What is the Future of Gear?

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Since 2008, we here at The Tone King have used our experience and knowledge to keep you up to date on the newest guitar gear. So far it’s been a hell of a ride! But now we want to bring it to the next level.

In short, we want you to help us make a documentary. We need your help to answer the question: “What is the future of gear?”

We decided that if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right. You know what they say; “Either go big or go home.”

Whether it’s Fender’s failed IPO or Guitar Center nearing bankruptcy, the future of gear is not exactly clear. Some manufacturers will tell you the future lies in emerging markets like China or India, while others are going back to basics and building some of their old favorites.

In a 5-part documentary, we will talk to the creators, the investors, the manufacturers, the sellers, and the players. We want to know what new gear is around the bend. We want to know where it’s going to be built. We want to know how much it will cost. We want the full story.

Part One: The Creators

These are the guys who come up with the ideas for gear. Whether it’s Leo Fender or Hisatake Shibuya, there’s always an innovator who gets it all going. Who are the innovators of today? And where do they see guitars and amps going in the future?

Part Two: The Investors

Whether you like it or not, it takes money to make money. And while many investors have brought us the best in gear, there are many who have also brought us the worst. Questions always linger when the investors get too involved: “What does an investor know about guitars?”

Part Three: The Manufacturers

U.S. or China? Japan or Indonesia? Where are the next great pieces going to be manufactured? How are companies going to combat the problem of ‘knock-off’ pieces that have been making their way into the black market? And, how are companies going to maintain quality work when they are dealing with manufacturers that are thousands of miles away?

Part Four: The Sellers

With the financial problems of Big-Box stores how is this going to affect the family shops? Will Guitar Center go under or will they find a way to bring themselves back from the brink? What gear are the local shops looking forward to?

Part Five: The Players

The most important part of the chain, what do the players expect from the future of gear? What are they looking for? Do they want something new, or are they happy with the old-school gear that they’ve always used?

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How Your Money Will Be Spent:

After doing videos for four years, we’ve realized two things: Videos are expensive and time consuming.

Even though we think that we know a thing or two about vids considering we’ve been doing them for four years, a documentary is freaking huge. And the costs are just as huge. Here are just a few things that the money will go towards:

1 – Gas Money, Airfare, and Lodging at various locations around the world for The Tone King and his cameraman

2 – Video and sound editing

3 – Graphic work and animations

4 – Writing and editing for press releases and articles

5 – Licensing

If you can’t contribute money to the campaign but still want to help, contact us and we’ll see if we have a job for you. Let us know if you’re into video editing, graphic work, marketing, or anything else that might help us get this project off the ground.

So, if you want to see where the world of gear is headed, make sure you contribute what you can, and we’ll get to work.

 

The Tone King

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  1. Vaughan MacEgan says:

    I have been playing guitar on and off over a 20 year period – and being a fairly poor person have never been able to afford a tube amp. Being a hard-rock/metal fan, all the amps that I would consider right up my alley would be the high-gain amp w/ cabs that start at around $4,500 right up to the Mesa Boogies with a cab which would set me back around $7,000.

    And guess what amp manufacturers, I don’t have that kind of money and even if I did I couldn’t justify spending that much. And imagine carrying those heavy amps and cab’s. I have a very bad back with a fracture in one of the vertebrae, plus disc bulging, pinched nerve (and apparently arthritis), so carrying around a 40kg (90 pound) monster is never going to happen.

    To get the most from my playing I use modellers with varying levels of sophistication from Line6, J-Station, Korg, the Eleven Rack and most probably a Kemper /Axe FXII when it drops to a reasonable price. Here in Oz an Axe FX II won’t give you any change from $3,300 ($2,200 US) and when you factor in that the Oz dollar is higher than the US – you get the picture.

    Because of this I never became a tube snob – how could I – tubes were just never part of the equation. I’ve even stopped listening to amp reviews on the Net because what’s the point. When people babble on about how a modeller reacts like a ‘real’ amp or feels like a ‘real’ amp – I have to wonder what a real amp reacts/feels like. I have no idea! You can’t miss what you’ve never had. All I care about is whether it sounds good and whether it’s flexible. I’ve read enough amp reviews to know that if you want clean, you go Fender (or that new amp from PRS, it absolutely slays clean), if you want some dirt, you go Vox, if you want more dirt, you go Marshall, if I want even more dirt you go SLO100, if you want total filth, well, you go Mesa with a Tube Screamer in front  Now any modeller worth its salt has these models. But imagine the cost of those amps – scary or better still carrying them to a gig!

    So it’s people like me who are coming thru which have no bias whatsoever to tube amps. Perhaps, even a bias against tube amps.
    So tube amp manufacturers must know about the elephant in the room, the day is coming, it’s inevitable. I’ve been saying for the last five years when processing power reaches 128 bits the tube-amp will be history. Maybe I was being a little optimistic – 64 bits may well be all that is needed. In the future there may be a small niche market for really expensive hand-built tube amps but with very little profit and only for the love of it, I can’t see it lasting very long at all.
    ——————
    PS – And that’s what I had to say in the middle of last year … all that needs be said now is:
    When a company gets it acts together and makes a modeller with the profiling characteristics of the Kemper and the FX of the Axe FXII to market at a reasonable price point, with accurate amplification replication for live use (be it FRFR, poweramp or some not yet figured out technology) the tube amp is history.

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