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Guitar

Gittler Instruments has updated and relaunched the minimalist icon, the 31-fret Gittler gu...

While many players will insist that great tone can only result from the use of certain exotic woods, guitar design pioneer Allan Gittler saw things a little differently. He methodically stripped away all that he deemed unnecessary and redundant, and embarked on a minimalist instrument design adventure that resulted in the iconic Gittler guitar. Steel sitar or electric fishbone, the instrument had arguably its most famous public airing in the hands of Andy Summers of The Police in the 1983 Synchronicity II music video, and featured 31 frets, individual pickups for each of the six strings, and unique tuners. A new and improved version of the Gittler guitar is set to make its official debut at NAMM 2013 this coming January, and Gittler Instruments has opted to pull back the curtain early for a pre-production peek.  Read More

The Talking Pedal guitar effects unit emulates the vowel sounds of a human voice in a simi...

Although I grew up surrounded by the big hair rock of Bon Jovi and the like, my first introduction to the Talk Box guitar effect was not Living on a Prayer but Joe Walsh's Rocky Mountain Way over a decade earlier, followed a little later by Peter Frampton's epic Do You Feel Like We Do. Although it continues to be used by a good many guitar gods to this day, the long tube that invariably runs up a microphone stand to the player's mouth does make it something of a special addition to a guitarist's effects arsenal rather than a regular feature. The Talking Pedal from Electro-Harmonix does away with the tube altogether in a rocking chassis expression pedal with no moving parts.  Read More

The aptly-named WTF effect pedal from Loud Button Electronics essentially mixes synth tone...

The WTF from Loud Button Electronics brings together high gain distortion and a low frequency oscillator (LFO) in one effects pedal. The result is somewhat difficult to explain but a number of adjectives do spring to mind (weird, psychedelic, out there, oddball). However, none seem to fit better than its given moniker.  Read More

VOX Amplification has given new life to two 1960s iconic guitar bod shapes with the releas...

Sadly, the funding campaign for the Unlimited travel guitar with built-in speaker that we covered late last month was unsuccessful, but fear not because VOX Amplification has come to the rescue in impressive retro style. The company has dipped into the past to bring back two of its most iconic guitar shapes as modern travel/practice instruments. The beautiful VOX Teardrop and Phantom have been reborn as the Apache Series, each featuring two speakers, built-in effects and rhythm patterns, and the ability to jam along to favorite tunes via direct input from an external MP3 or CD player.  Read More

The Unlimited electric guitar has a built-in amplifier which can be fed digital effects fr...

Travel-friendly guitars like the Backpacker from Martin are all fine and dandy if you're into acoustic playing but those of us who prefer electric portability will likely need to seek out something like Traveler's Speedster or Bob Wiley's Ministar. The problem with the latter choice is also having to lug around an amp and cables in order to be heard. Stanford graduates Andrew Penrose and Ari Atkins have developed a go-anywhere electric guitar called the Unlimited that features a built-in, battery-powered amplifier and smartphone-controlled digital effects.  Read More

The Fretlight learning system uses LED lighting to show students finger placement on a gui...

I have to admit to a tinge of sadness as I report that both of the LED learning sleeve for guitar projects we featured back in April have so far failed to appear. Development of both projects is said to be continuing but Tabber withdrew its presence on Kickstarter after only two weeks to regroup and improve the product and the LED Sleeve didn't make its funding target. Fortunately, there is an existing system called Fretlight that uses lights embedded in the neck to show would-be players exactly when and where to place fingers on a fingerboard. The recent addition of the rather attractive FG-461 PRO electric guitar to the range offered the perfect opportunity to take a closer look.  Read More

Designing his own Ferrari SP12 EC was, to quote Clapton from the story, ‘one of the most s...

Ferrari has always set high standards for its customer interaction, and the latest press bulletin indicates it is continuing to explore new means of communicating with its customers, this time in the digital realm. "FERRARI BUILDS A UNIQUE SUPERCAR FOR ‘GOD’" was the headline. Blasphemy for some, but I knew who they meant. Eric Clapton. Developed from the Ferrari 458 Italia, Eric Clapton’s unique Ferrari SP12 EC was designed by the Centro Stile Ferrari in collaboration with Pininfarina and Ferrari’s engineers.  Read More

Strumming on the gTar looks to be just like playing the real thing

Learning to play any musical instrument can be a mammoth task, especially for those who aren't naturally gifted in that regard. The guitar is particularly difficult to learn to play, with a steep learning curve and some extraordinary finger dexterity required right from the start. Therefore, any tool designed to make the process less painful is welcomed with open arms by budding guitar gods. A company called Incident is hoping that will be the case for gTar, a new digital guitar that utilizes the power of the iPhone.  Read More

DigiTech has announced its fifth generation Whammy pitch shifting pedal, which introduces ...

Altering the tension of tuned strings through the influence of the tremolo or whammy bar on an electric guitar is an important part of any modern guitarist's trick bag. Early mechanical vibrato systems were notorious for throwing the instrument out of tune, and although huge improvements have been made over the years, intense or brutal use of some modern systems can still lead to problems. In 1989, DigiTech launched a pedal-based solution called the WH-1 Whammy, that offered players the same pitch altering capabilities of hardware systems, as well as additional harmony and detune effects, without any of the associated tuning hassles. Over 20 years later, and looking very much like the iconic original, the fifth version of the Whammy is currently being readied for release and brings something new to the party – the unique Chordal Pitch-Shifting.  Read More

On the anniversary of the Grateful Dead's famous 1977 Cornell show, Bonhams San Francisco ...

This year would have been the 70th birthday of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, had not a heart attack ended his life at the age of 53. Last year, one of the great man's guitars – his Lucky 13 – was auctioned on eBay for charity, and next month memorabilia from the influential player's life will go under the hammer at Bonhams San Francisco on the anniversary of the band's famous 1977 Cornell show. Among original and rare works by Garcia, Deadheads will also find no less than three of his guitars – including the very Takamine acoustic seen on the cover of his Ragged But Right album, released almost 23 years after it was recorded.  Read More

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