Monday, 14 March 2011

1970s Kay LP-type guitar with on-board FX
Here we have what is listed on eBay as a "Rare Kay Les Paul with onboard effects. Collectors item". OK, so I realise that as a seller on eBay you have to apply a certain amount of spin when listing your item, but really, these guitars are neither rare nor what would ordinarily be considered a collectors item. Seriously, these come up for sale all the time, and the fees slapped on them are somewhat optimistic. The singer/guitarist in a band I was in several years ago had one of these. It was alright, I suppose, but no great shakes. (It couldn't have been that great because he always wanted to borrow one of my Fenders.) The on-board effects were gimmicky and largely unusable.

What nearly everyone seems to forget, however, is that the guitar isn't an Les Paul copy per se, but is modelled after the Roland GS500 controller for Roland's very first guitar synthesizer, the GR500, which was introduced in 1978. This was back in the day when any new and exciting guitar spawned Japanese-made imitations - in this instance the guitar that was being "copied" was also Japanese. Obviously, it would have been prohibitive to make it a guitar synth, hence the on-board effects as a suitably high-tech alternative.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!


  1. No it looks more like the Gibson Les Paul Recording !!!

  2. Like Marmite, its not everyones taste but i actually own one of these and love the built in effects, they kinda add a nice retro grunge to the sound.. the fuzz effect is my fav :) ... i know people do list them as rare which im sure they where not, but saying that i dont see them come up for sale much these days

  3. I do think those inboard effects sounds good ....



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