by Jef | 4,6 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 4 Minutes
Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer

Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer  ·  Source: Boss

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The Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer is the company’s latest synth pedal and is accompanied by two new MIDI pickups. With both a guitar and bass model pickup available on launch. It has been over a decade since the last major system and so things have certainly improved somewhat.

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Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer

This new Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer is the latest in a long line of MIDI/synth pedal systems developed by Roland/Boss.

It has been over a decade since the previous line and so this new flagship model has a lot of updates and way more power than ever before.

The GM-800  offers connectivity for four assignable footswitches, plus two external control jacks that each support up to two footswitches or an expression pedal. Plus, of course, MIDI is also included for connecting with other synths and MIDI equipment.

Boss GM-800

Boss GM-800

ZEN

It utilises their expandable ZEN-Core Synthesis System which is based on the company’s JUPITER-X and FANTOM keyboards and ZENOLOGY software synthesizer.

That’s a lot of core sounds available on launch.

Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer

Natural Feel

Tones

It features over 1200 Tones and 70 Rhythm sounds which cover everything from pianos, organs, and orchestral instruments. This is its first guitar synth to feature piano sounds since the GR-55 from way back in 2011.

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Along with classic Roland synth sounds and percussion. For example, if you want  Jupiter-8 and Juno-106 synth sounds, then you are covered.

 

 

Rear Panel GM-800

Tracking

The GM-800 offers a natural playing feel and solid tracking stability via high-performance DSP and so should feel a lot better than previous units. This is where many guitarists have had issues in the past, so high-performance tracking and feel can make and break a product like this one.

Boss GM-800

Scenes

Scenes

The system is based on Scenes which contain four Tone parts, a Rhythm part, plus a selection of synthesis parameters, effects, pitch settings, and sensitivity adjustments.

Great for building new expressive tones and walls of sound alike.

Boss GM-800

ZEN Core

ZEN-Core Sound Packs

It also supports Roland’s ZEN-Core Sound Packs and so users can download more content. This is all facilitated via a free Roland Account and this provides access to essential Roland Cloud services. Allowing additional content via three paid membership levels.

Then via USB, users can further craft Scenes in more detail from their computer by using the Boss Tone Studio software.

GK-5 and GK-5B 

Two new MIDI pickups have also been announced, the GK-5 Divided Pickupfor guitar and the GK-5B Divided Pickup *for bass with four, five, or six strings.

Plus, the pickup’s internal sensors can now be adjusted to accommodate different bridge spacings.

These new pickups now feature a secure, space-saving connection with a lower profile than previous GK products.

 

GKC-DA

GKC-DA GK

Backwards Compatibility

This can all be used with the GKC-ADand GKC-DA GK * converters which provide simple integration between the new Serial GK system and the previous analogue 13-pin GK interfaces found in earlier guitar synth products.

Plus, they have two new cables, the BGK-15 * (15ft) and BGK-30(30ft) Serial GK cables.

Verdict

There is a lot about this new system that looks good and it could obviously be perfect for a lot of creative musicians. Especially, as it appears to have plenty of power and these new pickups also sound as though they could be great for tracking.

I can see a lot of people wanting to try this new system out, especially with all those ZEN-Core Sound Packs and editability via Tone Studio software, etc

 

MSRP – Boss GM- 800 EUR 799 *

Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer
Boss GK-5 Guitar Synth Pickup
Boss GK-5B Bass Synth Pickup
Boss GKC-AD GK Converter
Boss GKC-DA GK Converter

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* This post contains affiliate links and/or widgets. When you buy a product via our affiliate partner, we receive a small commission that helps support what we do. Don’t worry, you pay the same price. Thanks for your support!

Image Sources:
  • Boss GM-800: Boss
  • Natural Feel: Boss
  • Rear Panel GM-800: Boss
  • Scenes: Boss
  • ZEN Core: Boss
  • Boss GK-5 Guitar Synth Pickup: Thomann
  • Boss GK-5B Bass Synth Pickup: Thomann
  • GKC-DA: Boss
  • Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer: Thomann
  • Boss GKC-AD GK Converter: Thomann
  • Boss GKC-DA GK Converter: Thomann
Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer

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2 responses to “Boss GM-800 Guitar Synthesizer – More Power & New Pickups”

    Ab. says:
    1

    They should release a product that does GK-5 to midi/usb without onboard sound.

    It’s a bit dumb the only option is a 800€ pedal

    Jay says:
    0

    a few questions, does it come with
    – a power supply
    – a gk cable

    it starts adding up, unit, psu, cable, pickup, or existing GK Vg users , converter plus cable.

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