Hands-On Review:Your gateway to the world of digital guitar.


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Back in the summer of 2000, wandering around the Roland display at NAMM in Nashville, my ears perked up. In one of the demo rooms a guitarist was charging through an aural history of rock'n'roll. Seamlessly segueing from Chuck Berry's "Maybelline" into Jimi's "Foxy Lady" and on into a chooglin', swampy take on CCR's "Proud Mary," the guy's guitar and amp morphed effortlessly from one style and tone setup into the next.

Roland V-Guitar AmplifiersOver the next twenty minutes he pulled off a dizzying array of riffs, tonalities, and grooves. All with just one guitar, one amp, and a foot controller. Everything was there: crunching power chords; searing, sustain-drenched leads; burnin', churnin' funk lines; chicken-scratch attack. All pulled off with astounding sonic accuracy and an occasional foot tap.

 

Needless to say, I was impressed. With a rig like this, a cover band player could effortlessly replicate every crowd pleaser in his repertoire, nailing every riff just the way we all remember them off the radio. Never once switching guitars, twiddling with amp settings, or messing with a litter of pedals.The amp in question? Roland's then newly-introduced VGA-7 . It was only later, after having a chance to delve first hand into all of this amp's capabilities, that I realized this was far more than merely a very cool modeling amp. With the VGA-7 , Roland has thrown open the doors of the digital domain. With a MIDI-enabled guitar, a VGA amp, and a foot controller, the guitarist stands poised, ready to take full advantage of the enormous flexibility offered by the digital realm.With their GK-ready 13-pin inputs the VGA amps are powerful pathways into everything that MIDI has to offer the guitarist. Get a GK-2A divided pickup, slap it on any steel string guitar, and you're good to go.

 

More than mere amplification

At the heart of the VGA amps is Roland's COSM modeling technology. The acronym stands for Composite Object Sound Modeling, a DSP-based approach to reconstructing the physical and sonic characteristics of instruments, amps, pickups, effects, and room reverberations. It's all there-vintage and modern tube amps, solid state and acoustic amps, dozens of guitars and guitar synth models, and a boatload of truly musical effects. And they're all dead easy to access thanks to Roland's knob-based, highly intuitive interface.

 

Have it your way

Roland's R&D team must be a pretty empathetic bunch. After giving the VGAs a thorough workout, it's obvious they've put themselves solidly into the shoes of the gigging and recording guitarist. They've thought of everything. Every amp model has gain, volume, and EQ optimized for ultimate realism. The pickup types and position simulations can be blended to your precise needs using the GK-2A divided pickup. The Polyphonic Intelligent Pitch Shifter lets you transit easily between open, Nashville, 12 string, and your own custom tunings. With shift-on-the-fly preset and user memories, it's all right at your finger(or toe)tips. And by offering two amp versions, the MIDI guitar realm has never been more accessible and affordable.

 

Musician's Friend has VGA amps and accessories ready to ship with the best prices and dual guarantee in the biz.

 

Features & Specs

 

 

 

 

VGA-5 V-Guitar AmplifierVGA-7 V-Guitar Amplifier
  • 65W output
  • 12"-inch speaker
  • Eleven amp types
  • Eleven cab types
  • Ten memories recalled from front panel; fourty from optional foot controller
  • Four independent effects processors include: wah, tremolo, compressor, slow Gear, phaser, flanger
  • Dedicated Delay, Chorus, and Reverb processors
  • 130W (65W + 65W)
  • Two 12" speakers and horn tweeter
  • Twenty amp types
  • 26 guitar types
  • Eighty preset and 80 user memories
  • Four independent effects processors with 15 Roland/BOSS algorithms