- SBC-1324 Roland 24 or 13 Pin Input to 13 and 24 Pin Output
Back in 2009 I was approached by a very talented Canadian guitarist who wanted to be able to control both vintage Roland 24 pin GR-series synthesizers and modern Roland 13 pin GK-series synthesizers with one guitar, either a 13 or 24 pin guitar.
The SBC-1324 is the unit I built to meet this need. The unit has both 13 and 24 pin inputs, and a master analog switch to select between the two. There are six amplifiers for each string input, used primarily to boost the 13 pin signals to the 24 pin format, but they can also be used individually to amplify any single string input, whether 13 or 24 pin.
- Artist Highlight: Neal Schon
Journey guitarist Neal Schon was frequently seen in the early eighties playing a Roland G-505 guitar paired with the GR-300. Schon is not usually thought of as a 'Strat' player, much less a guitar synthesist, but he makes great use of the G-505/GR-300. An outstanding track is the tune 'Valley of the Kings', using the 'Duet' mode of the GR-300.
- Roland SIP-300 Fresh Photos! Super clean photos from an auction by Tone Tweakers.
- Roland GR-300 Emulation with Kontakt 5 or Roland SR-JV80-04 / SRX-04 Ultimate Keys / INTEGRA-7. Download a complete Kontakt 5 patch and trigger a GR-300 with MIDI! Or check out a demo of the Roland GR-300 patch created by the legendary Scott Summers.
- UX-20 - 13-Pin Splitter/Distributor with Buffered Guitar Input Schematic
- Pat Metheny writes about on using the NED Synclavier Digital Guitar Option - First Time Online! From the 1984 NED Owner's Manual.
- Steinberger XL2-GR Guitar Synthesizer Controller - Vintage Roland Ready Bass Guitar Synthesizer Controller
- Pedulla MVP-S Guitar Synthesizer Controller - The phantom Roland Ready Guitar Synth Controller!
- GK QuadBox Schematic Build your own GK QuadBox, 1 input, 4 output 13-pin Guitar Synth Signal Distributor - Combined US-20 and GKP-4 clone!
- RC-1324-VR Roland 13-in to 24-pin Converter Detailed schematic on the acclaimed RC-1324. Control vintage 24-pin Roland guitar synths like the GR-700 and GR-300 with modern 13-pin controllers like the GK-3, GK-2A or the Godin series of guitar controllers
- Modulus Graphite Blackknife Special Guitar Synthesizer Controller
- Roland GR-700 Operating System Upgrade New Sounds! Faster Response!!
- Do-It-Yourself DIY Roland and Ibanez Guitar Synthesizer Control Panel Overlays
- The summer NAMM 1985 show was the year when MIDI became accepted as a standard across the industry, and guitar manufacturers unleased a variety of MIDI guitar products not seen since. From Roland to Steinberger to Ibanez to the ultra rare Octave-Plateau Voyetra MIDI guitar, MIDI was everywhere.
- Detailed information on the vintage IBM-PC music production software from Voyetra. Voyetra is the same company that produced the Kat and Kitten analog synthesiers, the ground-breaking Voyetra Eight polyphonic analog synthesizer, and the ultra rare Octave-Plateau Voyetra MIDI guitar.
- WBRA Public Television Music Video featuring Wayne Joness using Voyetra Sequencer Plus - Live Performance.
- Vintage Interview with Jazz Fusion pioneer John McLaughlin about using the Roland G-303 guitar synth controller and the New England Digital Synclavier with Digital Guitar Option
- Details on the amazing Synclavier II Digital Guitar
- East Side West Side by John McLaughlin From the Album Mahavishnu - Transcribed by Steve Vai.
- Vintage 1980 Full Page Roland G-808 Advertisement featuring Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake) - Who knew? Hard rock icon Bernie Marsden with a Roland G-808!
- Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul "Studio Custom" Roland Ready Synthesizer Controller Update
More pictures on the Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Roland Ready Synthesizer Controller page, plus an update on the number of models built.
- Musico Resynator | Hexsynator - 1980s Pitch and Envelope Tracking Synthesizer with Roland 24-pin Guitar Synthesizer Input - Detailed photo gallery from November 2017 fundraiser at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA.
- Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul "Studio Custom" Roland Ready Synthesizer Controller
Beyond the standard Roland offerings in the G-X0X series, there are vintage 24-pin Roland-Ready guitars for just about every niche: the Hard Rock Hamer A7, the traditional player's Zion Strat, or the cutting edge Steinberger GL-2T/GR.
But the classic, eternal, "Cadillac" of the series has got to be the Limited Edition 1985 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul with the Roland LPK-1 Electronics. Every guitar was the product of Gibson's acclaimed Custom Shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Kalamazoo made Gibson Les Pauls have been called the 'Holy Grail' of electric guitars. These vintage guitars combine all the craft and musicality with the feature-rich Roland LPK-1 electronics package, the same electronics found in the G-303 or G-808 guitars.
- Jazz and the GR-50! Acclaimed Jazz Guitarist Brad Rabuchin rocks the Roland GR-50 in this track 39 Steps: A Spacewalk. This is Space Station MIR, a collaboration with Flugelhorn Horn genius and composer Michael Wetherwax, with Wayne Joness on keyboards and programming. Watch Now on YouTube.
- BX-13 Micro Schematics Yes! At long last! The final schematic for the BX-13 Micro is available on the website! This design incorporates a VCA (voltage controlled amplifier) with an option to select either guitar or hex fuzz as the guitar signal, plus using controller 2 (resonance) as secondary control source acting as a EV-5 pedal.
- At long last the Vintage Roland Guitar Synthesizer Resource site has a full profile on the Steinberger GL-2T/GR Guitar Synthesizer Controller, with unseen schematics, photos and video, with additional information on the GL-3T/GR and GL-4T/GR.
- Musico Resynator | Hexsynator - 1980s Pitch and Envelope Tracking Synthesizer with Roland 24-pin Guitar Synthesizer Input.
- Korg Z3 Patch Editor Adaption for the Korg Z3 - Thanks to Korg Z3 user David for this free software download.
- GS-500 Video Playlist featuring Terje Rypdal - Luc Bertels hipped me to videos of Terje Rypdal using the Roland GR-500 and GS-500.
- Roland GR-700 and GR-77B AB-700 Case - Image gallery with 12 photos of the rare official Roland factory road case.
- Xotica EA-1 with Roland Ready Guitar Graph Tech Ghost Pickups - Detailed information on this very rare, Rland ready 13-pin Acoustic/Electric Roland guitar synthesizer controller.
- 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 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, and have posted the complete interview with Pat Metheny. The previous interview was an abbreviated version.
- GR-300 Synthcheck - A detailed 2000 word review from "The Complete Music Magazine", dated November 1980
- Gibson Explorer - Finally! A home for one of the rarer custom Gibson vintage Roland guitar synth controllers
- Jimmy Page - Vintage 1985 magazine ad featuring the guitar legend and his G-707/GR-700 rig!
- LPK-1 Installation Diagram thanks to John Doucette for emailing the scans.
- GK-20 Schematic - 13-pin Guitar Switcher, Schematic ready for download
- Filter/Buffer Schematic - Schematic ready for download.
- Roland GR-700 and GR-77B Updates: From the Roland User Group Archives, a complete MIDI guitar and MIDI bass system profile!
- Roland GR-77B Updates: Finally! The Roland GR-77B and G-77 pages have been updated. Be sure to check out the G-77 page as well.
- Vintage Roland G-505 and GR-300 combination magazine advertisement.
- GR-700 One Step Beyond!: From the 1985 Roland User Group Magazine
- GR-700 4x Memory Expansion!: Easy to do, super DIY Memory Expansion!
- Ibanez IMG2010 and MC1: Updated! High-Res Brochure from 1985
- G-707 Steve Hunter: Vintage Product Review from 1985, Part 2!
- G-707 Steve Hunter: Vintage Product Review from 1985, Part 1
- GR-500 Steve Hackett: Vintage Product Review from 1978!
- GR-500 Patch Sheet: Original Blank Patch Sheet
- GR-500 - Solo Voice Tuning : Adendum on Tuning the Solo Section
- GR-300 Filter Mod: LFO to Filter Modification
- GR-300 Output Mod: Increase the output of your GR-300!
- GR-55 Schematics, Service Notes: Full factory service notes for the Roland GR-55
- Ibanez MIU8: Specs, photos, details on the rarest of rare!
- MIU8 Schematics: Schematics and Service Manual (pdf)!
- Korg Z3 Product Page: From early Product catalog!
- Hamer A7 Guitar: Added to the guitar pages, a tribute to the Hamer Phantom A7! Tubo Lover rocks!
- GR-500 24-pin Connector Change: Documentation of the change from the original, pin-type C24 connector to the much more common C24 positive (locking frame) connector.
Features and Specifications:
- Body: Maple/Walnut neck-thru-body construction
- Finish: Satin Amber
- Neck: Fast, ultra-thin profile
- Fingerboard: Ebony Fretboard with Creme Binding
- Frets: 24 Jumbo
- Bridge: Schecter/Gotoh Locking Tremolo System and Tuners
- Tuning machines: Schecter/Gotoh
- Pickups: EMG 81-TW (bridge) SA (neck and middle)
- Scale:25 1/2"
- Truss Rod: Dual, Adjustable
- Neck Width: 1 5/8"
- Weight: 9 lbs 4 oz
The EMG 81TW is a splitable variation the EMG81 pickup that started a revolution. Utilizing powerful ceramic magnets and close aperture coils, the tone was designed with detailed intensity, incredible amounts of high end cut and fluid sustain. This pickup will make your leads slice right through even the densest mix.
The SA pickup combines the attributes of the early Strat sound but with an added midrange response and higher output, giving it "bell-like" ringing harmonics and increased sustain. One single Alnico bar magnet delivers classic overdrive with a smooth midrange distortion, while still retaining the familiar high-end of a single-coil pickup. These characteristics provide greater versatility than what is normally found in single-coil pickups.
In addition to the versatile features and guitar synth friendly construction, the Stiletto Classic is very easy on the eyes with a body using highly figured maple wings. The Stiletto Classic has a powerful and elegant appearance.
The original guitar electronics have been modified using authentic EMG and Roland parts. The original guitar volume and tone controls have been consolidated onto a single concentric controller, using the EMG A25KX2 control pot. In the position of the original guitar volume control is the Roland GK synth volume control. And a spring-loaded toggle switch has been added to send Roland GK S1 and S2 commands. The Stiletto Classic still has the ability to split the output coils on the 81 TW humbucker, but the coil split switch has been stashed underneath the pick guard. The player can choose to install the switch at any time by simply drilling a hole and mounting the switch. The current configuration of controls was selected to keep control panel clutter to a minimum.
Careful observers will notice the GK-3 divided pickup is mounted "backwards." This was to keep the extension arm away from the hand when palm muting. This is, incidentally, the same way Roland mounted the pickup on the rare Roland GC-10 guitar synthesizer controller. Normally, this would require the GK setting to also be reversed. However, when the pickup was installed, the wires from the GK pickup were also reversed, restoring the original polarity of the GK-3 pickup. Also, the GK-3 LED was not installed, and the gtr/gtr+synth/synth switch was not installed. These parts are included if the buyer wants to add them to the guitar.
On the side of the guitar is both the 13-pin and standard guitar output. When the guitar is attached to a powered Roland 13-pin synthesizer, the active EMG electronics get their power from the Roland synthesizer.
When a 1/4” cable is plugged into the guitar, an internal 9 volt battery supplies power to the active EMG pickups.
Warning: do not have a 1/4” cable plugged in and powered Roland synthesizer active at the same time. In this circumstance, the EMG pickups will be receiving power from both the Roland synth and battery at the same time, which can potentially cause damage.
The battery supplies +9 volts of power, but the Roland synth supplies +7 volts of power. As a results, there is a very slight hiss, or loss of headroom when using the Roland synth power. If you want to separate the EMG power supply from the Roland power supply, this is a very simple modification. Just disconnect the (one) red power wire that connects the EMG power supply to the +7 volts on the Roland.
I experimented with this when I was first trying out configurations. In the video clip, at 10 seconds, you hear the EMG pickups as powered by the +7 volts, and they sound very, very clean (this point is at the closeup of my fingers after playing the main theme). I would suggest this: before making the modification, play it yourself and see if you can hear anything that needs changing. For me, I liked the convenience of not having to rely on an internal 9 volt battery.
Review From Ultimate Guitar Forum:
"the schecter stilletto classic is, simply put, the most amazing versatile, and beautiful guitar i have ever had the pleasure of playing. this is the guitar i have been searching for my entire life. i play a 1972 gibson les paul and a frankenstein strat with a 57 body and an 80s maple neck with a roller nut. niether one comes close."
GK PU Type: GK-3
Guitar Scale: ST
GK PU Phase: Normal
GK PU Direction: Normal
S1, S2 POS: Normal
|Pickup - Bridge
1st - 23.0 mm
2nd - 24.0 mm
3rd - 25.0 mm
4th - 23.0 mm
5th - 24.0 mm
6th - 25.0 mm
1st - 56
2nd - 46
3rd - 35
4th - 45
5th - 42
6th - 58