Folding travel guitar rocks onboard recording, built-in speaker and Bluetooth
There are a number of options available to guitarists who want to take a six-string buddy along for a trip into the wilds, but there are usually compromises to be made. The Mogabi smart guitar travels a different path by cramming all manner of useful functionality into a portable package.
The original Mogabi appears to have launched in South Korea toward the middle of 2020, and has since been refined and updated for the local market. Now the folks behind the smart guitar have launched on Kickstarter to bring the latest iteration to the US.
This travel guitar has a lot to offer, but essentially comes as two joined parts – a 20-fret mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and picking zone and an audio box.
When folded for travel in the supplied fabric case, the instrument measures 27.7 x 3.3 x 3.5 in (703 x 84 x 88 mm) but expands to 41.9 x 12.6 x 1.8 in (1,065 x 320 x 45 mm) when opened up and the upper and lower wings are mounted to the main body for playing comfort, in a similar fashion to Yamaha's Silent Guitar. Either way, you're looking at hauling some 5.95 lb (2.7 kg) of smart guitar around.
Pickers on the move can engage in quiet practice by plugging in headphones, or can power on the 40-mm full-range speakers with a passive bass radiator to rock out. String action is picked up by a piezo sensor, there's a cooked-in reverb effect, and the instrument features onboard recording capabilities with 32 GB of internal storage for up to 300 songs.
Tracks can be edited, tweaked and polished using a smart device or computer connected over USB. There's Bluetooth as well, giving users the choice to play solo or with backing tracks streamed from a smartphone. And a 3.5-mm microphone jack allows players to add vocals to a performance or recording.
Naturally, a mobile app has also been developed to extend the experience, bringing such things as editing, mixing, uploading and sharing.
Users can expect up to six hours of continuous noodling from a single charge of the 2,600-mAh Li-ion batteries.
The Mogabi smart guitar is being offered on Kickstarter with either nylon or steel strings, pledges start at US$599. Two headstock choices are also available – a classic rectangular shape with three tuning machines mounted to the upper and lower edges, and a funky round number with a hole in the middle and tuning machines flowing around the curve.
The campaign has already met its modest funding goal, so if everything else goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in July.