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!