Michael Ross: Gibson's Firebird X Rises from the Ashes

October 29, 2010
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Wired magazine may have deemed Gibson’s digital guitar an “idea that failed to catch on,” but Henry Juszkiewicz is not ready to give up on modern technology just yet.  After smashing a standard SG-looking instrument against the stage of the Times Square Hard Rock Café, the Gibson CEO revealed the Firebird X—a kind of digital-age Swiss Army knife for guitarists.

A rear cavity-installed computer controls pickup combinations, onboard effects, automatic tuning technology, and a hex pickup for individual string processing. A wide variety of pre-programmed sounds can be modified through software. Remote control is handled via two Bluetooth foot controllers, while plugging into a third Bluetooth device sends the audio into your computer through USB.

A Gibson representative demonstrated the instrument, which produced the gamut of traditional guitar sounds—without resorting to any external effects.
 
“Revolution isn’t always about big bold moves—it is about attention to detail,” said Juszkiewicz.

Whether it is God or the Devil in the details of this $5,000 limited-edition instrument will ultimately be decided by the guitar playing community. — Michael Ross

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