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Thread: RARE CASIO Guitar With A Built In Cassette Player? - CASIO EG-5

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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    RARE CASIO Guitar With A Built In Cassette Player? - CASIO EG-5

    Soon to be the 'next big thing' in a retro way.


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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    In the late 80s, I nearly bought a Casio MIDI guitar. The MIDI function tracked much more accurately than the Roland MIDI guitar system of the time. It was much more reasonably priced than the better systems on the market, like the Yamaha MIDI guitar with all strings tuned to the same pitch.
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    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    I hear the one with the Turntable is warmer.....
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    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    That earlier Casio stuff was pretty good. I bought a Sx-1 Sampling Keyboard at Target in the 90's for around $25.00. It did everything the modern sampler did at the time. It was a short lived product.....possibly too good for the price. (I'm not a keyboard expert....this was relayed to me by the Keyboard player in my band that made that opinion)
    The Ice Cream Lady Wet her drawers........To see you in the Passion Playyyy eeee - I. Anderson

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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    In the late 80s, I nearly bought a Casio MIDI guitar. The MIDI function tracked much more accurately than the Roland MIDI guitar system of the time. It was much more reasonably priced than the better systems on the market, like the Yamaha MIDI guitar with all strings tuned to the same pitch.
    A friend had a Roland G-707 when it came out and was not unhappy to let it go to another prson.
    Great 80's looking ax for publicity shots and posing.
    Underwhelmed in use. So I was led to believe. Midi was a bit voodoo back then.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyhead View Post
    I hear the one with the Turntable is warmer.....

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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    A friend had a Roland G-707 when it came out and was not unhappy to let it go to another prson.
    Great 80's looking ax for publicity shots and posing.
    Underwhelmed in use. So I was led to believe. Midi was a bit voodoo back then.
    A south-paw can forget any notion of turning the G-707 upside-down to play left-handed. I don't recall if Roland ever made a left-handed version of the guitar.
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    Member hFx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    A friend had a Roland G-707 when it came out and was not unhappy to let it go to another prson.
    Great 80's looking ax for publicity shots and posing.
    Underwhelmed in use. So I was led to believe. Midi was a bit voodoo back then.
    Yes it was quite awful! The synth engine was quite good (same as Roland JX-3P) but the tracking was slow and gltichy!

    The Casio guitar got quite good reviews I remember, for the good tracking, but I never had the chance to try one (have tested and also owned a few of the Rolands). I'm alos curious how well that Yamaha guitar played, as well as the SynthAxe that Allan Holdsworth did an album or two with...
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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    ^^ I tested the Yamaha. It played pretty well, but if you can actually hear the same pitched strings, it will most definitely throw off your playing.

    Ultimately, the only reason I didn't buy the Casio was I lost interest in playing altogether through most of the 90s decade. Otherwise, I most definitely would've bought the Casio. I was that impressed with it.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    A south-paw can forget any notion of turning the G-707 upside-down to play left-handed. I don't recall if Roland ever made a left-handed version of the guitar.
    I think the only option for a lefty was to have a hex pickup affixed to their own guitar. Though as I recall, the GR-707 had some on-board electronics for controlling the synth, so there would probably be more involved than just that. Can anyone comment on how it sounded just as a guitar, independent of the synth?

    Also, any comments on the GR-77B, the bass version?
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    A south-paw can forget any notion of turning the G-707 upside-down to play left-handed. I don't recall if Roland ever made a left-handed version of the guitar.
    They made at least one left handed model, for Elliott Easton of The Cars. He played it for one of the songs they did at Live Aid.

    The weird thing about the GR-700 was, the tracking was actually worse than it's predecessor, the GR-300. I read that was because instead of the pitch-to-MIDI arrangement, which was still very primitive at the time, even if you were just using the onboard synth on the GR-700, you were still doing the MIDI conversion thing, wihch is what slowed it down.

    I'm alos curious how well that Yamaha guitar played, as well as the SynthAxe that Allan Holdsworth did an album or two with...
    The Yamaha, Synthaxe and other similar instruments offered perfect tracking, simply because they weren't actually guitars. They were just MIDI controllers that were shaped and operated like guitars, but they didn't make an actual guitar sound, as such., so all the limitations that existed in guitars that made them difficult as synth controllers were eliminated.

    Bob Weir used a customized Casio MIDI guitar when performing with the Grateful Dead circa 89-92. He threw a Modulus Graphite neck and a Floyd Rose tremolo, and replaced the bridge pickup with a single coil, but that's what he used when triggering synths during "Space" segments during the Dead's second sets during that era. I don't know what synths he used, or if he used on the board synth. As I recall, he had to use two wireless systems for it: one for his guitar signal, and the other for the MIDI signal.
    I think the only option for a lefty was to have a hex pickup affixed to their own guitar. Though as I recall, the GR-707 had some on-board electronics for controlling the synth, so there would probably be more involved than just that. Can anyone comment on how it sounded just as a guitar, independent of the synth?
    No, Roland built left handed G-707's, but you had to custom order it, and wait like 6 months or whatever. And you could only get it in silver, I think (the right handed model was available in black and red, also). The electronics could be installed in any guitar. By about 85, there were several companies offering guitars with the Roland synth electronics in them, including Ibanez, Hamer, Modulus Graphite, Steinberger, Pedulla, Zion, and Gibson (you could get a Les Paul, or an Explorer, with the synth interface, though Steve Howe was, I think, the only one I ever saw using either).

    You could also have the synth interface installed on any guitar. David Gilmour had a couple different Strats that had been customized as such. That's actually what went faulty at Live Aid, when he was backing up Bryan Ferry, and his guitar signal died and he had to change guitars during the first song. Steve Hackett also had a Schecter Strat style guitar with the synth electronics.

    Later, Roland built a hex pickup that you could slap onto any guitar without altering it, called the GK-1, which went with their GM-70 MIDI guitar rack unit, which I think was also compatible with the G series guitars. And then in the 90's, they introduced the smaller GK-2, which mated with their later guitar synths (which I've heard are basically just sample players) and the VG virtual guitar units that Fripp and few others have used. I played one of those guitar synths in a store, I forget which one it was, it was whatever the current model would have been around 2000 or so, and that mother tracked everything I played. Even when I did pick slides or chimed the strings behind the nut, it still read the pitches and output a corresponding sound, instead of just going haywire the way I hear the GR-700 and it's predecessors would.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post

    Also, any comments on the GR-77B, the bass version?
    Never played it, but I know Steve Harris used one on Iron Maiden's Somewhere In Time album, but opted to not take it on tour. I think Nathan East, who was a studio bassist at the time, before he joined Eric Clapton's back up band, used one, though I have no idea on which records. I thnk the onl other time I've seen anyone using was on the BBC's Rock School TV show, where they did an episode focused on synths, where the guitarist and bassist both demonstrated Roland's then current guitar and bass synths, and the drummer had a Simmons drumkit, augmented with a Roland Octapad (which he used to trigger piano samples during one of the numbers they played).

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    Member hFx's Avatar
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    Great info there! Thanks!

    I rented a GR-300 system for a few recording sessions when they came about, just doing the usual pad/rhino-solo stuff with it! I think it worked quite nicely. Later I tried the GR-700 system which I found unplayable! Much later I bought a GR-30 with a GK-1 but that was as you said, just a sample player. Now I got a GK-2 on one of my guitars - not for synth use though, but rather for a VG-99 and later a GP-10 (mostly for doing alternate tunings, 12-string etc). The rare occasions I control a synth from a guitar I use the JamOrigin MIDI Guitar II software, which doesn't need a hex pickup but takes a normal polyphonic guitar signal and translate to 6 separate MIDI streams ("poly" or 6 x separate MIDI channels) - some magic involved as it tracks really well.
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