GUITORGAN
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GUITORGAN
Instruments previously assembled in Waco, TX between 1969 and 1988 (the guitars were produced in Japan, and the electronics were built and installed in the U.S.). Distributed by Musiconics (MCI) in Waco, TX.
Inventor Bob Murrell introduced the GuitOrgan prototype at the 1967 Chicago NAMM show, along with partner Bill Mostyn and demonstrator Bob Wiley. Early home-built production began in 1967; a production factory was opened in 1968. Murrell's company started out as Murrell Electronics, which evolved into Musiconics International (MCI). Murrell combined his electronics and musical backgrounds in his vision of a guitar that could also offer Hammond organ-type sounds.
While developing his prototype, Murrell worked with Baldwin for his own organ circuitry (Baldwin was just beginning to import the Burns models to the U.S., and was interested in the various aspects of the guitar market). The finished product featured a fingerboard with segmented frets (six segments, one per string) wired to the internal controls. As a result, when a note or notes are fretted, the organ is triggered - and the note will sustain as long as the note stays fretted. The GuitOrgan allows players the option of either or both sounds of a guitar and the on-board organ. Peavey later approximated this same segmented fret/wired-to-circuitry approach in their own MidiBass (later CyberBass) MIDI controller.
GuitOrgans feature Murrell's own design of organ circuitry, with voices derived from Baldwin products (by permission). Early models were built in various guitars that could house the circuitry. Production models featured the wide hollowbody models from Ventura and Univox, built in Japan. Some models may also be Ibanez or Yamaha.
GuitOrgans have three jacks on the side of the body: Two standard 1/4 in. phono jacks, and a three-point electrical jack for the wall plug (power supply). That's right, this guitar plugs into the wall! Using the two jacks, the player can run two amps (or two channels of the same amp). In the late 1980s, Murrell also began wiring the GuitOrgan with MIDI controls; the additional MIDI cost was $480. Murrell would also wire a customer-supplied guitar for $1,200. Source: Teisco Del Rey, Guitar Player magazine. The author would like to thank Allen Karp for his contributions to the GuitOrgan section.

From Blue Book Publications:


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