V-Combo History

The following lists Roland ‘transportable combo organs’ (in old days, 60 kilos were regarded as ‘transportable’…).
Initially ‘pure Hammond clones’, more and more ‘nono-organ sounds’ were added from the beginning of the 1990th

Acetone (first company of Mr. Kakehashi, founder of Roland):

  • Top1-Top9 (1965-1969): single manual, 49-61 keys
  • GT2 (1971): single manual, 49 keys (synth-type). Later also sold as ‘Hammond X2’
  • GT5 (1971): double manuals (spinet), 2×49 keys (synth-type), bass short pedal. Laer also sold as ‘Hammond X5’
  • GT7 (1971): double manuals (spinet), 2×49 keys (synth-type), bass short pedal, more sound features than GT5 and a small builtin 25W ‘practice amp’

Roland VK-series

  • VK-6 (1977): double manual (spinet), 2×49 keys (synth-type), bass short pedal, only organ sound
  • VK-9 (1977): double manual (cabinet), 2×61 keys (synth-type), 2 octave full bass pedal, only organ sound
  • VK-1 (1979): single manual, 61 keys (synth-type), only organ sound
  • VK-09 (1981): single manual, 61 keys (synth-type), only organ sound
  • VK-1000 (1991 – Roland-Rhodes): ‘organ synth’ based on famous SA-synthesis: one of the first ‘combo organs’ in modern understanding and predecessor of VR760: single manual, 76 touch sensitiv keys (synth-type), drawbar organ, APs, EPs, synth-sounds ‘moddable’ with the drawbars, effects, mod-pitch-stick.
    (side note: 1991 was where SA-1000 piano and JD800 saw the daylight…)
  • VK7 (1997): single manual, 61 synth-type keys
  • VK77 (1997): double manual (cabinet) version of VK7
  • VK8 (2002): single manual, 61 keys (waterfall)
  • VK88 (2003): double manual (cabinet) version of VK8

Roland VR-series:

  • VR760 (2003) single manual 76 keys (waterfall)
  • VR700 (2010) single manual 76 keys (waterfall)
  • VR09 (2013) single manual 61 keys (synth-type)
  • VR09B (2018) single manual 61 keys (synth-type), only optical changes to VR09
  • VR730 (2018) single manual 73 keys (waterfall)

 


Demystification…

“VR09 is a copy of Nord Electro”

2001: Electro 1: ‘LED draw-buttons’, organ + some APs/EPs, some basic FX, ‘organ split’, no layers, no mod/pitch
2002: Electro 2: kind of software upgrade to NE1 – no big changes
2003: VR760: dawbars, 3 sound sections: ‘Organ Piano Synth’, synthesizer, 40 Cosm FX, split/layer, mod+pitch, d-beam…
2005: Nord Stage: 3 sound sections: ‘Organ Piano Synth’ (ahaaaa…), synthesizer, split/layer, and …. ‘LED draw-buttons’
2009: Electro 3 (6 years after VR760): ‘sample library’ for Bread&Butter sounds – still ‘LED draw-buttons’, only ‘organ split’, no layers
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2012: Electro 4D: now with draw-faders! still only ‘organ split’, no layers…
2013: VR09: colours+’sections’ as VR760, ‘box-design’ Juno-G aera, components as VR760: organ, APs/EPs, synth, mod/pitch, d-beam…
2015: Electro 5: keyboard-split ! (restricted though, and still no layers). Bread&Butter section is now called ‘Synth’
2018: Electro 6: yepeee – it can layer!
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2020-: People still claim: “Roland VR copied Nord Electro”