NAMM 2012: Roland and Fender Unveil VG Stratocaster G-5 Guitar

Last night at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California, Roland and Fender unveiled the VG Stratocaster G-5, an electronic guitar that fuses traditional design with digital technology.

The guitar combines Roland’s COSM modeling with Fender’s classic Strat. It provides instant alternate tunings, a wide selection of electric, acoustic and 12-string guitar models and more — all accessible with standard controls on the front of the instrument.

In 2007, the two companies unleashed VG Stratocaster, the first instrument to blend Roland’s digital technologies with Fender’s iconic solid-body guitar. The VG Stratocaster G-5 represents the next generation in this important partnership, which aims to enhance and expand the potential of the guitar through the seamless integration of familiar, world-class instrument design and leading-edge digital processing.

Inside the VG Stratocaster G-5 is Roland’s COSM guitar modeling, the same tone technology found in the VG-99 V-Guitar System and GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer. Driven by an inconspicuously mounted GK-3 Divided Pickup, the onboard COSM engine gives the player a world of different guitar sounds including unique “ideal-performance” pickups, such as a humbucker with ultra-wide range and a single coil with full, bold tone at their fingertips, available simply by adjusting the familiar Stratocaster knobs and 5-way pickup selector switch.

The 20 sounds onboard the VG Stratocaster G-5 include Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster®, humbucking, 12-string, acoustic models, and cutting-edge unique sounds plus five alternate tunings. A Mode Control knob selects one of five distinct modeling modes, while the Tuning Control knob allows players to apply alternate tunings such as open G, drop D, baritone, and others to any currently selected model. In addition, a digital reverb effect is available when an acoustic model is selected.

As an instrument, the VG Stratocaster G-5 is an authentic Fender Stratocaster guitar through and through. It features a solid contoured body, 22-fret maple neck (with rosewood or maple fingerboard), three American Strat® single-coil Alnico 5 pickups with 5-way switching, a synchronized tremolo bridge, a 3-ply pickguard, American inline tuners and chrome hardware. The VG Stratocaster G-5 is 100% a real Strat guitar, with the same legendary sound and feel that players have loved for over 50 years.

The VG Stratocaster G-5 gives players a single, versatile guitar that can cover any musical style and playing situation.

The VG Stratocaster G-5 is available in a classic sunburst finish with a rosewood fingerboard, or a black finish with a maple fingerboard.

Distributed exclusively by Roland, the VG Stratocaster G-5 will be available in March 2012. For more information, visit www.RolandConnect.com.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.