Intelligent guitar brings digital and analog worlds together
There have been a number of attempts to add digital sound processing tech to analog guitars, to create all-in-one rockers, make mobile MIDI machines, or to give players numerous guitar tones in one instrument. The latest hybrid shredder comes from Shenzhen's Mooer Audio in the shape of the GTRS 800 Series.
The Strat-shaped smart guitar has been designed to "inherit the beauty of traditional guitars and utilize the convenience of modern technology." It rocks an American basswood body in white, pink, green or blue, a roasted maple bolt-on neck topped by a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, and a humbucking bridge pickup and two single-coil pickups selected using a 5-way blade switch for extra tonal flexibility even when the digital circuitry isn't engaged.
Mooer says that the intelligent processor at the heart of the instrument has been developed with master guitar builders and the company's own sound engineers. The digital technology is powered by a 4,000-mAh Li-ion battery for up to 10 hours of continuous use per charge over USB-C, and the guitar will of course function as a standard HSS electric if the digital tech is powered down or the battery runs out of juice. That USB-C port can also be used to record your chops to a computer running music production software.
A good number of tone presets are included, which are dialed in using a Super Knob that illuminates when active and replaces one of the two tone knobs usually found on Strat-like guitars. Over a hundred effects are on offer, along with a bunch of emulations, some percussion sounds, a metronome, and an 80-second looper.
It's not clear at this stage how all that digital magic outputs from the guitar, though no doubt such things will be cleared up prior to launch.
Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity has been cooked in, enabling the instrument to be paired with a companion iOS/Android app running on a smartphone for additional tone control, live streaming possibilities, recording opportunities and quiet practice via plugged-in headphones.
And to help switch digital tones while your hands are occupied with playing, a wireless footswitch is also being made available. Other accessories on the horizon include a branded gig bag and USB-C magnetic cable.
After sending out prototypes to musicians around the world for testing, and tweaking the design based on their feedback, Mooer Audio is now getting ready to launch the 800 Series on Indiegogo. We've no more information for the moment, but the video below gives a brief taste of what's to come.
Update June 25: The GTRS Intelligent Guitar has launched on Indiegogo, where pledges start from HKD 3,990 (about US$515). If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in August.
Source: Mooer Audio