fender VG strat- any love?

Frankenstrat2

Member
Messages
5,062
so far just read about them. i need to make a trip to GC before I lay out the dough. seems like an appealing idea, and in an american strat skin. remember, i play slide and like to switch tunings.
anyone play/hear one?
 
Messages
61
I've had one since they came out (black w/maple neck). I like it a lot. I play in a rock/blues rock band and I always take the VG as a back up and use it on sets where the need to change guitars a lot presents itself. You'll find a lot of opinions if you do a search - complaints about the factory choices for the alt tunings (lack of open E, in place of the provided DADGAD) seems to be the big one. I don't use the guitar to record demos or finished songs - so the accuracy of the sampled pickups and/or acoustic offerings are ok for me. I find in a live band situation, that all the offerings come off very convincing in the mix. I have used an A/B switch to go to a dedicated acoustic amp when I switched to the acoustic samples; and have found that to really help them sound nicer, but if you were in a pinch, and had to provide the acoustic rhythm to a song like Melissa - you'd do fine through your regular guitar amp for that one song. All in all, it's proven to be a great tool for me and a nice playing guitar. Maybe some day Fender will offer custom tuning programming if we send them back in and people can get more of what they think they can use. For what it was designed for, which was mostly live playing (unlike the L6 Variaxe w/its Midi cord) as opposed to studio use, its as use friendly, and good sounding as can be.
 

Jellecaster

Member
Messages
184
I have been a fan of Roland VG technology and owned the VG8 and VG88. I like the Strat but I chose not to buy one because Fender decided not to put a GK output jack on the guitar. I understand that they did this for marketing reasons, but to me it really limits the guitar's usefulness.
 

Frankenstrat2

Member
Messages
5,062
I've had one since they came out (black w/maple neck). I like it a lot. I play in a rock/blues rock band and I always take the VG as a back up and use it on sets where the need to change guitars a lot presents itself. You'll find a lot of opinions if you do a search - complaints about the factory choices for the alt tunings (lack of open E, in place of the provided DADGAD) seems to be the big one. I don't use the guitar to record demos or finished songs - so the accuracy of the sampled pickups and/or acoustic offerings are ok for me. I find in a live band situation, that all the offerings come off very convincing in the mix. I have used an A/B switch to go to a dedicated acoustic amp when I switched to the acoustic samples; and have found that to really help them sound nicer, but if you were in a pinch, and had to provide the acoustic rhythm to a song like Melissa - you'd do fine through your regular guitar amp for that one song. All in all, it's proven to be a great tool for me and a nice playing guitar. Maybe some day Fender will offer custom tuning programming if we send them back in and people can get more of what they think they can use. For what it was designed for, which was mostly live playing (unlike the L6 Variaxe w/its Midi cord) as opposed to studio use, its as use friendly, and good sounding as can be.
thanks Jim1
Good info. I need to go play one. i have a Variax, but never bonded with it, and didn't bother with the workbench software to get the Variax into tunings. combination of lazy and undermotivated.
Unlike Jellecaster, the appeal for me is the plug n play aspect of it not requiring special cables or interfaces.
and yes, ommitting open E is a major blunder on fender's part. do you know if the firmware is flash-upgradable?
 

jaywalker

Member
Messages
2,362
No no no no no nono...

No.

I have GK equipped guitars and the fact that you can only access the onboard sounds is a bummer.

I had to demo it for a distributer and had to lie through my teeth about how good it was. As a standard USA strat it's fine, but is you use pedals or want to be able to switch from acoustic to electric with pedals you have to tapo dance like a maniac.

It has its merits, but if you use effects its a bummer on the digital side.

It would have been better to have dedicated outputs through a 13 pin cable, but that was not the idea behind its design.
 

Frankenstrat2

Member
Messages
5,062
I visualize using it to switch to open G and a Les paul, for example, then back to standard strat.
pedals are not a big concern for me.
 

bynt

Member
Messages
2,122
I really don't like it. I think it's okay, but it just wasnt' for me. Most of the open tunings that I play in aren't that hard to get in and out of (for slide, anyway. The more complex ones I don't use on electric) and it's always an excuse to get another guitar.

The one that was sold where I work just came back in for a return because the finish started checking really bad (I think it was the guys fault, personally) but he also stated that the batteries don't last for crap. According to one of the sales guys, if a plug is in the jack, you're losing battery time and if you use the "cool" stuff you loose even more battery.

Now, having said that, I don't own one and am not trying to sway you or anything. I just didn't like playing it. I couldn't bond. Also, (again, just me) if you can hear the guitar at all it really screws you up coming out of the amp. Obviously if you're gigging it won't be a problem but I could see it as an issue in the house.

Play one with an open mind because it's really a cool idea if you can (and hopefully for a long time). Maybe you'll bond with it. I really wanted to like it, but it just wasn't for me.
 

Frankenstrat2

Member
Messages
5,062
I really appreciate all the feedback.
my other strats are both active, so I'm used to unplugging and not leaving the jack in overnight. My setup requires removing the pickguard, so I'm really used to that aspect.
I would use the guitar for live playing at stage volume, so hearing the acoustic sound of the strings is a non-issue.
I'm very proficient at quick re-tuning for slide, but its just not practical in my gigging situation. I'd rather not carry 2 or 3 of my good slide guitars (too much $$$) if I can use one of these as a beater. checking? LOL. I'll relic the thing in a month. I don't do 'pretty' guitars anymore. Past that.
how's the tracking, and accuracy of the retuning? How are the models- tele, les paul, 12 string?
 

tkozal

Member
Messages
1,300
I have one. My main bitch are the standard Fender pups, with those horrible staggered poles.

For making demos, or copping licks this is great. I can switch to a variety of sounds easily. I find myself using the models more than the altered tunings, other than the 12 string one.

It's not a Les Paul model, but a humbucker model, more like a strat with buckers. Whats cool is the tone control becomes a reverb control for the acoustic models. Which I don't really see as acoustic, but rather as 5 more variations.

And I can pound the f--out of "Kashmir" easily...

no issues with the tuning, but the trying to make the major third crowd better may have issues.....
 

Frankenstrat2

Member
Messages
5,062
I have one. My main bitch are the standard Fender pups, with those horrible staggered poles.

For making demos, or copping licks this is great. I can switch to a variety of sounds easily. I find myself using the models more than the altered tunings, other than the 12 string one.

It's not a Les Paul model, but a humbucker model, more like a strat with buckers. Whats cool is the tone control becomes a reverb control for the acoustic models. Which I don't really see as acoustic, but rather as 5 more variations.

And I can pound the f--out of "Kashmir" easily...

no issues with the tuning, but the trying to make the major third crowd better may have issues.....
Question:
since the models come from the Roland pickup, can't the stock Fender pickups be changed for aftermarket ones?
I like strats with buckers. Used to have an early LoneStar. Cool strat. Miss it.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,440
I tried one. No soul.

The scuttlebut is that this has NOT been a big hit for Fender. They either needed to make it in Mexico so it was under a grand or they had to put a GK13pin output on it for those who use the Roland stuff. They did neither, and missed the boat. The models have no oomph. Much worse sounding, imho, than the almost-as-useless Variax. The one big plus? If you don't mind the sterile sounding models, they are totally hum-free.

Almost as stupid as the Robot Guitar or the Gibson Digital guitar that has no real-world application unless you are using 6 amps on stage or something.

Technology without purpose.
 

tkozal

Member
Messages
1,300
Question:
since the models come from the Roland pickup, can't the stock Fender pickups be changed for aftermarket ones?
I like strats with buckers. Used to have an early LoneStar. Cool strat. Miss it.

yes you can, I'm just lazy, laying in bed ya know...

I'm getting about 10 hours of plug in time with the batteries, I bought some rechargables, no prob
 

tkozal

Member
Messages
1,300
Frankenstrat2, you on LI? the 14th st GC has one, as does Rudy's stop in and play one.
 

arfalax

Member
Messages
580
I have one I got in a trade that has Lollar Dirty Blondes in it. Sounds pretty good. And it's for sale here (I know, shameless plug).
 

Roodyrocker

Member
Messages
453
I think the VG Strat is a great idea. I can twist a knob and instant Drop D tuning to do Van Halen Unchained, Ratt Lay It Down. The acoustic and 12 string stuff is just another twist of the knob away. And while I don't really use Baritone at the moment, some may need/want it and again, just a twist of the knob away. Switching to a humbucker type Strat or Ash bodied Strat or even a Tele is another twist of the knob. Lets see now, how many guitars have we replaced with one so far? :)
I think having the Roland 13 pin in it would have been a good idea but its nice to be able to plug this Strat in with just a standard 1/4" guitar cord and play. I also wish Eb tuning was one of the settings but oh well. And lets not forget that besides all this on board modeling stuff its still a USA Strat with regular pickups in it if thats what you want to use it for. The rest is all bonus material.
 

Ray Gianelli

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,343
I really appreciate all the feedback.
my other strats are both active, so I'm used to unplugging and not leaving the jack in overnight. My setup requires removing the pickguard, so I'm really used to that aspect.
I would use the guitar for live playing at stage volume, so hearing the acoustic sound of the strings is a non-issue.
I'm very proficient at quick re-tuning for slide, but its just not practical in my gigging situation. I'd rather not carry 2 or 3 of my good slide guitars (too much $$$) if I can use one of these as a beater. checking? LOL. I'll relic the thing in a month. I don't do 'pretty' guitars anymore. Past that.
how's the tracking, and accuracy of the retuning? How are the models- tele, les paul, 12 string?
I haven't played one, but I understand it's based on the Roland VG technology. So tracking isn't an issue like it is with MIDI guitar. With no Pitch to MIDI conversion happening glitching and lag aren't a problem.

The accuracy of the tunings would then be dependent on the accuracy of the guitar's tuning. The GK pickup is just allowing for separate signal processing of each string. So as long as each string is in tune the altered tunings will be as well.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,440
As much as I hate the guitar, there are NO tracking issues. It's not like a Guitar Synth (another abomination that I've owned not once, but TWICE... I never learn). It's just playing a guitar.

For gigging situations, it might be great, if you don't mind a compromise (a SERIOUS one imho) in tone (but again... with NO hum, which I admit is cool). But spending a grand and a half or more on a beater guitar? Not my cup of tea. That is why I think it should have been made in mexico for 500 bucks less. I don't think the guitar itself is any better than the great stuff coming out of Mexico anyway. And I actually liked the sounds of the Variax better.
 




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