At the 2015 Summer NAMM Show, Gizmotron LLC announced plans to release a re-engineered, updated sequel to a guitar effects device that has not been seen or heard since the early 1980’s; the legendary Gizmotron.
Invented over 40 years ago, by Lol Creme and Kevin Godley of the rock group 10cc, the Gizmotron debuted at the NAMM trade show in 1979.
The Gizmotron 2.0 offers musicians the ability to mechanically bow one or more strings of a guitar or bass by pressings its keys. Each key brings a spinning wheel into contact with a string, creating a bowing sound similar to a cello, viola or violin.
Here’s an example of the Gizmotron 2.0 in action, on a Les Paul Deluxe:
- No instrument modifications, special pickups, midi interface, or mobile app required. Entirely outside of signal chain.
- Fits most electric guitar and basses, including some 5 string basses.
- 100% mechanically produced, organic, harmonically rich tone.
- Speed Control – Vary the volume, tone and attack of the Gizmotron 2.0 using its speed control knob, or by using the optional SPD-1 speed control foot pedal (not included, sold separately).
- Universal Quick Release Mounting System – Quickly release and lock the Gizmotron 2.0 to your instrument using three low-profile mounting pads.
- USB Powered – A 9.8ft (3m) USB cable and international AC Adapter is included with every unit.
- Durable, Robust & User-Serviceable – Manufactured from industrial-strength ABS, the Gizmotron 2.0 contains a high-quality DC motor, precision swiss-machined driveshaft, and long-life quiet ball bearings.
- Toolkit Included – An assortment of drivers necessary for mounting and service are included with every Gizmotron 2.0.
- One (1) Year Limited Warranty
- CE / UL Listing Pending
Heralded as a device that would transform the electric guitar and bass and offer “a new realm of musical expression”, the original Gizmotron failed to live up to expectations.
Suffering from a number of engineering and manufacturing failures,
It was rushed to market, suffered from design and manufacturing problems and ultimately failed. The company that licensed to manufacture the original Gizmotron filed for bankruptcy, causing the device to disappear into obscurity.
In 2013, after spending nearly 10 years locating rare, original Gizmotrons, Aaron Kipness, owner and founder of Gizmotron LLC, began developing the Gizmotron 2.0.
Mr. Kipness explains, “I first heard the Gizmotron when Jimmy Page used it on Led Zeppelin’s ‘In the Evening’, the sound of it haunted me, and I couldn’t understand why no one attempted to bring this amazing device back.”
Now, 35 years later, the Gizmotron has returned, re-designed by a new team of engineers. According to the company, Kevin Godley, co-inventor of the original Gizmotron, has offered his encouragement and support to the project.
With the Gizmotron 2.0, you can create endless sustain, drones or bow polyphonic chord arrangements. No instrument modifications or special pickups are required.
The Gizmotron 2.0 has an introductory price of US $449.99 (normally $599.90). See the Gizmotron site for details.