GR-20 review by Roland

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.3 (37 votes)
Roland: GR-20

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Brookdale Music

Sound — 10
I use this with A Brian Moore 81.13 through a Fender FM 212 DSP. You really get a better sound through a two-challel amp, which is why I bought one like that. All of the sounds are great, but it doesn't have a very convincing brass section. But that is a small price to pay to recieve the other great instrument sounds. All of the effects work great.

Overall Impression — 8
I play the span of the sixties, so I cover a lot of different musical styles. I have been playing for eight years. I love the fact that I can record a song and have an entire orchestra, wind section, or other strings behind me. Look online for the full preset patch list. One thing I don't like, though: I don't use it with the other electric simply because the GK3 pickup cost an extra hundred dollars, and it's ugly. On top of that, you get the best sound out it (using a guitar that is not equipted with a 13-pin output) by making it a perminent addition to your guitar by drilling it in. The Brian Moore, I am happy to say, is equipted with a 13-pin output, so I have no worries. But for someone Who didn't, there is also a double sided tape that is not perminent and will not damage your guitar, but the sound is not as good. It doesn't affact me, but I would be mad to have that come between me and an amazing synth like this.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I am not so sure about the knobs and their durability, but if your carful (which you shoud be anyway) it should be fine. As for gigs, I always bring it along. No backup. My friend has got one too. Neither of us have had probloms on the road. It looks like it could withstand some damage, though.

Ease of Use — 10
To start, this thing is probobly the easiest effect to use that I have ever dealt with. It is designed to work like a practice amp, with easy knobs to twist to effect reverb, delay, chorus, and attack. It has a pedal that you just step on while you play a note or a chord to sustain that note or chord, mostly for keyboard sounds, where you would actually be able to hold a chord with one hand and play with the other. The manual is very straigt-forward. This unit has been upgraded, but that just makes this one cheaper. You can even costumize your sounds and then save them. Up to 99.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    how much is it in pounds!!! you say 595 and 400 but 595 400 what..dollars?? pounds?? euros???
    Vendetta V
    Minderbinder wrote: In a review, you should type what you think about the product, not almost exactly wha tthe website says about their product.
    I agree
    I'm kind of confused about the GR-20. I haven't done any MIDI guitar yet, and that's basically my next motion in guitar practice. Does this thing actually require that it's hooked up to a midi interface? or does it just hook straight into an amp, and it's good to go? Also, can it be hooked up to a computer and have it's patches replaced or altered via the computer? I wouldn't have even thought this thing was MIDI if it didn't come with a hexaphonic pup...
    Crap, I also forgot to add this; does this thing only attached to flat-faced body guitars, or guitars with tone-pro bridges? I play on an Ibanez S series, it has a lo-pro edge licensed floyd rose. There doesn't seem like there'd be enough room between the bridge pup and the bridge to put this thing, especially not once I start dive-bombing and letting the strings go all flop-tastic.
    I have recently aquired a Godin Freeway SA, and to take all the juice out of it they recommended me this synth, I got the guitar in a great price ($600, it was an offer). I don't have the money right now to buy this synth, but I'm planning on going to Forth Worth next year (I'm mexican). Shall I buy it? or which one do you recommend me?
    Does this synth work outside standard tuning? I'm usually in drop C. How would I do that?
    Shreddin 4 Life
    smash_your_mom wrote: how much is it in pounds!!! you say 595 and 400 but 595 400 what..dollars?? pounds?? euros???
    Well, Im not sure what this site calculates but I paid $620 Canadian a few months ago...hope that helps As for the actual synth, LOVE IT! It has a few kinks in that some of the sounds aren't very convincing but they tend t be lesser-used such as the violin or the least that's what I think of it thus far.
    I have a gr-20 and found it all very frustrating. The secret is definitely in the setting up of the pickup. Even after getting it prety well positioned and calibrating each string, I found it virtually useless for anything except playing full 6 string chords. Most of the issues are about over-tones you don't want. The sounds are good of course but you need the touch of a midwife to avoid unwanted noise and also theres the question of latency. Its bounderline really when used to record. If you want to put down long sweeping chords you'll be ok, playing single notes and solos, you may suffer...Im selling mine. It works ok but not fit for my purpose.