Ibanez IMG2010 Xing Vintage Guitar Synthesizer Controller, Roland GR, Case Rare & Awesome
- Beautiful Guitar
- Will be loading more original pictures
- built in graphite stability rod
- Great Sound
- The guitar is the best guitar synth controller ever built
- If you know about this one, you know its an awesome guitar and very good reputation.
- Some minor belt rash in the back but overall very clean
- The case is close to new
- No 24 pin cable, guitar + case only
- Comes with rare original tremolo bar
Introduction to the Ibanez IMG2010: from GR synth aficionado Wayne Joness
The Ibanez IMG2010, like all the Roland guitar synthesizers from the 1980s, was actually built at the same Fujigen factory that made many of the best Japanese guitars of that era. The designers of the IMG2010, the last of the mass-produced Roland compatible controllers, benefitted from studying the weaknesses and strengths of the Roland models.
The IMG2010 a incorporates graphite reinforced neck for stability, playability, and pitch accuracy. The fretboard is ebony, the fretboard of choice in all of the top-of-the-line synthesizer controllers, such as the Roland G-808 or the Godin guitars. The fragile Roland ribbon connector was replaced by a wired harness. The tricky vibrato touch pads were replaced by a knob. The IMG2010 adds a virtual whammy bar mentioned in the Roland service manuals but never implemented by Roland, and Ibanez engineers redesigned the gain structure of the internal trim pots. Proper setup of the trim pots is required for accurate velocity tracking.
Simply put, the revolutionary X-ING IMG2010 is absolutely one of the finest guitar synthesizer controllers ever built. The X-ING IMG2010 has more performance features, dead-on pitch stability, quality, sound, and playability that has made Ibanez one of the top guitar manufacturers in the world. If you use this guitar with a vintage guitar synth, or with a modern guitar synth (by using a BC-13, BX-13 or similar device) nothing seems to plays as easily or as accurately as the Ibanez IMG2010.
How rare is the IMG2010?
I have often repeated the web-based claim that only 500 IMG2010s were produced. That appears to be in question, and currently the number seems to be closer to 2,000. IMG2010 user Jonathan Evans pointed out that as of April 4, 2012, there are serial numbers at Mike Matters's excellent website ranging from 3148 to 5219. Given the design costs of the IMG2010 I would not be surprised if the production run was larger than 2,000.
A note on using the IMG2010 with the GR-300:
Occassionally an IMG2010 can act a little strangely when used with a GR-300. This seems to be confined to the low "E" exclusively. My impression is that due to the design of the IMG2010, the low "E" is a little brighter, and this brighter sound may be causing the adaptive filter to shift octaves. This is actually a similar experience I had with the low "E" on the GR-33B bass synth when I used a G-88 controller. However, if you check out the video demo above with the GR-300, it worked just fine when played evenly.
The Unique Design Advantages of the Ibanez IMG2010:
Built-In Graphite Stabilizer Bar
Converting pitch-to-MIDI is a tricky business that requires a guitar with a uniform sound, and no "dead spots" on the neck. Roland’s answer with the G-707 was to add a stabilizer bar to the guitar to eliminate dead spots. Ibanez came up with a much better solution: use graphite to reinforce the neck itself. Thus the X-ING IMG2010 offers the same playing quality as the G-707, without the awkward stabilizer bar. Pat Metheny fans will note that Pat has also replaced one of the necks on his signature G-303 with a graphite neck. The neck of the X-ING IMG2010 is as fast and as playable as one would expect from a top-of-the-line Ibanez guitar. These guitars are still cutting edge instruments for innovative players ready to use technology as a part of their sound.
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.
Continuous Control of all 4 Controllers
The Ibanez IMG2010 is the only guitar synth controller that uses all 4 controllers. The Roland guitars only offer controllers 1,2 and 4. Furthermore, the IMG2010 does away with the tricky Roland touch pads required to activate the LFO (or Modulation). Simply turn the modulation knob on the IMG2010, and you have modulation. The Roland touch pads actually require the guitarist to complete an electrical circuit with his hands in order to work. Forget about taking your hands off the neck after playing harmonics. And since the Roland touch pads are constantly exposed to oils and moisture from contact with the fingers, they are very prone to corrosion and wear. It is no wonder that one of the original "Craig Anderton" modifications was to eliminate use of the Roland touch pads!
Guitar Synth Pickup Integrated into the Bridge
The Roland guitar synth pickup is a separate pickup that sits just in front of the bridge of the guitar. This means the pickup is more sensitive to the mechanical operations of the guitar, bending the whammy bar, etc. Also, the fragile multi-connector is also exposed, and more likely to be damaged. Again, Ibanez set a new standard in design my incorporating the pickup inside the bridge of the guitar! As a result, the Ibanez IMG2010 pickup is closer to the strings, and receives more of the fundamental string tone. The unique Ibanez pickup is less sensitive to unwanted body mechanics, while more sensitive to the string vibrations. Comparing the Ibanez IMG2010 side-by-side with the Roland guitars, it is unmistakable that the Ibanez simply has more output.
Custom Precision Tuning Mechanism
In addition to many other innovations in the design of the Ibanez IMG2010, there are precision microtuners in the bridge of the IMG2010. These tuners, combined with the unique headstock of the IMG2010, put this guitar firmly in the territory of classic, vintage Steinberger guitars. In addition to being an excellent system for pitch stability, bridge tuners offer simple conveniences: combined with the locking headstock, you do not need multiple windings to achieve pitch, and when you do need to adjust the pitch of the guitar, the tuning pegs are within easy reach at all times. The entire bridge design makes a clear statement as to how far Ibanez was willing to go to create the ultimate guitar synth controller. In fact, if you look closely, you will find the words "Technology for the Future of Music" on the bridge!
Improved Electronics Design and Construction
The IMG-2010 improves on the standard Roland package in three ways: first, only the IMG-2010 has control voltage buffering circuits for control voltage stability. Secondly, the trimmers in the IMG-2010 adjust the output string level from 60% to 100%, rather than the 0% to 100% on the Roland guitars. By limiting the control range, there is more precise control over the string output level. And finally, the IMG-2010 does not use the fragile ribbon connector found in every Roland guitar. Instead, individually insulated solid core wires connect the electronics board with the 24-pin connector. The Roland ribbon connectors become brittle and easily crack with age. The IMG-2010 does use a ribbon connector to connect the hex pickup, but only the IMG-2010 cable has reinforcing backing.
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