Hillman Guitar No. 13
Roland G-707 & G-303 Guitar Controllers
Roland G-707  .Roland G-303
For more info on the G-303 and G-707
see our History of Roland Synths Site at

Roland G-303 (trade in for 707)
Roland G-707 Guitar Synthesizer
This synth controller was made at the Fuji Gen Gakki factory in Japan. It has a striking silver and black finish with a weird unique shape which includes a graphic material stabilizer piece running parallel from head stock to body. In the mid-í80s I had traded video equipment for the earlier version of the Roland synth the G-303 -- from friend and fellow-musician Ken Storie . . . but soon after I traded in this system for the "new improved" 700 series. The G-303 is the only guitar I have ever traded or sold, but the cost of the new system (well over $4000) forced me to part with it as a down payment. 

To supplement the hundreds of synth sounds which the G-700 system produces I added another home-made b-bender rod . . . a scary procedure . . . bending and twisting a high hat rod and drilling and screwing it into a rather expensive guitar. 

The one thing I really didn't like about the guitar was the feel of the tremolo unit. My first "whammy bar" was the Bigsby unit on my Gretsch Nashville -- and first experiences are hard to undo. The "way-back" position of the Bigsby allows the player to rest the heel of his hand on the bridge where the strings can be easily dulled while grasping the end of the bar in the palm.You can then pick from this position, as well as having control over string damping and the amount of tremolo. The long tremolo bar on the 707 did not allow this, so I bent it in half as can be seen in the photo above. 

We then went a little overboard in the use of synths. I added about ten effects pedals to my ever-resent volume pedal. Sue-On used a stack of Roland keyboard synths (she was playing keyboard bass with the left hand and piano, organ, strings, etc. with the right) and Kerry Morris and Sue-On shared duties on a drum kit into which we integrated Roland syn-drums. Jeeze... we shoulda been on the Roland payroll. In recent years we've had a bit of drift "back to basics" but I still use the 707 quite a bit... with and without the synth module. In fact, it has been one of my main stage guitars now for well over 25 years.


Roland G-707 Guitar Synthesizer
This epoch-making guitar controller features a newly developed stabilizer that eliminates unwanted neck vibrations and ensures stable string vibration at all times. Its innovative body shape produces vibrational characteristics different form ordinary guitar vibrations, thus enhancing the performance of the stabilizer. The originally designed tremolo unit features 16-millimeter ball bearings on the pivots and the roller bridges to keep the strings in tune at all times. The G-707 has a maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, alder body, and the stabilizer is made of expanded ABS resins.
A - Master Volume and Guitar Tone knobs
The Master Volume knob controls overall volume. The Guitar Tone knob controls only guitar tone color.
B - Cutoff Frequency knob
Controls the cutoff frequency of the VCF. The further itís turned clockwise, the brighter the sounds becomes. When turned counterclockwise, the sound becomes softer. It is also possible to control the cutoff frequency using the FV-200 Volume Pedal.
C - Edit (Resonance) knob
When the GR-700 is in the edit mode, this knob is used to modify the memorized sound. In all other cases, it is used as the resonance control which emphasizes the frequency range determined by the Cuftoff Frequncy knob.
D - Balance knob
Determines the volume balance between the synthesizer and guitar sounds.
E - LFO Modulation (vibration depth) knob
Activated by the touch plate, this knob determines the depth of the vibrato effect.
F - Mode switch
Select the sound source of a guitar synthesizer and operates differently depending on the guitar synthesizer unit. In the case of the GR-700, it selects normal guitar sounds or mix of guitar and synthesizer sounds. In the case o the GR-300, it select VCO sounds, distortion sound, or mix of both. In the case of the GR-100, it selects normal guitar sounds, electronic guitar sounds, or electronically sustained sounds.
G - Touch Plates A and B
Used to activate the electronic vibrato effect, Touch plate A to produce the effect and touch plate B to stop it. Or you can produce a temporary effect that lasts only as long as plate B is touched.

Body: Alder  Neck: Maple  Fingerboard: Rosewood  Number of Frets: 22  Set Type: Detachable  Pickups: Humbucking x 2  Color: Silver/Red/Black
CONTROLS    Divided Pickup  Master Volume  Guitar Tone  Pickup Selector (3-position Switch)  Balance  Cutoff Frequency  Edit (Resonance)  Mode Switch (I/II/III)  Vibrato Depth  Touch Plates  Left-handed Model available), Phone Output x 2 (Stereo, Mono, 5 kOhm), Guitar Output (Phone, 1 kOhm), Programmer In (6-pin DIN), 24-pin Guitar Input (C-24D STD), AC Input  Remote Jacks: VCF Pedal, Pitch Pedal  MIDI Connector: Out (5-pin DIN)  Memory Cartridge Slot: 1  Switches: Output Level Select (H/M/L), Memory Protect, Power  Control: Tune (+/- 50 cents)  Accessories: LP-25 Connection Cord x 2, C-24D 24-pin Connector Cable, 6-pin DIN Cable (1.5 m), Power Cable, M-16C Memory Cartridge  Dimensions: 690 (W) x 375 (D) x 155 (H) mm (27-3/16" x 14-3/4" x 6-1/8")  Weigth: 12 kg (26 lb. 6 oz.)

Divided Pickup
Each string has a separate pickup, yet all six pickups are mounted together as one unit. The sting vibration picked up by the divided pickup is processed through a GR unit without losing the delicate tone characteristics of each string.
A humbucking pickup for the G-707
Features a wide frequency range and produces warm, broad, powerful sounds.
Proprietary 24 PIN cable and connector:
24-pin connector
All G-series guitar controllers and GR units have a 24-pin connector for full compatibility. 

Each G-series guitar controller also has a phone jack which provides only normal guitar signals.

Related Links:
Free Music Study site with guitar chord charts
Free Guitar Lessons at Mad Guitar Licks!
1000 Great Guitar Sites
Edirol Corporation (Roland Multi-media)
Essential Guitar Guide ~ Practical Music Theory
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Fender Set-up Guides
Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine
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Guitar Digest - For Players and Collectors
Guitar dot Com: Your Guitar Guide
Guitar dot Net
Guitar Links: Building ~ Wiring ~ MIDI ~ Electronics ~ FAQs
Guitar Magazine
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Guitar World Magazine
Mark's MultiMedia Studio: Guitar Lessons
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Midi Guitar List
Online Rock
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Roland Groove Products
Roland Guitar Synth Resources
Roland Specs & FAQs
Roland US
Royalty Free Music
Synth Museum
Tablature: Links to 100 Top Sites
Vintage Gear
Vintage Guitar Magazine
Yamaha Guitars


For more info on the G-303 and G-707
see our History of Roland Synths Site at

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