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Roland G-5 VG Stratocaster - Black Reviews

4.5 stars based on 12 customer reviews
  • from Mount Airy, MD June 29, 2015

    Very Versatile

    This was my first experience with Sweetwater, but I felt comfortable ordering from them because almost every review I've read was positive. I am almost 60 years old and I've been playing a guitar off and on since I was 9 years old. I always wanted a Stratocaster, but my first guitar was a Harmony Rocket. The Rocket is a nice instrument, but it just didn't have the tone that I was looking for. My music preference is Hard Rock. So my wife convinced me to get a new guitar. I did a lot of research and was having a hard time deciding whether to go with my Stratocaster or go with something else. I really liked the sound of the Telecaster and the Les Paul. When I came across the G-5 with the modeling capability, naturally my curiosity was aroused. This guitar seemed to provide me the best of all worlds. I tried it out and it definitely felt and played like a Strat. The simulated Telecaster and Humbucker modes were awesome! I'm not a professional or a tone snob, so while others say that the modeled guitars are close but not exactly the same, I can say that the sounds were good enough for me. I can get any type of sound that I'm looking for and was really impressed by the alternate tunings and the 12 string mode.

    So if you are having a hard time deciding which guitar to buy, definitely give this one a try. I think you will be impressed.

    As others have stated, this guitar uses 4 AA batteries and they are placed in a holder. I found that when playing live, you should start out with freshly charged Ni-MH batteries. Changing batteries mid song is not easy so I asked my sales rep, Ben Eller, if it was possible to get an extra battery holder, so I could easily pop in a new holder with the fresh set of batteries all ready in it. This battery holder was not a standard piece of equipment that is readily available, but Ben had worked with Roland to get the part I needed. I think the extra holder should probably be included or at least a standard stock item, but I really appreciate the extra mile that Ben and Sweetwater went to for me.

    I highly recommend this Roland/Fender G-5 VG Stratocaster and Sweetwater!

  • from West Hills, CA March 6, 2015

    What an amazing instrument!

    While I've purchased an amplifier from Sweetwater before, this was the first GUITAR I've purchased online. Let's start by saying my Sweetwater Representative, David Snyder, was awesome. Never any pressure, just always great advice on products I've researched. If he doesn't know the answers, he'll find you the Sweetwater tech who does.

    About the guitar-never been much of a Strat guy, or classic guitar guy, for that matter. This thing completely changed my mind, however. Its versatility is downright amazing. You can shred in humbucker mode and get downright ugly with the baritone setting, but the things that impressed me the most were the 12 string and acoustic modes-both of which were very nice. So many warm tones coming from this guitar that it's just bringing a smile from ear to ear. Can't wait to get it in studio and unleash some magic.

  • from SF January 23, 2015

    great guitar and impressive service

    I didn't want to buy a guitar online without paying it first but thought if it doesn't feel right i could return it. The guitar plays like a fender except it has roland technology and these guys at Sweetwater are excellent. I didn't expect their service to be this good.. nor was i expecting the guitar to be this well set up.

  • from Irvine, CA December 23, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist for the last 30+ yrs...

    Jack of Almost All Trades

    Received my Fender G5 VG Strat by Roland from Sweetwater last month. It just amazing the playability, the features you can do with this guitar and the feel of the neck. Smooth and fast neck. Loving it so far...mine is made in Mexico...But in all honesty it's a well made guitar with the same quality and craftsmanship you would expect from Fender. I have read about the battery as an issue. But I bought Ansmann rechargeable AA batteries with charger both from Sweetwater as well to solve this issue...

  • from Cedar Park, TX December 22, 2014Music Background:
    Church/Praise & Worship, hobby recording

    Great multi-utility guitar!

    First, I would like to thank Sweetwater for the great guitar setup and quality service. I pulled the Roland Stratocaster out of the box and just played it as a standard guitar comparing it to my 1998 lone star Stratocaster. I am amazed at the playability and quality alone, great tone and perfect neck. Then I used the model and tones playing it through my Fender DeVille with standard settings, Very fun and unbelievably true to sound. I really love the "On the fly" acoustics and telecasters and the 12 string feature is icing on the cake! Well done Roland & Fender!

  • from durbin wv usa May 16, 2012Music Background:

    roland g-5 vg stratocaster

    This guitar is amazing.The only complaint I have ,its rough on batteries.Other than that you cant beat it. I would like to thank the staff at sweetwater you are true professionals.A special thanks to Aaron Regenold for his follow calls he made.Thanks sweetwater !!!!!!!!!!

  • from Cedar Park, TX January 19, 2015Music Background:
    Church Worship, home recording.

    Great Modeling, Great Guitar!

    I have looked for a good modeling guitar to play live for the past few years. All were very good with modeling but always lacked with the quality of guitar. Well I finally got a GREAT guitar with fantastic modeling...
    Thanks to Roland & Fender! I really love the 12 string telecaster & acoustics and also really appreciate the open tuning on the fly.
    Thanks Sweetwater for the great prep. and service as always!
    I give it 4.5 stars only because my 1998 lone star strat has slightly better action. A very fun and versatile guitar to play and own.

  • from Mufreesboro, TN December 23, 2014Music Background:
    Bass Player for over 30 years.

    Great feel and sound

    This guitar transforms into realistic sounding models. The neck is an American made neck and feels fantastic. The acoustic 1 and the humbucker setting are perfect. The only model the needs some help is the nylon acoustic. It needs some eqing to control the bottom end. All other models are right on. I wish it had a dobro and a banjo and Eb tuning. I would buy another without hesitation. Just an American neck costs around $450-500. You are getting the rest of the guitar for $200.

  • from Cincinnati May 14, 2012Music Background:
    50 years, Pro to pro/am all genres but Jazz (not that smart!!)

    First impression - a true instrument, this is no toy.

    I bought the G-5 Roland Strat primarily for the 12 string capability, the open tunings and the Tele model. This guitar is, so far, incredible. The Variax cannot compete with the feel, fit and finish not to mention the superior "sounds" that flow out of this thing. I really worked out both and the G-5 clearly is more intuitive in its functionality and most importantly the sonic quality of the majority of the samples/patches. So far (I have had it about a month) the weakest model is the baritone. With some more work, perhaps I'll figure it out. The humbucker choice is really good, no Les Paul, but very close. Never been a humbucker kid of guy, so that really isn't an issue for me.

    My take after a month. For those in need a 12 string model that actually works in a live mix, can take advantage of or need open tunings (specifically the open G) this is an answer. We play fair amount of the Byrds and the Ric 360/12 guys that come to hear us were blown away by the 12 string. The Tele model is superior to anything except a real Tele. The sitar model in DADGAD is too much fun.

    This is no toy. This is a working musicians toolbox full of stuff you can actually use with your bands as opposed to sitting around and making "cool sounds". My expectations are more than met.

    I love this thing. More to come as I get to know it better.

  • from SE Wisconsin November 24, 2015Music Background:
    30 yr hobbiest

    Pretty cool

    I'm still "getting to know it". So far, so good, though. This guitar lends a plethora of possibility! I'm having a great time with it, and can only imagine the many possibilities/conveniences it has to offer. It's a great Fender Strat coupled with Roland know-how. The Quality assurance is in design and manufacturing: Fender checks Roland, Roland checks Fender; checks and balance = consumer advantage. F & R have had this relationship for a long time. It does neither of them any good to fail, but with a solid respectable product, both have a lot to gain. Again, the consumer wins. Sweetwater does a great job too by inspecting the gear, etc. before it's shipped. Mine came ready to play (fast). Bonus!

  • from New mexico September 2, 2014Music Background:

    Awesome guitar

    In a nutshell, its a really good guitar...I have the black one with maple fretboard

    Beautiful fit and finish, very versatile, has 22 frets, good clean sounding strat pickups, 12 string setting is awesome, smooth tuners, smooth polished frets makes bends easier.

    Very heavy, like most mexican strats the wammy bar system does not stay in tune, poor battery life (about 3 hours or so)

    I would purchase it again and would suggest it to someone that wants a good middle of the road versatile guitar.

  • from Southern NJ June 20, 2013Music Background:
    Worship Leader / Music Writer

    The Plus and the Minus of the G-5

    Okay, I own the Candy Red version with a rosewood neck. I prefer maple necks and wish it had been available when I got this one. That aside, If you just look at this from a raw Strat viewpoint, my guitar fit and finish are outstanding and the pickup quality is excellent.

    As for the COSM sounds, some are outstanding. The 12string is a dead ringer for an "a la 1960s Byrds" Rickenbacker 12string. The tele and humbucker modes are good, too. The primary acoustic simulator is very nice. The alt tunings are also effective, with a few reservations.

    BUT, Fender made a couple bad choices here. There are basically two controls (knobs): one for guitar type (tele, strat, hum, etc), and another for tunings (bari, drop D, G, etc). For some stupid reason, they classified "12string" as a tuning instead of a type. Therefore, you cannot do 12string in an alt tuning.

    Some of the other effects are lame. Sitar is "okay", but if you want to use it for a song like Norwegian Wood (where you have both sitar and non-sitar parts) it isn't practical because switching back and forth tween the two is too cumbersome. Future models really should have a quick switch (preferable foot) for toggling between an effect and standard sound.

    Another downfall of this guitar is the wide disparity between the volumes of one mode vs another. In other words, I find when switching from one mode to another (song to song), requires huge swings of volume adjustment. If switching from "acoustic" to "humbucker" I have to drop my guitar volume control from a full 10 down to a 5 to retain a similar decibel level. This is a real guessing game.

    One last suggestion. The battery limitation is too restrictive in my opinion. I'm using quality rechargeables and getting as long as 3 hours, but sometimes only 1 hour before having to change. Fender/Roland needs to create a (wall-wart like an effects pedal) power supply unit/cable that we can piggyback onto our cords.

    Do I regret this purchase? Well, I admit to having fun with the flexible sounds. As I alluded, my best reasons to buy this are the 12string and acoustic effects: they are really good. And it's a top quality Strat. Put those facts together and the guitar is not hard to justify. If you're willing to learn its quirps and take care in making the needed adjustments between songs, you've got a usable tool.

    That said, Fender/Roland could vastly improve this guitar by putting some things in the right places and taking advantage of what's already there and making some digital compensating.

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