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Mark

Graduated with a BA in Advertising from Glasgow University. Played guitar strangely with several unknown Gothic Rock bands. Postgraduate study PgDip, in Industrial Design from Hull University. Now writing, designing and blogging on guitardesignreviews.com and taiwanduck.com.

15 Comments

  1. Johnny
    July 19, 2011 @ 4:27 am

    • MarkGDR
      July 21, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

      Evertune is in the same underwhelming category as the Gibson robot tuning for me. It’s just a housekeeping thing, just like the system that monitors and adjusts the tyre pressure of your car is great for some people but ‘meh’ for others if they would have to pay any extra for it. We are talking about 50 years tech and artistic advance here. Thanks for your comment though!

  2. The Telenator
    July 22, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

    The kitara and a couple other companies producing similar holds some promise for those of us who would rather not have to use a keyboard as a MIDI controller. The slanted frets was tried years ago — by Rickenbacker first I think — and was a massive failure then, too. Using other materials is promising in the search for alternate tones, but it it’s nothing new in any way. Regarding pickups the old way seems to produce the best from metal strings. Fender’s samarium cobalt pickups are a perfect example of vanilla, Milquetoast sound, EMGs have plenty of good and bad as do all active setups. Regardless, I’ll stick with the ’50s inventions for my pickups. In all, most of this innovation is useless garbage from people who ought to spend more time playing than tinkering.

    • MarkGDR
      July 22, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

      Thanks for the comment. I think we need both the players and the tinkerers. Then we need people who are a bit of both – to apply the innovations creatively! I agree that many players fuss too much over tone and effects; such as worring about the metal their strap buttons are made of in case it dampens their sustain!
      My favourite idea above, is having 6 channels/amps for the 6 strings in the guitar and the textural possibilities of that. As far as I know that is my idea, but I’m no electronics genius, so I can’t make it happen. But like I said PCs commonly have 7.1 channel sound now, the sound cards cost very little. Who knows what the future holds – I’ll update this article periodically and often put new finds on the Facebook page we have. Keep on Rockin’, Mark.

  3. Gerry
    July 23, 2011 @ 12:39 am

    “Hopefully one day people will break away from the Fender/Gibson 50s design stranglehold”.

    Hopefully not I think. Why the word hopefully? are you ‘tired’ of that design? I look at my strat everyday with the same love I have for the last 17 years since I got the first one. Watch Contours and body horns. Every on from Clapton to Richards say this is the ultimate guitar, Leo got it right in the first place. Or course there’s room for innovation and experimentation, but when it comes to the real thing, that’s why old timers like Buddy Guy or young guns like Mayer come back to the Strat.
    Peace

    • MarkGDR
      July 23, 2011 @ 8:23 am

      Hi Gerry, looking 50 years into the future I do wish that something new happens and there are new major players in the guitar manufacturing business who got there by a great leap forward – some kind of ground breaking technology or designs. Then guitar shop walls won’t be full of Strat and Les Paul clones (the design stranglehold) and people will have more choice. However Fender and Gibson will still make their lovely re-issues hopefully. In the car industry there was also a ‘perfect design’ – the VW Beetle, still selling pretty well. That industry has much more money to pay the stylists and innovators to modernise I think, it’s part of their business model; the refresh, the new design, adding new tech.

  4. Ed Klein
    July 23, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    Hi Mark:
    Great article but you have left out one of the real pioneers and leaders in eco-friendly electric guitars that do not sacrifice anything in tone and performance – Flaxwood Guitars. They are made entirely of an NFC (natural fiber composite), using harvested and controlled renewable spruce in Finland. Bottom line for these guitars: no exotic hardwoods, very little fossil fule consumption in the manufacturing process and no waste – the entire tree is used and it’s vintage tone right out of the case.

    • MarkGDR
      July 24, 2011 @ 12:22 am

      New materials are always interesting, and that’s a good motive, to be eco-friendly, I’ll look at your link with interest. Cheers Ed.

  5. MarkGDR
    July 31, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    check out the advert for the Touch Wood phone, it’s great! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_CDLBTJD4M&feature=player_embedded

  6. Uwe Schmidt
    August 1, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    Hello everbody.
    What about the unique guitars of Ulrich Teuffel. His work is more than one step ahead. Great design, cool contours and every guitar is so outside the box…
    He told on the DVD “Guitar Gourmets”, that his approach was to rethink what Leo Fender started…
    Check this out: http://www.teuffel.com

    • MarkGDR
      August 1, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

      Hi Uwe, I mentioned and linked to Teuffel’s work in the paragraph below the picture of the Perspex guitar! Great minds think alike 🙂 Mark

  7. Mark Andrews
    August 17, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    What about the guitars made by Moog? I’d certainly call that a “leap-forward” in thinking about the electrical side.
    http://www.moogmusic.com/products/Moog-Guitars

    • MarkGDR
      August 17, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

      It’s a pretty interesting guitar for now, but as with all Moog stuff I’ve seen it’s too expensive for mass market (cheapest E1 model with trem = £3,000 approx). Everyone in the video kept talking about the sustainer function, which I think will become more and more popular, I’ve hankered after an e-bow in the 90s and the Fernandes Sustainer in the last 5 years but never got round to spending money on them. Just think if 99% of the electric keyboards/synths didn’t have any sounds that sustained for as long as you held down the key! The body design is very influenced by the Fender/Ibanez, which is disappointing to me. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Carbon Concepts
    June 18, 2012 @ 10:18 am

    Very insightful blog. Carbon Concepts is pioneering the field of composite guitars:

    http://carbonconcepts.net/carbon-fiber-blog.html

  9. Dheep'
    September 7, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    From Fender to Teuffel – all great stuff, but mostly just further refinements of same old stuff.
    When do you figure someone is going to start producing some interesting, original Music again?

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