Ethernet Guitars. Are We Ready For This?

This technology thing is getting crazy. Did you hear Gibson will release electric guitars this year that don't have a traditional 1/4″ phone jack to connect your instrument cable to your Fender Twin Reverb amplifier? More proof that you can't wax nostalgia for anything. Sure, we've had wireless guitars for years. But you still used that 1/4″ jack to connect your transmitter. Nope. If the industry follows, guitars will have RJ45 jacks — the Ethernet connector we've all come to love — and hate. I just wonder if we'll start seeing 802.11(g) built into Fender Strats in the near future?

[…] “We expect some people to say 'No thanks,' they just want their 1957 Les Paul. But there will be a group of early adopters for this, and it will be a no-brainer for them,” said Vallier, who is part of a three-man design team working on the digital electronics for Gibson's first networked guitar.

You can read about Gibson and its MAGIC (Media-accelerated Global Information Carrier Specification) technology in this EE Times Article (thanks Slashdot for the pointer) and on TechTV here. I'm not sure I'm ready for a digital guitar, but given the number of technologies that offer classic guitar amplifier modeling (mimicking) there are already a bunch of musician technoids playing with digital music. But as the article laments, will Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, B.B. King, Mark Knopfler etc be looking to create or recreate their classic guitar sound digitally?

Hey, maybe I should get one just so I can start using the dozen or so Ethernet jacks in my office/studio. Haven't really used them since jumping on the Wi-Fi bandwagon a couple years ago. And now with 802.11(g) even my server could go wireless. Let's keep an eye on this one. Or better yet, maybe the electronics for my Taylor 12-string which uses the Fishman Blender pickup system for amplifying the beautiful sound of finely crafted solid spruce, maple and ebony could simply be a plug-in to MOTU Performer of Logic?

But then again. Perhaps the beauty of an acoustic guitar is the ability to be mobile. Far away from electricity, ethernet, amplifiers and urban noise. Simply relish the sound mix of wind bristling through the grass and ruffling the trees. Or the surf pounding the sand and the pitter patter of the sandpiper looking for its next meal. Peace. Solitude. And vibrating strings.

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