The Gibson Robot Guitar is a limited edition electric guitar that got its release in 2008. The guitar is an identical twin to the legendry Les Paul guitar. The robot guitar is a self-tuning guitar but in the body of the Les Paul. The guitar consisted of the Tronical Power tune Automatic tuning system that provided the pitch-perfect tuning to the player on its own every time he needed the tuning to be adjusted.
In 1902, Gibson Guitar Brand was founded by Orville Gibson who started making instruments in 1894, years before the company existed. The company was set up in Michigan and they primarily manufactured instruments of the mandolin family only. He also had patented the mandolin design under his name in the year 1898. The brand brought waves in the market and had built designs for every music lover.
After the death of Orville, the company hired designers to create unique and new instruments. Now the time comes when the first electric guitar was introduced in 1936. As time passed, Gibson was seen as a traditional manufacturer by the customers and that was the time when the company started putting efforts into making the modern designs.
The ’70s and ’80s are the decades that had a major influence of rock music and the stylish guitars with metallic paint on them were a thing in those times. Gibson excelled in making majority of the models that received more than expected love from the buyers and music enthusiasts. It’s Les Paul guitar is a one of a kind masterpiece that can never be replaced in the market and is a legendry invention of the company.
It was introduced in 1961 and remains the bestseller SG standard Gibson guitar to date. At the beginning of the 21st century, Gibson came up with the idea of a self-tuning guitar which was an inventory product for everyone out there. People hardly believed until the famous Gibson Robotic Guitar was finally brought in to the market in 2008. The company had a clear vision of introducing its robotic guitar as a limited edition purchase and thus they only made available 10 pieces in each store in America.
The automatic tuning system in the guitar was made possible by a German company named Tronical. The system can actually be fitted into any guitar as claimed by the company and also it does not require separate drilling for the system to fit in. The tuners are actually not heavy to make you feel uncomfortable or pulling your neck down but are specific in weight that can be handled by a musician while performing. There are some specific features that are exclusive to this Gibson Robot Guitar that is mentioned below.
• Master Control Knob (MCK)
The guitar appears to be standard looking Les Paul guitar until you closely look into it having four knobs and one of them is illuminated one is known as the Master Control Knob. It is basically a push-pull knob when in the down position it behaves like a normal setup for volume adjustments but when in the up position or in the pull position it starts functioning as a self-tuning system and the guitar is activated into the Robot Guitar.
It immediately places the unit into standard tuning mode A440. The MCK comes with 6 factories presets which are customizable and the guitar can be again preset into the factory presets at any time during the use. The LED display on top of the MCK allows you to have an idea of the tuning and guides the player for achieving accurate intonation. After the completion of the tuning process, blue light is indicated that the guitar is all ready to play.
• The Body
The back of the guitar is made up of mahogany wood and the top is made up of maple. The company carefully selects the woods and then they are dried to an equilibrium point where the required moisture content is retained in the wood. This process only confirms the tightly fitted joints are up to the point and controls the shrinkage and warping of the wood.
In addition to all these factors, it also helps in the reduction of the total weight of the unit. Ultimately it means that a Gibson Guitar will withstand the temperature changes for a long period.
• Tune Control
The Gibson Robot Guitar is comprised of a highly specialized Tune Control Bridge that acts as one of the key components in an automatic tuning system. The tune control bridge measures the individual tuning of the strings via special saddles. The signal sent by the string is received in the CPU of the control panel and from there it gets transmitted to the automatic tuners which tune the strings.
The strings in the Gibson guitar are separated by ceramic insulators that isolate every string so as to avoid the confusion as to which string is sending the signal for tuning. Below the tailpiece, there is a tiny circuit board that processes each signal and then transmits it to the CPUs. All of these elements together help balance the transmitted information and make every string in tune.
• Powerhead Locking Tuners
Gibson Robotic Guitar is unique in multiple ways but the powerhead tuners are the elements that actually stand by the ‘Robotic’ interpretation of the guitar. When the MCK is pulled out, the powerhead tuners come into action and within seconds the guitar is tuned to the desired tuning.
The powerhead tuners solely rely on the strings to send the signal for tuning. They are pretty lightweight weighing around 40grams which adds to the innovation of the Gibson Limited Edition Robot Guitar.
• Scale length: 24-3/4”
• Neck joint: Set-in
• Fretboard: Rosewood
• Body: Mahogany
• Neck Shape: C-shaped
• Frets: 22 medium jumbo
• Bridge: Tune-O-Matic
• Pickup Bridge: Gibson 498T humbucker
• Controls: Volume/Tone
• Tuners: Powerhead Locking
• Pickup Selector: 3-way switch
• Finish: Thin coating of Nitrocellulose
The Gibson Robot Guitar was definitely a revolutionary invention in those times that made the self-tuning of a guitar a matter of some seconds with just pushing a knob. This truly exemplifies the technology and what fruitful products can emerge with using the technology in the right place.
People could have never imagined that a guitar could ever be tuned automatically with just some programming and circuitry. Gibson made it possible and it was a complete worth in introducing this model as a limited edition and allowing the musicians to get their hands on the Robotic Guitar which is certainly one of its kind to date.