Jump to content

Buy a new Variax guitar and/or get Gr-55 guitar synth

Recommended Posts

I have been playing acoustic guitar (as a hobby) for the past 30 years, mostly classical. Then I got a cut-away acoustic jazz guitar which I've been playing for about 5 years. I play by myself, got no one around to play with (I live on an island!)


Questions : 
I'd like to "expand" my horizons by getting a guitar synthesizer. I've seen plenty of Roland GR-55 YouTube demos, and Fishman Triple Play. Just found out about James Tyler Variax.


My idea is to compose "new age" style pieces, mixed with soft classical jazz. And would love to play and mix with other instruments, piano, violins, voices, etc.


I'm just starting, and my budget is limited to get one or two "gadgets." I can read music sheet, but can't play any piano. I would like to reach for a real sound, not "canned" ones. If I play violin, I would like for the listener to think it's a real (or close to) violin. Same with piano, etc.


My dilemma: What should I aim for?  Roland GR-55 guitar synth, Fishman Triple Play software and pickup, Line6 Variax?  Or something else.


I would also have to get an amplifier!  (Remember, I'm all acoustic!)


Thanks for any ideas or suggestions...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based on everything you've said, I would think the Fishman Triple-Play is most appropriate.  It is reported by many folks (I have never used one) to have much better tracking than the GR-55.  I do own a GR-55 and it's only marginally useful for emulating orchestral instruments.  A triple-play feeding a computer or tablet-based soft synth should give better results. How realistic the sounds are will be a function of your skill in both playing the guitar and programming synths.


But, don't take one person's word for it.  Hop over to VGuitar Forums and solicit opinions there.  VGuitar was nominally started as a forum for discussion of Roland 13-pin gear but has grown into a high signal-to-noise ratio resource for anything related to guitar technology.  There are quite a number of forum regulars involved in "New Age" and ambient music production.




(You are hopefully aware that the Variax has no guitar-to-MIDI capability.  It's just a very versatile guitar and in no way equivalent to a guitar synth.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd look at the GP-10 and a 13 pin hex PU guitar of choice


You may feel right at home with s Godin MultiAC feeding a GP-10 then use GP-10 guitar to MIDI and a laptop with Softsynths


All can be found at VguitarForums

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your answers. I haven't played my classical guitar (nylon strings) for many years now. I'm getting use to the smaller fretboard and the steel strings of my cut-away jazz.


So the Godin MultiAC might not be my best choice after all (though I love the sound!)


I'll ask the same question on vguitar.  Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...