Updates: August 2017
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Roland GR-100,GR-300, GR-3B

Welcome to the Vintage Roland Guitar Synthesizer Resource Site!

This website is dedicated to providing comprehensive, complete and accurate information on vintage Roland 24-pin guitar synthesizers, controllers, and related accessories.

I started this website more than a decade ago when there was very little information on-line about vintage 24-pin synths, and a lot of the information I could find was wrong.

Please dig in and learn more about the first sustained effort by Roland Corporation to expand the sonic tools available to guitar players. You will find photos, technical information, service manuals, owners manuals, vintage advertising plus video clips on a variety of cutting-edge gear from the late seventies to early nineties.

This website is possible because of the many GR users who have helped by contributing photos, service bulletins, etc. to make this resource more complete. Feel free to email me if you have questions, corrections, etc. And many thanks to Dempsey Elks who dug through his Guitar Player archives, and emailed me the original Craig Anderton GR-300 article modification article that comprised the original website.

New for September 2017!

  • Factory Blue Roland GS-500  - Last year while visiting Japan I stumbled upon a factory BLUE Roland GS-500 in a Tokyo music store! Check out the exclusive photos published for the first time.
  • Sounds of the GR-77B! New video posted "Dr. Egatnorf" featuring a layered bass combination of the Roland MKS-70 (same sound engine as the GR-77B) and the GR-77B.
  • Pat Metheny Extended Interview - I tracked down the original Guitarist Magazine, May 1985 article, and have posted the complete 5,600 word interview with Pat Metheny. Read Pat's insights into various guitar synth technologies.

Happy Birthday VG-99!

Ten Years and counting for the GR-300 Software Emulation!
Lost VG-99 Promotional DVD now available again!

Roland VG-99 and GR-300

Roland shipped the first VG-99 synthesizers about ten years ago.

The revolutionary VG-99 offered something unavailable for nearly twenty years: the sound of the Roland GR-300!

In Japan, Roland released a free Promotional DVD. This DVD has been unavailable, but I have posted the entire contents of the 26 minute DVD to YouTube.

VG-99 feature page with information on the lost DVD and YouTube Playlist.

Getting Started:

This site is filled with entertaining and interesting information on vintage GR synths. Check on the links below to some of the more popular or unique pages:

  • Roland GR-300 This page is packed with tons of material on the classic vintage Roland analog guitar synthesizer, the Roland GR-300. Details, schematics, repair tips, modifications and more, including a summary of the original patent application and an explanation on how the GR-300 works.
  • Roland GR-700 Get to know the Roland GR-700, the 1980s programmable hybrid digital/analog guitar synthesizer! Again with videos, version history notes, repair tips, recommended accessories and lots of details.
  • Roland G-303 Fans of the GR-300 also know and love the amazing Roland G-303 guitar synthesizer controller. Popularized by Pat Metheny as his go-to controller for his guitar synth for more than 30 years, this instrument is a real beauty, a classic example of fine Japanese craftsmanship.
  • Roland G-707 Perhaps the most distinctive and unusual vintage guitar synth controller, the futuristic Roland G-707 is always a visual show stopper, and is a great example of Roland Corporation's willingness to push the limits of guitar design.
  • Ibanez IMG-2010 More than holding it's own against the Roland G-707 is the highly advanced Ibanez IMG-2010. With its Virtual Whammy bar and easy access to the entire range of continuous controllers, the IMG-2010 may be the most sophisticated 24-pin guitar synth controller ever built.
  • GR-300 LFO to Filter Modification The amazing GR-300 lacks a feature found on most analog synthesizers, the ability to modulate the Filter with the LFO. Check out the details on the DIY modifications
  • GR-700 4x Memory Expansion Learn how to increase the memory of your Roland GR-700 from 128 to 320 patches!
  • Pat Metheny Interview Read this excellent interview with Pat Metheny discussing the Roland GR-300, the Roland G-303 guitar, and the role of the guitar synthesizer.
  • Robert Fripp Interview King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp is known for taking the guitar into new and unexplored territories. In this interview, Fripp praises the qualities of the GR-300 and gives insights into his approach to guitar synthesizers.
  • Owners Manuals The name says it all! You can find a down-loadable copy of every vintage Roland guitar Owners Manual, and related products, on this website.
  • Service Manuals AKA (Also Known As) Schematics, this site has service manuals for all the Roland vintage synth gears and related products by Ibanez and Korg. The service manuals includes parts listing, explanations, etc. And be sure to check out the individual pages, with notes on service bulletins and additional technical information.
  • Filter Buffer The very popular Filter/Buffer has been out of production for a few years, but you can download the schematic, check out the demos, and learn more about this versatile guitar processor I built and sold for use with modern 13-pin synthesizers.