FOMOfx has set its sights on making whammy bar-induced tuning inconsistencies a thing of the past with its new-and-improved, fully digital Virtual Jeff Pro, which is compatible with electric guitars and acoustic guitars.
The brand – set up by Australian guitar veterans Peter Walker and Ian Moss – unveiled the first iteration of its Virtual Jeff at NAMM 2016, which scooped the Best in Show award that year. Now, FOMOfx has returned with an updated version that vows to supply a smorgasbord of whammy-style sounds with no tuning gambles.
Promising “luscious waggles, pitch-perfect bends, killer dive bombs and no tuning hassles," the Virtual Jeff Pro features two components – a precision-machined whammy bar that can be retro-fitted and a feature-packed stompbox.
In practice, the whammy bar can be attached to your axe without any modification by way of a machined-groove mounting plate with an adhesive strip – a combination that is said to be capable of surviving even the hottest of gigs.
The newly designed stompbox, meanwhile, is labelled by the brand as “the secret sauce." Two individual channels – Whammy A and Whammy B – are available, and can be used to curate a number of effects thanks to the eight LED lights that mark semi-tone increments.
Three footswitches aim to provide an intuitive user experience, with the A/B switch lining up alongside the on/off Active button. The third button is a Virtual Capo, which can be applied in both directions to access higher keys or drop tunings.
“People would say, ‘Why do you need a digital version [of a whammy bar]?’ Because, when Paul Bigsby brought out the Bigsby in the early ‘50s, then Leo Fender with the floating trem and Floyd Rose with their system – they all have great sounds and enabled artists to come out with new tricks and exciting innovations,” said Walker.
“But,” he continued, “There’s a price to pay. Your guitar tends to go out of tune pretty easily, you have to replace nuts and saddles because they get worn out, and it’s pretty hard or impossible to put one on an acoustic guitar.
“It seemed to me that a digital version would actually be a hell of a lot of fun.”
The Virtual Jeff Pro is available now for $499. To find out more, head over to FOMOfx.