The GTRS guitar (mine is an S801 model) is a Mooer product. It's called an "intelligent" guitar because it has its own built-in effects. This is the sort of thing I would have thought as a gimmick in the past, but for a particular playing situation that I find myself in, it is an absolute life-changer.
An entire signal chain can be created and stored as a preset (a total of 40 presets), including amp and cab modelling, pre and post effects like compressor, overdrive, distortion, modulation and reverb/delay. Presets are stored across 10 banks of four and can be switched on the fly via a 4-button footswitch that connects to the guitar via bluetooth. It also has a built in tuner, accessible via the footswitch that appears in the footswitch's display.
All this is programmable via an iphone app, which is pretty straightforward and it has been put to extensive use by me when playing rehearsals in the studio and regular gigs in a duo. In both these situations, all I have to is turn up with the guitar and my wireless, plug into the PA or audio interface and start playing.
For the duo gigs I bring along a compressor pedal as a convenient way to connect the wireless receiver and also to make the notes I play "bloom" and sustain more. It allows me to play with a very light touch that way, so I can change from quiet to loud more with my fingers than changing sound effects without using an excessive amount of distortion.
I have made some modifications to the guitar. I replaced the stock tuners with Musiclily locking tuners, more recently I changed the bridge saddles to brass ones. Initially this was because the original steel ones were getting pretty rusty (as I play right near the beach every week). The brass ones won't rust, although they will definitely change colour (they already have lost their shine). It just so happens that to my ears the tone is a little nicer after the saddle change. It's a little fuller with a clearer top end. A little more sparkle without being overly trebly. I like them.
The other mod was a bit risky, but I felt it was necessary. I often play in low light and I found the black side-dot markers on the neck very hard to see against the darkish-brown roasted-maple neck (that too has become darker over the last year or so of owning this guitar). What I did was drill out the black markers and inserted white ones instead.
It really has made a significant difference and is much easier to follow the dots now!
I keep things very simple with regard to the sound effects. To be honest, the effects are not the best I've heard by a long way, but I found an amp & cab model that I like and works well for my uses; the Marshall Plexi & corresponding 4x12. The reverb and delay are useable and also the noise gate, EQ and clean boost.
By itself the GTRS is pretty impressive for what I use it for, but with the external compressor (a DemonFX Cali76) it is even more impressive. For rehearsing with a band I have different presets programmed to the duo gig setp, still using the same amp & cab model, but with more gain and distortion!
So what started out as something I saw online and thought "I'd never want one of those" ended up being something that I went back to and thought "I need one of those as it will mean I have almost nothing to carry to my regular gigs!"
The GTRS stays in tune, sounds nice, looks nice and just works for me. It's pretty heavy, but I can forgive it that, seeing as what it enables me to do without any hassle. For me these days it's all about having useable tools that get the job done efficiently, so that I'm more likely to look like I know what I'm doing!
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