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


BigKahune

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Gibson's latest email newsletter 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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When they make one that can tune *and* play itself, then I'll be interested. I won't buy one, but I won't need to since the guitar will be able to play itself and won't need me to make music.

 

After that, I suppose the next logical step will be to have a guitar that can also listen to itself. And then one that complains that it's playing too loud.

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When they make one that can tune *and* play itself' date=' then I'll be interested. I won't buy one, but I won't need to since the guitar will be able to play itself and won't need me to make music.

 

After that, I suppose the next logical step will be to have a guitar that can also listen to itself. And then one that complains that it's playing too loud.[/quote']

 

They should make one that can join the forum so we can ask it what it thinks about bridge pins and stuff !!!! #-o

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If I had enough talent to play 4-5 hours on stage every night I could hire an oiled up Playboy bunny to tune my guitar inbetween songs. It would stimulate the economy by giving someone a job, it would increase attendance due to the eye candy, it would make me forget I'm almost 50, it would make me finally stop losing teeth by attrition and buy dentures because I'd be grinning from ear to ear all evening, my guitars would smell nice and would be in tune.

 

Much better than a microchip, sorry.

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Sorry.. for me it is a negative. How can you justify a new guitar when you start learning alternate tunings. I mean come on... there goes your arguement saying... "I need to keep it in DADGAD honey! I don't want to always be tuning and retuning just to play a different song!"

 

With a guitar that can tune to what you want, the way my wife thinks, it would be the only guitar I would need.... No thanks!!!

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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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For some people I would imagine this would be a dream guitar. However, I like my manual simple tuning guitars even though it may be somewhat out of tune after playing for a while - after 4 or 5 hours my fingers are too sore to play any more.

 

Even though I work with current technology at work, I am an Electrical Engineer, but do not have a pocket protector. Thought would get that out before anyone commented. I believe in the KISS rule and the more electronics you install on equipment the more chance it will fail. I would suspect that if one of the tuners toasted it would be quite expensive to repair vs a normal tuner.

 

Anyway cool guitar and I hope it does well.

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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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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been to more than a few shows that were an extra 20 minutes too long because the performer had to make small talk while changing between alternate tunings from song to song. I suppose the Robot tuning would solve that problem. I think it's a great idea, and could be incredibly useful in performances.

 

Red 333

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i'll never forget seeing hot tuna acoustic at the tampa theatre prolly 20 years ago. jorma had a j50 on stage and nothing else. after every song he would re-tune and about halfway through the show, while he was re-tuning, a voice from the balcony hollered "quit jaggin' off". the crowd went silent, jack never moved a muscle, jorma sat there for a minute while everyone thought he was gonna walk. he pondered and said, "the guy's got a point" and then began tuning again. for some reason, i'll never forget that. i find it rather funny. i'd love to hear jorma's take on the robot acoustic.

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I agree that tuning your guitar "strengthens the bond" but you really don't need to be doing it on stage. Making out and groping your significant other strengthens your bond but do you need to do it on stage in front of an audience wanting a performance? No, if people aren't involved with your intimate guitar tuning experience you're losing them. And trust me, the only way to keep the audience involved while tuning is picking six hot females out of the audience to turn the pegs for you while jumping up and down and pouring water on them. I'm all for having the guitar tune itself to hurry the process up so you can move on to what the audience wants you to do... PLAY. I think they need to move the tone knobs and mck up on the side and out of the way. Least noticable the better, people buy acoustics because they are raw wood, steel, and man... on an electric guitar, sure show off the tech and flashing lights... on an acoustic people want that homey country natural look. I think they'll sell a lot more with the hidden approach, I love my DF and wouldn't change a thing... but if they don't hide the controls a little better and make it look like a natural, normal acoustic... I won't purchase one of these

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I agree that tuning your guitar "strengthens the bond" but you really don't need to be doing it on stage. Making out and groping your significant other strengthens your bond but do you need to do it on stage in front of an audience wanting a performance? No' date=' if people aren't involved with your intimate guitar tuning experience you're losing them. And trust me, the only way to keep the audience involved while tuning is picking six hot females out of the audience to turn the pegs for you while jumping up and down and pouring water on them. [/quote']

 

You sir, need to get laid :-$/

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