Friday, 8 May 2015

Beetle Quantar vintage MIDI guitar synth Yamaha G10 lawsuit like Roland Synthaxe

The seller of this MIDI guitar says...
"An utterly unique opportunity, possibly the rarest instrument on Ebay this week."

A little research does indicate that it was a very short lived product and may not have even been officially launched. There are very few references to it in Google and only one video on youtube showing one in action. It apparently fell foul of the muscle of the mighty Yamaha Corporation, who had been developing a similar technology.

Here's more from the seller...
"Here is something that should probably be in a museum under lock and key, a prototype Beetle Quantar guitar synth. There is some info about these online, and even a 4-5 minute clip of a guy playing one on Youtube. The basics is that this synth used ultrasonic technology to create sounds, but sadly for Beetle the mighty Yamaha Corp. were working on the same technology and a court case ensued...... Beetle lost out and faded away, and this lawsuit package then came to me directly from Yamaha around 25 years ago.

There is an owner`s manual, and a covering letter from a leading Beetle employee which explains that this is a prototype and not the finished article. The neck is shimmed up so the strings touch it (2 photos) and the sensor / pickup. I gather the strings don`t need "tuning" like a normal guitar. There are a few dinks and marks, plus sticky tape etc in places, but this is a unique prototype.
There is no fret wear, it has a set of Grover tuners, the optional pedal box, spare strings, the correct power supply, and is in a top quality hard case which holds it snug (not a plastic "kind of fits a Strat or Tele" cheap item)
As can be seen in 2 photos, when plugged in (or fitted with batteries) the unit turns on, lights up, and all the switches and knobs work to change functions, velocity, calibration etc. Being an old fashioned guitarist I cannot get sound from it when plugged into my cheap keyboard, but flicking through the book it looks like it needs somebody better than me to set it up and work it. If you live nearby and wish to come and have a play with it, please do."

I am the owner of a Roland G707/GR-700 and a couple Roland GK guitar synths so this has got me interested. I'll have to keep an eye on it and see if I can't snag it. Then it'll just be down to getting it to work with my system. Hmmm.

David (temporarily) in chilly Dublin

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