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Roland's V-Guitar system may have offended some of the guitar purists but there is no denying that it expands acoustic possibilities well beyond what is possible with a traditional guitar and amp setup. The GR-D V-Guitar distortion brings this increased level of control to one the most famous guitar pedal effects of them all.


Putting aside the cynics who believe that "they don't build them like they used to", the sheer cost of getting involved with Rolands V-guitar setup may be enough to put many off. Aside from the cost of the physical unit, V-Guitar requires the use of a guitar equipped with a divided pickup, such as Roland's GK-3, and its 13-pin connection (not cheap in itself).


Luckily, these issues, that may have been a deciding factor to many possible V-guitar users, are laid to rest with the 'Distortion thanks to itself self-contained design (built into a rugged Boss pedal no-less). 


It has a divided-pickup guitar input, but also has a pair of standard jack inputs, plus outputs to connect to an amp or pedals. If you're using a standard guitar, you simply connect it to the L (mono) input and use the jack outputs for either stereo or mono operation. Roland does point out, though, that you won't be able to enjoy the full potential of the GRs using a conventional guitar, since the signal from each string can't be processed individually.


If you are using a GK pickup, there's also a Guitar Out socket, so you can send the normal clean pickup signals of the GK-compatible guitar to another device - perhaps an effects unit, the output of which can then be connected to the GR pedal's jack inputs in a send/ return scenario, if desired.


The pedal features four different sounds that you can select and tweak manually. Besides this manual mode, you also get four user memories that store and recall any sound you create, regardless of how the knobs are physically set. These are cycled with a single button or accessed by the patch up and down buttons if you're using the pedal with a GK pickup.


The GR-D offers four effects types: VG Distortion 1, VG Distortion 2, Poly Distortion and Synth. There are gain, Color and tone knobs, the functions of which change depending on the selected effect. For the distortion effects, the gain and tone knobs offer what you'd expect - adjusting the amount of distortion and brightening the sound respectively - but for the Synth sound their functions adjust the synth waveform and the synth's filter cut-off frequency. The Color knob does something different for each effect, and the right-hand footswitch offers a useful boost to the sound for soloing.


With a conventional guitar, you get four different distortion effects, covering a wide range of sounds that go beyond the 'overdriven amp' style. It's obvious this isn't a conventional distortion pedal - noise is absent when not playing, even with loads of gain, and there's a nice individual string clarity.


Using a divided pickup with its 'humbucker for each string' configuration and plugging in via the 13-pin connection with a Roland GK-3-equipped Yamaha Pacifica, though, it's clear the pedal is optimised for this type of operation.


String clarity is more pronounced, with separate distortion processing for each string eliminating the atonal harmonic artefacts of mono distortion - this is most apparent in the case of Poly Distortion, which is derived from the polyphonic distortion in Roland's early guitar synths, and designed to deliver distortion while letting chords ring and resonate.





VG Distortion 2 has an octaver effect that you don't hear with a conventional pickup, but the most acute sonic difference between using conventional and divided pickups comes when selecting the Synth sound.


This sounds like a proper analogue synth, complete with filter squelch, and raises the pitch an octave with the solo switch engaged. With a normal guitar, it sounds like a weird fuzzy distortion, with the solo switch simply making it louder. Overall, you get four different, focused sounds using the divided pickup, but your usual guitar will still give you a useful range of unusual distortion voices.


We do like the idea that Roland has equipped this pedal to make some part of its VG and GR sounds available to anyone playing a regular guitar. However, that is not the primary focus here - while this pedal can certainly add something a little different to your tonal palette and still fit into your basic pedal setup, their full sonic potential is not realised in this way.


What's more, it's a lot pricier than conventional stompboxes, and although that probably reflects the fact that it's filled with more expensive electronic gubbins than most, you'd have to have a good listen and think very hard about adding it to your 'board.


With a divided pickup though, buying this pedal makes much more sense. This pedal really does respond differently and provide a deeper, more stunning range of effects if you're using a GK pickup.


Not only will you will get optimum use out of it in that scenario but it offers an ideal opportunity to buy into the V-Guitar world for a lot less than shelling out for a VG-99. It could be a worthwhile buy if you already have a guitar fitted with a GK pickup or are thinking of adding one to your guitar and dipping your toe in the VG/GR water.


If you fancy getting your hands on the Roland GR-D V-Guitar or perhaps a whole V-guitar system then you will always be able to find the cheapest prices on  your musical instruments at is the UK and Europes No.1 musical instrument price comparison site that allows you to source guitars, keyboards, drumkits and accessories (as well as a wide range of professional DJ and studio gear) at the lowest UK prices. At you can compare guitar prices, compare keyboard prices, compare amp prices and compare drum prices all in one place. is the leading musical instrument price comparison site.


If we are being 100% honest, you are probably not that excited about buying a guitar tuner pedal but let me tell you something. Step one of sounding awesome, is to get your gear set up and in tune. A pedal tuner really is one piece of kit you need in your life. "Okay" I hear you say..."so which is the best pedal tuner?" Well if only it were that simple. There are a whole host of pedals available...but here we’re going to talk about the 3 guitar tuner pedals widely regarded as the best around.


Boss TU-3 Compact Chromatic Tuner

The Boss TU-3 tuner can be seen on stages everywhere. Boss are widely known for having legendary stomp pedal quality and is certainly built to last. Housed in a tank-tough stompbox body, the TU-3 has a bright LED meter that really does well against glare, even outdoors.

On really nice feature is the Accu-Pitch Sign function which provides a nice virtual “thumbs up” when tuning is done.


TC Electronic Polytune

A successor to the extremely popular original Polytune, The TC Electronic Polytune Mini has a great advantage of being one of the smallest pedal tuners on the market so you can be sure it’s going to fit on even the most cramped pedalboard. The top reason of using a polyphonic tuner like the TC Mini is that it allows you to strum all 6 strings and instantly see which is out of tune. Though the pedal is tiny, it does have the drawback of being unable to be battery powered due to its compact size.


Korg Pitchblack Chromatic

The Korg Pitchblack chromatic pedal tuner, with large LED display, is my personal tuner of choice and a must-have item for the serious guitarist or bassist. The combination of high precision tuning, excellent display and advanced functionality make it an easy choice for me. Featuring a tough aluminium die cast body, you know this pedal was built to last. Another great feature is the tuning guide that indicates whether your instrument is sharp or flat so you are always able to tune quickly and accurately on stage.

Whichever pedal tuner you choose has to be the right fit for you and your style. Check out the tuners above and let us know your thoughts.


Line 6 has a habit for getting it right and with the M13, it seems they’ve done it again.

The Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler has the heart of a multi effect pedal and the brute force of a rack. It contains an impressive collection of effects combined with rock-solid construction, and a great brand to boot.

The all-metal construction means that the Line 6 M13 multi effects pedal is built tough to ensure it survives any on-stage abuse and comes with over 100 distortions, reverbs, delays, and even offers access to some of history's most celebrated stompbox sounds all from one pedal.

Integrated into this one board, the M13 boasts every effects pedal Line 6 offers like a gigantic pedal board stuffed into a convenient, easy-to-use stage ready box. This means the effects can then be used individually, or placed into pedal board "scenes," which can be created for each of your live performances. This is a dream come true for any live musicians as you can set up your whole show on a menu controlled with one button.

The M13 was obviously designed by players, not some office bound schmooze. Some parts of the unit are pretty straightforward but I’d definitely recommend downloading the advanced, as some of the more complex stuff the M13 can do needs a little light reading first.

The Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler is really the first of its kind. The effects sound clear and precise, and the extra features make this box a must have for any musician, in fact, I’d go as far to say that you're going to be seeing a lot of musicians adding the Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler to their rigs.

Overall, if you’re looking for an all in one pedalboard that’s built well, sutable for touring, has impressive looping attributes and extreme versatility, you’re looking for the Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler Guitar Multi Effects Pedal.

Renowned guitar effects pedal producer, DigiTech, has recently launched the new JamMan Solo, a more compact version of its popular JamMan stomp box.


This little tool is a must-have for any guitar players who want to play layered guitar lines and loop phrases. It’s a great aid in composing new music and also for playing along with your favourite tracks.


The original JamMan won a lot of praise, from both the music press and many respected musicians, all of whom who saw it as a great way to learn, practice and write new music. The reason why you should try one is that it lets you record your guitar playing and/or record the output from an external audio device. You can then choose to play the recorded phrases back, either continuously or on a custom loop with other recordings.


So long as the total loop time doesn’t exceed 10 minutes then any number of overdubs can be added to your new sample and (brilliantly) the tempo can be put up or down without altering the pitch.


There are a number of pre-set rhythm tracks and nine metronome sounds that you can start building your own loops around. The tough metal case means it won’t break under your weight and we love the fact that you can back-up your loops and settings to either a PC or Mac.


SUMMARY: Small in size but not in features, this stomp box is perfect for guitarists that love to tinker around and create distinctive sounds.

For a cheap DigiTech JamMan use We compare dozens of retailers to find you the lowest cost musical instruments and accessories.

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