The CASIO EG-5 guitar is a fascinatingly bizarre time warp, containing a built-in tape machine and amplifier.
The CASIO EG-5 is an endearingly quirky guitar, belonging to a long lineage of quirky guitar releases from Japanese manufacturers. Since it’s from the 1980s, many of the features found in EG-5 are now hilariously obsolete. Similar to the iconic CASIO SK-1, the EG-5 is portable, self-sufficient and not designed to be taken too seriously (though if you can find one, they seem to be surprisingly expensive).
Its inbuilt cassette tape is the feature that makes the EG-5 especially unique. It can be used to record loops of your own playing so you could play along with yourself, a kind of archaic version of the loop pedal. Cassettes are pretty niche nowadays, but they were all the rage when the EG-5 was first conceived.
There is also an inbuilt amplifier, which is pretty much as quirky as an inbuilt cassette deck (maybe as crazy as an inbuilt fuzz). The sound? Terrible. But still, there is so much to love.
This peculiar guitar is a reminder that even though the guitar has remained mostly unchanged since its electrification, the technology that has developed around it has made an enormous difference in how it is played. In particular, it highlights how the digitalisation of music has revolutionised the recording, looping and playing back of music in a remarkably short period of time.
But anyway, we salute the EG-5. Check out the demo below. You’ve never a version of Stairway to Heaven like it.