect foundation.
“I reached out to Dennis about seven months ago to build me a Coodercaster, and he said, ‘That’s a great idea, I’d love to do it, I’ve got this new shape that I think would work really well for it.’”
As Shull explains, his custom Coodercaster will be a separate entity to the standard-run Idris, and there’s no guarantee yet that his custom-spec’d version will get a production run.
He’s currently road-testing the upcoming model on tour, with Shull saying, “It sounds incredible, it feels incredible. I’ve put it in open D and I’ve been playing on Midnight Special towards the end of the set.”
As for why it doesn’t feature on more of the set, though, Shull admitted there is still one final crease that he and Fano have to iron out before he can start using it more.
“The bridge pickup itself is unpotted,” Shull notes, “and it’s incredibly microphonic. So when I’m onstage with my big amp – my Divided By 13 – it’s feeding back pretty uncontrollably. I have to stand in a very specific spot. I can’t turn the guitar towards the amp at all without it starting to squeal.
“That’s something we are addressing and we have an idea on how to fix it. Once the bridge pickup gets sorted this thing is going to be ready to go.”
A demo of Shull’s Novo Idris can be heard at the 17:48 mark in the video above.
In terms of specs, Shull has kept things relatively close to the chest, but the model boasts an offset double-cut design, as well as an artificially aged sunburst finish, color-matched headstock, dot inlays, two parameter knobs and a pickup selector switch.
As we mentioned before, there’s no official release date yet for the standard Idris or Shull’s custom Coodercaster, but you can follow updates over on Rhett Shull’s YouTube channel (opens in new tab) and the Novo Guitars website (opens in new tab).
When it arrives, it will join Novo's current collection of models, which includes the Serus, Miris, Solus, Voltur and Rivolta.