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SmoothHound – a new angle for wireless guitarists

I’ve been casting around for a good way to avoid the trip hazard that is the generic guitar lead, they’re tiresome in my home “studio” where wires are everywhere, but, also a mission critical problem in the small venues I’ve gigged at, especially when fellow musicians tread on them mid-song and suddenly I’m unplugged and silent…

Turns out there’s a local company here in Cambridge, SmoothHound, who have weighed in with a clean and lean piece of kit that could be the best catch for the home musician, street buskers, the semi-pro (and probably even) pro gigging players. Their classic Wireless Guitar System uses digital wireless audio to get rid of the wire but avoids that whole bulky belt pack transmitter technology too. In fact, having tried it out in a live setting a couple of times, I can vouch for the fact that you almost forget it’s there, it just jacks into your guitar (electric, electro-acoustic, bass, whatever) almost out of sight and out of mind. The receiver simply plugs into the desk or your amp and sends out rich, high-fidelity sound, that picks up every nuance of your tone without any of the nasty hiss of the outmoded VHF-type systems out there.

It’s all very easy to setup. Just plug it in and switch on. The system automatically adapts to the environment and avoids interference from any nearby Wi-Fi gadgets. Moreover, the SmoothHound has an ARM chip in the transmitter and in the receiver to encode and decode the signal from your guitar without any loss of quality and does all that pretty much instantaneously giving it a very low latency, which worked perfectly playing live with my electro-acoustic Taylor  six-string recently). Speaking of which, the system has a range of about 60 metres, which is more than adequate for your home studio or the upstairs room at the local pub.


The two AAA batteries in the transmitter last about 15 hours, which would be plenty even for Springsteen, and the mains-powered receiver has a charge indicator for transmitter battery strength so your guitar tech (yeah, right) knows when to run to you with replacements, preferably not mid-song. Oh, and here’s a top tip: being wireless at your soundcheck means you can step away from the performance area and listen to the full band (and you), which is a very useful thing to be able to do when setting up!

I’ve been fishing for an angle for this review and so I’m reeling in a few puns I’ve hooked just to say that the SmoothHound frees you entirely from the guitar lead that so often gets snagged and tangled while you play whether you’re gigging or riffing on a chair at home with your Marshall cranked up to 11. Highly recommended. Weigh up SmoothHound here or sail on over to amazon to land one right now.

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