Summer NAMM begins Thursday. I will be attempting to get my report out as soon as possible, but I couldn’t wait to let Guitar Moderne readers know about this reissue of a legendary piece of kit from the 70s—The Gizmotron.
Originally invented in the mid-1970s by Lol Creme and Kevin Godley of 10cc, the Gizmotron promised infinite sustain and the ability to create “authentic sounds of such stringed instruments as violins, violas and cellos”.
The company that originally manufactured the commercial version released the product 1979. Poorly engineered, unreliable, and suffering from various manufacturing problems, it became commercial failure and the Gizmotron disappeared into obscurity. In 2004, the device caught the attention of Aaron Kipness, who managed to obtain a small collection of original Gizmotrons, all of them in various states of disrepair.
In 2013, Kipness assembled a small team of engineers to restore, reverse engineer, and ultimately design a new and improved version of the Gizmotron using modern materials and manufacturing methods. Using original patent drawings and the units in Aaron’s collection as a reference, the team solved long-standing design problems with the original Gizmotron, while several innovations were made to improve its sound, functionality and reliability. The end result is the Gizmotron 2.0, a device.
From the evidence of the website videos, the Gizmotron 2.0 sounds very different from a Sustaniac system—more natural, less electronic. Neither better nor worse, it seems to be worth purchasing as an addition, to place on a second guitar, or instead if natural is your thing.