Tag Archive for: Technology

Change that makes a difference;

What are good solutions?

In a world of smart phones and fitness watches how are the classic retro style guitars from the 50’s & 60’s holding up?

If you are of a classic minded nature then the guitars that came out of the 50’s & 60’s have yet to be improved upon. There is undoubtedly a lot more technology at our disposal today but how is this affecting an instrument that evolved as an electric instrument the 1930’s?

With some striking similarities to Guitar Wing, here’s another approach at taking the next logical step.


2014 saw the arrival of some Fender Strats with an assortment of digital features. Even though the Fender Strat had its’ 60th birthday in 2014 and celebrated this with a number of anniversary models it furthermore released a number of models with some interesting digital features. This is not the first time Fender has produced or been in collaborations that produce a guitar with a whole new potential based on digital technology. The Fender VG back in 2007 which has recently re-emerged as the Roland V Guitar could be a good example.

This new batch of guitars each address differing digital technologies

-1. Deluxe Stratocaster HSS with Fishman TriplePlay
-2. Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Plus Top with iOS Connectivity
-3. Fender Plus Select Stratocaster HSS

The digital features these guitars provide are 1. MIDI Communication, 2. Audio Interfaces & 3. Personality Cards

What can be done with Fender Strats with digital features & how good are they?

The two key issues that balance out the worth and practical appliances of these technologies are modelling quality and latency speed. There is no doubt computer processing performances and other system requirements have improved so dramatically in recent years that with the right set-up the standards of modelling and latency have definitely arrived at an interesting place.

Is digital technology beginning to provide affordable flexible solutions at a standard that is acceptable?

Guitar products today offer a wide variety of options to choose from. Where to best spend money can get a little confusing when trying to decide between traditional analogue equipment or the flexible digital products. Whether on stage, on the road, in a studio, in the classroom or at home different uses create different requirements.

Let’s investigate what these digital Fender guitars provide and how good they are. How can they create advantages and for which type of player?

Deluxe Stratocaster HSS with Fishman TriplePlay

Wirelessly transmits MIDI data to your computer

Engage the built-in Fishman TriplePlay system, which wirelessly transmits MIDI data to your computer to create virtually unlimited sounds with a wealth of performance, composing and recording features. The Fishman hex pickup, TriplePlay D-pad controller and MIDI volume control are all built into the front of the guitar, with the TriplePlay wireless controller built into the back. The wireless controller transmits the signal from the hex pickup to the included USB transceiver, which plugs into your computer (a handy clip on the back of the headstock holds the transceiver when not in use). For charging the unit, a power supply and micro-USB cable that connects to the TriplePlay wireless controller are included.

For guitarists interested in MIDI the Fishman TriplePlay is something of a breakthrough with Wi-Fi communication and Latency speeds/tracking as competitive as it gets. Fender is among some of the guitar companies (Godin) that have produced a guitar with this unit built into the guitar. The TriplePlay can be fitted to any guitar as a separate unit, (price Approx. $400). However, coming built in from a factory not only helps make sure the Wi-Fi MIDI set-up starts off on the right foot it also makes it unobtrusive being located inside the guitar rather than behind the bridge.

Deluxe Stratocaster HSS with Fishman TriplePlay – Fender.com

Fender HSS Fishman TriplePlay – Fishman.com

Approx. Price; ‎$1.199.99

Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Plus Top with iOS Connectivity

This guitar has a built-in USB audio interface that can plug straight into iOS devices such as an iPhone, iPad, iPod or computer

Guitar effects apps and amp modelling have been growing in popularity and Fender are one of the large guitar companies attempting to provide a sleek and affordable guitar that can harness this versatile digital arena. The Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Plus Top with iOS Connectivity has its own built-in “audio interface”. The result is a combination of a classic Strat and high-quality audio interface in an affordable package.

This guitar is great value considering the quality of the guitar and interface, this is a serious product at a great price point. For travelling players or people who only need one guitar to record with, the iOS Strat could be a good solution.

Latency speed on a decent computer set-up can be around 4m/s.

Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Plus Top with iOS Connectivity

Approx. Price; ‎$599.99

American Deluxe Strat Plus & American Deluxe Strat Plus HSS

The Fender American Deluxe Strat Plus & the American Deluxe Strat Plus HSS both come with personality cards. These personality cards provide access to different re-wiring configurations with specialized pickup and circuitry modifications quickly and easily. Where the Plus differs from the Plus HSS is the Plus HSS has Humbucker pickups in the pickup configuration.

Easily re-wire pick-up configurations
1. ”Standard” just a standard Stratocaster setup.
2. ”Cutter” turns one of the tone controls into a bass cut and the other tone control to treble cut.
3. ”Blender” will turn one of the tone knobs into master tone and the other a blend knob for blending of the pickups, for example pickup 1 and 3 at the same time.

American Deluxe Strat Plus

Approx. Price; $1,499.99

American Deluxe Strat Plus HSS

Approx. Price; $1,499.99

Link to Fenders website where a wide listing of guitars are displayed, nestled in this listing are the Deluxe Stratocaster HSS with Fishman TriplePlay, the Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Plus Top with iOS Connectivity and American Deluxe Strat Plus & American Deluxe Strat Plus HSS.
Fender Guitars

Digital Processing in Reach

Guitar Wing, a MIDI controller that wirelessly connects to a computer over Bluetooth LE via a USB MIDI dongle. This revolutionary device has been developed by Livid Instruments in Austin, Texas.

This product received funding by kickstarter.com to get it into mass production.

Guitar Wing gives you the ability to control software while playing your guitar at the same time. Guitarists that have a lot to do with digital signal processing or do a lot of work with Digital Audio Workstations may find this product of interest…Livid Instruments/ guitar-wing

In 2014 just after funding by Kickstarter and launch the Future Music publication gave it Guitar accessory of the Year award.

Interestingly spring 2016 Guitar Center list this product as a top seller! www.guitarcenter.com


iOS Devices – Software – MIDI Hardware