GR-55 review by Roland

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.3 (12 votes)
Roland: GR-55

Price paid: C$ 918.11

Purchased from: Long & Mcquades in Sydney, Novascotia

Sound — 9
As for gear, I'm using a Limited Edition Epiphone SG, my amp is a Roland Cube 20X (ONLY USE CLEAN CHANNEL! IMPORTANT). Some people on The Internet said you need a keyboard amp not a guitar amp to play this thing. But my amp supports COSM technology, that might have something to do with it. It can be noisy if not set up properly. Effects are awesome. Top of the line instrument. It can play acoustic, electric and synth guitars and pianos, as well as wind instruments, violins, drums/percussion, a bunch of sh-t. This also has a amp simulator. there's a couple of Fenders, Voxs, and Marshalls to name a few. You can also get in deep and f--k around with cabnet and mic settings, has EQ (Which every amp Sim Should). They say you can play up to 4 sounds at a time (2 Pianos, organ synth shit sounds), Guitar/Bass/Sytnh simulator (can be a acoustic, Fender strat with EMG'S, A Good Ole Rickenbacker 4001 for the bass (GEDDY LEE!), Fender Jazz (Again... GEDDY LEE!) Crazy Synth Guitars for Examples). However, if you have a additional keyboard or sound generator, you can add that in to get 5 or more sounds (depending on your sound generator, or if your in a crazy prog rock band and have a sh-tload of extenders that can make 100 sounds and a billion Moog's through 1 guitar). There are 7 effects (included EQ, and Amp modeling), the rest are modulation (use Wahs here, also overdrives, octaves, flangers etc), MFX (Multiple Chorsuses, Flangers, Rotary's), Delays (7 modes, my favotites are analog and Reverse), Reverb (5 types, the higher the number, the more presence), A Whole Chorus Section (4 types) and EQ (which you can use as a volume booster using the dB section). You can also use alternate tunings on your guitar. You can put it in nashville tuning, or make your 6 string guitar sound like a 7 string in standard tuning (without the 1st string sadly). Sound of my favorite artists? I got a wicket Dave Mustaine Sound off of this, as well as some Killer Alex Lifeson Tones (80's keyboard stuff, as well as some late 70s stuff). I Also thought I had a good Slash tone once before, but them I almost forgot that he isnt real (thanks South Park!) But this would be really good for country, rock, pop, metal, rap/Hip-hop, Bluegrass, Jazz, School Band and almost anything. However, it can't fully replace a keyboard player, unless it you had 2 guitars performing a piano part.

Overall Impression — 8
My Tastes have changed as of recent, so know what I Love to play are Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Rush, Radiohead, and it fits these matches. I Know people are gonna say (Line 6 HD500 is better f--k you everything else is gay!) but this has guitar, Piano and synth sims... Something Line 6 HD500 dosent. I love the guitar sims. Much better then paying 3000 for a les paul. It dose not have a lot of electric guitar sims (around 9 I'm pretty sure). I have played guitar for 2 years, and as someone who likes to shred around the neck, I need some new pickups on my electric, or a whole new guitar, because it would not Pick up notes that were higher pitched that good (however a Tube MP Solved that problem). If it was stolen, it Kill the guy who took it, rob him from all his belongings, and take back my prized possession. If he gave it away, I'd buy another one. I Do Not have a favorite feature, there is so many things. I Hate the dance beat's tho. Just Pointless Garbage that does not seem right with a guitar There is over 900 PCM Sounds, but I wish there was more amps (over 60 I believe) and more electric guitar sims. I Compared this to other Roland synths, and since this is the newest and greatest one, I got this. Like synth sounds? Got sh-t pickups on yer guitar? Got a amp that dosent produce great guitar sounds? BUY THIS!

Reliability & Durability — 10
Like most Roland/Boss Products, this thing is built like a beast! Would not recommend throwing this off of a 5 story building, even know it will still work. Just don't do it too much. I don't need to bring a back up. It will NOT break down cause I take care of my sh-t Properly.

Ease of Use — 7
I do not find it easy to get my own tone, however today I was getting good tones that I wanted. So it takes practice to get the true sounds you want. Editing patches are great. You can save well over 200 sound presets on this monster. The manual has some really good details. I just wish there wasn't so much, because I'm starting to become a tree-hugger as of recent. I'm not sure if this program can be updated with new sounds, but its possible. All you need is A USB memory stick and a computer/laptop. Also, the screen is really bright, so it would be good for use on stage. And the tuner mode is AWESOME! Best tuner ever I must say. Its hard to describe you just gotta try yourself. There is a additional Pickup, if you don't have one built in on yer guitar. I needed one of these. Also witht he pickup is a built in controller which helps navagate through the patches. This is built for guitar and bass, however I don't have the bass pickup, as I'm waiting for a new bass first.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Personally I find the GR 55 a vast improvement over the previous gr20 & gr30 synths, PARTICULARLY in the way it tracks. I have owned the previous models and found them to be very useful for writing and creating new ideas for guitarists who can't play keys, like me. But with the GR55 I can totally shred on almost any patch without any dropouts or extraneous notes, AMAZING. The woodwinds and brass are scary realistic , as are most of the patches. I haven't begun to scratch the surface of this beast and can totally see it as a reliable live rig. Yeah , it's that good. For those who say it has "cheesy" Roland sounds ,one word "EDIT". The editable parameters are immense and once setup to taste you're dialed in for the long haul. All in all a great effort by Roland at a reasonable price point for these many features.
    The Celturian
    I have seen the reviews on this latest guitar synth, and they have only added additional features and the sounds are just as the same in previous synths, the tracking is still a problem, for me Roland have not gone the way forward in improving on a better synth like keyboards that can have soundcards put in for added sounds,the only best one thay have brought out is the GR 30 this synth as all the orchestra sounds and great for tracking, where the Gr-55 has only a few that can be used the rest is naff, until they get it right I will still use my GR30 that gives me much joy and sound .
    I have the Roland GR-55 and Axon AX-100 Mk2 and I have to say that the Axon is better for triggering external VST's but the GR-55 has much better internal sounds and is the best guitar synth ever produced. Still won't be getting rid of my Axon though.
    Some people on The Internet said you need a keyboard amp not a guitar amp to play this thing. But my amp supports COSM technology, that might have something to do with it.
    It has nothing to do with the COSM technology. Amp is an amp, it's not rocket science. Keyboard amps work the same way as guitar amps. Actually playing through a modeling amp isn't the best way. They color the sound because their clean channel is also modeling. But they suggest keyboard amps because I think keyboard amps don't color your sound as much as guitar amps. The best way would be to plug it in to FX return so you bypass the amp's pre amp and plug straight to the power amp. This is how you get the least color from your amp. Also plugging to a PA would work well.
    why have a car that has 4 wheels, yet only 3 work? the piano patches and the like are useless, which to me render this unit useless. Roland doesn't care to address this issue. save your money, maybe something complete will come out soon
    I do a lot of creative multitrack recording and as a guitarist I wanted to get more sounds out of my guitar. This unit definitely does that. Hear how I used it on my latest YouTube song/video- "Transformation on my channel PetepopGTR1. The synth comes in around the 1:30 mark. You can hear the cello, piano and string sounds. They sound awesome. I'd give it 5 stars but I'm a pretty fast player and sometimes certain patches can't keep up with me. Also some patches have an attack that is delayed so you cant use those patches when youre shredding. You can get lost in the editing of the sounds if you want to modify them. There are countless variables you can change. It does have some odd glitches when saving them though. Many users have posted the same complaint on various forums. Thats another reason to give 4 instead of 5 stars. The acoustic guitar patches are really amazing.
    I just bought one and it doesn't track as well as my GR-30 with my Godin xTSa no matter how much time I spend adjusting sensitivity. Also sound cuts out when switching patches, that killed it for me. Going on eBay with it now.