Author Topic: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown  (Read 14177 times)

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Online EEVblog

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EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« on: July 21, 2015, 01:08:12 am »
Dave tears down the Rockband 3 Stratocaster Mustang wireless guitar controller from the Guitar Hero Xbox game manufactured my Madcatz

 

Offline EvilGeniusSkis

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2015, 02:52:11 am »
Dave its not the "stem" of the guitar its the NECK
 

Offline dentaku

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 02:57:41 am »
That controller also has a real MIDI port on it so it can be used with more than just game consoles.
It's velocity sensitive so it's reading how hard you strum plus is sends out MIDI data for the orientation of the tilt sensor.
I really don't care about guitars or consoles but it's always good to have alternative MIDI controllers.

I'm guessing the Linstrument isn't put together with hot glue :)
http://www.rogerlinndesign.com/linnstrument.html
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 03:01:45 am »
Dave its not the "stem" of the guitar its the NECK

it;s not a guitar, its an 'axe'
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline adcurtin

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2015, 04:22:32 am »
The microphone (and the light sensor next to it) are for calibrating lag in HDTVs and audio systems automatically.

That guitar cost $150 originally. They also made a real guitar that output MIDI to use with the game.
 

Offline redshift

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2015, 04:35:04 am »
The ABS (metal looking) plate on the back of the neck is just to mimic the neck plate on a real electric guitar. Guitars are usually made in two pieces so the purpose of the neck plate is literally just to strengthen the area were the neck attaches to the body. Not all electric guitars have them though.

Also, I've never played this game but I suspect that the two membrane switches per button is to allow for slide notes. On a real guitar you can slide your finger along the string to change the pitch. Within each fret, sliding your finger along will also change the pitch(albeit slightly). Just a guess.

But I'm amazed by the fact that this exists. It looks like such an expensive design. And at this point why not just buy/learn to play a real guitar?
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2015, 05:37:49 am »
No ID on the neck micro?  I'm going to take a guess and say Cypress.
The larger the government, the smaller the citizen.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2015, 08:29:55 am »
Dave, the assembly "quality" of that thing is not surprising. These are photos from the GameTrak controller, an old golf simulator product also manufactured by MadCatz:




(full article is on my website here: http://janoc.rd-h.com/archives/129)

Quick and dirty doesn't even start describing it.
 

Offline silent

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2015, 01:10:16 pm »
But I'm amazed by the fact that this exists. It looks like such an expensive design. And at this point why not just buy/learn to play a real guitar?

There is already game for the real guitar (2011) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocksmith  and sequel (2014) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocksmith_2014 . An order of magnitude more fun than with a plastic virtual instrument ;-).
 

Offline John Coloccia

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2015, 01:29:45 pm »
The ABS (metal looking) plate on the back of the neck is just to mimic the neck plate on a real electric guitar. Guitars are usually made in two pieces so the purpose of the neck plate is literally just to strengthen the area were the neck attaches to the body. Not all electric guitars have them though.


Ha ha...it's not even for that.  Leo Fender knew next to nothing about guitars, but he did know about engineering and manufacturing.  The neck plate is simple there to act as a washer for the four wood screws that hold the neck on.  Modern designers (such as myself) tend to do away with the neck plate and use various sorts of washers meant to sit in a counterbore.  That also allows us to shape the heal for more comfortable access.  But it's definitely cheaper and less work to simply slap a plate on there and screw it down.

Here's how I generally do mine if I use a bolt on neck:
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 01:34:29 pm by John Coloccia »
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2015, 01:30:48 pm »
The 'stiffener plate' is there to make it look like a Stratocaster (where it presumably has a function).


« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 01:58:42 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2015, 02:00:04 pm »
All the time needed to master a game like that ... you could learn to play a real guitar.

(I'm betting the people who master those things can't actually play a real one)

 

Offline vinicius.jlantunes

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2015, 07:54:53 pm »
All the time needed to master a game like that ... you could learn to play a real guitar.

(I'm betting the people who master those things can't actually play a real one)

Well, but if your thing isn't playing a real guitar and you just want to have fun playing video games?  :-//

I do believe the cost is less also... for you to buy a guitar and amplifier it is probably more expensive than a game + controller (assuming you've already got the console). Not that it matters though, it all depends in what you want to invest your time / money into...
I have played guitar hero a lot... it's not quite the same as this, that is certainly a simpler controller / concept, but it was lots of fun having friends coming over and playing together... and I didn't need all of them to know how to play an instrument and have gear etc etc...

It's fun, might not be everyone's cup of tea of course, but others find it to be fun... I'm pretty sure many people don't understand why we bother messing with solder and PCB's when you can just buy most stuff from China but hey, it's a hobby right?  :D

Offline ratdude747

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2015, 10:37:49 pm »
^yeah, likwise, I've seen reports of famous guitar players (such a Slash) sucking at guitar hero/rockband.

----

Typical cheesy madcatz quality... they've always been the worst quality in gaming gear. As far as the other brands I know of, Pelican is slightly better (still junk), Nyko makes good stuff, and Intec (if they're still in business) made sorta good quality stuff in weird ways (not in the bad way either, a lot was quite innovative).
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2015, 12:07:14 am »
^yeah, likwise, I've seen reports of famous guitar players (such a Slash) sucking at guitar hero/rockband.


Slash mentioned it gets difficult when he hears one of his own songs.  Since Rock Band is nothing like playing real guitar, he has to fight the reflex to actually play since he knows how the song goes.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2015, 12:16:24 am »
No ID on the neck micro?

No, it's a black blob.
I couldn't find a matching label/pinout with 5 minutes of looking. Sure it's not hard if you either:
a) Happens to know
b) spend the time searching
 

Offline plexus

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2015, 03:21:22 am »
I'm a hobbyist musician and a hobbyist electronics nerd. it was very amusing watching a real engineer work his way through a musical instrument. "stem"(!) i guess that would be like a violin player calling a soldering iron a "mercury brush".  :scared:

Stem. perfect. new joke. what does an engineer call a guitar neck? A: A stem.  :-DD

It only works when you tell it to musicians,
 

Offline Sionyn

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2015, 09:28:09 am »
yeah stiffener leo gender wanted to make cheep quality guitars  that were easily serviceable kinda crazy for what they now sell for.  you should see all the pseudo-scientific bullshit surrounding the guitar community even some who claim the wood doesn't effect the sound of a guitar and that old degraded oil capacitors (which they pay though the teeth for) get you the 'magic tones'

here's a picture of one my nice guitars flame top (black streaks in the wood)
eecs guy
 

Offline Sionyn

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eecs guy
 

Offline amyk

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2015, 11:32:48 am »
No ID on the neck micro?

No, it's a black blob.
I couldn't find a matching label/pinout with 5 minutes of looking. Sure it's not hard if you either:
a) Happens to know
b) spend the time searching
SN8A2617. It even says it on the adapter board. It's not an 8051, but clearly inspired by it.

They're probably all mask-ROM COBs, the other MCUs on the board are likely to be equally obscure.
 

Offline hikariuk

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2015, 03:14:00 pm »
Most of MadCatz stuff looks that janky inside, afaict.  Even the £150+ flight sticks (which they sell under their Saitek brand).  I've had to take my X-55 apart before to re-secure the lead on the rudder twist, because it was only held in place by a piece of masking tape.  When it comes loose it causes crosstalk with some other leads, because none of them are insulated.
I write software.  I'd far rather be doing something else.
 

Offline GoneTomorrow

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2015, 10:20:05 pm »
All the time needed to master a game like that ... you could learn to play a real guitar.

(I'm betting the people who master those things can't actually play a real one)

Real guitar is much harder to master than even this 128 button game. I play both. There are thousands of additional techniques on the real instrument that are beyond just pushing the fret button and plucking the string.
 

Offline Sionyn

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2015, 10:15:32 am »
Yamaha had a hybrid like this they called a midi guitar had its place i guess but never interested me because of the lack of the ablity to add expression to your notes (Accent) like you can with a 'analogue' guitar.

interesting just not as interesting as a few dive bombs or pulloffs

eecs guy
 

Offline PGrant

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2015, 04:09:02 pm »
outrageous price for some crappy capacitors
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/potentiometers-knobs-for-fretted-instruments/gibson-historic-bumblebee-capacitors-2-pack


 :-DD Seriously, that's nothing.  Wait to you see vintage "nos" ones from the 50's/60's or  "PAF" pickup or a matched set of "nos"  GEC "gray glass" KT66's.    The prices people will pay for these kind of things are unreal.
 

Offline RMoribayashi

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Re: EEVblog #770 - Rockband 3 Stratocaster Guitar Teardown
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2015, 07:27:42 am »
When I first saw the Rockband controller it reminded me of a MIDI controller from the late 1980's called the Synthaxe. A guitar shaped MIDI controller, unable to make music without being connected to a synthesizer.

It didn't have the buttons on the neck like the Rockband 3 controller but had a second set of 6 strings all tuned to the same note. The odd keyboard above the bottom strings could be used to strum or anything else you could get MIDI to do. The top and bottom sections could be played like a guitar or separately. Even the whammy bar was programmable. What caught everybody's eye was the neck didn't line up with the bottom strings but was tilted up about 15 degrees. A few rich rock stars played around with it but never came to much. It was Jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour who put it to good use featuring it on a few albums, especially Earth Run. The drummer for Béla Fleck and the Flecktones uses a heavily modified one to play drum synthesizers.  Back in the 80's they sold from 8 to $12,000!

A normal Synthaxe
 

Roy Wooten's custom Sythaxe "Drumitar"
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 08:08:04 am by RMoribayashi »
 


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