Home » Music » EBow vs. Aeon – String Driver SHOOTOUT (Comparing ALL Aspects)

EBow vs. Aeon – String Driver SHOOTOUT (Comparing ALL Aspects)

Performer Life is supported by its readers. If you buy something with our links, we may earn a commission.

If you’re a guitarist, chances are you’ve heard of the EBow and the Aeon. Both of these devices are designed to drive strings and create new sounds.

So, which is better? The answer may surprise you.

And to find that answer, you need to read the whole TC electronic aeon review to make an informed decision. But here’s a quick summary:

While the Aeon is more contemporary and expensive, many guitarists prefer the EBow because it’s easier to use and more versatile. With the EBow, you can get a broader range of sounds, from subtle sustain to wild vibrato.

Also, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right string driver for your needs. Comparing Aeon and EBow can help you decide which one is right for you. 

Both drivers have unique features and benefits, so it’s essential to understand what each one offers before making a purchase.

Here’s a comparison of the Aeon and EBow string drivers to help you decide which one is right for you.

We recommend you check out this article for more in-depth information about the differences between the two units.

So what is an EBow?

Well, as you probably know, it’s a small hand-held device with a magnetic head and a handle.

The EBow is an electronic gadget that emulates the auto-repeating notes of the violin bow. It was created in 1975 by inventor Henry O Smith and became very popular in the 80s when Stevie Wonder used it to make his hit song “Isn’t She Lovely.”

The EBow is a fun and easy-to-use effects pedal that every electric guitarist or bassist should own. It creates that incredible, droning sound used by Hendrix and countless others over the years. 

The ability to self-produce this drone-like note is excellent when performing live or getting into the zone with your instrument.

EBow is a brand of hand-held musical instrument, a type of contact microphone that uses a magnetic field to produce notes and sounds, remarkably sustained tones. 

Invented by Tom Erbe, the EBow uses a magnet that moves within and along an electromagnetic coil, creating an oscillating magnetic field.

Everyone loves the EBow. It’s one of the most fun effects devices you can find. Unfortunately, the EBow is not cheap. 

The EBow has been used in many applications, from popular music to experimental music to film scores. It would be nice if there were a budget version of the EBow that is durable and cheaper but without the noise.

We’ll need to go over the following definitions for the EBow device:

  • Drive Channel: This area of the EBow is where we want to place the string. The instrument never directly contacts the string it is driving. The active string will be illuminated by blue light.
  • Guide Grooves: The Drive Channel’s on either side, and the Guide Grooves are where the EBow device rests. Only here does the EBow make contact with the (unplayed) strings.

What is inside an EBow?

A vibrating string is placed over an input coil within the EBow, which generates an electrical current.

The series continues to resonate at the same frequency due to the output coil creating a magnetic field when the signal is passed through it.

The EBow is instantly downloadable from Google and is patent-protected in the US. The inner circuitry of the EBow is described in detail in the patent.

The device’s nine-volt battery provides electricity. The player holds the EBow in their picking hand, and changes in sound are made by selecting various modes or moving the EBow differently.

If you wonder who makes EBow? It is non-other your favorite Heet Sound Products; it is one of the best amongst other sound products. 

String Activation

Once the EBow is in position, the drive channel string should start vibrating. Accelerate the vibration by pressing down on the EBow.

The EBow moves across the strings as the strings transition from the Guide Grooves to the Drive Channel position, activating each row as it does so.

Volume, Sound, and Drive Control

The key factor affecting the volume and tone of your EBow is where you place it. All you have to do to change the drive is to move the EBow closer to the strings.

For volume control, move the EBow nearer or farther from the pickup. The tone gets louder the closer the gadget is to this pickup.

Modes of the EBow

The effect of an EBow is most noticeable when it is over one of the transducer’s high points; otherwise, the note does not sound as clear, and there is a slight indentation where the volume drops off in the center.

You can produce sounds resembling violin bows if you start far from the sensor and gently advance the EBow in that direction.

String Bending

With an EBow, you could sustain a note while changing its pitch by bending the strings. To accomplish this, you must tilt the EBow so that the string may pass underneath it without slamming against the sides.

Synthy Sounds

If you keep a string in place, you can play ragged legato with your grasping hand to create sounds resembling synthesizers.

With your fretting hand, strike a note, but instead of dragging it to an open string, simply release it so the string mutes. As a result, an irregular synthesizer-like sound is produced.

Simply move the string while the sustained note is playing to create a variety of additional synthesizer sounds.

Tremolo Effects

The sustain is created by the magnetic field of the EBow and depends on how far the unit is to the string.

The effect is substantially closer to the unit of the string. The EBow can be moved up and down, farther from and closer to the string, to produce a tremolo-like effect.

Here are several motions and how the EBow’s audio output is affected by them:

  • Gliding – In the Drive Channel, sliding the string up and down produces bowing motions.
  • Pressing – Firmer pushing on the EBow moves the Drive Stream nearer to the troubled string, increasing drive.
  • Tilting – Tilting will reduce drive and produce a more transparent tone by tilting the gadget to one side. This technique is proper when attempting to imitate bending actions with bottom strings, and this technique is applicable.
  • Rocking – The entire tone is mellowed by bouncing the front end of the EBow, which shifts the driving field away from the strings. Gain can be decreased by shaking the device’s opposite end.
  • Spiccato – You can smack the EBow against the Supporting Strings to simulate the sound of a vibrating violin bow. You can mute the strings with your left hand to produce a spiccato sound that is even purer. Only open strings are compatible with this method.

EBow vs. Joyo

Since its inception more than 40 years ago, the EBow has had a few challenges in the portable infinite sustainer industry, at least until the arrival of TC Electronic’s Aeon last year and the recent release of Joyo’s JGE-01.

Californian company Heet Sound introduced the EBow at the NAMM exhibit in 1976. Apart from the most recent devices from Joyo and TC Electronic, there haven’t been many reproductions on the market, even though it has been there for more than 40 years.

Although the pearl white polyamide construction of the JGE-01 is not nearly as fashionable as TC’s effort, it does have the advantage of two sustainer impacts for electric guitar: Standard and Overtone.

While there isn’t much difference between the two settings, you’ve got to appreciate the extra switch and the fact that a single 9V battery powers everything.

Budget EBow Alternative – Joyo vs. Sound Stone

This article compares the EBow with its two main competitors, the Joyo and the SoundStone Stereo Tremolo. All three are simple effects pedals that reproduce the EBow’s iconic sound.

Michele says: “I own a bunch of different types of guitars. I collect vintage guitars and electric guitars. I also like to play electric bass guitar, acoustic-electric guitar, electric keyboard bass, and acoustic-electric bass guitar.

For those that don’t know, the EBow is an effective device that enables a guitarist to create sustained, beautiful sounds. The EBow works by creating an electromagnetic field between a pickup coil and magnets on its body. 

You then slide a metal or glass bar called an ‘E-Stringer’ over the top of the EBow, and it will cause the string to begin sustaining.

The EBow is probably the most famous effect pedal in history, but it’s also quite expensive. So I’ve compared the EBow and two other pedals that can get similar sounds.

I recently had the opportunity to try out two different types of electromagnetic string drivers: the EBow and the Aeon.

I was really impressed with both devices, but some critical differences between them may make one more suitable for your needs than the other. 

TC Electronic Aeon review

The EBow string sustainer is an excellent tool for bringing mystery to a song and breaking out of a solo rut. The first true hand-held rival to the EBow is the TC Electronic AEON.

It is also made possible by its relatively inexpensive cost, an excellent ebow alternative for casual users who are unsure about an effect they’ll only use occasionally.

The AEON uses an electromagnetic field generated by a 9V battery to vibrate a guitar string similar to the EBow. Although it is easy to use and straightforward, a few tricks are required to get the best performance and quality.

Two curved channels serve as string guides, ensuring that the string stays in the center of the electromagnetic field.

As important as it is, the AEON must be placed at the vibrational sweet spot throughout the length of the string. However, moving the AEON from that region causes noticeable changes in frequency.

AEON is intriguing research on the design economy. A clip rather than a compartment secures the battery, and a single push button is used to turn on the effect.

It might be more comfortable with a few simple ergonomic improvements like thumb and finger divots, and the brushed metal shell will keep it from slipping in moist hands.

With those minor complaints aside, AEON is a blast and a quick way to boost your guitar’s creative potential.

TC Electronic Aeon Sustainer – and EBow challenger?

The new Aeon String Sustainer, which seeks to unseat the persistently well-liked EBow hand-held string sustainer, has just been revealed by those wacky, groovy Danes over at TC Electronic. 

Two specially created transducers drive the Aeon, and TC believes this new contemporary interpretation of the EBow might be a sensation. The fundamental idea behind an EBow is that it will vibrate your strings and give them sustained sound. 

The Aeon aims to accomplish the same thing. The customer can handle the unit a little bit farther away because of the additional string clearance, according to TC.

This effect should be easy to use with a gorgeous polished aluminum shell and just one button to activate. It uses a single 9-Volt battery for power efficiency and switches off automatically after 8 minutes.

They seem to be reasonably well made on the official TC demo video below. Additionally, they come with an applicable three-year warranty.

The best part about string sustainers is that you can use them on both bass and acoustic guitars. I feel there will be a tonne of enjoyment here, and the price is also great. Add a little delay, a little reverb, and possibly a little fuzz to produce crazy whale noises or endlessly sustaining epic solos.

To begin with, TC Electronic claims that Aeon’s transducers provide a signal strong enough that it can be produced without being held directly above a string. The Aeon is contained in a brushed metal body rather than black plastic.

What each driver offers in terms of features and benefits

There are two electromagnetic string drivers – the EBow and the Aeon. Each offers unique features and benefits, so it’s essential to understand what each has to offer before choosing which one is right for you. 

The EBow is a relatively small, lightweight driver that can easily attach to your instrument. It provides a wide range of tones and can be used with any stringed instrument (guitar, bass, etc.).

How to decide which driver is right for you?

When it comes to choosing between EBow and Aeon, it really depends on what your needs are. If you’re looking for something that can provide a more powerful sound, then Aeon would be the better choice. 

However, if you’re looking for something more portable and easier to use, the EBow would be the way to go.

The Aeon is suitable for many of the same things, but it takes more time to get the sound you want, and the sounds you get aren’t as smooth.

Effects Pedals

As you probably know, guitarists have a wide range of effects pedals to choose from. There are wah pedals, noise gates, octave pedals, and phasers. The most important thing about your choice of product pedal is its ability to work with your playing style.

The EBow is a bulky, hand-held device that fits over the strings. Its design consists of a small hand crank on one end and a rubber band on the other. The EBow detects when you pluck a string and then slowly and gently vibrates the string. 

You control the intensity of the vibration with your hand crank. You can also use the EBow with an amplifier and amps that have effects. All you need to do is plug it in.

There are three main ways you can use the EBow. First, you can apply the EBow directly to a string to create a fast vibrato sound.

This is my favorite way to use the EBow because it sounds very fluid, especially on higher lines like the G string. The Aeon has a similar effect, but you must first push it lightly before getting any results.

What does a guitar EBow do?

If you’re unfamiliar with it, here’s a brief description: The EBow is short for “electric bow,” and it’s a hand-held device that allows you to play the guitar electronically. 

You can get a variety of sounds – from warm, sustained tones to wild, vibrato-like effects – by holding the EBow directly above the strings. It’s small, lightweight, and easy to use.

On the other hand, the Aeon is designed to produce a specific type of sound and sustain it for a long time.

So, if you’re looking for something to play “The Song of Storms” with, the Aeon may be the best option. But if you want versatility, something you can use repeatedly, the EBow is an excellent choice.

The Aeon is a more potent instrument capable of producing more volume. It’s also a bit more durable than the EBow and is built to last. 

On the other hand, the EBow is much lighter, cheaper, and can even be used untethered. The EBow has a more versatile design as it can be used in vertical and horizontal positions.

Either way, you’ll love the sound that you get. The Aeon and EBow are both tops of the line regarding professional violin accessories.

Both of these drivers are powerful, effective, and perfect for all situations. In our opinion, and we’re basing this on experience, it’s best to get both!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Uses EBow?

The EBow’s quality may be a concern for some guitarists. Examining the artists who have used the EBow is a solid justification for its use.

The list is quite lengthy. Here are a few well-known names, but you can find the entire list on the EBow website.
-Duran Duran
-David Bowie
-Pink Floyd
-Red Hot Chili Peppers
-Tom Petty
-Van Halen

Thousands of guitarists also use the EBow throughout the world. Since they cost under $100, anyone who wants to enjoy their guitar can get one of these gadgets.

Does EBow Work on Acoustic Guitars?

As long as the acoustic guitar’s strings include magnetic metals, like steel strings, the EBow can be used with them.

Since bronze and nylon strings are not electromagnetic, the EBow will not function with acoustic guitars that employ them.

Bronze strings are commonly used on acoustic guitars. Steel is frequently used for the “B” and “High-E” strings, whereas copper is frequently used for the looping strings.

The EBow will only play the two high strings on your acoustic unless all steel strings are correctly inserted.
Since the EBow works with magnetic fields instead of pickups, it can be used with any guitar; however, the tone will be significantly softer.

Magnetic pickups are sometimes found in the two-way interaction of acoustic instruments. Then, your EBow should function just like it on an acoustic guitar.

A soundhole sensor can be installed as an ebow alternative. However, there are a few drawbacks to using EBow with an acoustic guitar:
Slower string activation
-Increased string decay
-Quieter sound

When the EBow is taken out, the heavier strings on the acoustically vibrate faster and more slowly, depending on how rich they are. Considering that it is not amplified, the sound will be quieter.

When using the EBow on an acoustic guitar without needing a transducer, you will also be denied access to the HotSpot functionality, which prevents you from using spiccato or bending strokes. EBow may generate a warm, clear, and natural string tone on acoustic guitars.

Should I Get an EBow?

If you’re seeking a fresh way to enjoy your guitar, you should acquire an EBow. The EBow is a great way to create sounds that can’t be achieved with conventional picking techniques, even though it can require some time to understand how to manipulate the instrument effectively.

The EBow, in my opinion, is best suited for musicians that enjoy exploring new sounds.

The bands previously mentioned are well-known performers who accomplished precisely that. Although using the EBow requires some care, it can add anything special to your audio.