“I always say that’s the best money I’ve ever spent on an instrument”

– R.R. Sussex, UK (Salvage Sounds License Plate Guitar owner)

Our solidly built 3-string electric resonator guitars feature at its focus a genuine United States vehicle license plate. It is the steel of the plate that provides the resonation and allows the instrument to generate sufficient volume to appreciate even unplugged. However it is when connected to a guitar amplifier – better still, with a dirty overdrive and a touch of reverb – that the instrument really comes to life. The onboard controls allow the player to summon a range of sounds and “dial in” to just the right tone with just the right bite.

(If perhaps you struggle to believe that an “electric guitar” can provide such a powerful output without use of traditional magnetic pickups – then check out our audio demonstration page and judge for yourself!)

US license plate (licence plate guitar) resonator electric guitar

The “77 Special” pictured above is no longer available. However we have a run of spectacular Illinois plates from the late 80s to early/mid 90s – primarily in Fire Truck Red, and limited numbers of Powder Blue and Lemon Yellow for our flagship “Land of Lincoln” series – examples of which are pictured below, with finished instruments featuring in our gallery. Please register your interest with us and we can build to order, or we may even have stock ready for immediate supply. (And don’t forget to let us know if the instrument is for a left-handed player so that we can adapt the instrument accordingly – further adding to the unique and individual nature of the item).

Future US license plate (licence plate guitars) resonator electric guitars

Each instrument features chrome domehead (Telecaster-style) control knobs, slimline body, butterfly-hinge tailpiece, “nut n’ bolt” bridge, hand-carved neck, genuine Mother of Pearl inlaid fret dots, our Salvage Sounds signature headstock design, and geared machine heads for precision and stable tuning.  Gold-coloured strap buttons can be fitted as an optional extra for no additional charge, if required.

US license plate (licence plate guitar) resonator electric guitar - Salvage Sounds headstock

We tune these instruments to E-B-E for an open E power chord, meaning that chords in all musical keys can be played up and down the neck with just one finger – or a guitar slide (which we will include for no extra).  We prefer tuning down to E (from G-D-G as more typical of such 3-string instruments, like our cigar box guitar) as this gives a rockier edge and lessens string tension to make for wider, more emphatic and expressive bends and curls.  However, if you intend to use the instrument almost exclusively for slide guitar playing, rather than fretted notes, let us know and we can set your resonator up with a higher string action better suited for slide.

License plate guitars hanging on the wall

Oh – and in addition to sounding excellent and being great fun to play… as you can see, these also look awesome hung on the wall from a mounted guitar hook! (We can supply the perfect hanger free of charge – if you need one).

  • Free collection from the Worthing area. However, if this is not possible get in touch and we will see if we can work something out.