Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

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Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by gmeredith » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:39 am

I'm a bit of a Casio guitar synth buff - MG500/510 and PG series, DG series.
I just read a scant reference to the existence of a model I had not heard of until reading of it here in a book called Electric Guitars: The Illustrated Encyclopedia
By Tony Bacon:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=vQ ... ar&f=false

It refers to a model called a G-393, mentioning that it was a simplified version of the PG series.

Extensive googling brought up nothing except that book reference. Is anyone familiar with that model's existence?
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by Siviyex » Tue Jan 04, 2022 5:32 am

I have done quite a bit of researching over the years trying to find out info on casio synth guitars and I have never heard of that model! Very interesting and I would love to know more about that model as well. I own a PG-310 which i have only had for a few years. Your name seems to come up quite a bit when searching for info on casio guitars as I can tell you are quite knowledgeable on the subject. Is there a dedicated forum for Casio synth guitars? I have some questions about mine and I would like to find a forum dedicated to them as a resource as I have alot to learn about mine.

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by gmeredith » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:17 am

There used to be a Yahoo group but sadly that died with all the yahoo groups.

My band page hosts a lot of the info of those sites, eg service manuals, schematics, , tracking malfunction repairs, mods etc. As all the PG guitars 300, 310 and 380 have the same synth boards and electronics, the 380 schematics are the same for yours as well.

http://www.warningwillrobinson.com.au/i ... anuals.htm

Here is some info on the RA500 RAM card for the guitar too:

http://www.warningwillrobinson.com.au/i ... /RA500.htm

Feel free to ask any question you have, Hopefully i can help you

Cheers, Graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by Siviyex » Wed Jan 05, 2022 2:54 am

thank you so much for the reply! I think the biggest issue I have had when using my casio pg 310 is the volume of the guitar being so quiet. The iPD/mix output is very quiet making me have to crank the amp in order to get a decent level out of the synth soungs. The guitar output on the casio is definitely a bit louder than the iPD/mix output. However the guitar output on the casio is still much quieter than my fender jazzmaster. I always wondered if these were generally quiet guitars and if the synth on these guitars tends to be very quiet or is there an issue with mine or a setting that needs adjusting?

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by gmeredith » Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:16 am

You can adjust the synth pickup sensitivity volume in the user manual, it shows you how. Under one of the rubber plugs on the back is 6 Phillips head adjuster screws for the sensitivity of each string. You can get it louder there.

Have the caps been changed on your boards? This is a comon problem with poor triggering. Repair guides everywhere, google "Casio PG Guitar capacitor fix".

But overall, I found mine to still be quieter, even with those things done.

I modified mine to put significantly higher output of the guitar signal, and also slightly higher synth level too, to increase the signal/noise ratio. A very simple mod, using just 2 resistors

http://www.warningwillrobinson.com.au/m ... %20mod.pdf

Make sure youve attended to the other adjustments FIRST before starting this mod
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by Siviyex » Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:33 am

thanks again for the advice, you must be the foremost expert on the subject of casio guitars!

When I bought mine the seller assured me it had been recapped and sure enough all stings track well. I will try the sensitivity adjustment to see if that helps. I am not a skilled repair tech and don't really feel comfortable moding anything at the moment unless there is a good step by step video on the mod you mentioned.

I'm sure I will have more questions to pick your brain on if you dont mind. Let me know if you prefer a dm or continuing this thread.

thanks again!

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by gmeredith » Thu Jan 06, 2022 7:27 am

Sure. Although the mod is so incredibly simple, you just stick a resistor on top of another resistor. You could even just use the resistor I mentioned and 2 alligator clips to test it out, would take about 2 minutes to try. You just unscrew the output jack plate from the guitar, leave all cables connected, flip it over to the component side, locate the board resistor from my guide, and clip the alligator leads to the exposed ends of the resistor on the board. Make sure they connect properly, then clip the extra resistor between the free ends of the alligator clips.

Then just plug it in and switch it on, and compare with and without resistor volumes.

If you like it, just solder the resistor on top of the other instead of using the alligator clips
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by Siviyex » Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:08 pm

After adjusting the pots on the back of the guitar I noticed a minimal increase in volume. To be honest for me to be comfortable giging with my pg310 I would need much more volume out of it which i am guessing even your mod will not achieve. Curious if there is any other more advanced methods/mods that could get alot more volume out of the pg guitars synth output or is it just a draw back that I have to live with? I think boosting the level with a pedal seems like the easiest method perhaps.

My next area of curiosity regarding these guitars is the ram cards. Is there any detailed info on the net regarding these cards and everything they do? My limited understanding of them is they have added "vz" synth preset sounds which you can load into your guitar. I also read they are kind of rare and hard to find. Any extensive info out there on the web to learn more about these and how they work with the pg guitars or is there not much else to know about them?

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by gmeredith » Mon Jan 10, 2022 10:13 pm

Boosting the level with a pedal will work but wont get the balance between the guitar and synth level right, out of the mix output, where you need it most. My mod makes a significant difference. Otherwise I wouldn't have done it. I gig all the time with it.

Here's my band:

https://www.facebook.com/atomicdeluxe

There are some live clips there with me playing it, using the guitar sound

I did it because I gig with it and had the same issue with the output as you do. It wouldn't drive my distortion pedals or amp hard enough, compared to the guitar only out. Now I can gig with it and use the mix out only. I run it into a Boss VF1 as my fx unit, and sometimes Im using normal guitar sounds, where I turn the synth volume right down, and other songs I'm playing synth bass, where I turn down the guitar knob band bring the synth knob right up. So I'm only using the mix output, and it was too low in level to get the right sounds out of some of the guitar patches on the VF1. This mod has fixed that.

Try it yourself with the resistor and alligator clips. It will take 2 minutes and you can compare yourself without any consequence or damage to your guitar.

RAM cards. There are 2 types - ROM cards, called the RC series, of which there are about 8 or so different cards with different 128 preset sounds in them.

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/ ... 1842829806

Then there is the RA500 RAM card, which is a user programmable card that you make your own sounds and store them in 64 memory programs. The PG guitars are read only synths, so you cant program the RAM card in the guitar itself, you need the Casio VZ1 or VZ10M, VZ8M synth or modules to write to it and then put the card in the guitar.

The RAM card is more useful generally than the ROM cards, but you need the synth to write to it, and then that means you have to learn how to use the synth to create patches for it, which is a rabbit hole in itself. Fun, but another layer to navigate. The ROM cards have about 50% of their patches sounding very same-ish, I have found. I have 3 different ones. To tell the truth, the standard factory one RC100 has the most varied sounds of the ones I have

Hope that helps
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by Siviyex » Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:35 pm

thanks once again for all this useful info, do you know the best place to purchase the rom or ram cards considering they are hard to find? Also if I can find them are they worth buying or are most of the sounds similar to what is already on the pg series guitars? If there was one card that has the best sounds which one would it be in your opinion. I may have a friend with a vz series synth I can borrow.

As for the mod, is there a step by step video showing exactly what to buy and how to do it for ppl like me who are inexperienced with these sorts of things? I have done some tinkering and simple mods but only with a manual or video with step by step guides. I know you said its dead simple but I would feel much more at ease with a step by step guide to be honest.

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by gmeredith » Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:00 am

Ebay is your best bet. Heres the RAM card here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/324802716620

Also straight google seach brings up some.
Also the Hohner HS2 RAM card fits it. Also the ES100 RAM card:

https://www.casio880.com/en/product/mod ... a-500-521/

The RC100 ROM card is the most varied in sounds, and theyre the most common. About $100 on ebay
This Facebook group is really great too, for all info VZ/PG and card related:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/370365849972076


Regarding the mod, here is my guide:

http://www.warningwillrobinson.com.au/m ... %20mod.pdf

I only have my DIY guide. Have confidence in yourself. There arent really any steps to take to do it.

If you must:

Step 1. Download my guide.

Step 2. Read it and buy the parts I specified (2 resistors - 1x 10k, 1x 1.5k, both 1/2 watt). And if you want to test it first, 4x alligator clips

Step 3. Unscrew the output socket module and leave the cables connected, flip it over to the component side like in my picture in the guide. There you will see the 2 resistors indicated by arrows.

Step 4. Get 4 alligator clip leads and connect the leads to the 2 resistors you bought.

Step 5. Connect the other ends of the alligator leads to the bare ends of the resistors on the Casio board. In my guide, the alligator leads are represented by the yellow and red pairs of lines

Step 6. Switch the guitar on with the output module still hanging loose, and plug in a lead to the mix output socket, and to a guitar amp.

Step 7. Play the guitar with both the synth and guitar volumes turned right up. Take note of the volume levels. Disconnect one end of one or both alligator clips and note the change in volume.

If you are happy with the difference, switch everything off, and solder the resistors directly where the alligator leads connected to n the board.

That's it!
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by Siviyex » Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:10 am

thanks for taking the time to write the step by step guide, looks simple enough. Also thanks for the card info, I need to do more research to see if its worth it.

I am curious if you have had any luck using both outputs on the guitar at the same time? I bought a splitter box to combine both guitar and synth output to one however it did not work as well as I had hoped in terms of getting a more full signal.

Also I have an issue with the power supply coming loose when moving around and playing which results in the synth powering off briefly when playing . Is there a way to hard wire the guitar so the power does not come loose? I once glued a power supply into a piece of gear that had that problem but not sure if its a good idea in this case.

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by gmeredith » Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:46 am

It sounds like your plug is a slightly small diameter which doesnt fit in tightly. You could try a different power pack.

In any case, if you are intending to play live with this thing, a power supply is a disaster in waiting. I use rechargeable NI-MH Eneloop batteries in mine. One charge lasts for weeks. Don't even think of using a power supply in something you are going to be moving around on a stage with. The jack will get ripped out of the guitar if you get the cable caught or step on it and then move. I have wired a charging jack into my back plate so that the batteries dont have to be even taken out to charge them. It has been 100% reliable and never let me down in over 8 years onstage with it
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by Siviyex » Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:04 pm

Can you share pictures or tips on how you hard wired the charger to the guitar? That is a great idea.

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Re: Guitar synthesizer - mythical Casio G393 guitar synth??

Post by gmeredith » Wed Jan 12, 2022 9:40 pm

I dont have any pics, but open the battery hatch and remove the battery holder, just solder a socket to the connectors and then find a convenient place to drill a hole in the hatch that allows the socket to fit
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

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