Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Guitar

The US$2 million Eden of Coronet at Baselworld 2015

Though full to bursting with showy and expensive luxury wearables, the Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show is not usually the kind of venue where you'd expect to find guitar maker Gibson displaying one of its custom instruments. This year, however, saw a US$2 million diamond-encrusted SG called the Eden of Coronet verified as the world's most valuable guitar by Guinness World Records.  Read More

The compact and portable GMT-004 guitar maintenance table from Grundorf

Though the tone of a guitar won't be affected by regular maintenance, removing the accumulated gunk, giving it a good polish and paying some attention to the hardware will not only help it retain its looks, but it should play better, too. Trying to find a suitable surface to perform these essential tasks, having all the necessary tools at hand and making sure that the instrument is adequately supported can be quite a challenge. Grundorf's portable GMT-004 folds out to accommodate acoustic or electric guitars, includes compartments for stowing away tools, strings and supplies, and features a pop-up support for the instrument's neck.  Read More

PRS Guitars has created a one-off 9-string guitar for Chris Haskett (Photo: PRS Guitars)

The melding of 12 string and 6 string electric SGs into one instrument resulted in something that's been described as the coolest guitar in rock, the Gibson EDS 1275. Now techs at PRS have taken a virtual buzz saw to that design to create a custom 9-string hybrid that gives ex-Henry Rollins Band guitarist Chris Haskett all the key tonal flavors of a double-neck heavyweight in a single instrument.  Read More

Pickups are selected using touch sensors under the volume and tone knobs

Even at first glance, there's something a little different about the Jane guitar from Switzerland's Pirmin Giger and Silvan Küng. It's not quite a single cut, nor is it a double cut. Its body is made up of three layers – an aluminum frame and two veneer wood panels. The back plate is not screwed in place, but is held in place by magnets and can be opened up using just a guitar pick. And its handmade humbucker pickups are selected using touch sensors rather than a 3- or 5-way pickup switch. It certainly looks like an appetizing combination that lives up to the brand name: Relish Guitars.  Read More

The prototype Wand being demonstrated by its inventor, Paul Vo

Back on 2012, Paul Vo and Moog revealed a working prototype of a device that took control of acoustic string vibrations to provide a harmonic soundscape behind whatever the player was picking. After making some necessary tweaks, Vo took the newly-named Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer to Kickstarter for the final push to production. The campaign was successful and the product is now available to buy. Vo has now revealed a handheld single string sustainer prototype that uses the same technology as the Vo-96. Say hello to the Vo Wand.  Read More

The Trio Band Creator from DigiTech

Last October, Gizmag grooved along to what has to be the world's most reliable drummer – the BeatBuddy drum machine stomp. Next month, DigiTech will release a new guitar pedal called the Trio that crams a funky bass player into a pedalboard-friendly box alongside a virtual bin basher. The Band Creator pedal is reported capable of automatically generating bass and drum parts that match the rhythmic feel or chord progressions being belted out by the guitar player leading the power trio.  Read More

Gizmag reviews the Roadie automatic guitar tuner (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

Necessary evils though they are, changing strings and tuning up have got to be two of the most boring and/or tiresome guitar-related tasks around. Band Industries offered a helping hand in November 2013 when a crowdfunding campaign was launched to bring an app-controlled motorized tuner named Roadie to market. The campaign was successful and the handheld robotic tuner recently became available to buy. Gizmag nabbed one of the first commercial units off the production line and has been whizzing and whirring away with gusto ever since.  Read More

The El Capitan Ekoa small jumbo acoustic from Blackbird Guitars

An acoustic guitar needs old tonewood soundboard, body and neck to really make the unplugged party pop, right? Well no, not really. Guitar makers have experimented with a host of other materials over the years, including aluminum and carbon fiber. Blackbird Guitars has now followed the 2013 launch of its Clara concert-level ukulele, which is made from something called Ekoa, with a NAMM debut for an acoustic guitar called El Capitan that's constructed from the same sustainable material.  Read More

The Variax Standard combines Yamaha guitar building know-how with Line 6 tone digital mode...

Guitarists wanting the classic tones of yesteryear can risk financial ruin by amassing a sizeable collection of original instruments or they can take a much cheaper route and turn to the digital world for help. Line 6 has been modeling vintage guitar sounds for a good many years, with its Variax guitars offering multiple vintage tones on one instrument. Now the company has added a very special new member to its Variax family, the Standard, which represents the first major collaborative effort since Yamaha acquired Line 6 in January 2014.  Read More

The Kemper Remote control interface for the Profiler modeling amp

With the Kemper Profiling Amplifier (or Profiler for short), Christoph Kemper aimed to offer guitarists similar sonic sampling capabilities enjoyed by keyboard players, but in an easy to use lunchbox package capable of authentically modeling any guitar amp tone. And though industry opinion appears to agree that he succeeded, diving into the Profiler's impressive arsenal of digital effects and amp models during a song can be a bit of a challenge, especially when in the studio or on stage. The newly-announced Remote puts the power to switch at a player's feet.  Read More

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