Seven Guitars That Were Ahead of Their Time

Some guitars come around and immediately change the industry. The influence of other instruments, however, takes much longer to percolate.
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Our good friends at Reverb online gear marketplace deal with desirable guitars all the time. So they know a thing or two about not only rare axes but also unusual ones that stand apart from the pack.

It was from the latter perspective that they assembled this list of “7 Guitars That Were Ahead of Their Time.”

As writer Dan Orkin notes, “Some guitars come around and totally change the landscape of the industry. The Telecaster, the ES-335, and early Martin dreadnoughts all had a far-reaching influence on the way guitars are built. But then there are other guitar innovations that make a less immediate impact. Some take a longer time for their influence to percolate, while others are barely noticed during their production.”

Included in their list is this Electra MPC (Modular Powered Circuits) Series.

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Made in Japan in the Seventies, the MPC used Atari-like cartridges to add effects into the circuitry. In all, 12 modules were offered, with effects that included phase and octave—as well as one enticingly called “Frog Nose.”

Also among the seven guitars is the Epiphone Professional Outfit, a knob-and-switch-studded semi-hollowbody produced from 1962 to 1964. The guitar was packaged with an amp that was controlled entirely from the guitar via a cable with a five-prong plug.

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And who could neglect to include the Roland GS-500, the instrument that began Roland’s long history of pairing guitars and synth technology.

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Introduced in 1977, the GS-500 guitar controller was paired with the GR-500 synthesizer, whose numerous parameters were controllable from the guitar itself. Orkin notes that the GS-500 “also featured a patented infinite sustain pickup, a concept that's been revisited by a number of companies including Moog and Fernandes.”

To learn even more about these three guitars and see all seven instruments on the list, visit