Virtual Jeff turns any guitar into a divebomber

If you're looking to divebomb and squeal like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, but your vintage guitar doesn't have a vibrato system, you could avoid losing chunks of tonewood by installing a top mount system like the FRX from Floyd Rose. But switching from hardtail to whammy will still involve slamming your axe on the maintenance table for a while. Sydney, Australia-based Fomofx says that its Virtual Jeff can be installed in just 30 seconds on just about any guitar, and easily removed when not needed.Read More

Altec Lansing cuts the cord with Freedom earbuds

Altec Lansing has unveiled a new set of earphones that are "truly wireless," meaning there are no cables in sight – not even between the two earbuds themselves. The Freedom earbuds, which have a lengthy battery life and waterproof design, are on show at CES this week in Las Vegas.Read More

Clip-on device gives unplugged electric guitar a sound boost

Noodling away on an unplugged electric guitar is a great way to practice chops any time, day or night. But the raw sound can be a bit disappointing, lacking body and volume. DelSonix says that its clip-on guitar speaker can give a solid body electric a 10 dB sonic boost, which can be directed straight at the player.Read More

Top tune creation innovations of 2015

Twenty fifteen has been a helluva year for instrument creation, bringing a torrent of new ways to make sweet, sweet music with a bang, pluck, tap or scrape. Choosing a handful of tasty tone-tastic highlights from the last 12 months has been tough, really tough. But after much ruminating, we've managed to stealthily avoid picking from a hat and have come up with a select bunch of monstrous melody-making favorites.Read More

Winter NAMM debut for 660 Guitars and the Patriot

Texas-based startup 660 Guitars hit Kickstarter in November to help fund the production of a new line of aluminum-bodied guitars. Though the crowdfunding effort was not successful, founders Drew Emory and Myke Wilkerson are forging ahead with a company and first product premiere at California's Winter NAMM show in January.Read More

Misa's new controller offers step sequencing on-the-fly

Almost 6 years ago, a video showing a new guitar-shaped digital instrument went viral and plans were hatched to bring the Misa Digital Guitar to market. The instrument was further developed, renamed the Kitara and unveiled at CES 2011. We got to spend some quality time with the futuristic axe later that year, and were suitably impressed. Production ended in 2013, however, with the introduction of the Misa Tri-bass. The latest project from the embedded systems engineer behind all of those creations, Michael Zarimis, offers an alternative take on the step sequencer.Read More

Dry Switch EQ debuts with RevStar guitars

Yamaha is coming up to its 50th anniversary in the guitar business, and has launched a new series of solid body electric guitars inspired by café racer style motorbikes of the 1960s to celebrate. Of the eight RevStar models, seven include Yamaha's new Dry Switch tone enhancement technology that essentially replaces coil split wiring found in some guitars with passive circuitry for single coil-like tone from humbucking pickups.Read More


Review: SoundBrake mutes your headphones when there are sounds you need to hear

There's no denying that the best way of listening to music is through a set of headphones. Unfortunately, however, headphones also keep us from hearing things like ringing telephones, knocks on the door and (if the movies are to believed) psychotic killers breaking into our homes. That's why California-based electrical/computer engineer Shari Eskenas created the SoundBrake – it's a li'l device that mutes your 'phones when it detects noises in your environment. We recently tried it out.Read More

Last minute stocking stuffers for the musician in your life

String-pickers, digital tunesmiths and bin bashers are not the easiest of folks to buy gifts for. Some are quite conservative and prefer tried and tested old tech while others are gearheads who like to gather in the latest, the novel and the bizarre just in case the need arises. And then there's the (often) eye-watering cost of instruments and accessories to consider. The holidays are almost upon us and a state of muso-related panic may now be setting in. Here are a few ideas that should hit the right note.Read More


    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning