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Gibson: World's first self-tuning (robot) acoustic guitar


BigKahune

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Gibson latest email news letter included the following story:

"The World Premier of the World's First Self-Tuning Acoustic <link>

I'm back in Berlin for a few days to visit friends and check out some new technology. Luck was with me, because I showed up just as Chris Adams and Tony from Tronical were testing out a prototype of an acoustic guitar with the PowerTune Robot tuning — the same technology made famous in the Gibson Robot Guitar and Dark Fire guitar. Read More... <link>"

 

Unfortunately, the links to the full story are broken

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Blogs/Dark-Fire--The-Inside-Story/February-2009/World-Premiere-of-the-first-acoustic-guitar-with-R.aspx

 

Here's the online version of the newsletter which has a photo:

https://app.e2ma.net/app/view%3ACampaignPublic/id%3A4528.1765371603/rid%3A0f087f5f11c97e7e9c98b025e5ca94fa

 

Update 2/28: Video link: Video: http://www.gibson.com/files/aablogimages/robotguitar.mov

 

What gives? Anybody got more info?

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022609_robot-acoustic.jpg

 

 

Robot Acoustic The World Premier of the World's First Self-Tuning Acoustic

I'm back in Berlin for a few days to visit friends and check out some new technology. Luck was with me, because I showed up just as Chris Adams and Tony from Tronical were testing out a prototype of an acoustic guitar with the PowerTune Robot tuning — the same technology made famous in the Gibson Robot Guitar and Dark Fire guitar. Read More...

 

 

Another version here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98I808GSGQk

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022609_robot-acoustic.jpg

 

 

Robot Acoustic The World Premier of the World's First Self-Tuning Acoustic

I'm back in Berlin for a few days to visit friends and check out some new technology. Luck was with me' date=' because I showed up just as Chris Adams and Tony from Tronical were testing out a prototype of an acoustic guitar with the PowerTune Robot tuning — the same technology made famous in the Gibson Robot Guitar and Dark Fire guitar. Read More... [/i']

 

 

Another version here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98I808GSGQk

 

thanks!

 

I think the robot tuning (I can imagine a lot of the anti Robot posters jeering at me for this) is going to change everything.

 

An acoustic Piano, Harp and also a Harpsichord with this technology is going to make life musically superior. Sadly it makes me think though of all the blind people trained to tune Pianos at college being out of business one day :)

 

Matt

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http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Blogs/Dark-Fire--The-Inside-Story/February-2009/World-Premiere-of-the-first-acoustic-guitar-with-R.aspx

 

Hey, the link finally worked, although I got the error message and hit reload, the page did come up. Yes, some jokes about newfangled electronic technology on an acoustic, but for most that play with open/alt tunings (and there are plenty), this tech is definitely interesting. The prototype "has three banks of tuning, but the inventors are toying with the idea of adding yet another bank, as alternate tunings are so popular with acoustic guitars." Amen. Anyway, the page includes a video of the prototype in action.

Video: http://www.gibson.com/files/aablogimages/robotguitar.mov

It's a dreadnought Epiphone. Yes, that's not a type-o. The prototype is an Epiphone. Looks like a spruce top (possibly with mahogany or maybe rosewood back and sides - from what I saw through sound hole). The fretboard and bridge appear to be ebony and the fretboard has pearloid trapazoid inlays starting on the first fret. The neck and body are bound in white and the headstock is black with a pearloid "Epiphone" script inlay and some sort of eliptical 'crown' inlay. The truss cover sports an Epi "E" symbol. The finish is antique burst on black with two control knobs and a MCK knob mounted on the edge of the left lower bout (high E deck side). I couldn't see any other external pickup/preamp controls. There's also some kind of magnetic pickup mounted on the deck at the very end of the neck (in the space between the sound hole and the neck). The author says there's also a Piezo underneath the bridge. Other than that, the rest of the deck and bridge have what looks like a normal acoustic setup - even the saddle looks like bone. The black tuners look exactly like the black Dark Fire tuners. "A stereo jack carries both outs on a stereo cable, like the Dark Fire." The camera got up close and this protype is very well made - production run quality. The video showed Chris Adams of Tronical dialing up an open tuning and then playing without amplification (it sounded to me to be without amp) - the sound was bright and powerful, reminding me of my old '72 Epiphone FT-165 12string Bard. Impressive to say the least. The video ends with this text: "Please note: This is a prototype. Pricing and availability will be announced later this year." I am now very interested to see the production model - Epi or Gibson? ... Or both?

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For some reason, I get errors on that link to the video. So, I cannot see the prototype. But, it sounds like you are describing something very similar to either the John Lennon EJ-160E or my guitar (with a different finish), the Masterbilt AJ-500R.

 

I could see them using a "cheaper" guitar for a prototype -- thus, the Epi. Who knows what guitar the electronics will eventually be placed. But, I think, given the electronics cost a few buck$$, that the eventual guitar would be some $1200 to $2000 model or even more (w/o the electronics). So, why not the J-45 or the Hummingbird? If it is to be an Epiphone, I would bet some form of a Masterbilt.

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This is nice! really nice!

 

That means that the technology will be more and more present and more and more in demand, which will raise the value of the first gen GORs..mouahah

 

I am proud to know that my #336 helped in paving the way :)

 

Now if you're reading this STOP selling the GORs LE for 1,300 on eBAY!!!

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That means that the technology will be more and more present and more and more in demand, which will raise the value of the first gen GORs..mouahah

 

???

odd logic - rather like saying once automobiles become popular - my Model T will be more valuable than a new Ferrari.

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???

odd logic - rather like saying once automobiles become popular - my Model T will be more valuable than a new Ferrari.

 

Nah, that is like saying once your automobiles will become popular and they all use a variant of the Charger engine, the first car that featured a Charger engine will become a collectible because it will be seen as the car that started it all :)

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I think Elantric is right on this one... Model T vs Ferrari.

 

Related to the topic, however... I have said many times, and previously on the forum, that if I were Gibson, I'd put this technology on everything and as fast as possible. I'd want to dominate the marketplace. I think this technology is not going away any time soon. No way. It's genius evolution, in my opinion. It's a way to bridge into the (unknown) future of instument development.

 

I think the battery is the real problem... It's too big! In time, I believe all the other electronics will be able to get very small so that they won't even interfere with the qualities of a hollow body, acoustic guitar at all (as I DO think they interfere now). That battery, however,... It's got to get down to the size of a 9-volt and even smaller, yet still be able to retain the power necessary to drive the stepper tuners.

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the last charge of my robot battery was in November and it's still half-way charged (playing it about 4 or 5 times a week, swapping standard and alt tunnings). That's impressive in my book. But yes, I to am concerned about the reliability of the robot machinery and its accompanying electronics.

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I was referring to the electronics and, especially, the battery as being too big. I think the size and even the heat totally interfere with the principles of a hollow body guitar... the woods, the vibrations, tonal qualities, the body shapes... I think there should be very little in the guitar. Maybe, I'm wrong here.... Or stubborn.

 

My present accoustical guitar has two esonic pickups. There are a couple of thin wires inside which connect to the two jacks and a small, rather thin controller which uses a 9 volt battery. Even this is a first for me and I waited until 2007 to try it out. Based on the LPs, the Tronical stuff is big, heavy, and that battery has to throw off heat. (I wonder if it will dry out the wood where it gets attached)?

 

While I'm an avid fan of Tronical (I think it's genius); it extends only for the "solid body", electric/tronic guitars. I have absolutely NO interest in today's Tronical package with a hollow body, accoustic guitar at all. Conceptually, yes! As it stands today and even the "forseeable" future, nope. The stuff has to be tiny, thin, light, in my opinion.

 

(However, I may look again after a decade, or, "Version 10" Tronical. But, that might not be practical for me by then).

 

----------

 

Oh, BigKahune: I tried again with QuickTime and Windows Media Player. Both recognize the file but both show a "black" movie. Perhaps I need a codec. I'm not going to bother now that I see your photos. Yep The John Lennon model, I'd say.

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