Roland Announces FR-7x V-Accordion

(ShackMan | Posted 2009-09-04)

Roland Announces FR-7x V-Accordion

Los Angeles, CA, September 1, 2009 - I suppose you learn something new every day, and, well, today I learned that Roland offers electric accordions.

You read that sentence right, folks. Electric accordions with the same pickups found in its V-Synth modeling systems. And they have been making them for some time now. I can only imagine an accordion player on stage with Jimi Hendrix, both using wah pedals.

Strange? Yes. Awesome? Definitely.

As of September 1st, Roland announced the latest addition to its electric polka phenomenon - the FR-7x V-Accordion®, the current flagship of the Roland V-Accordion line. Combining the familiar sounds and nuances of a traditional accordion with the versatility of a modern digital musical instrument, the FR-7x is enhanced with the latest V-Accordion features.

The FR-7x features a new SSC chip-based CPU that allows for a faster response of the keys or buttons, higher sensitivity and precision, and the detection of bellows opening/closing with new bellows pressure sensor circuitry. The new bellows resistance regulator allows the player to specify the bellows’ inertia, allowing for a more customizable playing experience, kind of like having several accordions in one or being able to match the resistance strength of your own accordion at home. I especially appreciated this feature, being a Concertina player myself. Much like a guitar player knows the kind of action he likes, the same is true with accordion players.

New sounds abound with the FR-7x as well, with the addition of new French, Bajan, and classic Italian accordion sounds, and 24 new orchestral sounds. Traditional accordion and orchestral sounds can be easily combined and played with full bellows articulation. Virtual Tone Wheel controls allow musicians to personalize their organ sounds to satisfy every music genre by using Treble, Chord, and Bass sections. In addition, the programmable Drum function allows performers to play percussion sounds with the Bass and Chord buttons.

The FR-7x features new USB host capability that allows for easy storage and management of MP3 and .WAV files so players can easily import, customize, and record with their own sound. Its battery-powered onboard amplification system is powerful enough for small venues such as restaurants, pubs, and music halls, making the FR-7x versatile, a very good move on Roland's part, especially considering most accordionists are NOT used to carting amps around.

Way to go Roland. I bet I know why you added that feature... “We listened to feedback from our loyal V-Accordion customer base for development of the FR-7x and we are very impressed with the outcome,” says Chris Halon, Product Marketing Manager. “The ease of use of the newest flagship V-Accordion will be great for traditional accordionists, but its depth of features will meet the needs of the most demanding cutting-edge professionals.”

Take it from a musician, recording engineer, composer, and consumer of multiple genres of musical merchandise: When companies pay attention to their customers and make good on their promises, good things happen. The FR-7x sounds like a good case-in-point.

The FR-7x, and accompanying button version, the FR-7xb, will be shipping in November.

James is a bassist, pianist, organist, composer and writer currently living and working in the Pittsburgh, PA, and Morgantown, WV areas. He is currently writing and playing his way through his last year of college and performing regularly with baritone Justin Barclay. You can find him at and contact James at

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