The 2022 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition started with 26 semifinalists from 16 different countries. After an online showcase of the semifinalists, a committee of Georgia Tech faculty and public voting decided which creators would compete at the final stage. Nine advanced to the competition’s final round. They met on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 11 and 12, 2022, to compete for $10,000 in prizes. While none of these won, they do indicate some possible future directions for making music with guitar skills.
With acoustic guitars largely still based in centuries-old technology, there is rarely an opportunity to talk about them in Guitar Moderne. Thus, I was happy to feature the Lava guitar in my NAMM report a couple of years ago. The Asian-based manufacturer Lava presents more like a technology company than a luthier-based enterprise, but either in spite of that or because of it I find them intriguing.
I deem November 4th Fuzz Day, as two major pedal companies have chosen it to reveal their latest entries into the fuzz world. The new Hizumitas is a collaboration with Wata of the Japanese band Boris and EarthQuaker Devices. It ticks off the Big Muff box, while Boss’ new FZ-1W Waza Fuzz resides more in Fuzz Face territory.
The traditional product release cycle is a thing of the past. Thanks to the internet and YouTube, companies are no longer bound to the standard of unveiling major releases at the January NAMM show. Though Boss was not at the Summer show, they picked a time that coincided with the Nashville exhibition to unveil two new products that should be of special interest to modern guitarists: a guitar with their SY synth technology built in, the EURUS GS-1 Electronic Guitar; and a bluetooth expression pedal, the EV-1-WL Wireless MIDI Expression Pedal.
Here are a couple of comprehensive looks at these innovative devices:
Visionary Instruments’ MIDI controller guitar appeared at NAMM in recent years. Rob O’Reilly has apparently also been making instruments with MIDI control functions for at least five years but, it was only thanks to Pete Thorn mentioning the Paul David demo that I discovered this. David’s demo may leave you drooling and there are a bunch of video demos on the company site that make this instrument very appealing. At €2,990 (@$3500) it is not cheap but for the amount of tech seems quite reasonable. Let me know if you would like to see an interview with Mr. O’Reilly.
Click more for Rob himself demoing the features in depth.