2010 | Manson MB-1: Overview


The Manson MB-1 was one of the first 'real' guitars to incorporate touch pad technology. It sends MIDI control changes from the XY Pad dynamically effecting its sounds using a Korg Kaoss Pad. 

Who Used it?

Matthew Bellamy from Muse designed the MB-1 in close collaboration with Manson Guitars and uses it extensively for live performance. 


How does it work?

The MB-1 has a onboard XY touchpad which sends control changes via MIDI. Matthew often uses a MIDI Jet to wirelessly transmits MIDI control changes to his Korg Kaoss pad applying dynamic effects like delays, filters and phasers. The XY touchpad also controls Kaoss Pad synthesizers in a 'random' spacey sort of a way.

The custom Manson MBK-2 humbucker bridge pick-up produces the high gain crunch heard on tracks like “Hysteria” and “Super Massive Black Hole.” The live/kill toggle allows rhythmic type  stutter while an onboard Fernando Sustainer can continuously resonate the strings giving an infinite sustain. 

 The Verdict?

The MB-1 offers amazing possibilities clearly showcased by Matthew Bellamy's outstanding performances. While it has very limited synthesizer control capabilities, it is a beautiful statement that brings multiple dimensions of sonic capabilities. 

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