Is Mooer Audio’s GTRS S800 Intelligent Guitar the future of electric guitar design?

Mooer Audio has made its name for its generously spec'd and affordable amp modellers, multi-effects units and a wide range of pedalboard goodies, but has it just made all of this floor candy obsolete?

The Mooer Audio GTRS Intelligent Guitar S800 looks for all the world like a regular electric guitar – an analogue S-style design that's evolved some but is nonetheless fundamentally unchanged from designs pioneered in the '50s. But the GTRS S800 is anything but regular. 

Equipped with DSP tech, it has 126 effects, a drum machine, metronome, and an 80-second looper, all easily accessible via its unique Super Knob.

One twist of the Super Knob and you can pair the guitar with the GTRS app, giving you access to Mooer's GE series effects, Tone Capture tech and presets. The only pedal you might need is the wireless GWF4 footswitch, which lets you switch between tones and presets. 

Launching soon via IndieGoGo, the GTRS S800 has a basswood body, a bolt-on roasted maple neck in a C profile, and a 12" radius rosewood fingerboard. Its HSS pickup configuration sees a pair of SC-1N Alnico V and SC-1M Alnico V single-coils in the neck and middle positions complemented by an HM-1B Alnico V humbucker at the bridge position.

The analogue side of the guitar all seems quite conventional. It's got a 25.5" scale, 22 nickel-silver frets. There is a five-way pickup selector and volume and tone controls. The third knob? Well, that's the Super Knob, where the digital magic begins, allowing you to cycle through presets and control the main output.

Offered in Vintage White, Shell Pink, Surf Green, and Sonic Blue, the GTRS S800 has vintage-style chrome tuners, matching two-point tremolo unit, and a bone nut. 

Other future-forward features include Bluetooth 5.0 so you can connect with your headphones and play wirelessly and silently, a USB-C connecting for charging the 4000mA lithium-ion battery, and full support for iOS/Android and cloud sharing.

There are no prices as yet but Mooer Audio has a reputation for delivering hi-tech guitar solutions at a bewilderingly low price. See the Mooer Audio for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.