Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by cornutt » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:27 pm

Well, it's a Roland-branded guitar, and it was made to their specifications, but I don't think Roland ever actually manufacturered the guitars themselves. I'm fairly sure that in the GR500/300/700 era, all of the guitars were built by Ibanez.

Incidentally, the early guitar synths all came out of a separate division of Roland. That division was also responsible for the JX3P and the JX8P.
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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by Naive Teen Idol » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:34 pm

Actually, I'm almost positive the guitar was made by Yamaha.

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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by cornutt » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:39 pm

Naive Teen Idol wrote:Actually, I'm almost positive the guitar was made by Yamaha.
You could be right... that G-303 does look a lot like the Yamaha BB2000, which was popular then.

EDIT: I know for a fact that the GR500 guitar was made by Ibanez. The others, I don't know.
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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by tim gueguen » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:02 am

The guitars for the Roland guitar synth systems were made by Fujigen(sometimes rendered Fuji Gen) Gakki, a Japanese maker who has made instruments for many labels including Ibanez, Greco, and Fender Japan. The G303 and G808 guitars were identical to instruments from Greco's GO series other than the added synth control electronics, and very similar to Ibanez's Musician line. The Strat style G202 and G505 guitars were basically Ibanez Blazers with synth electronics added, down to the distinctive hooks on the ends of the cutaway horns.
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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by hyphen nation » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:14 am

tim gueguen wrote:The guitars for the Roland guitar synth systems were made by Fujigen(sometimes rendered Fuji Gen) Gakki, a Japanese maker who has made instruments for many labels including Ibanez, Greco, and Fender Japan. The G303 and G808 guitars were identical to instruments from Greco's GO series other than the added synth control electronics, and very similar to Ibanez's Musician line. The Strat style G202 and G505 guitars were basically Ibanez Blazers with synth electronics added, down to the distinctive hooks on the ends of the cutaway horns.
From everything I can tell, it looks like an Ibanez artist of the time, which seriously, on their own are beautiful guitars, and can fetch close to $850-1000...they are a take down of Alembic guitars [http://alembic.stores.yahoo.net/guitinstocno.html], the hippie sandwich [heavy body made of many laminated layers] and a neck through design...think Jerry Garcia...I have played a few in shops...really nice guitars...another reason why I want a GR-300

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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by rodgre » Fri May 31, 2013 2:28 am

I did a search and found this ancient thread and wanted to shout out for the GR-300 as well.

It is definitely the best-tracking guitar synthesizer I have ever played (a distant second place goes to the Casio PG-380 with built-in digital synth and slow-tracking midi out). It is unlike any other analog synthesizer I have ever heard. It's sound palette may be limited, but if you find a place for it in your music, its such a blast to play.

I bought mine back in the late 80s with the G-505 strat-style controller and I gig with it 2-3 times a week and besides having to redo the 24-pin cable a couple of times in 20 years, its been solid. I use it in an 80s tribute/parody band for a few key parts: the main synth in "Fascination" by Human League, the synth lead in "Sweet Dreams" by Eurythmics, the Hex Fuzz effect nails some of Andy Taylor's tones on Duran Duran's Rio album.

I also have an Arp Avatar, which is a thousand times the synthesizer as the Roland, but tracks poorly and is monophonic. Awesome in a totally different way. It's such a well-designed instrument for the purpose it was designed for but unfortunately unable to interface with anything but a hex-pickup equipped guitar.

I had hoped that the current-day digital polyphonic sensing technology (polyphonic guitar tuners, pitch shifters etc...) would revive the interest in synth guitar processing. We'll see.

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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by tim gueguen » Fri May 31, 2013 4:06 am

I'm sure Andy Taylor did use a GR300 on Duran Duran's debut and Rio.

Wayne Joness(yes, the double S is correct) has a great GR page, and has posted a lot of demo videos on Youtube. http://www.joness.com/gr300/
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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by rodgre » Fri May 31, 2013 4:24 am

Wayne Joness is THE MAN when it comes to the GR-300.

I would love to know for sure that Andy Taylor used a GR because some of those tones sound spot-on with the hex fuzz/synth (planet earth, rio..). I will google for it. Thanks!

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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by hyphen nation » Fri May 31, 2013 7:28 am

Me too...
As a guitarist first, I am always looking for ways to bridge the sometimes wide gap in my musical pursuits. I have actually had an eye out for one of these SINCE this necro-thread popped up some years ago?

I was hoping some of the moog guitar was going to help with this. Tempted to just get an iguitar by by brian moore for now...

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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by suitandtieguy » Fri May 31, 2013 7:45 am

i can't play guitar but i'll never sell my GR-300.
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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by Naive Teen Idol » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:35 pm

Great site, wow. I've had my GR-300 since about 1989 -- love it but if there were one mod I wish I could do it would be to expand the sound palette somehow (square waves, etc.). But I get the impression frkmone of Wayne's writeups that the sound itself has something to do with the accuracy of the tracking (which is insanely good).

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Re: Where Is the Love for the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synth?

Post by jaypodesta » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Image

8-)

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