Author Topic: Early MIDI Guitars - Casio MG-510 / PG-380 & Ibanez IMG-2010  (Read 12937 times)

Offline Elantric

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I do own a 1987 Casio MIDI Guitar, the MG-510 - and paid $1,100 for the instrument when new.
The guitars themselves were produced under contract for Casio by Fuji Gen Gakki, who also built the Roland and Ibanez MIDI guitars.

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Guitar/product/Casio/MG-510/10/1





The top of the line Casio PG-380 with internal polyphonic VZ synth sound engine was around $1,600 when new, these have all the electronics built inside the Guitar and were a technical marvel at the time. (1987)




Both were built in the Ibanez factory in Japan, and Casio designed the "guts"!

J.J Cale still uses his White Casio PG-380 as his main axe



http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2007/02/casio-pg-380-synth-guitar.html



Casio VZ Synth Page
http://www.sallyandsteve.dsl.pipex.com/casio/

More about early MIDI guitars here:
http://jpsongs.com/troubadortech/casmgtr.htm
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 10:13:37 PM by Elantric »
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Offline vanceg

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Re: Early MIDI Guitars - Casio MG-510 / PG-380 & Ibanez IMG-2010
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 09:53:14 PM »
I was given a MINT PG-380 as payment for a job in the late 90's. I mean, the thing had never been played - had the Casio tag/card still hanging on the tuning pegs and the registration card still in the case...the wammy bar was even in a plastic wrapper.

I was happy to take it because I remember when I was working at music stores in the late 80s I wanted one SOOOOOO badly...but $1600 was what I typically lived on (rent, food, transport money) for a YEAR while I was at college (rent, late 80's, portland Oregon, shared student housing: $85 a month!  No fooling!). So $1600 sounded like a FORTUNE! 

UNfortunately, the unit that I got had the "Capacitor problem": Apparently the caps would die over time if they weren't put to work...typical.  So I only had 5 strings of Pitch to MIDI conversion...but those 5 strings worked like a charm.  Then it went down to 3, then 1.  I did try all of the tricks I learned to try to get the caps to refresh, but that never worked. Eventually purchased a bunch of caps to do the replacements....then decided I'd see how much it would fetch as-is on ebay and was pretty amazed at how much someone was willing to pay.  He was elated at the purchase, I was elated at the sale, everyone was happy.

There are really, really cool instruments. 

If I recall correctly, Bob Weir was playing a version of this instrument for a while but with a Modulus carbon fiber neck on it..... (or  maybe the guts put into a Modulus body....)

Elantric - was the the Ibenez from around the same time that had the cool wammy bar which acted as a MIDI pitch bend controller - that was the first place I remember learning about the Hall effect...I recall one of the techs at the store I worked at showing me a tremolo system which converted wammy bar motion to MIDI using the Hall effect....I know it wasn't the Casio.....
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 10:13:52 PM by Elantric »

Offline Elantric

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Re: Early MIDI Guitars - Casio MG-510 / PG-380 & Ibanez IMG-2010
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010, 10:05:52 PM »
Good memory!

Yes the  Ibanez IMG-2010 had a true MIDI pitch bend whammy bar, and was fully compatible with Roland 24pin gear at the time(GR100/300/700/GM-70)
Ibanez even marketed a rack mount MIDI interface for it - designed by Maxon of Japan. 
read all about them here:
http://www.joness.com/gr300/img2010.htm



Virtual Whammy Bar    
Again, Pitch-to-MIDI conversion requires accurate pitch. The better a guitar can hold its pitch, the better a pitch-to-MIDI converter can works its magic. While the G-505 and G-707 have reasonable tremolos, they fall far short of the standard required for computer pitch tracking. After the whammy bar returns to its home position, the slightest deviation in pitch means more computations and subsequent MIDI pitch messages, and thus more MIDI delay. Ibanez solved this problem by creating a super-stable guitar with a virtual whammy bar. Used with an Ibanez MC1 or Roland GM-70, you can bend MIDI notes as far as you want, and the guitar never goes out of tune, and chords maintain their sound. Add a Roland VG-88 and a SBC+ and you have the best pitch bend system ever devised with virtual modeled guitar tones.




In 1986 I was offered a job at Ibanez, to be the Product manager for the (then new) MIDi Guitar division in LA.

But I had just got married and landed the job at Jet Propulsion Lab - and the new wife (currently ex-wife) did not want me to work in music.


Explore more at Dr Wayne Joness excellent MIDI Guitar resource page


 http://www.joness.com/gr300/index.htm

http://www.joness.com/gr300/Gtr-Elec.htm
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 10:17:57 PM by Elantric »
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Offline Teach Yourself Singing

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Re: Early MIDI Guitars - Casio MG-510 / PG-380 & Ibanez IMG-2010
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 11:23:32 PM »
Hi All,
    I sold my DG20 on ebay last summer while it was still working perfectly. Still have my PG380, although now only certain midi strings work, so it needs a cap job. I have every add on sound card ever made for it plus a couple of blank ones, since I still have my VZ rack mount.
    The build quality is really good on my You Rock Guitar so I expect it to last for years.
Happy Midi Guitars
Timothy Kelly
MidiVox

Offline ancontreras

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Re: Early MIDI Guitars - Casio MG-510 / PG-380 & Ibanez IMG-2010
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 10:22:15 PM »
Hi, my name is Antonio. I am new in this forum. Congratulations!. I am considering to sell the Casio MG 510 that you can see in the attachment, but I was wondering what could be a fair price, given the fact that the A string Midi captor doesn´t work. Apart from this fact the guitar works super well, ridiculous action and sound, excellent condition... Comments are appreciated. Thanks. You can see the guitar in those youtube videos:
part I here:

part II here: