Roland VG-88

Floor Unit

Made by Roland

Description The VG-88 is a guitar modelling synthesiser. It recreates the sound of many guitars, pickups and amplifiers. It also provides studio quality effects.
Posted By Nick Print (8)
Directory Equipment: Effects
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Overall Rating: 5.0 (of 5)
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Member Reviews

On 10/30/2000, Nick Print (8) posted:
Overall Rating:
The most complete guitar modelling synth around by miles. It's predecessor, the VG-8, was ground breaking and this is even better. The physical modelling (guitars, amps, etc.) is excellent. The effects are superb. My only gripes would be that the other instruments (brass, etc.) seem a little weak and I would have loved it if the divided pickup could send out midi but hey, cant have everything! Overall - the best guitar associated purchase I have made, if it were stolen I would definitely get another.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $780.00 Sterling (new)
Where Obtained: Sound Control, UK
The unit models many famous guitars, but also allows you to design your own! You can set the position, angle, tone, etc of a variety of pickups on a variety of bodies (flat-top, solid, f-hole, etc.). You can then choose an amp/speaker combination (individually), (eg. solidano head through a mesa boogie stack!) and mic position, etc. Add to this some top quality effects and you can recreate virtually any guitar sound you've ever heard! Also, use the harmonic restructure modelling to make your guitar sound like a wind, brass or bowed instrument. The onboard expression pedals, control pedal, buttons and dial on GK-2A can all be assigned literally any parameter to control (reverb depth, wah on/off, pickup type, etc) in addition to midi control!
Sound Quality:
I use a fender strat and output to a mixing desk, this sounds amazing! I have used a variety of multi-effect units before and can safely say that this is head and shoulders above them all. The hardware modelling is very accurate, and unbelievably, changing the pickup angle by 2mm does make an authentic difference to the sound. Some of the HRM sounds (brass, bowed, etc.) are less convincing, although they can be improved with some parameter tweaking. All in all pretty damn impressive.
Ease of Use:
Every conceivable component of the sound is tweakable. I have never had so much control over my sound before. And this is achieved through an excellent graphics system. The guitars, amps and speakers all have graphics to help identification and the settings are all changed with virtual knobs, operated by a parameter dial. Writing of patches is simple, choose guitar, pickups, amp, speaker, twiddle some knobs and apply effects, press 'write button'.
Excellent for live playing due to assignable control, which can be set differntly for each patch. Unit is heavy (very) and sturdy. Construction seems very heavy-duty. Only possible (easy) breakage is expression pedal really.