Photokina 2014 highlights

Guitar

An ensemble of ODD instruments will take to the stage at Euromold in Frankfurt, Germany, b...

Kiwi Professor of Mechtronics Olaf Diegel has now added a set of drums and a keyboard to his catalog of beautiful 3D-printed instruments. His new creations will join guitar and bass models for a road trip to Frankfurt's EuroMold event next month, where a band will take to the stage to play some live sets using the instruments.  Read More

The Roadie Tuner from Band Industries

All manner of integrated and external gadgetry has been introduced over the years to help newbies or seasoned guitarists achieve and maintain pitch perfection with little effort. Rather than requiring players to swap out stock tuning heads for some robotic assistance, like with the TronicalTune system, or buy into the digital manipulation of output from folks like Antares, the Roadie Tuner slips over each machine head, one at a time, and works with a smartphone to bring an instrument to tune.  Read More

The iLoud portable speaker for musicians and audiophiles

Thanks to mobile audio processing and recording apps, composing on the road has never been easier. Showing off your latest killer riff to the rest of the band through tablet or laptop speakers is less than satisfying, however. There are a good many battery-powered micro amps out there which might help a little, but the output is often, to put it delicately, sub-par. Italy's IK Multimedia demonstrated a wired/wireless audio thrower at the Winter NAMM show back in January that promised studio monitor sound quality in a portable, chunky tablet-sized package. Developed specifically for musicians and audiophiles, the 40 W iLoud has now been released.  Read More

The Farmer's Mill Electric Mud Grinder from Crushsound

Inspired by the kind of brown or muddy tones produced by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons on tracks like Loaded from the 1996 album Rhythmeen, Jedrzej Lewandowski of Poland's Le 2 Workshop architects created the Farmer's Mill, which was unleashed, appropriately enough perhaps, on April 1 2012. The second generation has now been released. It's a little bigger than its predecessor, a lot better, and is now available in orange as well as white. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks making guitars wheeze, cough and splutter like they've been smoking 40-a-day since birth, and walks way mighty impressed with the destructive capabilities of the Mark II Electric Mud Grinder.  Read More

The custom graphics on the Indus guitar from France's Kompozit Guitars

Many veteran guitarists believe that great tone can only come from instruments made using exotic hardwoods. This hasn't stopped makers from trying other materials, though, including Ampeg's iconic Dan Armstrong-designed Plexiglas guitar, the all-metal Gittler Guitar, and the 3D-printed guitar from AweSome Musical Instruments. For its new line of hand-made, Tele-shaped axes, France's Kompozit Guitars has chosen to give polyester-based fiberglass a whirl.  Read More

The travel-friendly Fender VA acoustic guitars

Taking an acoustic guitar with you when you travel can be a lesson in compromises. You may have to make do with an odd-shaped instrument, a short necked model, or a cheap throw-away that produces poor sound. Wouldn't it be great if you could strap a full-sized Fender to your back, but still be able to meet commercial airline carry on luggage size restrictions? The iconic guitar maker has released two travel dreadnoughts with a Voyage-Air hinge mechanism that allows the instruments to fold in half.  Read More

The all-titanium Gittler Guitar

Back in January, the beautifully minimalist Gittler Guitar made its public debut at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. Little more than a long rod topped by 31 rounded frets with built-in electronics, the all-titanium guitar has now launched on Kickstarter ahead of its first production run in December.  Read More

Shawn Steen with his ergonomically-designed guitars

Guitars like Gibson's iconic Flying V, just about any BC Rich model, or Bob Wiley's Ministar travel guitars may well stand out in any crowd, but they're not exactly built for comfort. Guitar maker Shawn Steen has spent the last two years tweaking and testing an instrument designed to comfortably fit the shape of a player's body, while looking good and sounding great. The final adjustments have been made, all the choice components selected, and the first show models created. Now it's launch time for the new line of hand-made ergonomic guitars.  Read More

The new Moog Minifooger analog stomp family

Moog Music has announced a new range of versatile and expressive analog effects stomps for electric guitar and bass. Each of the five affordable and compact Minifoogers features an expression pedal input that can be CV-controlled (just like an old Moog synth), and gives the player control of one predetermined parameter for the chosen unit, expanding the stomp's sound beyond what's available via the knobs up top.  Read More

The Mighty Minnie hybrid single channel guitar amp

There are times when packing a full rig for a small venue tour is just not practical and sacrifices have to be made. When the topic of being forced to use awful-sounding back line amp rentals came up in a conversation between slide guitar master Sonny Landreth and veteran amp maker James Demeter, an idea for an amp small enough to mount on a pedal board began to take shape in the latter's mind. The Mighty Minnie hybrid single channel guitar amp that resulted is now being made available through Demeter's Custom Shop.  Read More

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