The future of guitars and amps (article).

Lee-Bro

Senior Member

From the article: Guitar prices are rising on average while the number of guitars being sold is shrinking, making for an interesting market landscape. Online retailers and second-hand sites like Reverb are quickly taking up a large market share and affordable guitars are suddenly skyrocketing in quality. Times are a changin, whether you like it or not.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Carbon fiber guitars, ha! Sure it's light, and not as effected by weather. But it is stupid expensive, and will crack in the cold, under stress, or both. It ain't the be all end all material people think it is.

I like guitar modelers. I see no reason to buy 8 different amps when you can buy a Pod. When I was gigging, our guitar player bought one when they first came out to record our second album. You can't tell, it sounded just like his amp. This seems like the way to go if you ask me.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Well .... the Parker Fly came out in 1993. And production ended in 2016. Meanwhile ..... Fender (Corona) cranks out about 200,000 guitars a year. And then they have a plant in Ensenada. I don't think carbon fiber is gonna replace wood, for guitars. I thing Rockett, Mair and Ming make carbon fiber drums. Never seen one in a store. Never seen anyone play one.

7 string guitars have been around for a while. Steve Vai helped make those popular. 8 is the next logical step, I guess. 5 and 6 string basses also have been around for a while. But the vast majority of guitars and basses sold are the traditional 6 string guitars and 4 string basses.

Modelers are cool. I have a bass and guitar pod, myself. But I'm not a guitar player. I run my electronic drums and keyboards thru them, sometimes. Most guitar players I know would rather have (enter value greater than 1 here) different amps than 1 amp and a modeler.
 
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dwsabianguy

Senior Member
8 is the next logical step, I guess.
Lots of metal folks are playing guitars with 8 or more strings, and a lot of it isn't necessarily just low-tuned chugga-chugga stuff, though it's still metal, and it still has that stuff.

The digital guitar amp modeling is getting better with each generation of units, but it's still not quiiiite gotten to the level it needs to be to truly surpass real amps, and I doubt it ever will, just like how Roland can theoretically make drums that feel and respond the way our acoustic drums do, but they never turn out to actually be that good. AxeFX doesn't feel like an actual cranked Marshall does, and distorted chords are still somehow lacking something. But it's close.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Interesting how stringed acoustic instruments like guitars, bass, violins are going so tech. It's been a long process. A Stradivarius quality sound now would. be a technological feature rather the mechanics of structure of the instrument. Piano , organs all can emulate any instrument. One day rather the pretense of playing it's historic image of any instrument it will be replaced a smaller "different" platform. No need for for reeds or any brass instrument-maybe blow in a straw (a paper one of course LOL), picks-amps-a guitar obsolete-just a fretted board, no need for sticks-pedal-hardwar-drums-just the box with all the notes to be played. A hell of a "note" LOL. Course generally scientist suck at predictions-so I know I'm wrong so can find solace that instruments will be fine-technology will just make them hopefully cheaper and better. Science is demonstrating and addressing some problems with human hearing and music-like the loud function so technology is making it better. Maybe one day music will be piped into our brain-not by sound waves but another electromagnetic spectrum carrying more info and a greater enhanced experience.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
In the worship scene, those guys gave up amps years ago. I know our guitar players haven't had an amp on the stage in probably 7-8 years, and we are a church in a small town. It's been Line 6 all-in-one pedal boards for a long time. Those guys download the patches they need, and everyone wears IEM's.

I understand the purists' needs, wants, and desires for amps...and that's fine. However, I think the future of the electric guitar world will continue to produce smaller-yet-more-powerful equipment.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I predict that the electric guitar will remain in basically it's current form for at least the next 100 years.

It could be the coolest thing ever invented. It is nowhere near near the end of it's shelf life.

Amps? Different story. No predictions there.

I think drums will survive too. It's just too ingrained in our species to totally go away IMO.

I have to wonder what popular instruments of the day, in the past, failed the test of time.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Amps? Different story. No predictions there.
Here's my take, and I've been a tube purist for a few decades now.

Nothing compares to playing the real deal. The difference between an amp and a sim is as obvious as Adrums versus Edrums. You're never going to fool a player because the response, the dynamics, the pickup->amp interaction is different. Much like A vs. E drums, the sims out there are good enough to fool the vast majority of listeners.

So players end up using sims for quick recording, quiet practice, and any gig that would require they bring more than a single amp. I'll carry an AC30. I'll carry a JMP50. But I won't carry both and will use a Katana50 for the gigs that require a diverse set of sounds.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Reminds me of one of my Dad’s ventures, besides being a Doc, he built homes, boats and then he went into a small venture making electric guitars. Our hometown was Adel so guitar name an anagram “Leda”. Not sure how many they made or if worth a damn but I remember that deal. He could never stay focused either so always up to something- I guess I run the same.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Horses for courses.
Looking at it from my seat at the back of a pub band, since both the guitarist and bass player have switched to a pedal board plugged into a DI box plugged straight into the desk, set up has been quicker, our sound is more easily balanced and mixed, we're not carrying as much in and out of pubs and there's more room on "stage". Most of the guitarist's sound came from his effects board anyway so losing his valve amp and 4 x 12" is no big difference, the bass player tells me that valves aren't as important to a bass player anyway. I take his word for it. As a Rock fan I vividly remember going to see Level 42 in 1987 on their Running In The Family Tour. Boon Gould their guitarist had a 1 x 12" combo (a Gallien Kruger IIRC) sat at the back with a mic in front of it. It sounded great and brought home to me that the wall of Marshalls seen at AC/DC and Judas Priest concerts weren't necessary.

To take this discussion in a different direction, advances in PA is what we need. Instruments, mics and speakers that talk to each other via Bluetooth or similiar. It would do away with the need for XLR cables, having to remember what goes where, and taping the whole lot down with gaffa. And if some of those units could run off a battery with a comfortable 3 hour lifespan at full belt then I'd be a happy cable free man.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
Nothing compares to playing the real deal...You're never going to fool a player because the response, the dynamics, the pickup->amp interaction is different.
Have you ever tried? Having worked both for Peavey and Line6 and having sat through a number of focus groups made up of some pretty sophisticated players, I can tell you its been done ... a lot!

I remember one specific time when we had been comparing Trace Elliot tube vs solid state amps we switched the hookup while the boys went to lunch. And when the editor of a prestigious guitar magazine came back from lunch he said ... “The solid state sounds good” then played a big chord and said ... “but you can’t beat the real thing”. Unbeknownst to him, he was playing the solid state amp ;)
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Have you ever tried? Having worked both for Peavey and Line6 and having sat through a number of focus groups made up of some pretty sophisticated players, I can tell you its been done ... a lot!
Yes, and I do a yearly thing where I check out new offerings.

No. It's never been done. Most of the guitarists that are satisfied with the results are electric-kazoo players. IE: They're not the type to be satisfied with an analog offering to begin with, and digital offerings give them the unnatural distortions and obfuscations they desire.

With vintage-emulation, you can fool me on playback. When I hear something I can't always tell whether it was real or a sim unless there's some tell tale part. Where you can't fool me is when the guitar is in my hands and I'm in front of the loudspeaker. There's a sympathetic relationship/interaction between an amp and guitar that cannot be emulated with current technology.

FWIW, ALL of my musical postings here have been using an amp sim, and I spend about an hour each day on one.

I offer this on the guitar forum a lot, but if anyone is in upstate NY and wants to sit down with all the gear and take it through the paces, PM me. The mini-fridge is always stocked.
 
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trickg

Silver Member
mething I can't always tell whether it was real or a sim unless there's some tell tale part. Where you can't fool me is when the guitar is in my hands and I'm in front of the loudspeaker. There's a sympathetic relationship/interaction between an amp and guitar that cannot be emulated with current technology.

From the article: Guitar prices are rising on average while the number of guitars being sold is shrinking, making for an interesting market landscape. Online retailers and second-hand sites like Reverb are quickly taking up a large market share and affordable guitars are suddenly skyrocketing in quality. Times are a changin, whether you like it or not.
Manufacturing has gone through some serious leaps and bounds in the computer age, especially where CNC machining is concerned. When we went on the PRS factory tour, we stood there and watched the CNC machine make a guitar body from a piece of wood that had been fed in. No one touched a thing - the tool head automatically swapped out the cutters it needed for various parts, and everything else was programmed. It doesn't matter where in the world that machine is sitting, it's going to be able to do the same thing regardless, so "workmanship" is kind of a moot point - that's part of the reason the prices are going down.

I think another reason is the fact that it's easier to find, purchase and sell quality used gear.

I also think that video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band: World Tour, caused a surge in real instrument sales back in the early to mid 2000s, but it's a trend that couldn't be sustained, and part of that I believe is due to the stagnation and unoriginality of the popular music industry - it's no longer instrument based, so kids coming up aren't getting involved with instruments they way they used to.

I know my son still has his arsenal of guitars, amps, and analog effects, and I don't see that changing for him any time soon - he has no interest in anything digital, but I think part of that, and the reason he likes boutique instruments, amps and effects, is because he partly fosters his personal individuality through his gear. I'm very proud of that kid - I know more blues-style guitarists than I can shake a stick at, and they all sound more similar than different - they're all throwing out the same ideas and licks based around standard or drop-D tuning. He's all over the map with his tuning and his writing - he doesn't sound like anyone else, and that's hard to come by these days. It may never become marketable or profitable for him, but at least he's not unoriginal.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Nothing compares to playing the real deal. The difference between an amp and a sim is as obvious as Adrums versus Edrums. You're never going to fool a player because the response, the dynamics, the pickup->amp interaction is different. Much like A vs. E drums, the sims out there are good enough to fool the vast majority of listeners.
I've been playing and recording a long time, and I'm here to tell you that whenever I listen to new music, I can't tell the difference between acoustic and electric drums anymore. I've heard super-processed acoustic drums that sound horrid and e-drums that sound really natural (granted, this was a listening scenario, not a playing scenario). The difference between recorded tube amps vs. modelling pedal? Forget it. I can't tell at all.

However...

Playing live is a total difference thing.

I think, overall, people pick the best gear for the scenario in front of them. Those options seem without limits in my mind, but I know that it will continue to get more vast.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Here it is, the future guitar. Breaks down for storage or travel, built in "modeling", and is a midi controller. It's $450. Say hello to the Jammy.

WARNING: Stevie T is just as, if not more, obnoxious than Davie504. You have been warned.

 
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