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Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth
Overall Rating
Submitted: May 23rd, 2018
by mgrowley
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Sound Quality
I have used this unit live for about 3 years now.You have hundreds of Roland Keyboard Synth sounds in 2 channels available, PLUS Guitar Modelling, PLUS Guitar direct pickup sound if you want.Sound quality and amp and effects simulations are really as good as any Boss multi FX pedal, it is using Boss FX pedal technology with Roland Synth sounds in one unit..... very deep possibilities!The tracking for synth use is as good as it gets, you just need to set the synth pickup sensitivity to suit the guitar used, and then it works really well.There is a pretty good looper which I haven't explored as yet as I play with enough other musicians in the band already without having to accompany myself!4/5 stars here but only because this unit will take a lifetime to explore and exploit to the full.  Almost too much for one little brain....but.... help and hundreds of downloadable patches are to be found at the "VGuitar Forums" website. Go to https://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.phpAlso I'd recommend to get gumtownbassman 's "GR Floorboard" Mac/PC software for USB or Midi connection and Programming/Setup ease of use.  This guy is a pedal software wizard from my old hometown in Whangarei in NZ, and he would like a beer, so please donate! Go to https://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/
Reliability/Durability
Built in hard case steel like a tank. The pedal is about the size of a regular Laptop computer.You can easily travel internationally with this.... robust and stable.Backup your patches to a USB stick or cloud storage and you're ready to go anywhere.
Price/Value
You don't often get the full palette of Roland Keyboard Synth sounds together with a Boss multi FX pedals range of sounds. This is the best thing out there for a compact and extensive solution that I have discovered to date. Roland/Boss will probably stop developing this as it may negatively affect sales of other pedals they have on the market.
General Comments
I run this as a synth using a Roland Ready MIM Strat with various Tusq nut, Bladerunner tremolo and Fender Noiseless SC Pickup Upgrades.You can also use this on a Bass! Or have two setups, one for bass and one for guitar!The guitar is great already, but the Synth and Modelling tones open the whole thing up to be an absolute monster in sound possibilities. I mix in the Strats Pickups, using the effects and amp sims of the GR-55 like any other Boss multi FX pedal (this unit has totally replaced my good old GT5 pedal and my old Roland GR-30 synth in one unit, and added many more synths to my choices).There is a guitar signal out for connecting to any other pedals you may want additionally, but no loop system.
Reviewer's Background
I've been playing guitar for nearly 40 years in modern church bands where the styles and instrumentation are many and varied. We do lots of hard and soft rock, oriental, pop and sometimes jazz styles of music. This unit allows me to cover a lot of ground musically speaking.... I expect to still be working at it in 5 years time.
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