Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Guitar

IK Multimedia's new iRig 2 guitar interface

It's been over 4 years since IK Multimedia first launched a nifty double act that allowed guitarists to plug into numerous digital stomp box and amp emulations on a smartphone. The company has since added a number of new versions to its iRig interface and AmpliTube app family, including the iRig HD and iRig PRO, but until now players will have had to use an Apple smart device to access IK's world of tone. Though the iRig HD was recently made compatible with a very few Android mobile devices, the iRig 2 is spreading the Android love to more users.  Read More

Gizmag's pick of the top five music gear innovations of 2014

It's been another strong year for instrument innovation, making the task of choosing a top five quite a challenge. Though many excellent examples of envelope pushing have popped up on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo during 2014, including the Hammer Jammer and Aalberg's Ekko and Aero, we allowed those to fall gracefully to the cutting room floor in favor of tech that's available now. Join Gizmag as we take a look back at some of the top groove gadgets of the last 12 months.  Read More

Bow Thayer with the pre-production prototype Bojotar

So what do you do if your solo performance set list includes compositions featuring parts for electric guitar, banjo and Dobro? You can either try to simplify the arrangement or attempt some exhausting quick change wizardry mid-song. When accomplished string picker Bow Thayer couldn't find an instrument that catered for finger-pickin' and steel slidin' and banjo rollin' all in one place, he designed his own. Meet the Bojotar.  Read More

Jack creates its own encrypted Wi-Fi network with click to connect simplicity

Let's face it, we live in wireless times. The living room hi-fi has been replaced with Bluetooth speaker systems, the home telephone by smartphones and the USB charging cable by induction mats. Though cable-free technology for guitar players has been around in one form or another for a good many years, reliability and affordability issues have meant that many players choose to be cabled to an amp. Scotland's Ingenious Audio says help is at hand in the form of Jack, which can wirelessly throw an electric guitar's output to an amp without users having to worry about radio interference or annoying Bluetooth latency. Offering responsive high resolution audio over a secure connection, the device can also link a guitar or amp to any Wi-Fi-enabled device.  Read More

The FRX system can be set to locked, assisted floating or full floating operation

A fair amount of precious wood can be sacrificed when installing a tremolo on a vintage Gibson guitar so that you can squeal or dive bomb like Satriani or Vai. Well, now you don't have to because Floyd Rose Marketing has opened up its FRX top mount trem system for pre-order.  Read More

The PRS P245 short-scale single-cutaway guitar

The 2015 National Association of Music Merchants trade show is but weeks away and Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Guitars will be taking along a rather intriguing vintage-inspired single-cutaway guitar called the P245. What makes this particular solid body PRS interesting is the inclusion of a piezo pickup system in addition to two in-house magnetic humbuckers.  Read More

The Magnet allows a smartphone to record close up video footage of guitar playing

Playing back recorded video of energetic string picking or frantic fretboard gymnastics in super slow motion can be of great help when trying to nail minor technique problems, but mounting a weighty camcorder to a guitar is not really very practical. Even a minicam can be a somewhat awkward affair. Happily, advances in smartphone technology have come to the rescue of the study guitarist, but that still leaves the problem of mounting. This is a problem for which the Magnet was developed.  Read More

The Line 6 AMPLIFi TT guitar tone processor and Bluetooth audio streamer

The home audio landscape has undergone quite a change in recent times. Where the living room hi-fi once ruled the roost, the expensive and carefully matched components are now dead silent and the once proud tower speakers have been repurposed as stands for photo frames or vases. Music lovers seem quite happy to accept an often huge drop in sonic quality for the convenience and wireless ease of the small Bluetooth speaker. But the folks over at Line 6 are looking to breathe new life into those dusty stereo system circuits with a new addition to the AMPLIFi range called the TT.  Read More

The BeatBuddy with its footswitch (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

When musician David Packouz couldn't find a stomp-based drum machine that didn't sound, well, like a drum machine or one that could provide fills, changes and accent hits on the fly, he set about designing and building his own. He took his BeatBuddy project to Indiegogo in December 2013 and it went on to raise more than four times its funding goal by the close of the crowdfunding campaign. The first post-crowdfunding production run started shipping at the end of August and Gizmag was offered a system for review. But with my attention focused elsewhere during September (namely the IFA and Photokina trade shows), I had to hold off until mid-October to start spending some quality time with this nifty drummer-in-a-box pedal. And it was definitely worth the wait.  Read More

The DNone next generation guitar travel case

For a prized, and likely very expensive, instrument, touring can be fraught with danger. Threats from knocks, bumps and scrapes lurk menacingly at every turn so investing in some form of protection is vital, but not all hard cases are made equal. After noting stagnation in guitar case technology, Timbre Cases founder Peter McMath set about designing the next generation of instrument travel protection. It's taken two years of R&D, but the company is now readying its tough dreadnought-shaped DNone case for release, which features a shock absorbent, water-resistant outer shell, humidity control and recessed wheels.  Read More

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