Infinite sustain, a Moog filter, and — metallurgy? Welcome to the world of the Moog Guitar. It’s not a digital instrument, and it’s not a synth, but I’d say its unique focus on timbral shaping places it squarely within the interests of folks who read this site, and keeps it true to its Moog name. Too bad its price will likely keep it out of reach for many of us.

As a number of you wrote in to remind us, Moog Music’s new guitar has arrived — yes, actually a guitar. The product description even feels obligated to explain that it’s “Not a guitar synthesizer, not a MIDI guitar or an effects processor; players are intimately connected to The Moog Guitar because it works its magic on the strings themselves.” (Well, hey, some of us are pretty intimately connected to a Moog synthesizer, too — and kind of fascinating that you can have that relationship with something that doesn’t have strings. But this is a guitar story, so I’ll move on.)

Paul Vo is the creator of the instrument and apparently approached Moog with the design, working with Moog’s engineering team and Zion Guitars’ Dale Brown. And then they start talking metallurgy:

The Moog strings that come with guitar have a specific metallurgy designed to work with the Moog Pick-ups. Other strings will work in emergency situations but the guitar will respond best with Moog strings.

Additional note: I personally am inclined to believe this claim about strings despite some grumpy comments below; the difference of specific strings makes a big difference on any instrument. Add pickups — again, on any instrument — and that difference is even more pronounced.

So, what makes it a Moog Guitar?

  • Infinite sustain on every string, which has more “power” than other implementations. Sustain is switchable between the “infinite” mode and controlled and mute settings.
  • Muting: either sustain just on the notes on which you’re playing, or a unique mute mode for “staccato articulations”
  • Harmonic blends allow controlled harmonic sounds from the strings in the other modes
  • Built-in Moog ladder filter, controllable by foot pedal or CV input.
  • Pickup controls: Piezo, Bridge only, Out of Phase, In Phase, Neck only

The sonic controls sound terrific — not completely unprecedented from what I’ve been told, but still something special. Sticker shock, though, will keep those without deep pockets away; the instrument is US$6495. It may well be worth it, but I know at least some of you have trouble fitting that in your budget.

For further evidence that Moog Music is generally trying to get guitarists’ attention, the new foot pedal we saw at NAMM was designed to be used with Moog effects boxes to place a suite of guitar-ready effects at a guitarists’ feet. (Of course, this wasn’t exclusively intended for guitarists — keyboardists could use it just as happily — but Moog Music hinted this was part of their target audience.)

The instrument is coming June 20, just in time for summer NAMM in Nashville, a town in which I hear there are several guitarists. (Now, Moog Music, if you ever want to make a Moog Banjo, I’m in, as a native Kentuckian. I bleed bluegrass.)

My mate Ben Rogerson over at Future’s musicradar.com has a good overview:
It’s official: Moog launches Guitar
He compares the sustain to the Fernandes Sustainer product line but notes Moog says their version is unique.

Guitarists, what do you think? Will you be getting one? Will you be drooling over one, even if you can’t afford it?

  • http://www.musicformotion.com/ jbratteson

    Is it just me or is this thing butt ugly? Early 80's gold hardware on and Ibanez looking guitar for $6,000.

    Don't worry if you can't afford this guitar. An e-bow is about $69 and we all have multi track DAWs right?

    Maybe I don't fully get this thing but I'm pretty unimpressed so far.

  • dead_red_eyes

    Ugh, no thanks. As jbratteson states, this thing it butt ugly and looks like some tacky piece of crap Ibanez. And the gold hardware? FAIL.

    Maybe this is for the Steve Vai crowd. Certainly not for anything else.

    I'll stick to my ebow, mosrites and jazzmasters thanks.

  • digital19

    Didn't grab me. Infinite sustain is nice, but these days if you need that grab a loop station, delay pedal and a synth… If this had a really good pitch to midi output I might be interested.

  • http://www.otownmedia.com Richard Lainhart

    I think you're all missing the point. True, it's kinda ugly, and true, it's expensive, although I spoke to Chris Stack about it and he indicated that this price is for the introductory limited-edition version, and that there will be cheaper versions later on.

    The point, though, is that you can't do what this guitar does with Ebows, delays, loopers, and multitracking – it's the only electric guitar that will do true polyphonic infinite sustain, and it does it selectively on individual strings, so you can combine sustain, normal play, and muting on a per-string basis, all in realtime.

    As a performance instrument, it's unique, and I think it sounds gorgeous besides. Who cares what it looks like? It's an instrument, not a necklace. I plan to get one.

  • Malachi

    Huh. Any half-assed bit of engineering can reproduce exactly what I saw and heard in Moog's video. In fact, the so called Mute mode can be reproduced with a piece of hardware every guitarist has; the palm of their hand. At this price point, from what they have demonstrated, it's as bad as that trainer MIDI guitar for beginners that costs more than the average guitar. There is simply no reason for anyone to buy it.

  • Malachi

    Oh, and this bit about the strings. "You can use other strings, but use our 'special' strings." Come on.

  • rogerthat

    yeah that $6000 is for the limited edition collector version so i dont think thats really proper.

    as far as i understand it the Fernedes is a sustainer pickup where as this here moog thing can sustain or mute each string separately?

    plus the last time i checked there arent any new Ebows flying around.

  • Sebastien Orban

    The exclusive string strike me as totally off… "Special" Moog string? No way.

    But well, it may still be a valuable toy. Who know? But at this price, no way.

  • http://www.otownmedia.com Richard Lainhart

    "Huh. Any half-assed bit of engineering can reproduce exactly what I saw and heard in Moog’s video."

    If so, why hasn't anyone?

    "In fact, the so called Mute mode can be reproduced with a piece of hardware every guitarist has; the palm of their hand."

    I'm sorry, but if you truly think that, you just weren't listening – the reverse-sustain mode really sounds nothing like a palm mute.

  • rogerthat

    also- since when is something that could be done ie muting strings ever reason to NOT invent something that could do it for you?

  • Paul Norheim

    Before trying it, I can`t say how good this Moog guitar is. But it seems like most of you are not able to look beyond that 6495 number: you get angry seeing that number, and direct the anger towards the instrument.

  • bliss

    @ Malachi

    Speak for yourself. You have no reason to buy it? Fine. Leave everybody else out of it.

    @ The shit talkers

    The guitar is clearly not for you. And so, Moog Music is your mortal enemy now? Grow up! Or — buy a Moogerfooger and shut the fuck up!

    @ Moog

    You've created a dream! Also, bassists would like some of that sustain, too! ;)

    @ Peter

    If I could afford it, I'd have one by now!

  • dead_red_eyes

    @ Richard – "The point, though, is that you can’t do what this guitar does with Ebows, delays, loopers, and multitracking – it’s the only electric guitar that will do true polyphonic infinite sustain, and it does it selectively on individual strings, so you can combine sustain, normal play, and muting on a per-string basis, all in realtime."

    Totally, and I get that. And I for one would LOVE to have that technology in a couple of my guitars. But for $6495, and housed in a terrible (old) Ibanez ripoff design with gold plating … no way. I think that the technology behind it sounds great, and I love the idea of having the balanced output as well … but I'd much rather see this technology in the hands of Fender & Gibson than Moog, especially if the Moog guitars are going to look not only outdated, but tacky in general. Maybe if they decide to build a couple of other models, drop the gold plated hardware and drop the price by a couple of thousand … I'll bite. Until then, it's a great concept thrown into a terrible design for a guitar.

  • http://www.otownmedia.com Richard Lainhart

    @ dead_red_eyes: "Maybe if they decide to build a couple of other models, drop the gold plated hardware and drop the price by a couple of thousand …"

    I think they will. That is what I was given to understand, at any rate.

  • bliss

    The other thing is that the price is for the limited special edition. Once the general edition models are released, the price will likely come down.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Just want to observe: someone just said they trust Gibson more than Moog on this site. This is likely to be both the first and last time that ever happens. Gibson, if you're listening, soak it up while you still can. :)

    Anyway, I think it's clear this isn't for everyone, and that's fine. But Moog certainly aren't the first to do a pricey, small-production custom guitar with unique features. I think expectations may be higher because of their name (and ironically, people are likely to be *more* skeptical because they're not a guitar name). But some musicians have always been willing to pay extra for something unique. We'll see what the non-limited-edition costs.

    I will say, I absolutely believe special strings can make a difference, just given the nature of strings. I just chuckled at the word "metallurgy" as it gave me images of wizards huddled in a shack out in North Carolina.

  • bliss

    "I just chuckled at the word “metallurgy” as it gave me images of wizards huddled in a shack out in North Carolina."

    LOL!!!

  • http://keithhandy.com Keith Handy

    Peter: obviously the "intimately connected" sentence isn't meant in any anti-synthesizer way (certainly not coming from a synth company). But you have to admit, for a guitarist, the bacon number of objects between his flesh and the oscillator (the string) is 1, whereas for a synthesizer it's at least 3 or 4.

    Some people, particularly classical snobs, are concerned with the bacon number between the oscillator and the listener's eardrums. If you count live amplification, all the studio effects, and all the stages of media duplication, that number gets depressingly outrageous, so I don't bother concerning myself with that one. :)

  • http://keithhandy.com Keith Handy

    Foosnark: that's one of those "one hand clapping" questions, I guess. :)

  • Goobs

    How will it sound and respond? That will establish it's true value.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Goobs: all the first-person reports I've heard have been really terrific — not Moog employees, just musicians who encountered it. But yes, that's absolutely the question. :)

  • AJ

    Droooooooolllll!

  • broberty

    woah

    too much dough

    i use a moog lo pass filter hooked to a cheapo cv rocker pedal

    i have ebows and a sustainer pickup

    i've had these things for years

    what exactly does this do that will be so revolutionary?

    cooler would have been to somehow get it to spit out pitch info to something that spat it out into a moog synth, so you could use it as a controller instead of a keyboard

    now that would be awesome

    moog synth sounds coming from a real guitar as a controller without too much fuss

  • endekks

    Nice features but costs too much. Think I'll torrent it. ^___^

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Mmmmmm, bacon.

    Brilliant points, Keith, but now I just want to build a bacon-powered Arduino controller combination just for an absurdly small inside joke.

    But yes, I got what they were saying, and for what it’s worth, I agree. Actually, I think the ability to get intimate with the instrument through all of those layers is a fascinating design challenge.

  • http://petebrunelli.com pete

    lovely concept, nice execution (no design pleases everyone) , and all I know for sure is that it is a niche instrument. nothing wrong with that! i'm kinda surprised by the flock of haters. i just saw the thread on the ableton board and it is pretty much the same way. weird. from what i have seen it is very different from a Sustainer, and very different from an ebow because it is active (one mode sustains strings being played and mutes the ones not being played, which is pretty heavy). fwiw i have ben playing bass and guitar for over 30 years and am a heavy ebow user. while i don't think that this technology will become widespread, it is still really cool. i commend moog for taking on something like this.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @endekks: ha!

    @pete: there's an extended thread on the Ableton forum about a *guitar* — one that lacks MIDI or any digital functionality? Now that shows this announcement is making a different kind of splash. That's the Moog name for you, I suppose.

  • http://myspace.com/fallsastar foosnark

    What’s the bacon number of a theremin, I wonder?

  • JonYo

    What I want to know is the difference between what this can do, and what one can do with a Fernandes Sustainer guitar. Like, really specifically, what's the difference between the Mood infinite sustain mode, and the primary sustain mode of a Fernandes? (I'm ignoring the mute mode for the moment.)

    I don't have a Fernandes, because when I tried a few out, I was very disappointed by the amount of power, or lack thereof, driving the strings to sustain. You kind of had to help them along with a new attack, it was a bummer.

  • velocipede

    I think Moog realized that the guitar market is massive compared to the synth market and that guitars and guitar-oriented accessories are more likely to help them stay in the black as a business.

    Personally, though, I'll be happy with a Voyager RME.

  • http://petebrunelli.com pete

    JonYo: from the limited clips that I have seen the sustain power seem strong and fast. i don't know why you exclude the mute mode. if there is anything really new about this thing it is that it changes the physical response of the strings. it isn't just an fx pedal.

    another fwiw: i watched the youtube promo clip and one of the players is andre cholmondeley, who is a friend and i have worked with him. i'll see if he has some insight he'd ike to share.

    last thought: moog is one of those companies that is founded on products that could very well have had no commercial potential. the theremin was a novelty, and the original moog synth gear cost as much as a new home. asking them to stick to mainstream affordable technology ignores this tradition. sink or swim they are doing what moog does best.

  • http://www.davidkristian.com D. Kristian

    I have owned lapsteel guitars, and regular guitars, and played them almost exclusively with an eBow, and it is my impression that nothing else (not even a guitar with a Fernandez Sustainiac) sounds like this guitar. If it had been around and affordable when I first got into music, I'm not so certain I would have focused on keyboard instruments.

    The only thing I do not like about the Moog guitar(aside from the steep price) is the gold hardware, but that's just my own taste. Let's hope chrome hardware will be an option in the future.

    The addition of the Moog ladder filter is a nice touch. The only (user supplied) extras I imagine would be required with this instrument would be a good distortion unit, the EH POG, and a delay looper.

  • http://www.davidkristian.com D. Kristian

    Correction: "Fernandes Sustainer" or Sustainiac. http://www.sustainiac.com/

  • teej

    makes total sense for Moog to eek it's way into the guitar world. they are, after all, a HARDWARE company. and it's pretty clear that the days of synthesis hardware are coming to an end. and if you're products don't have at least USB ports then you're going down with the ship. the price is bonkers, not to say that it's not totally amazing and worth it to the likes of Lou Reed et al. i'll simply never know. very interesting.

  • http://keithhandy.com Keith Handy

    As for looks, the gold trim doesn't bother me, but I'm not into that body style or the tiger-like pattern of the wood grain. I think for most people it's associative and subjective; some guitarists don't want to be reminded of 80s hair metal or neo-prog or whatever.

  • http://www.myspace.com/wilsontherocker Evan

    "I will say, I absolutely believe special strings can make a difference, just given the nature of strings. I just chuckled at the word “metallurgy” as it gave me images of wizards huddled in a shack out in North Carolina."

    Yup, that's a pretty fair description of Asheville.

    As a side note, I saw Lou Reed play with his wife, Laurie Anderson last night. His setup was decidedly not fancy as he played an ES-355 through a volume pedal into a Fender amp. Laurie was rockin' the Waldorf Q.

  • Alex

    First of all: I LOVE MOOG SYNTHS! But!This instrument is seriously ugly and expensive. As with almost all of Moog products, the customer must pay so much money for the "brand" for another time…Yes,i believe its a high quality product and a fine instrument, but hey! who are they? they try to sell their first ever guitar at $6000!!!

    As for the look…its certainly a major factor, because music instruments are not like screwdrivers…they are not just tools! They are mediums that help artists to express their ideas and emotions. Instruments must inspire the artist with their look and functions…The artist communicates with his instrument in a much deeper way than a mechanic with his screwdrivers! Ok, some session musicians may not consider that they make art etc…so they might think that they use "tools" to get money…this would be sad IMO…

  • Besenkopf

    This disgusts me. How much would it cost if it wasn't a "Moog?"

  • http://www.nobling.com bling?

    Metallurgy? Seems more like Moog is trying its hand at alchemy. Alchemy is a magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value. Think about it…

    If you ask me those knobs better be SOLID gold for that price tag. And there better be some magic involved too because there isn't beauty of any kind. Biff.

  • Paul Norheim

    You should all remember that this special edition is designed for a certain marked: the Saudi family of princes.

    Please show some patience, and wait for the cheaper editions, especially the J.S.G.H.E.S.E. (Joe Sixpack Guitar Hero of Eternal Sustain Edition), with plastic knobs in many colors (gray is an option) and blinking lights.

    Or the M.A.W.E., the Minimalist All White Edition, where the knobs and those Moog strings are actually transparent – invisable!

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Wow, I really didn't expect this to generate this much controversy. Ironically, I think it's because we have a synth-focused audience.

    Let's forget for a moment that this is a Moog-branded product.

    1. COST: This cost isn't actually astronomical compared to other custom guitars, and we do expect a later edition to be cheaper. If it's not in your price range, hey, no worries — the whole tradition of guitar playing is connected to making sound with what you've got, so more power to you.

    Whether it's "too expensive", well, that's really your personal decision. It's not hard to make an instrument more expensive, in terms of the size of your production run and the materials / assembly techniques you use. Whether it's worth that added expense, I honestly don't know in this case.

    2. STRINGS: I'm sure the strings make a difference, period. There may be other marketing voodoo going on, but I've dealt with instruments (some Renaissance-era) and the way they respond to different strings. Strings *always* make a difference. A pickup makes that difference more stark.

  • Paul Norheim

    I totally agree, Peter.

    We should ALWAYS welcome new kinds of instruments, or interesting modifications of old instruments – like the Haken Continuum or a guitar with indefinite sustain.

    The price is not important: the invention is.

    And if that invention is helping us to create new sounds, people may buy it, and prices go down.

  • Paul Norheim

    "Ironically, I think it’s because we have a synth-focused audience."

    How would the development of the synthesizers look like, if everybody back in the 60`s did nothing but complain about the price and size of those Moog Modulars.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well said, Paul.

    I think there is some resentment in the synth community over the Moog name overpowering everything else. And I think that it's healthy to have some skepticism. There are certainly more affordable synths that may fail to get the attention they deserve, and if you *do* invest in a Moog, you should do it because it's the investment that makes sense. Bob Moog was certainly more about the instrument than the nameplate, so you should buy the instrument.

    But this I see as something else altogether: it's really the new Moog team, Paul Vo's design. For those not in the market, hey, it's a non-issue (and unfortunately, that includes me, seeing as how I can't actually play it)! But for those who are in the market, or who just care about guitars in general, I hope they give it a fair shake.

  • Paul Norheim

    An other aspect here is that it looks like a strategically interesting, and well prepared move from Moog.

    In these days, the MP-201 Multi Pedal is being sent out to the dealers, and that in it`s turn was prepared by the Moogerfoogers. These can be used as modules for synth people (in a modular, or semimodular fashion), but are designed for guitarists, and may be fantastic together with the Multi Pedal, as you have pointed out several times, Peter.

    And then, what can you achieve if you connect the Moogerfoogers with the Multi Pedal, and plug the new guitar into that system?

    So the new guitar seem to have been prepared for a long time, and there is a potential fusion between synths and guitars here, for those who play both instruments.

    I really hope that Moog will succeed in this strategy, given the dire straits economically in the years to come. (And I don`t want to think about all those small, interesting companies who may not survive in the coming two to five years).

    Anyway, I am happy that Moog is choosing this path (analog synths, theremins, and guitar gear), instead of virtual analog synths, keeping this tradition alive and developing it.

    Yeah, I like the Arturia soft synths; soft synths built in hardware etc, but it`s nice that several concepts are developed further at the same time.

    Many guitarists are more conservative than synth people. I wonder how they react to the Moog Guitar?

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  • Alex

    Moog sells its name over all the other features! No they don't make products for astronauts. Their quality is what everyone expects from a high quality instrument, but it isn't space technology…Its unbelievable how Moog and some other companies use their trademark sound and look to raise the price… You wrote that this is a special edition…judging from special edition Moog Voyager, i don't think that the price will be much lower than 1500 euros…and yes 4000 or 4500$ would still be considered as expensive for a company that have never again produce a guitar! I like Moog ideas, but they are priced insanely high for what they really are…They make a quite "basic" monophonic real analog synth like the Voyager which costs almost 3000 euros and its technology and features are from the 60s with added midi…then they sell little phatty which it has even less features (and still monophonic) for 1200 euros! (Its that name effect IMO) Of course they use us because music technology is a relatively small market…

    Its like all the midi controllers in the market with very basic and standard features like knobs faders and some keys with velocity, and companies sell that almost 30 years old technology like it is something from Mars!You get a good 4 octave quality standard midi keyboard with knobs and faders with no less than 300 euros…this isn't cheap at all, and i know from the inside if the specific technology / programming is expensive or not…

  • Kobe

    i agree with mr. norheim. i think most people are offended by the price and subsequently belittle its features. and his comment "How would the development of the synthesizers look like, if everybody back in the 60`s did nothing but complain about the price and size of those Moog Modulars." -is spot on.

    if this thing wasn't ugly & wasn't so damn expensive, it would be clearly praised as an awesome addition.

    anyone who says "big deal, you can do all this with Ebows, delays, loopers, and multitracking", maybe, but not in real-time, or at least not as easily. sure, the beatles did the white album on a 4-track..you get the point. as a guitarist i'd welcome this guitar, it all sounds very nice and USABLE. at least in my humble and subjective opinion, this is somewhat of a slight evolution of the guitar that i find at least relevant. i've seen other guitars that have had more arbitrary, hokier, more novelty technological implementations that i at least personally wouldn't have much interest in using.

    i do think they should have picked a more graceful, artistic, & less generic design however. the whole ibanez thing is so disposable. while it's the sound that matters most, i think the design will put people off regardless. also, i don't see why this thing couldn't have been designed in a more aesthetically charming form and still sound great.

    also, in my opinion, i think throwing a huge price up there is a successful bit of marketing. it gets all you people talking about it & creates a buzz. & as has been admitted, not only will they be releasing cheaper ones anyways in the future, they can walk down the price curve, finding out how much they can get away with charging whilst selling the most units. -the very same thing apple did with the iphone when it came out. $600 at first, whoever would pay that did, then when they felt that they'd sell more by dropping the price, they did, maximizing profit. -i think this is the same thing.

  • Amos

    Alex wrote: "Moog sells its name over all the other features! No they don’t make products for astronauts. Their quality is what everyone expects from a high quality instrument, but it isn’t space technology…"

    Actually, this is only partially correct. :-) I know for a fact that the NASA Human Factors Research and Technology Division bought a Moog Voyager, specifically to synthesize new alert sounds to communicate vital status info to the crew of the Space Shuttle. So, there you go; products for astronauts. (the researcher who is doing this told me that the current alert sounds date from the 80's and "frankly, they suck." Clearly, astronauts prefer analog…)

  • gbsr

    no way that you can do that with a guitar. ebows or no ebows.

    im so getting one.

  • Vanceg

    I LOVE the feature set. I just can't get anywhere near the pricepoint. And that's from someone who plays custom made guitars (which still don't cost me anywhere near $6500). I look forward to the sustain technology appearing in lower priced models or (hopefully) being available separately so that I might put it in a guitar designed more ergonomically (ergonomics are the primary reason I use custom designed guitars…if you think the Moog is ugly, you would REALLY hate the oddball shaped guitars I use. Point: I don't care about the looks, I want the function! )

  • Wheat Williams

    I have played the Moog Guitar at the Moog factory in Asheville, NC on a visit I made two weeks ago.

    It produces sounds like a Fernandes Sustainer or EBow but it senses which strings you are fretting and mutes whatever strings you are not fretting. You can fret one note on one string, which will sing with sustain, and leave the other five strings open, and they will not ring out at all.

    It does this silently and unobtrusively. There is nothing else like it, and nothing else produces the sounds it can make. It can also be made to produces eerie harmonics unlike anything you've ever heard while listening to a cranked-up or feeding-back guitar. And it produces these sounds completely cleanly, with no distortion whatsoever, if that's what you want.

    This may be the sound Alan Holdsworth has always been trying to create.

    I remember reading that in 1952 Les Paul joined with Gibson to make a heavy, dense solid body guitar which could produce enough sustain and legato to enable him to play solos that could compete in a band with a saxophone or trumpet. Of course Les wanted a sound with no distortion or overdrive.

    The Moog Guitar can do this sort of thing. I hope Les is paying attention.

    That said, it creates a completely new kind of guitar sound that nobody's heard before. Will this be a sound that lots of guitarists are willing to pay big money to acquire?

    The other thing I don't know is how good this guitar will sound through an amp and effects without the sustain mode enabled. Will it produce a good-enough regular-guitar rock 'n roll rhythm tone for the whole song, before you crank up the sustain for your face-melting solo?

    I believe Moog has done something wonderful here. After Summer NAMM I'm sure a lot of guitarists will be registering their impressions on blogs like this one.

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  • Vanceg

    The more I look and listen, the more I want one. It may be a tool only a limited number of guitarists want, but I am surely one of them.

  • Amos

    I think folks are getting too hung up on the "metallurgy" buzzword… all this means is that the real secret behind the Moog Guitar's sustain is that the pickups are physically pushing and pulling on the strings using electromagnetism… so if you use strings with a higher ferrous-metal content, it makes them easier to move electromagnetically. So the strings aren't the heart of the system and you're not a prisoner to their mythical metallurgy – you'll just get stronger sustain/mute action with quicker response using the Moog strings. See? Not a big deal…

  • Henke

    Get this guys: The Moog is DEFINITELY NOT the first polyphonic infinite sustainer ever produced.

    I find it very peculiar no one mentioned the Roland GR500 guitar synth yet. It was back in the 70s. It had, on top of on an unwieldy synth device, a polyphonic or HEX sustainer that worked for guitar sound and in guitar mode only. It used WIRES UNDER THE FRETS to make it connect somehow to this infinite sustain and thus, open strings couldn't be infinite sustained (like on this Moog guitar). The Roland had no zero fret, just a regular nut. The Moog guitar has no wires under frets I've been told.

    However, on the GR500, when removing a cover plate that sat there instead of a neck pickup, the infinite sustain disappeared mysteriously and came back when put back on again! I owned one myself, and the frets had worn down and when the luthier opened the fretboard up he said "Hey, look here, I can't do anything to this". As the frets had worn down considerably I used it for sustaining chords only. Sold it because it became unplayable due to the low/worn out frets. And that they couldn't be replaced. They – Roland – incorporated this polyphonic infinite sustain in order for the synth section to be able to track properly. And to have long decaying filters sweep.

    Most people owning a GR500 today, uses it JUST for the polyphonic infinite sustain, and leaves the synth section off, which has laughable out-dated sounds anyway. However, infinite sustaining chords, still seems to be intriguing.

    Whatever you think about the infinite polyphonic or hex sustain, it has been done before. It is not that novel, and not rocket science. Michael Brook built one or two of his own and sold it to Daniel Lanois, and The Edge of U2. His "infinite guitar" had hex sustain too. My qualified guess is that he "borrowed" some ideas from the GR500, otherwise, he would sell it publicly by now.

    The Moog guitar hasn't copied anything from neither Sustainiac, Fernandes, E-bow, Gizmotron, nor Guitorgan as suggested elsewhere. It ain't no reversed engineered from anything. The only thing it comes even remotely close resemblance to is the Roland GR500 Guitar synth of the 70s.

    To produce a polyphonic or hex infinite sustain with equal volume requires a hell lot more than on a sustainiac and e-bow. However, as we can see, at a price. The Sustainiac people had this idea for quite a while, but said the price it would cost didn't justify it. And come to think of it, when the people themselves behind Sustainiac and infinite sustainers can't justify the price for going polyphonic, well… go figure.

    This may just turn into a show-off novelty gear. For the ones with very deep wallets. And to tell people and friends "hey, look at what this can do…". This seems to me just a fad gadget. They produce it just because they can show that they did it. Not that there ever was a real need for it. Loopers and creators of ambient and textural pads will be the hottest target customers for this thing.

    Thus, the Moog guitar, will do wonders in the hands of Michael Brook, Robert Fripp, David Torn, Stanley Jordan et al, but it's for the few, and well off elite.

    I think, if you watch the videos, players automatically switch to DOUBLE HAND TAPPING and fretting and thus, such an invention would provide more viable on instruments that were made for tapping from the start on, like the Warr Touch guitars, or CHAPMAN STICK. Those instruments higher notes disappears instantly anyway, and are in serious need for some infinite sustain. I would LOVE to see this technique incorporated on a Stick. There, is where it would make some real sense. However, it would cost even more, but so be it.

    Just my ten cents. I am not in favor of it totally 100 percent, but don't diss it entirely. Somewhere in between. The price, and that you have to use special strings is the off-putter in my book. On this, I agree with the Sustainiac people who went "If we can't bring the price down considerably, then it's no use putting it out". Regardless of if they could make one or not.

    /henke

  • http://spliffrd.livejournal.com mmelnick

    How much are the strings? 50 bucks a pack? Are they gold plated too?

  • http://spliffrd.livejournal.com mmelnick

    How much is the case? $400?

  • http://www.internalcombustion.com W@@dy B

    has any one seen the ICG internal combustion guitar its for real moog like but with old school grit and vibe less than 1/2 the price of moog like to hear what you all think http://www.internalcombustionguitar.com thaks