I see the music thread went off on a tangent about Martin and Gibson guitars. Now I'm all about the instruments and Lord knows I have had plenty of odd in my music and instruments so, let's talk about the everyday, the rare or old and hopefully odd instruments that help make the odd, cool and great music in the other thread.
Here's my first contribution, admittedly rare and a bit odd. It's a Lane Poor Music Co. Minima, the 4th of first 13 made, (serial # 2/2 which means #2 from the #2 wood blank. Each blank of New England sugar maple was ten feet long, cut in half.) and the only transparent amber one ever. Total production was under 40 units. The company transitioned to making the finest professional pickups before eventually going out of business because of the inability to deliver handmade product at the scale and price the market demanded.
The bass has no pickups like all other electric basses, it has 3 rare earth magnets placed in adjustment slots in the body below where a regular bass would have a pickup. The strings are wired in 2 circuits, when you play it, the strings moving in the strong magnetic field, (and the weak magnetic field of the Earth) generate the signal for the amplifier. Since everything metal on the instrument is in the signal path, exposed to a magnetic field, and the string anchor points are wood instead of metal, bone or plastic, the sound produced is almost identical to a full sized upright bass with all the resonance of the sugar maple "body".
I played this on several recordings that called for a traditional upright bass. The producers said they wouldn't pay me for my time if I didn't give them the upright sound they were looking for, everyone of them said they didn't believe a electric bass could get "that sound". The bass is not the easiest to play, it's not comfortable for long periods, it's a long reach to low F, it's very neck heavy/body light and your right forearm has no anchor point.