All this would be more than enough for most, but wait, don’t order yet… the E1 comes with a control pedal, so what you hear is the low harmonic and with the pedal you can move to the high harmonic. In sustain mode you can use the pedal to control which pickup generates the sustain, and when you move the pedal to either the heel or toe position, the other pickup is actually muting the strings at that position. With the control pedal centered, both pickups give equal amounts of energy, giving you the strongest response to the strings. When you engage either the Controlled filter or the Articulated filter, that Harmonic Blending option becomes available on the E1’s control panel (the center-notched knob next to the Filter Toggle switch). This is way cool, and it offers such a great textures that you’ll want to spend a lot of time exploring it.

Flip the Filter
Toggle switch and the pedal controls the ladder filter for what Fareed Haque called “a wah-wah pedal for the new millennium.” Of course it’s not a wah-wah, but that’s the neighborhood it lives in. I would be remiss to not make a quick mention of the classic EBow, which was the first thing that gave infinite sustain to guitarists. It is a great product, but the E1’s possibilities go much farther, as it’s polyphonic. The E1 is easier to use and can do all the EBow does and frankly, it does it better. The E1’s response seems smoother and much more controllable, and with the pedal and everything else I mentioned there’s just no contest.

The Final Mojo… or Is It?
The E1 is a whole new deal, which requires you to completely rethink the way you play guitar and how you make music in general. There will be players who will have no interest in this at all, but for others this will be the ultimate instrument. If Allan Holdsworth doesn’t have one, I would be surprised. The recent inclusion of MIDI compatibility seems only natural to me; in fact, it’s hard to imagine why they even made these without it—perhaps to show how much can be done without a synth? Anyway you look at it, it is amazing to have synth-like sustain coming from strings. I can see the E1 being a staple in every studio in the same way the Yamaha DX7 was in the ‘80s. The possibilities for orchestral music also seem very exciting. I mean, why not skip the fake string ensemble and have real string sounds? I am also sure we’ll be hearing sustained single-note solos in songs on the radio real soon. As many times as reviewers will say something like, “This changes everything,” I guess I’ll say it anyway. This changes everything, so go check it out.
Buy if...
you want cutting-edge tech and infinite sustain.
Skip if...
you’re resolved to sticking to the old school.

MSRP $3649 - Moog Music -