Travel guitars with built-in speakers and effects have been on the market for an absolute age, but we’ve seen a number of dedicated instruments recently that have embraced our modern digital world to include smartphone integration.
What if you already have a six-string workhorse and don’t really want to stump up the extra cash to buy a smartphone-friendly axe? That’s precisely the problem that the JamStack was designed to solve. It’s a portable guitar amplifier that snaps onto a strap peg and makes use of a connected smartphone to tap into an almost infinite universe of app-based digital effects.
The JamStack project began with electrical engineer and self-confessed tinkerer Chris Prendergast mutilating his guitar to add a smartphone and make use of its arsenal of digital sound capabilities and output the tones through a small speaker installed in the instrument.
Fueled by suggestions and encouragement from friends, he subsequently created a basic prototype (covered in cardboard) of a speaker and smartphone mount that could be attached and detached from pretty much any guitar at will – in a similar way to the Standley acoustic guitar stand. This led to a somewhat slicker proof-of-concept design and a Kickstarter crowdfunding launch to get the JamStack onto the strap pegs of mobile guitarists.