Does the Moog Guitar really have to be THAT ugly?

Watching this great demo video with Lou Reed and others playing Moog's new guitar, which can sustain or mute notes at will using some kind of mechanical feedback loop, I'm left thinking 'wow, that's pretty cool' and 'what kind of douche would stand up on stage with a gruesome, cheap, generic looking thing like that?' Oh yes, and it's $6,500. (There are NSFW shots of orange finishes, 80s body shapes and 50¢ gold knobs at Matrix Synth)
Moog's last guitar experiment was the Gibson RD Guitar, which was also kind of ugly, but in a 'holy crap, the guitarist just beamed in from Neptune' way. And if you're thinking of going into the comments and saying 'It's not about how it looks, ladies', please don't. Electric guitars have always been 80% look, 20% sound. If you don't believe that, you haven't been paying attention. (Thanks to Tyler and everyone else who sent this in)

boring, what's the point? i saw lou reed play and he had the guitarist play the piano parts to Satellite of love on some midi guitar and it was lack lustre. all of this is for sustain? if you are creative with your fx you can get what you want. i think it's as ridiculous as having an invention that makes a trombone sound like a harp.

-talk pays...
Well, first of all, this is not a "MIDI Guitar". It can't do any of that stuff "talk" was complaining about, like play piano parts over MIDI.

It's not even a digital modelling processor for the strings, like the Variax or Roland VG systems - it's all analog. For $6,500 I would expect a lot more than what's on offer here. You can get a Fernandes Sustainer guitar and some Moog FX pedals for a fraction of that.
Well, leaving apart the technical potential, a Moog guitar can't be so ugly.
I think that a part of the charm and the magic that "Moog" name evoke in every music player on the planet belongs to the beauty of those instruments too.
What a shame...
did steve vai have something to do with this? I really can't believe that people sat in a room and said "yep, thats the design we're going with...solid. good work all around fellas."
i think their guitar is too expensive. I like it
I don't think they are ugly, I quite all of them except the burst.
I'd love one - for a third of the price. Aesthetically, I think the toughest part of designing a new guitar is coming up with a cool headstock shape. Many have tried and failed. When Leo Fender started G&L his headstock designs weren't a patch on his earlier efforts (as much as I love my G&L Legacy).

Considering how innovative the Moog is in some areas, the headstock is an embarrassment.

The recent Gibson Robot guitar was all about autotuning and the Moog is all about sustain and muting. For the price of the Gibson you could buy a couple of decent guitars and keep them in alternate tunings. With my PRS and a $100 E-Bow I can pull off a few of the tricks the Moog achieves.

I still want one, but please, in a different body.
I remember this technology in the '80s.
It was patented by Fernandes and called the 'Fernandes Sustainer'.
You can buy kits for about £150 quid to retrofit any guitar with it.

There is no mention of this on the Moog site for obvious reasons.
I'm not in love with the looks, but I kind of like it in general. I like the recessed area for the controls.
a few things I thought when I saw it:
-eBow/Fernandes sustainer/infinite guitar
-arp avatar; roland gr300
-is it a guitar with 'normal' pickups or does it have some oscillators/lfos/... ?
-Steinberger and Klein guitars are much cooler looking, and lou reed used to use a Klein for a while in the 90s
-this moog guitar looks ugly and cheap
now that Bob is gone, these fuckers need to lose the "Moog" name

and i live in asheville, too - maybe i go down there and tell it to their face!
"Nothing does this... but this does..."
Isn't the Fernandes sustainer a rip of of the sustainiac sustainer?

The guy who runs that is the inventor an patent holder. And it's a cool system.

I had a thought, could the moog system be using the piezo bridge as a *driver* for the strings? Could the tiny piezo elements in each saddle impart movement if used in reverse?
What's novel about the Moog guitar in comparison with a Sustainiac or Fernandes is that it is hexaphonic - it will sustain all six strings simultaneously. Other sustainers can't do that. It also has some sort of sensing system in the frets to tell it what notes you are fretting, so it sustains those and actively mutes ones you aren't, so you don't have to worry about feedback on strings you aren't using.

Whether that is useful enough to cost $6.5k is up to the individual, but it's pretty much the difference between a mono and poly synth.

It also has a foot pedal that allows you to sweep through the harmonics of your strings, which I think is amazing, as well as a Moog ladder low pass filter.
Sounds interesting, but it's definitely ugly (looks like Rickenbacker trying to build a Strat) and costs way too much...



Kisses Minimoog

Sheds single tear.
All of the above people, including the writer of the article about the instrument have almost no idea what this guitar actually does, which is quite unique. I'm actually played the instrument in question, and it's quite astonishing- I've used (still use in fact) e-bows & have guitars outfitted with sustainiac pick-ups. The Moog guitar is in another category as far as this type of sustain is concerned- NO dead spots and controllable sustain at ANY volume- every other attempt at this has fallen WAY short. The other thing that you wouldn't understand unless you played it is that sustain can also be taken away- the physical properties of the strings vibrations change DRAMATICALLY under your fingers-as if the guitar suddenly became a banjo or koto underneath your fingers-NOT like a synth patch, but physically, in real time. Having said that, the guitar is way too expensive-I agree-Even for what it does, which is evolutionary. The folks at Moog won't like me saying it, but there it is. As far as Bob Moog's legacy- the folks in Asheville take his legacy VERY seriously indeed-they live it every day. Ugly is As Ugly Does-Posers Pose and Players Play what can I say...
I laughed pretty hard when you said that the link to Matrix Synth was NSFW, I seriously though 'Crap, I don't want people at work to think I'm some kind of closet axe perv'.
The trouble with the Fernandes Sustainer is that it isn't actuallty that good.

For starters, you need a hell of a lot of gain before you can hear any of the sustain effects, so if you want a clean undistorted sustain sound, like with an EBow, forget it.

The other problem is the strings that you AREN'T playing sustaining when you don't want them to.

Oh, and it's rubbish, with drop tunings and down tunings. It just can't cope with the heavier strings.

I'd like to try the Moog guitar out to see if it can beat the Fernandes in these respects. However, I don't want to pay that kind of price for it.

As it is, the EBow is the best sustain device (I've been using one for over 25 years, so I think I knwo what I'm talking about).

I've also had two Fernandes guitars and, sorry, but they don't cut it.
What a bunch of HORSES**T! Half the instruments fetishized on this blog are expen$ive as hell & absolutely hideous.... Oh & BTW if you want ugly check this


When I were a lad we would have killed for one of them funky Soviet axes. That's Cold War cred, right there. They've got 5-pin DIN sockets! How we ever beat that mob to the moon I'll never know.

When we were kids we could only afford guitars half that ugly.

Of course the West couldn't take this lying down and R&D into ugly guitars shifted to top gear. Open any B.C. Rich catalog and you'll see the result.

As for the 'hideous' and expensive gear 'fetishized' on this site (..she stood there in thigh boots and a leather teddy, an MS-20 under her arm...), be fair Anon. You're comparing apples and oranges.

We're talking about a guitar here, albeit one made by a renowned synth manufacturer. A large chunk of the gear porn featured on this site relates to keyboards and other electronica. It's not easy to design a really ugly synth, although some have pulled it off. It's far more likely for gear to disappoint because it's bland and uninspired. Electric guitar makers, however, can come up with almost any shape and it'll still function as an instrument.

And haven't they taken that and run with it.

Maybe there is some common ground between a wood panelled synth and a maple topped Les Paul. The electronic gear has one great advantage however. If you really find racks of valve powered goodies and acres of knobs, sliders, LEDs and keys "hideous", just dim the lights and enjoy the glow.
UGLY? I STILL don't see why people care what an instrument looks like AT ALL. All I care about, ALL I care about is how it sounds and how easy it is to play.
This Moog guitar has some amazing features. It's too expensive for me, but I would LOVE to have one...actually, I'd put the guts of the instrument in a different, more ergonomically shaped instrument.
Touche' ! A point well made & taken Bruce- And there is a common ground to be had- gold hardware and all. I'd love to hear what a Jonny Greenwood, Kevin Shields, or Dave Fuzinski would do with this (She sauntered to the door, thigh high high boots with Moog Guitar in tow....ding dong!)
brian T - I have a Fernandez Sustainor, a Paul with Sustainor system installed, both models of E-bow, all three types of Line6 modelling instruments, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that the Moog Guitar is on an entirely different level...

... and mine is ordered and on the way. I told them to send whichever color would be available first. Don't worry, none of you will ever have to gaze upon its horrible navy-mist ugliness, as it will only be used in the studio.

It's not a cute hat that you can strike a pose with and think you look tough, it's a professional instrument, with a price commensurate with the research, workmanship, and technology that went into it, so who cares what it looks like? I seriously doubt that anyone who actually understands the creative possibilities inherent in this instrument would refuse to buy it because it looks stupid. The Sustainor looks fruity as heck (mine is even puke green!), but that doesn't stop me from using it frequently.

If you need your guitar to be a fashion accessory, may I direct you to
I would be interested to see some one clone this technology and sell the unit to put in another guitar... moog should do that! hahaha

that would be the bomb till then I will pass its cool but its pretty lame looking and its way too expansive... I would a up to 300$ for the electronics...
wow a bit too expensive but a step in the right direction hmm... i just want the electronix... not the guitar please...
This comment has been removed by the author.
well the Feedback Guitar isn't ugly! It looks just like a Fender Deluxe Plus! Why can't the moog guitar make all of these sounds?
I think people are missing the real concern. While I agree it doesn't look great, I love the idea. The posibilities seem almost priceless. But Moog has put a $6000 pricetag on it. Which seems silly and selfish.

What concerns me here is the quality of the pickups. They have added this awesome electronics system to these pickups so that it can sustain, mute, or do a combination of both. But as far as tone goes, how do the pickups actually sound? Did they go cheap in the pickups just to get there electronic design tossed in?

I would love to have this system applied to some of my favorite pickups. Why aren't they working with ever pickup company to make this a custom option in the pickups? I love my beautiful Seymour Duncan humbuckers. I want this system in those pickups. I love the tele pickups in the new Fender American Standard Telecasters. But imagine this effect applied to that awesome sound. I think you get my point. There are brilliant sounding pickups out there. This amazing effect won't get applied to those pickups and it is a darn shame.
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