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Product 150097

Roland GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer with GK-3 Divided Pickup   

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The Roland GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer with GK-3 Divided Pickup is the ultimate MIDI pedal for guitars. Ever wanted to thicken up your guitar sound with...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Plug-and-play high-quality synth and instrument sounds for your guitar.

The Roland GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer with GK-3 Divided Pickup is the ultimate MIDI pedal for guitars. Ever wanted to thicken up your guitar sound with a warm synth pad? Or how about a screaming lead sound that puts you in front? The GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer makes playing high-quality synthesizer and instrument sounds from your guitar as simple as 1-2-3. First, attach the included GK-3 Divided Pickup to your steel-stringed electric (no drilling necessary). Second, select the type of sound you want using the Bank knob. Third, choose a sound variation using the Number/Value dial and start playing. With the GR-20, it's easy to tap into the power of guitar synthesis.

Guitar Synth or Compact Pedal?

With the GR-20, it feels like both. Selecting a sound is like choosing an effect. First, select a sound category using the Bank knob. Categories include Strings/Orchestral, Wind, Brass, Bass/Guitar, Organ/Keyboard, Piano, Synth/Lead, Voice/Pad, Ethnic, and Rhythm/Percussion. Now you can select individual sounds using the Number/Value dial.

Roland's Finest Sounds with Exceptional Tracking

At the heart of the GR-20 is an advanced sound engine based on Roland's professional synthesizers. Sounds can be played with up to 48-voice polyphony for full, rich-sounding patches. And the sounds are equally impressive. From expressive string ensembles to spiritual tabla loops coupled with sitar--all with adjustable attack and release. Sophisticated DSP makes the GR-20's pitch detection ultrareliable, so you can strum with confidence.

Take Your Guitar Playing Further

Want to create a sound that's all your own? Try blending the natural sound of your guitar pickups with the GR-20. Thankfully, the GK-3 Divided Pickup makes this easy via a larger and smoother knob. Imagine playing chords and then slowly fading in a swirling, breathy pad to create intensity. Or how about playing a distorted lead on your guitar with a thick synth lead sound? Now take this a step further with the GR-20's Patch Link function. It allows you to easily assign GR-20 patches to match effect patches in MIDI-capable processors such as the BOSS GT-6.

Includes the GK-3 Divided Pickup

When you buy a GR-20, you also get a GK-3 Divided Pickup and GK cable in the box. In other words, everything you need to start playing synth sounds is included! The GK-3 is 30% thinner than its predecessor, and it now uses a 1/4" jack for normal guitar input. The pickup includes an adjustable curve design to keep an even distance between the strings for better response (the pickup cable length is also adjustable). Owners of LP-type guitars can install the GK-3 pickup safely using a special attachment plate included in the box.

FEATURES
  • Affordable guitar synthesizer with new sounds, easy interface, and GK-3 pickup
  • Easy to use: select a sound category (Strings, Organ, Synth, etc.) and play!
  • Quick editing via Attack, Release, Chorus, and Delay/Reverb knobs
  • Digital pitch detection for lightning-fast tracking
  • Includes Roland's latest sounds like sax, strings, flute, brass, bass and percussion loops
  • Includes an adjustable curve design and pickup cable length, plus an attachment plate for Les Paul guitars
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
 
4.3

(based on 42 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (26)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Good for new dynamics

I first heard synth guitar from my friends that went to a worship conference. I thought this would be an awesome dynamic to have in our worship at church for my electric guitar, so...Read complete review

I first heard synth guitar from my friends that went to a worship conference. I thought this would be an awesome dynamic to have in our worship at church for my electric guitar, so I got it, and it hasn't disappointed. Don't let reviews of latency and lack of sounds prevent you from buying this unit. There are a lot of cool pad and synths and when combined with guitar, so I can get a lot of the fatty U2ish sounds that I was looking for. It's not cheap, but I think, at least for worship, its worth it- especially if you are passionate about making the sound the best you can

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Workable but could be better

I've had the Roland GR-20 for a few months now, and have used it extensively on stage. Just a few comments:1. Construction is cheap, lightweight plastic, hardly suitable for a...Read complete review

I've had the Roland GR-20 for a few months now, and have used it extensively on stage. Just a few comments:1. Construction is cheap, lightweight plastic, hardly suitable for a unit this expensive. It has, however, held together so far, and I guard it carefully. There have been a small number of electronic glitches, such as the time the unit wouldn't recognize my second string and blocked the sound (I eventually fixed that more or less by accident).2. Some patches (many keyboard, strings, synth, voice, percussion) are quite good. The brass, however, produces horrible sounds very much like the cheapest synths available 20 years ago. The same is true for some woodwind patches (e.g., Wind ensemble).3. Very easy to use, with some experience and reading the manual. However, remember to calibrate your touch and string balance, following the manual. Those who have trouble with tracking I suspect have never read the manual and did not follow the explicit directions there (GK SEN). I have found tracking to be fast and accurate (although you're never going to get a pipe organ patch to play "Flight of the Bumblebee"). And in spite of the simplicity of use, Roland made a mistake, IMHO, in assigning numbers to the various patches instead of names (on the unit itself): do you know what "ORGAN/KB 20 is? Of course not, you need the manual to tell you (it's a fine cathedral organ patch). So don't lose that handbook.Overall, I would buy this unit again if mine got stepped on by an elephant (a.k.a. one of our acoustic guitar players), but I would be glad to see significant improvement in contruction and sound quality overall.

Reviewed by 42 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Good for new dynamics

By Ben-S61.d

from Boise, Idaho

I first heard synth guitar from my friends that went to a worship conference. I thought this would be an awesome dynamic to have in our worship at church for my electric guitar, so I got it, and it hasn't disappointed. Don't let reviews of latency and lack of sounds prevent you from buying this unit. There are a lot of cool pad and synths and when combined with guitar, so I can get a lot of the fatty U2ish sounds that I was looking for. It's not cheap, but I think, at least for worship, its worth it- especially if you are passionate about making the sound the best you can

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A new world opens

By Oracle

from Volcano, Hawaii

See all my reviews

I bought the Roland GR20 after much research into their different models The GK-3 pickup fit perfectly onto my Gibson Chet Atkins with just one shim and didn't even need the pickup tweaked with that little curvature adjusting screw. Precise pickup installation = virtually no noticeable delay, (the problem with the GK-2 pickup just about no matter what you did.)String sensitivity setting is easy. Patch selection is easy. Very user friendly.The sounds are warm and deep, and the bigger the speaker, the better the sound. I play through a Ashley bi-preamp, QSC stereo amp and a Peavey Sp3 P.A. cab tweaked and converted to bi-amp.I bought the GR20 to get out of the stagnent musical life I've had lately, try creating and combining global music forms, and am happily doing so. This is more of a no boundries imaginative and creative tool than many other reviewers seem to realize.It's a little frail for knocking around bar gigs, and being made of plastic, would probably get smashed much worse then if made of metal if you dropped something heavy on it.If something happened to it, I'd get another one right away. What more can I say??

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fantastic!

By Strat Project Studio

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

It took me about an hour to install the pickup and control on my Stratocaster, and almost needed no adjustment. I didn't even have to take the strings off, just drilled the pilot holes and installed the screws per instructions and I was good to go. After plugging in and hooking up, I was immediately able to use the unit, very user-friendly, and the volume/expression pedal is nice- there are so many features on this that I haven't had time to demo them all, but some very nice sounds.I immediately did some recording to put this thing through the paces, and over all my finding is that it tracks very well, misses very few notes even on 'machine-gun' staccato-type leads (provided you are using the lead-type voices, that is) and have noticed very few 'artifacts' (digital synth transients) mentioned as 'normal operation' by the user manual- just keep your axe in tune, and you will not be dissapointed. I did not notice any extraneous 'hiss' that another reviewer complained about, but I hooked up through an analog mixer straight into my computer sound-card, and any engineer will tell you an analog source will require SOME noise-reduction in the post-processing. The manual does mention that placing the unit near RF signals will likely introduce noise, so maybe that reviewer had it in a bad location.I love the 'mix' feature, where I can have my original guitar sound simultaneous with the gr synth, because I can use my Crybaby Wah pedal to add an extra 'zing' to the sound.The only reason this does not get an overall '5' is the contruction of the pedal is not really 'road-worthy', although I would not say it is as flimsy as others have described it- it's good enough for my project studio, which is where it will stay for the time-being.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

great synthesizer

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

i bought one these about 2 yrs ago and it has really been a big help to me. it has really goodpiano sounds and strings as well however after playing it for a few weeks while moving aroundplaying there maybe a short somewhere in the gkitself makes a buzzing noise but overall it has been great i would reccomend it to a friend.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Workable but could be better

By MusicMan 101

from Columbia, SC

See all my reviews

I've had the Roland GR-20 for a few months now, and have used it extensively on stage. Just a few comments:1. Construction is cheap, lightweight plastic, hardly suitable for a unit this expensive. It has, however, held together so far, and I guard it carefully. There have been a small number of electronic glitches, such as the time the unit wouldn't recognize my second string and blocked the sound (I eventually fixed that more or less by accident).2. Some patches (many keyboard, strings, synth, voice, percussion) are quite good. The brass, however, produces horrible sounds very much like the cheapest synths available 20 years ago. The same is true for some woodwind patches (e.g., Wind ensemble).3. Very easy to use, with some experience and reading the manual. However, remember to calibrate your touch and string balance, following the manual. Those who have trouble with tracking I suspect have never read the manual and did not follow the explicit directions there (GK SEN). I have found tracking to be fast and accurate (although you're never going to get a pipe organ patch to play "Flight of the Bumblebee"). And in spite of the simplicity of use, Roland made a mistake, IMHO, in assigning numbers to the various patches instead of names (on the unit itself): do you know what "ORGAN/KB 20 is? Of course not, you need the manual to tell you (it's a fine cathedral organ patch). So don't lose that handbook.Overall, I would buy this unit again if mine got stepped on by an elephant (a.k.a. one of our acoustic guitar players), but I would be glad to see significant improvement in contruction and sound quality overall.

(1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

What???

By Dylan Windwalker

from On tour

See all my reviews

I tried this thing out at my local music shop just to see why Roland's charging so much for this little thing... Turns out there's no reason; they're just charging you for their outdated name.This thing is noisy, unintuitive, has terrible tracking of your notes and when you compare it to a Digitech multi effect like RP1000, there is NO need to pay this much for a pedal that does so little.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A lot of fun...

By Gibson Shmibson

from Clearwater, FL

See all my reviews

I received my GR20 yesterday (sad day for everyone else but me!) and I love it. It took about an hour and a half to put it together and get started and for the most part it was pretty simple. I definitely those who said they had a problem. Take your time and follow directions (except you really don?t have to take the strings off with the double sided tape) and with just a bit of luck you should be fine. The trick is to get the p/u as close to the strings as possible. Anyway, I played with this for six hours last night and overall I rate it very good. Tracking is good (not perfect) and most of the sounds are reasonable realistic (too many to break down and talk about). I would rate this more than a toy but not quite something that you would want to seriously play live with (although I have a friend who does, so there you go) but somewhere in between. Great for recording and worth the money, I don?t regret this purchase. Make sure this does not get delivered on a work night!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fun piece of equipment!

By Pastor Gumby

from Boonton, NJ

See all my reviews

I own this and a Godin synth ready ACS light burst guitar. It is a BLAST! My first intro to the world of guitar synth.You really can become a sax player, flutist, violinist, etc.. I love it!I have nothing to compare it to, as it is my first intro to this new versatile musical capability. But I absolutely love it!I play for my church (i am the pastor too), and it really enhances the musicality- esp. when you are short of musicians.Fun, fun, fun!peace.

 
5.0

Bought it twice!

By alchemy220

from Boulder Co.

Pros

  • It works!

Cons

  • The pickup tracking

Best Uses

  • When its turned on.

I had one for a couple years and used it very little so I sold it. I then purchased a Godin LGXT in 2012 and found a GR-20 used, as they all are now. What a difference running this through a synth access guitar. I use the GR-20 all the time now for recording and gigging. There is a bit of a learning curve to getting some of the sounds to accurately mimmic other instruments. But take some time and you will love the GR synths. I will eventually upgrade to the GR-55, though I will not let this GR-20 go again, it just does so much for my sound.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No
 
4.0

Useful tool

By David

from undisclosed

See all my reviews

It's pretty darn good at giving the small group lead guitarist some options for variety. A whole lot of the sounds that they seem so proud of are not very useful, at least to me, but I love being able to play a sax or trumpet lead so easily. If it fills a need for you, then I recommend it.

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