Updated: See also iGuitar.USB: More Questions Answered; iGuitar.USB USB Guitar Specs, Pricing, and Clarifications

Finally: one USB cable, one guitar, one computer — you’re done.

I’ve been watching for this one for a while, and at long last, it’s here and shipping. Brian Moore has taken their excellent iGuitar line of digitally-equipped guitars, and added class-compliant USB, via the new iGuitar.USB model. Plug it into a USB jack, and you have instant access to your sound in recording and effects software, no drivers required. Fully bus-powered, so you don’t even need a power brick. Unlike Gibson’s so-called “digital guitar,” what’s great about the iGuitar.USB is that you can connect a single USB cable between your guitar and your computer for audio: no breakout boxes or multiple cabling required.

We looked at this device earlier with Andy Ihnatko’s custom-built iUke ukelele, which crammed the same tech into a uke. Andy was blissfully happy with it, plugging it into the effects in GarageBand. As for the guitars themselves, they have a sparkling reputation, as a couple of readers here have previously noted.

What about MIDI? Unfortunately, that does still require a breakout box, though again your best way to go is the iGuitar. Since Brian Moore includes an optional 13-pin RMC port (a special connection designed just for the purpose), you can connect it to a box like the Roland GI-20 USB box and control your soft synths via surprisingly accurate MIDI tracking.

Bottom line: this thing is more likely to be useful than Gibson’s digital offering, and, unlike the Digital Les Paul, the Brian Moore guitars are actually shipping. Sorry to beat up on you like this, Gibson, but my money is that this is what most “digital guitarists” will want.

Oh, and before you start hollering that FireWire is a better option, it isn’t, necessarily. USB can have extremely low-latency operation, and works without drivers. That latter point alone is worthwhile — imagine having to carry a CD with drivers in your guitar case. No, thanks. Of course, while there’s lots of feedback on the non-USB Brian Moore guitars, we still have to see how this performs in person; stay tuned.


iUke USB Ukulele: More Details, USB Guitar is Coming Soon

Gibson’s Digital Les Paul Guitar: Innovation or Reinvention?

The FireWire Electric Guitar

  • Guest

    I love the idea. However,USB cable max length is 3 meters and the cable does not appear to latch into the socket. 2 big problems for me.

  • derek

    They defintely designed the usb portion to accomadate studio usage. I've never seen anyone play these things live, but I know a few who have used them in the studio.

  • admin

    Well, you're right — in fairness, I should acknowledge that what the Gibson guitar is good for is something very different; it can work onstage and over long distances.

    That said, I can see people using this onstage, entirely dependent on what their stage needs *are*. For instance, there are already people who work with a laptop (or other equipment, like a stack of loop pedals, etc.) nearby, which means they don't need more than the 3 meter length of a USB cable.

    Incidentally, even if you do need the length — meaning you're nixing USB for live work — the iGuitars are still worth a look for the excellent pickups and RMC connector, if you're doing MIDI stuff.

  • Guest

    So I got one of these bad boys last sunday..and plugged uit up into garageband 2 days ago. Simply put.. it rocks.. I don't know a lick about playing guitar..YET… casue I'm more of a keyboard guy. But this makes it so easy to learn and incorporate into stuff. not to mention. not having to have an AMP or anything.. I can play through my computer…to my speakers/headphones.

    As far as the USB latching into the socket. IT seemed to click right in and hold a good grip to me. So unless I'm misunderstanding…. I don't think that would be a big issue.

    It is very roomate friendly.


    If you have specific questions..email me.. and I'll see if I can answer them.


    E- Im a Rock Star….now 8)

  • Guest

    I noticed Gizmodo and this story doesn't mention exactly where to get one.

    Well thanks go trusty ol' Google, there's a big store in NYC that has it. Their website is http://www.jr.com.

  • admin

    Oh yeah, I can almost see J&R from where I'm writing this. 😉

    J&R is just one place to go. You'll find regular demo events and a dealer finder on the Brian Moore site. International dealers included.


  • Guest


    lol..you said "Stay Tuned" O-o

  • Guest

    If you've already spent $3,000 on a decent electric guitar, you've probably spent the $1,000 needed to get a decent AD convertor like the Yamaha 01X. I don't see the point of a USB guitar.

  • Guest

    for those of you worried about the cable limitation of usb take look here

    Thuis little gadget extends the bus to 40Metres


  • admin

    Very cool — it extends usb length by switching data to fiber optic. Theoretically, that should work quite nicely, though of course I'd want to test it.

    Could be useful for other projects, as well; USB limitations can be very restrictive for other things, too.

  • Guest


    can extender usb cable to longer lengths.
    haven't tried it yet.


  • I just bought a electric guitar with usb output to the computer.

    I can not get it to play out the usb port.

    I wonted to be able to record the music on the guitar digitally into the computer useing Cake Walk. so I could print out the music. Is this possible with the usb guitar?

    If you could e-mail be any thing I could do to get working. I sure would appreciate it>

    Thanks Luther

  • Yensog

    Did anyone notice that this thing is a B-type usb hub? If someone made an A-type hub, then you could use a bluetooth usb module, and connect via bluetooth to any computer (with bluetooth capability) with any music software. Is Moore reading this? He should take some notes…

  • Lorena

    What I dont understand is why this is any different from the others because there is also the behringer iAxe 393 and its spose to sound as good as a fender stratocaster. So why does that only cos about $100 while this cos lots more?

    Just curious because im thinking of buying one

  • Junke Maile

    I've been trying to "buy" a Brian Moore 1.13 w/USB for a year now and every couple of months Brian Moore tells me that my order has been pushed back. Good luck trying to get one…..

  • Sosa

    You could always try a lightsnake: http://sewelldirect.com/lightsnake-usb-instrument

    One end plugs into your guitar and the other plugs into a USB port – a lot cheaper (and more convenient) than getting a new USB guitar.

  • GuitarNut

    A friend said he saw a video on some site of a new 'fret scanning' guitar synth – regular frets, regular strings, USB, MIDI out and no delays. Suppose to react 'instantly' on electric guitar and bass (!) and going to sell for '$500 or so'. I did not see anything like that reported from the NAMM show. Anybody heard of such a thing? I want one!!