Electric Guitar is contemporary music’s most iconic and widespread musical instrument – yet sales have gone down dramatically over the last decade – falling from 1.5 million per year to 1 million. Without debating the reasons behind lacklustre performance of guitar biggest brands (Fender, Gibson and PRS all have their share of problems) , fact is that the guitar making industry has survived the last 60 years practically unchanged, not only dramatically lacking in innovation but even failing every pioneer (Ned Steinberger, Ken Parker and more) that dared to take the electric guitar for a spin and change it with new materials, techniques and modern ergonomic concepts.
“Guitar players want simplicity. They want 3-4 knobs, only a few choices.
Once you get past one or two choices, their eyes glaze over. More than three choices, and you’ve lost them.” – Ken Parker
Enter the Fusion Guitar – a truly “in the box” solutions for playing, jamming, recording and playing the electric guitar.
The main concept behind Fusion Guitar is to create an instrument that is as playable as an electric guitar (neck is full scale), add some high quality speakers within the body and use your smartphone, rather than an external amplifier or digital box to generate sounds, effects, record, jam and much more.
A completely self-sufficient solution that seamlessly matches any recent Apple iPhone or iPod touch and uses it as a comprehensive sound engine.
By design, the Fusion Guitar can be played anywhere, either using headphones or relying on its little internal speakers. Judging from video demos, it looks like that great care has been put in making speakers that are actually high quality and full sounding – a common problem of tiny guitar amplifiers is that they sound tiny and boxed and dull.
Hear and see how it sounds like:
Honestly, the demo sounds OK for what it is – a portable, learning and practicing instrument that you can take with you wherever you go. The internal speakers sound is fine, and you can always plug the guitar to an external active speaker for more full blast volume.
Will we see a lot of Fusion Guitars out there soon? That remains to be seen – but it looks like this solution is a right step in the way of convincing even radical traditional guitarists to adopt something new at least for practicing and travelling.
The Fusion Guitar does not have (and rightfully so) a proprietary software for your iPhone – it relies on any user choice out there, so as a player you can pick your favourite modeller and play.
There are plenty of valid alternatives already on the market: Positive Grid’s Bias and JamUp, IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube, and many more.
Android support is coming in the future – real time audio is a very recent addition to Google’s mobile OS, so for now you’re limited to iPhone / iPod Touch.
The guitar is already available in the US for $ 1399 – coming in both Maple and Rosewood fingerboard variants.