I'm pretty excited to see a more progressive luthier in our SD weekly series. I've got a couple of questions.
1. The first of your guitars I played years ago was a Korean model and its quality really shocked me and to see a Seymour Duncan JB humbucker and locking tuners and a Piezo in that price point was a first. Was it hard to find a Korean vendor with decent quality control to bring your guitars to lower price point without sacrificing the quality your company is known for?
2. How long have you worked with SD putting their pickups in your guitars? From day one or was it a gradual choice during R&D? Seems like you have been using duncans for some time.
3. Do you see the Iguitar technology evolving to benefit all players with all styles? Or does it take a certain type of player to really benefit from so many features and to accept such new technology?
4. What is your favorite Duncan pickup?
#1: Gibson SG Classic [Antiquity P-90 Set]
#2: Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster [Tonerider TRT2 Set]
#3: Hamer Sunburst MIK [Pearly Gates Set]
#4: Agile AL-2000 [59/JB Set]
#5: Fender Robert Cray Stratocaster [Stock Singles]
Amp Head: Egnater Tweaker 15 [Tung-Sol & JJ Tubes]
Amp Cabinet: Chilly Bird Pro Audio Oversized Closed Back 1x12 [Eminence Wizard]
Brim Pedaltrain Mini: Pitchblack, Dual unLTD, SUF Violet Ramshead, R-S Phaser, TC Flashback. Pod HD Desktop.
Thanks for your time, I think the iGuitar is one of the coolest ideas I've seen in a while, even though I've never gotten to test it out.
The idea of an iBass is awesome to me too, but I like more "classic" styled basses. Are we going to see any other models besides the i2000's?
Avatar supplied by Eliza Frye
I see there's a lotta other questions stacked up here... mostly about the technology aspects... so I'll ask one about actual design!
Many years ago at a guitar show I played Elliott Randalls axe and it blew me away. Loved it. Had to have one and then played an MC1, realized what they cost & being a broke college student it just wasn't going to happen.
Anyway... one of the things that knocked me out was just how comfortable the instrument was to hold. Space age without being too far-out from the traditional stuff we're all used to.
How did ya'll come up with the idea for the curved body?
Were there any previously scrapped designs before you arrived at the current radius?
J. 'Moose' Kahrs
Our guitars feature individual a piezo pickups for each string, either RMC or Graphtech Ghost. Using a piezo to capture string information for conversion to midi has a quicker response than the externally mounted magnetic (GK type of) pickups and results in lower latency.
We have thought about creating our own software, amp modeling, software.,etc but there are many great solutions available already and the market is already quite crowded. Just like when we started our business,we thought about making our own pickups, but decided to go with the already esatblished and excellent pickup makers like Seymour Duncan.
It is very, very hard to answer the 'favorite guitar' question because it really depends on what type of music or song in that moment. I can reduce it to a few. My main and most versatile 'go to' guitar is an early C-90P.13 as shown here http://iguitar.com/CustomShop/custom.asp - it is HSH,
I can get a JAZZ jazz tone with a combination of the Neck hum and RMC piezo bridge, amazing "stratish flavors" by tapping the hums and combining with the singles and of course a screaming lead tone from the JB (through my Groove Tube Solo 75)
Neck pickup is a Seymour Duncan Alnico II:
Middle pickup is Seymour Duncan Alnico II single:
Bridge pickup is a Seymour Duncan JB:
The goal of the C-90 design was to give you the following '7 really cool and useable' sound combinations, most guitarists rarely use more than 3!
1 - Neck humbucker
2 - Neck humbucker split and middle (in the classic Stratty realm)
3- Neck humbucker split and Bridge hum split ( 2 singles - in the classic Tele realm )
4 - Bridge humbucker split and middle (the other classic Stratty realm)
5 - Bridge humbucker
1A - Neck and Bridge humbucker
2A - Neck humbucker split, middle and Bridge
The push/pull knob on the C-90P is not a coil tap, it 'adds' the bridge humbucker to the whatever the 5 way switch is doing.
(see enclosed pick up configuration sheet)
In Position 1A, the 5 way switch gives you the the neck humbucker, by pulling the push/pull knob it 'adds' the bridge humbucker.
In Position 2A, the 5 way switch give you the the neck humbucker automatically tapped as a single coil and the middle single together. Again, by pulling the push/pull knob it 'adds' the bridge humbucker so in 2A you get single, single, hum all three at the same time.
I also use this guitar in combination with a 13pin system (GR-33 and VGA-7 amp ) where there are limitless, limitless, creative tonal possibilities.
We have a number of artists that have adopted the mag/piezo combination. I showed this combo to Russ Freeman from the Rippingtons and it has become a signature tone for him. John Abercrombie has also adopted this mag/piezo combo and it can be heard on many of his recordings, John prefers the Graphtech. Burr Johnson, another amazing guitarist, adn Axon endorser also prefers the Graphtech system
Ray Memmel did the Universe inlay (with emphasis on MARS on the 12th fret
Other 'go to' guitars include:
DC/1 Serial #2
P-5 Mandolin Serial #1
Green iGuitar9.13 model - I used this at every major trade show, NAMM, Frankfurt, etc. from 2000 thru 2005 it is like and old friend.
Red iGuitar8.13. USB - my first USB model and a truly special guitar
and lastly a C-90P.USB - this is my working sample on our next generation of iGuitar.USB
I have a question for you, Pat. Can you talk about the two patents you've recently been awarded? What do they cover?
Which guitarists tone and feel really make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up?
Just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me.
I'm in the process of building my own 13-pin/piezo guitar and your site helped in the decision making process.
One question; what is the likelihood of you guys doing an all-composite type guitar?
2000 ES335LE Teal Blue, 2009 Gibson LP Trad Pro HCS, 2007 Edwards LP-130LTS/RE Lemon Drop, 2010 Gibson '50's Tribute Studio Goldtop.
Carvin V3, Bogner Alchemist, Egnater Rebel 30, Peavey Classic 30, Dave Hunter Two-Stroke, Digitech GNX3, Carvin T100
I thought of the 'iGuitar' name back in 1998 and subsequently trademarked it. As we began to offer more technology in our guitars, such as piezo, 13pin and even 5 pin midi ( briefly ) I realized that to many guitarists, the word 'MIDI' carried some negative feel (mostly because they probably tried an early midi guitar setup in the 80's and did not like it)
So, with the iGuitar name, we wanted guitarists to think: a new, fun type of versatile guitar, connecting them to both hardware synths and the desktop music environment, either MAC or PC.
The best compliment that we continue to receive about our guitars is when it becomes their 'go to' guitar. As a small company, it is huge when a customer says "this is all I play, I sold my ______"
I got started because my two main interests have always been music and electronics, I repaired my first guitar when I was 10 ( thank you Radio Shack ) and always wanted to know how things worked. I began to work on guitar and amp repairs for my guitar students and friends - later went to work for GIbson and then founded Brian Moore and finally iGuitar, Inc.
The things that sets the iGuitar apart aside from the technology are the same unique design elements we use in our custom shop:
- Comfort: design elements such as the comfort contoured top, sculpted headstock
-Quality: it is manufactured in an ISO 9002 certified factory and then we add Sperel tuners and Seymour Duncan pickups
- Setup: every guitar is set up and inspected at out NY faciity. Each guitar goes though the same detailed check list as our custom shop guitars.
Our most overrated tool: the cylindrical top cutter (glorified router)
Most underrated - the original MC1 output jack snake tool
I have several mandos, my top instuments are my own P5 model
an old Gibson Style A, an old Flatiron built by Steve Carlson before he sold to Gibson and a Breedlove
My advice to a younger luthier would be to learn from the masters, do what you love to do, design and create and experiment. We all learn from our failed attempts, they are usually our best teachers.
If I could go back in time to a builders shop it would probably be Lloyd Loars shop where he created the early mandolin family instruments.
The next steps for iGuitar will included built in USB Midi, and a complete USB wireless system
Our iGuitar.USB is 'plug and play; it is veyr user friendly
I received two US Patents so far and they are all based on making the 'guitar-to-computer' experience EASY
See patents #7,241,948, & 7,563,977
Given the nature of your research in computer/guitar interfaces, I think I have the most appropriate question. Please stare at the Seymour Duncan logo while answering, it will record your responses.
You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise, Patrick. It's crawling toward you. You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back.
The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. You're not helping! Why is that, Patrick?
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc_204tXHZY )
Last edited by Jet-Jaguar; 09-16-2009 at 10:51 AM.
"Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised."
- Marilyn Manson
You lost me there, Jet-Jaguar...
see patents #7,241,948, & 7,563,977
We will certainly work with Seymour Duncan on the magnetic pickups for our next genertion iGuitar.
a friend of mine has a semi hollow/hollow single cutaway brian moore and ive never seen another one like it. his name is Robert Gerhards but he goes by Cue most of the time. do you know what model im refering to? is it a total custom guitar? it looks almost like a thinline jazz box
Thank you very much for the informative reply!
There are many types of devices that can be installed in a guitar, just be aware of how much current it draws lest you be changing batteries too often.
There are already some products out there with built in mp3 recorders such as the Ovation iDea guitar ( check their site for exact details)
gear list in profile
"no seymour - no tone ... know seymour - know tone!"
Is it not the glory of the people of America that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience?" - James Madison - Federalist #14