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Roland GR-20S Guitar Synthesizer - No Pickup

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The Roland GR-20S Guitar Synthesizer makes playing high-quality synthesizer and instrument sounds from your guitar amazingly simple. Ever wanted to t...Click To Read More About This Product

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Like transferring your hard-won chops to an orchestra of new instruments!

The Roland GR-20S Guitar Synthesizer makes playing high-quality synthesizer and instrument sounds from your guitar amazingly simple. 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? Just select the type of sound you want using the Bank knob then choose a sound variation using the Number/Value dial and start playing. With the Roland 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. (The Roland GR20S is also compatible with the earlier GK-2 Divided Pickup.) 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 Roland 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 optional GK-3 Divided Pickup (see accessory box on this page) 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.

  • Affordable guitar synthesizer with new sounds and easy interface
  • 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
  • Patch Link enables easy connection with MIDI-capable multi-effects such as the GT-6

Want to sound totally different without having to learn a thing? Order now!


Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 3 customers

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GR 20 Disappointmen

By Edo801

from San Francisco Bay Area

I sold my GR 33 to upgrade to this unit and later realized I made a mistake. The sounds on this unit are cheesy and down right disappointing. You can't edit the actual tone only the attacks, effects and octaves. The sound patches are just useless to me. The GR 33 offered more editing power to taper and customize the sounds.The GR 20 locks you out of these pathetically simplistic sounds at your fingertips without anyway to alter the actual patches.I'm bummed now and I'm on the search for a used GR 33.Don't waste your money with this because the sounds are just plain old cheese. THe Demo sounds good but damn if I could get any decent patches that didn't sound so bad. I'm disappointed in this product.


GR-20 Great Intro Midi Guitar

By Citadel®Whitman

from In the room where my Boca waits, USA

See all my reviews

Own this with a Godin Freeway SA and a Digitech GNX4 tethered to a PC laptop. There are more expensive units available but they cost more for extra features, not 'better' features. Tracking is a fine tune thing and if you hit unintended notes when you play a regular guitar, this will take care of the habit once and for all - you cannot play sloppy and get anything more than pads. But, if you articulate and try to emulate the instruments you are imitating - well, some of my friends asked me where I found a horn section, another asked me when I bought a Hammond. Again, the pros will know, but your audience will not and really this helps you learn how to orchestrate more efficiently when hooked to a sweet axe like the Godin and running into the GNX4. If you are looking at this unit, you need to admit that you will be buying into midi guitar soon - do it now. Roland products last and put out!


For the Guitarist Looking to Expand Thier Sound

By Six-Stringed Flamberge

from Columbus, OH

See all my reviews

I'm a huge fan of Pat Metheny and Robert Fripp, both guitarists who use Roland guitar synths. I'm a solo recording guitarist, and I bought this looking to expand the sounds in my songs. I don't have the patience to try and learn the keyboard, so I thought that this would be a great way to go.I bought the GR-20 unit that comes with a GK-3 divided pickup. However, I found that it wouldn't fit on any of my guitars. I own Ibanezes and Jacksons, all of which have the bridge pickup too close to the bridge to install the pickup. I also had a Hohner G3T (a licensed replica of the Steinberger headless guitar, popular in the 80's) that had enough space. It was somewhat annoying getting it onto there, and once is was on, it wasn't perfect. The GK-3 is kind of a one size fits all pickup, but it works best with guitars that have some curvature on the sting placement. The Hohner is relatively flat, while a Les Paul's 3rd and 4th strings are higher than the 1st and 6th. Because of this, I unfortunately couldn't get perfection out of the pickup.Even though it wasn't perfect, I was still able to enjoy it. The 1st and 6th strings were not as responsive as the rest, so playing some things were more difficult than others. The overall response was pretty good, but not super awesome like in the promo videos. I eventually bought a Roland Ready Fender Strat, which his a GK-3 built into it, already set up and everything. Now when I plugged that into my GR-20, that was a lot better. Most of the problems I had were because the GK-3 really didn't fit that well on the guitar that I tried it on. If you have a Les Paul style guitar, or something relatively similar, I'm sure you'll be just fine. But man, that Roland Ready Strat is awesome with the GR-20!Now that I have a pretty responsive guitar-pickup combo, I can get into actually talking about the pedal itself. I've never used any other guitar synths before this, but I've heard people say that the previous Roland synths had better sound. I will agree that some of the synth patches do sound quite cheesy. But there are still a lot of really great-sounding ones on here. With a proper set-up, the system works very well at tracking your playing, even translating guitar chords into synth chords. The trumpet and violin sounds are pretty nice, especially if you add in external effects like phasers and distortion. Playing around with the synth pads is a lot of fun too, and I've found that subtle pads in the background worked wonders for enhancing my songs. Also, there is a MIDI IN/OUT so you can hook the GR-20 unit up to a hardware synthesizer to play that. Or hook it up to your computer (via a USB-MIDI interface) to play softsynths. I found that the GR-20 does a pretty good job at driving external synths, which only expands your range of sounds. I love this pedal and couldn't live without it. Although it'd be nice to have a little more flexibility in editing the patches, I think it's a fine piece of equipment for any guitarist that wants to play keyboards with having to learn piano.

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