Rock 'n' eRoll: Gibson unveils 'revolutionary' guitar

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The Independent Culture

Gibson on Thursday unveiled a new guitar with built-in effects, controls and tuner that the legendary guitar maker said amounts to a revolution in the music industry.

After smashing a traditional electric guitar on the stage of New York's Hard Rock Cafe concert hall, Gibson boss Henry Juszkiewicz unveiled the red sunburst Firebird X to a crowd of fans and musicians.

"This is new, this is different, this is revolutionary," Juszkiewicz said.

The Firebird X, based on the shape of the 1960s guitar of the same name, includes a myriad of buttons and switches that allow the player to easily control thousands of available built-in sounds and effects.

The top of the neck boasts a sleek robotic tuner that keeps the guitar in constant pitch.

Weighing six pounds (2.7 kilograms), the interior of the guitar includes a replaceable chipboard with seven processors which the player can change to stay up-to-date with hardware and software.

It is powered by a standard cellphone battery.

"This is a new way to play. Infinite voices. Literally, there are lots and lots and lots of programs in this guitar that allow you to choose the way the guitar sounds... A huge sonic arsenal," Juszkiewicz said.

The guitar also includes a state-of-the-art wireless system based on Bluetooth technology to transmit data to a computer or pedals.

The first 1,800 units of the limited edition Firebird X will be introduced on December 11 in 400 shops worldwide and sold at a retail price of 5,500 dollars, Juszkiewicz said.

Gibson, best known for its Les Paul electric guitar first introduced in 1952, will nevertheless continue to manufacture its traditional and popular models, he said.

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