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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Strings and things
Guitar Invention Marketing Question
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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Guitar Invention Marketing Question
Subject description: What would you do?
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OK, so you've probably heard about the guitar invention that DJ and I are working on. I'm really excited about it as I have tested it successfully and found it to have great sound and qualities that are new to the guitar world. Also I hope to finish modifications of my Squire, giving it a switch that selects between invention and factory pickups.

So hopefully that will go well and maybe really soon I'll have a working demonstration guitar to play, show, and enjoy. It's a really satisfying feeling to take a 100 year old idea, mix it with modern technology, and breathe life into it like this. Now, to the point.

I'm wondering how to make it available to the world. The motivation is DIY hobby fun first and profit second, but we would like to profit from this even if it is modest. DJ and I talked about offering a kit, possibly through the electro-music.com store. This is one option but the modifications are extensive and difficult to do your first time around, so it is likely that few would buy the kit.

Then, I could get into the business of modifying guitars or building them from scratch. I could see a future of doing kewl DIY effects on-board the guitar, perhaps even building a ChucK guitar with an onboard computer, etc. Things could get interesting.

So I guess my question is: "What would you do?" We have this way cool technology that seems to work and have value, it's inexpensive and sounds good and all that... How should we introduce it to the world?

My apologies to DJ for posting this without asking him first...

Les

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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I mentioned this in the chatroom and got a really good answer in the form of a question, which is "What does the consumer want?"

I think the consumer wants the best sound quality possible at the lowest price possible. But I guess I'm at a loss as to how that translates into all the possible options available for moving forward with this.

Unfortunately at the moment I'm in a bit of a bad funk and I'm not able to make much sense of the situation. I also am not quite in the right state of mind to complete the mods to my guitar. Dang, I also cannot sleep. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. I look forward to your comments.

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Octahedra



Joined: Nov 29, 2008
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Location: Cheshire, UK
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:22 am    Post subject: Re: Guitar Invention Marketing Question
Subject description: What would you do?
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Inventor wrote:
I have tested it successfully and found it to have great sound and qualities that are new to the guitar world.


Cool! Have you got any recordings for us to hear?

Gordon
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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Gordon,

I did not make a recording of the test setup, however once I get the guitar working again I will do so. It was making no sound at all, I took it apart and put it back together just now, and now the pickups are working in both switch positions. There must be some loose wires in there, now I get to take it all apart and try again, sigh. But soon, soon...

Les

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Antimon



Joined: Jan 18, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've been following your guitar modding, and pondering a bit trying to do a hex pickup or something else myself with a guitar. If you make something (no promises - I don't know what it is yet Smile ), I would personally want to buy a kit. I've made some small ventures into DIYing, and think that's great fun, and I always feel awkward when ordering large items from the US (or other faraway places) because of freight costs and environmental strain. I bought the monome, which was pretty small, but I'll hesitate to get something even that size again.

Just my personal preference - others may feel different. Looking at existing stuff, there are lots of cottage industries selling finished stuff all over Europe and the US, but it always comes with a hefty price tag.

Hope you'll feel better soon! flower

/Stefan

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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Stefan, thanks very much, I feel just fine this morning. I was complaining to myself about how life has been tough in many ways when I ran into a chat friend who is just now recovering from a breast cancer operation. Dang, that put the reality into my head. She listened to my complaining and cheered me up plus gave me a new perspective. Suddenly I was in a good enough mood to work on the guitar - which I did.

It took several tries because stuff kept shorting out inside the guitar. Fortunately it's all small signal so this harms nothing. After many test fittings and the use of some electrical tape and such I got it to work just fine. Interestingly, I can't really tell that much of an audible difference. I'll make a demo audio file once I wake up a bit more.

Stefan, It would be so kewl if you did choose to be our first customer and we can sell the kit to you at or near cost to make it as pain-free as possible. The real gems of the kit are a special transformer that's a little bit pricey but worth it and some inexpensive super magnets. I'll need to scrounge up some other miscellaneous parts to complete the kit and then you can decide if you want it or not.

Beware, however, that the modifications are somewhat extensive. It is necessary to route out a small chamber under the pick guard and also run a wire down the neck of the guitar. The instructions are for a strat only as that is all I have, but you can modify them to suit your guitar should you choose to take on the kit. I'll work on some instructions today.

So a kit first, eh? I like it! Smile

Les

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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
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Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OK friends, here is the promised audio test file. I'm pleased with the sound of the invention, although it is really similar to the factory pickups. Earlier tests prior to the use of the transformer showed more harmonic content, but this is good, it's a nice mellow tone that I like.

Note that as mentioned in the demo, there is no filtering yet of the invention's signal - this is the simplest, unfiltered form of the thing. Please let us know what you think. Thanks,

Les


CompletedGuitarTest.mp3
 Description:
the audio test file

Download
 Filename:  CompletedGuitarTest.mp3
 Filesize:  3.83 MB
 Downloaded:  376 Time(s)


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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I posted to a guitar forum and was told that the guitar was WAY out of tune, so here is a second test, this time with the guitar properly tuned.


CompletedGuitarTest2.mp3
 Description:
The second test, with the guitar tuned properly.

Download
 Filename:  CompletedGuitarTest2.mp3
 Filesize:  3.15 MB
 Downloaded:  363 Time(s)


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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great news friends, I put an ad in the musicians section of the local Craigslist and got about five responses! Some from guitarists who want to check out the guitar, one from a guy with a studio who wants to make a youtube video for free, and another who recommended a local small shop that makes pickups.

So there is beginning to be some momentum on the invention, and maybe this will go somewhere, I don't know. It's fun to have people interested anyway. Wish us luck!

Les

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Octahedra



Joined: Nov 29, 2008
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Location: Cheshire, UK
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Inventor wrote:
I put an ad in the musicians section of the local Craigslist and got about five responses! Some from guitarists who want to check out the guitar, one from a guy with a studio who wants to make a youtube video for free, and another who recommended a local small shop that makes pickups.


Cool - good luck with it! Actually the tuning did make a big difference. The effect of your custom electronics seemed quite subtle to me (as a non-guitarist), but then I was listening to the mp3 version, with small earphones. I wonder if the effect is more dramatic when you're actually in the room with the amp in front of you.

Gordon
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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Gordon, actually the difference is in fact quite subtle. Earlier versions had problems like plinky ukelele tone, lol, but we figured out some technical details and now the tone is quite nice.

Aside from being cheaper and sounding a bit "fuller" as I'm told, the key advantage here is that we can do pickup modeling. That is where we imitate the inherent parasitic filter characteristics of a pickup electronically. That way the guitarist can have a dial that selects the type of pickup sound desired, from mild to hot. We are still working on this aspect of the project.

Thanks for your comments and glad you like the sound.

Les

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