Synth Site |  Yamaha |  G10 Guitar Controller

  G10 Guitar Controller At a Glance
Picture needed arrowReleased: 1988  Specifications
arrowUser rating: Not yet Reviewed |  Read reviews (0)
arrowYamaha News(323)   Streaming Video (77)
the Whiz writes:
The G10/G10C MIDI guitar controller compares favorably to modern guitar controllers. The unit consists of the G10, a Steinberger-looking stringed unit, and the G10C, a rackmount box that converts the signals from the G10 to MIDI.

Instead of relying on the pitch information from a plucked string, the G10 uses ultrasound to determine what the pitch of the string is, including if the string is being fretted, and upon detecting a string pluck or hammer-on, sendas a note-on immediately, thus eliminating the tracking delay inevitable with pitch-detection schemes. (As far as I know, only the Beetle Quantar ever used the same method.) It tracks faster than the Axon boxes, in my opinion. There is also a separate system for detecting pitchbends of the individual strings. The separation of the three factors, pitch, plucking/picking, and bending, makes this a unique guitar controller.

The pitchbend/whammy bar doesn't physically affect the strings, but sends out a MIDI pitchbend message. There is an input for a Yamaha BC controller, and the modulation wheel can be set to a variety of controllers, as can a continuous foot pedal plugged into the G10C.

The string sensitivity can be set separately for each string, and there is a global control on the G10. On the G10C, there is a parameter to select between plucking and "Left hand," which means it can be used for touchstyle.

The manual, which can be downloaded in .pdf format from Yamaha's site, details the extremely easy setup process for the unit.

The G10C has a number of performances built in, which can be instantly sent to either a Yamaha 6-op synth (like the DX7/TX802) or 4-op synth (TX81Z/DX11), which are for use with the guitar controller. There are two banks of 64 performances for 4-op use, one bank for 6-ops, and one user bank. Using a cartridge adds either 64 or 128 more performances, depending on the cartridge size.

The G10C displays the current patch, and its LCD display is more than adequate for editing the unit.

I find it surprising that no one has used the ultrasound system since, but given the price of this unit at the time of its debut, perhaps it is too pricey to put into production at this time. Currently, Yamaha is making MIDI guitar controllers (EZ-EG and EZ-AG) that have depressible buttons that simulate strings, but retain the pluck detection (like a bargain-basement Z-tar). These units lack the more advanced controllers, even pitchbend, but can be had new for less than $500US.

As the G10/G10C combination still compares favorably with modern units, I recommend it whole-heartedly.

(Thanks to the Whiz for this info.)

Links for the Yamaha G10 Guitar Controller

There are no links for this model. Try the Yamaha links page, or submit one here.

SUBMIT LINK to this page
(Links submitted here will also be added to the manufacturer page)
Please tell us if any of these links are broken

Want Our Newsletter?


With a lot of utillity

Raspberry PI5 Hardware VST Host 

Floyd Steinberg gets the gear together

Computer Music Chronicles, The 80's: Acorn Music 500 Synthesizer 

Older Music Machines & the People Who Still Use Them

And more

Hey there, we use Cookies to customize your experience on