Fender powered by Roland
I saw a Fender Strat for $1399 MIM and I was like "why the eff is a MIM So damn expensive?" Then I saw this big label on the pickguard that it was wired with two special knobs. One was marked T: you were able to switch the sound from standard EADGBe to drop D, open G, 12 string emulator, baritone, and another knob where you could replicate a tele sound, strat sound, humbucker sound, all on a Fender strat.
If they had this for bass, I'd sell my Mac to get me one of those
Fender introduced these around 2006 as the Fender VG Stratocaster. They didn't sell well and were discontinued. Now Roland is selling them as the Roland G-5 Strat. They're okay, but the modeling just doesn't compare to the current Variax guitars. Especially after the recent HD upgrade.
As far as a bass version, I wouldn't hold me breathe for either Line 6 or Roland to make one.
Infact Variax basses weren't bad luthierwise, and line6 models are as veritable as they possibly can, yet the overall product wasn't satisfyin'
From an electric guitar point of view, a colleague and close friend of mine was shoppin' for a Strat exactly around the period you mentioned, and I remember vividly talkin' about the Roland Ready Strat, in the very moment Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden was playin' one durin' the A Matter of Life and Death sessions and tour
Well, we considered pros and cons of the offering and he eventually ended up buyin' a MIM Ritchie Blackmore Strat
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