An innovative instrument that can record, playback and interface with a computer.

FOR: Guitar players, students and songwriters. The iDea OPI-1 preamp can record around 100 minutes of MP3 files from a combination of saddle pickup and an onboard mic. It can also export song ideas or import other material via USB. Use playback to learn tunes, and even change the tempo without changing pitch to work up to speed on new material. Creatively speaking, it’s like having a second musician on hand. Practically speaking, it’s like a teacher. Bonus for newbies: the CC54i plays easily, the result of its electric neck profile, cutaway and Ovation’s Mid-Depth Bowl design.

NOT FOR: High-end recording.

–Dave Jones

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