Price paid: $ 225
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
This is a midi pick-up from Shadow a German company and is placed between the bridge pickup and the bridge and give a midi signal to driver Synthesizers and Samplers or computer VST plugin etc. A lead come from the pickup to a second box that you then plugin you standard midi lead and the power supply (so you will have 2 lead from your guitar if you using with you standard pickups). I have only used it to Drive computer based VST software (Reason 5.5, Protools 10, Sonar X1) and found it a lot of fun and a useful tool, there a few things that are is amazing about this technology and well a few limitation as well. Being a better guitarist then a keyboard player. It's a simply way of finding out where you should start jamming on the keyboard in relation to your guitar riff. Also laying down the beat from the guitar riff into you drum midi line is a great easy start to write a full drum pattern and have everything tight and connected to the riff. Also learning music theory, writing and transposing music midi is pitch actuate so everything comes in as full written sheet music (with some editing). But it's main propose is to get keyboards sounds from the guitar, the sounds you can get is limited only by you sampling library so the internet makes it's nearly unlimited,.there is a HUGE market out there for the keyboard playing Synthesizers and Samplers so the only limit may be your wallet. I have to give this a 10 in the sound department due to the amount of sounds you can access with midi.
Overall Impression — 7
The Good: It can track AMAZINGLY fast I can play faster then most and find it tracks the notes very accurately no matter how fast you play it keeps up as long as you play clean and clear it's right there with everything you play notes or chords. The Bad: Because it's MIDI. Shadow is the newest system and really feels like a computer very actuate But it only sends MIDI So there's NO hammer-ons or pull-off or smooth bends or SO SO many things that make the guitar sound like the Guitar. The UGLY: if it sounds bad it's not the pickup it's You. Your mistaken in playing the guitar and not play straight piano like notes, it does a great job a creating midi from the guitar but that's all it does, trying to play SRV on a piano will sound horrible But Mozart playing with a full orchestra Yes YES YES! It's alot of fun and the reason I got it. Also the box on the guitar has number controls on it which to me have no logic? Most will have a foot controller on the foot in front of them which output midi, why would you be pushing buttons on the guitar? The dials are cool (volume & sensitivity) and that's all the Roland model has (which I have not tried yet). I also have a Casio midi guitar and it has a total different personality when you play like a "guitarist". The Shadow does a digital job of creating the MIDI signal, the Casio "tries" to work with the guitarist. When I talk about this issue I am focusing ONLY on the 5% playing like a guitarist (pull-off, hammer-ons, bends etc). The Casio will try to interpret a little. Good and bad & randomly sometimes, there is not a huge different but playing though both I have to say there is a different between the 2 midi systems. Maybe the Roland is different again?
Reliability & Durability — 6
It is build well but it is only hard plastic, the second sub box is small and has a metal main shell on 4 sides, but more hard plastic where the lead connect to. For studio I cannot see a problem but you will have to be careful with this thing, it would not go well on a stage full of punks jumping around you will have to plan where it goes in a live set-up. I would depend on it I have had it for 3 years now,. Not using it all the time and I have moved it to different guitars without issues it connects to a strap button and you can use a screw or double sided tape to attach the pickup in position about a 5 min installation.