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A hands-on review of the Kitara digital guitar synthesizer

Way back in January 2010, a short demo video of a new digital instrument prototype was posted on YouTube by its creator Michael Zarimis, and went viral. From the millions of views, a list of prospective buyers was drawn up and the Misa Digital Guitar soon began its journey towards commercial availability. By the time the next CES show arrived, the instrument had ditched its gleaming white ABS plastic casing and gone over to the dark side, received a few design modifications, and been officially named Kitara for its public debut. The Kitara has now been made available for purchase, and I've spent the last few weeks getting to grips with this innovative new instrument - being rewarded for inventive experimentation and punished for bad playing technique.  Read More

The Di Donato guitar is hand-crafted in aluminum alloy and tonewoods and features custom p...

Whether it's cars, clothing or - in this case - guitars, there's something instantly appealing about Italian design. Combining the well-known tonal properties of aluminum and hardwoods like mahogany and rosewood, the hand-crafted Di Donato guitar is the brainchild of Edoardo DiDonato, who has applied traditional luthier skills used to craft violins, violas and cellos to create an instrument that is both modern and classic at the same time.  Read More

Starr Labs is developing a new iPad dock that uses the power and versatility of Apple's ta...

The phenomenal success of music-related mobile apps has forced many of us old timers to have a good rethink about the way we make music in the 21st Century. For many musicians - including The Gorillaz and Bjork - Apple's iPad is taking center stage in the production of modern music. Digital instrument innovator Harvey Starr is also looking at the iconic tablet as a way of giving more people the chance to experience the power of Starr Labs' custom-built electronic guitars at a fraction of the cost. Pairing the iPad with his company's button-based electronic guitar fingerboard, Starr is developing a new hybrid monster called the iTar.  Read More

String Stretcha is a tool to consistently and evenly stretch and settle new guitar strings...

Stretching guitar strings using finger and thumb can be a very fiddly pain in the behind. String Stretcha makes the process a lot less random and a whole lot easier. Made from a crush-resistant epoxy material, the ergonomically-shaped tool features a grooved hook and heel which grip the string between them and allow the player/tech to give the strings a proper and consistent stretch in about five minutes.  Read More

The Kelstone 9-string instrument can be played using both hands, like a piano

It has the look of a lap steel and can certainly be used for playing slide guitar compositions but the relatively low action on the Kelstone 9-string guitar opens up many more opportunities over its 26 frets. Developed by Belgium's Jan Van Kelst, players can strum, pick, hammer-on and pull-off, slide, bend, use both hands like a piano player - or combinations of all such techniques.  Read More

The Acoustic Alarm is a one-off alarm clock, that uses a motorized pic to pluck guitar str...

We’ve heard about alarm clocks that jolt you awake with 113 decibels of sound while shaking your bed, that won’t stop ringing until you’ve done your exercises, or that you have to chase across the room. If you want to be woken in a more civilized, serene fashion, however, you might like the Acoustic Alarm – should it ever become commercially available, that is. Instead of an annoying beep, buzz or radio DJ, the one-off design exercise uses a motorized pic to strum four guitar strings, in order to gently rouse its user.  Read More

Instrument designer and builder Hector Trevino has created a radical open chamber guitar t...

Walk into any guitar shop in any city center and you'll be faced with rows and rows of "me-too" guitars, all built around the same few tried and trusted templates. Instrument designer and builder Hector Trevino has spent the last three years trying to break away from traditional electric guitar design and has now produced what he calls an open chamber guitar. The radical Sonic Wind guitar is said to offer players more resonance and natural sustain than more familiar solid-body electric guitar designs.  Read More

The Kemper Profiling Amp

Since the late 90s, the holy grail of music technology companies like Line 6 and others has been to digitally re-create guitar amplifiers so that hundreds of iconic tones could be stored in one box and used in the studio or live. Unfortunately, the dynamic behavior and feel of a tube amp is an extremely complex system to understand and while many thousands of guitar amp modellers have been sold due to the sheer convenience, they could not be said to be entirely convincing. In September, a new product called the Kemper Profiling Amp will hit the streets that aims to do away with that complexity and within 30 seconds perfectly re-create any guitar amplifier.  Read More

German luthier Ulrich Teuffel demonstrated a new Tesla Prodigy guitar at the recent Summer...

Ever since the bizarre-looking Birdfish guitar was first shown at Frankfurt's Musikmesse in 1995, there's always been a certain buzz surrounding new releases from acclaimed German luthier Ulrich Teuffel. The recent Summer NAMM in Nashville played host to a new high-end, light gray version of the teardrop-like headless Tesla guitar - featuring three custom pickups with noise controls, aircraft grade aluminum hardware and pickup covers, control knobs and fingerboard made from exotic timber.  Read More

The Tepoe Guitar kit includes a guitar (available in four different colors), headphone pra...

During those important early stages of learning to play guitar, when you need to grab every possible opportunity to practice, digital teaching aids like iPerform3D and the upcoming Rocksmith can be on hand whenever the mood grabs you. There are also solutions that make learning available wherever your instrument happens to be - such as Castiv's Sidekick (along with an iPhone and the Rock Prodigy app) - and it's to this camp that the Tepoe Guitar belongs. Rather than positioning the device screen at the end of the fingerboard, inventor Michael Tepoe Nash has sliced away a section of the upper horn of the guitar and placed a small computer there instead.  Read More

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