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Item # H70990 | Customer Ratings: Ratings ( 4 Based on 19 reviews)

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Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer
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The seamless fusion of PCM synthesis and COSM modeling.

Roland's GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer is a revolutionary new product combining PCM synthesis with digital instrument modeling derived from the respected VG-99 V-Guitar System. The GR-55 represents Roland's latest breakthrough advances in guitar synthesis, offering playability, features, and sound quality that far surpasses the capabilities of previous generations of guitar synthesizers.

Driven by Roland's newest proprietary digital processing technology, the GR-55 delivers lightning-fast tracking performance and previously impossible sound-making capabilities. It features two independent synthesizer sound engines, each loaded with over 900 of Roland's latest sounds, including pianos, organs, strings, vintage and modern synths, percussion, and many more. A third sound engine is driven by Composite Object Sound Modeling (COSMĀ®), the guitar modeling technology behind Roland's famous VG-99 V-Guitar System. With COSM, the GR-55 can emulate electric and acoustic guitars, basses, and other instruments, as well as guitar and bass amplifiers.

The GR-55 allows players to combine all three sound engines, plus their guitar's normal input, to create any sound from the familiar to the original. An independent multi-effects processor is available for a huge array of tone-shaping options, plus global reverb, chorus, delay effects and EQ to add final sweetening to any sound.

The GR-55 puts guitarists instantly in touch with a huge library of amazing sounds, with no editing required. The onboard lineup of ready-to-use presets takes the pain out of the process, from pop to rock and beyond, with quick-access category buttons. Creating and editing sounds is a breeze for guitarists as well, thanks to a large LCD display, simple front panel, and the intuitive EZ Edit and Sound Style features. Also, onboard is a phrase looper that lets players capture on-the-fly recordings with unlimited sound-on-sound style overdubs.

The GR-55 also features a USB song player that lets users play WAV files stored on USB flash memory, and song playback can be controlled with the onboard pedals. The GR-55 also functions as an audio/MIDI interface for computers, with a rear-panel USB 2.0 port for a quick and easy connection. Users can easily integrate with their favorite digital audio workstation software, recording GR-55 sounds as audio in the DAW and using the GR-55's super-fast pitch-to-MIDI capabilities to trigger MIDI sounds such as virtual synths and samplers with their guitar.

The GR-55 is equipped with Roland's industry-standard 13-pin GK interface. To access the GR-55's enormous palette of sounds, guitarists must use an instrument equipped with a GK-compatible pickup such as Roland's GK-3 Divided Pickup, which is available with the GR-55 (see dropdown menu to the right and select the "With Pickup" option). Sold separately, the GK-3 Divided Pickup and 15' 13-pin cable are valued at $248, but can be purchased with the GR-55 for just $100 more! The GK-3 can be easily installed on most steel string guitars with no modification to the instrument. In addition, many different GK-ready instruments are commercially available from various top guitar manufacturers.

Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer Features:

  • Combines PCM synthesis with COSM modeling
    Lightning-fast tracking performance
    2 independent synth engines each with over 900 sounds including pianos, organs, strings, vintage and modern synths, percussion, and more
    Third sound engine driven by COSM modeling can emulate electric and acoustic guitars, basses, other instruments, and amplifiers
    All three sound engines can be combined with dry signal
    Independent multi-effects processor adds a huge array of tone-shaping options
    Ready-to-use presets and easy editing/saving of your own creations
    USB flash drive input with song player for playing back WAV files
    Functions as an audio/MIDI interface with USB 2.0 connection
    Equipped with 13-pin GK interface for GK-compatible pickups
    Large LCD display
    Simple front panel and intuitive EZ Edit and Sound Style features
    Onboard phrase looper




Product Reviews
(Based on 19 reviews)
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  • A Great Compliment to My Setup

    As reviewed by Joe on 6/16/2011

    I am not going to write a comprehensive critique of this unit- the editing sounds etc. I don't have experience with most of the other comparable equipment guys are mentioning here. I am sure some of their gripes on the negative end about the GR-55 are reasonable. But I have been playing guitar over 35 years and own a lot of high end guitar and studio equipment. I have bought my share of clunkers like everyone at this site. However, IMO the GR-55 is not one of those. I play in a 3 instrument band (drums, bass, guitar). The GR-55 has put our sound into a whole new realm. It is definitely a quality enhancement. There is simply no other comparable pedal that will broaden your sound like it does, especially in the price range. As an example, I have already set it up to play the Rain Song- Led Zep. As you are probably aware, the song is in a tuning (G sus4). I set this tuning up on the GR, mixed it with strings, a modeled guitar sound and my amp sound! It sounds freakin' awesome. Damn, I have seen YouTube video of Jimmy Page struggling to make this sound right live. It is no problem with the GR. People have been blown away- musicians and patrons- just listening to the GR. Other drop or altered tunings- no problem. No longer am I reaching for another guitar or having to tune and re-tune my main axe. Final thoughts, the beauty of the GR a lot of the time is in the mix of the guitar and PCM sounds, the latter providing an awesome full rich pad or motion foundation. Again, the beauty is in the augmentation of your native guitar sound. As some have noted the stock presets aren't all the greatest. But there are plenty of user spots for your own inventions and it didn't take me long to set up 10 of my own inspiring sounds. I am no programming Einstein by any means. I am not saying it is easy to edit the GR but saying that it is abominable (as some have suggested here) is just not fair. Try programming my Yamaha Motif and it will make you cry. Its about the same for most synthesizer engines. Anyway, there are a number of users up on YouTube providing videos about editing and other issues to help you out. Bottom line...I hope you don't buy it. The GR-55 has given me an edge and I'd like to keep it that way.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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  • Great

    As reviewed by STANLEY CHONG on 10/17/2013

    I purchased this to upgrade from the GR-20. Pros: - A hybrid between the GR-20 and the VG-99. - Guitar modeling is great. I use it more than the midi - You can layer 2 midi sounds over a modeled guitar sound at the same time. - You can change guitar tuning without actually having to tune the guitar. - The tuner is very accurate. Cons: - The midi is still not super fast. It's definitely faster than the GR-20, but it still has it's glitches - Stereo out lets you output midi sounds and modeled sounds through the 13 pin pickup, but not your normal guitar pickups. The guitar out doesn't do midi out, but does allow your original pickup tone and modeled tone to go out this way. If you want all three you'll have to get a few amps, a mixing board, or a multi-input amp to use all three. Otherwise you are stuck with one or the other and can't use the GK toggle switch that goes between normal guitar pick up, midi and normal guitar pick up, or just the midi pick up. This isn't a deal breaker, but just a surprise.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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  • Powerful and useful but with an easy interface

    As reviewed by Sam Levine on 12/3/2012

    I bought the synth because of the presets (and there are a huge amount of them), but the real usefulness of this thing starts to show when you start building the sounds you want. When I started removing all the layers, heavy choruses, delays, mods, etc., the patches really, really sound good and very giggable (giggity?). So when the band wants a banjo, acoustic guitar, xylophone, steel drum, nylon guitar or even fiddle, I can be there. The electric guitar patches are great too, so I'm not taking a step backwards there. The amount of tracking error will depend on how well you physically set up the hex pickup, the way you adjust settings on the SYSTEM tab, the patch you select, and your playing style. Though I can certainly get by with the way I setup the GK-3 hex p/u on my Les Paul Custom, I may have it professionally done to get even better tracking.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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