It's really easy to use, you have direct access to the parameter groups via the buttons and you can edit the parameters with the wheel and cursor, it also has customizable memory presets.
Regarding the manual: I haven't had the need to read the manual because, once again, it is really easy to use (at least for what I do, which is take the presets and modify them to my taste). If you really need it, you can download it.
The effects are all right. Often a bit too exaggerated for my taste, but that's a subjective appreciation, obviously. Besides, I'm not a great electric (nor acoustic) guitar player. So my review isn't worth that much.
No noise, no whirring. In that sense it's impeccable.
Very solid housing, but not very portable (it's heavy and big). That said, the pedal is intended to be used onstage, which I have never done...
I've used it for two years, I got a very good deal secondhand, so, to me, its value for money is excellent, even if not representative.
I have tried many other models
Would I buy it again? Yes, for sure.
I must add something to my review: I'm not a true musician who practices intensively. So you'd better take my review with a pinch of salt.
I Like almost everything about this unit. At first when i got it i didnt like it. I was about to sell it but gave it another try. It's really an amazinf FX unit. Im using it mainly for distortions. The other efffects are alos great. But im still amazed at the distortions. Everyone should have one of these in there rack setup!
Nothing! Everything is great!
Amazing quality. Already these modules are about 9 years old. I got one in mint condition, but so far i've had absolutly no problems.
Bottom line, this is an amazing machine, i couldnt live without it. I definitly prefer this over amp distortion anyday.
I was looking for a tubemidi swichable preamp and did not have the money for a Mesa Boogie Triaxis. I got it at Reliable Music in Charlotte, N.C. and paid $875 for it new. After trying three different ADA preamps [all of which had factory defects] I decided to go with the 2101.
Ignoring the factory presets you can get a good crunchy tone ( yet not quite as raunchy as the Mesa Boogie). It has almost any digital effect you can dream up and if you mess around with it long enough you can get any sound you want without having to go buy more stuff.
You NEED the instruction manual. Life without it would be a frustrating hell. And it takes a LOT of screwing around with it to get what you want. It is infinitely adjustable.
It all steel and built like a tank. If you stick it in a rack you have no worries. I've had mine about six years with no problems. All of the delicate stuff is on the face so if you don't drop it face first, it's good to go.
It's a good unit for midi switching between different sounds and effects. And it's reliable and sturdy.
Hmmm.. what are the effects used. Wellllll... this preamp/effects unit was definitely "it" back in the day... and yep. I'm the original owner. This is based upon the regular, 1-S-disc,no Artist,no chrome, no nothing GSP 2101. This is an analog preamp wed to a 24 bit digital effects processor, as well as including analog e.q.'s,compression, etc. The range of effects was pretty wide.. pitch shifting,chorus,delay,many different reverb programs ranging in complexity from basic multi effects grade reverb to close to studio quality programs... (with a veritable plethora of parameters to adjust..enough to give Bill Gates a headache.)
Not the MOST user friendly unit... but something that should be looked at as almost an instrument on its own.. It is fairly intuitive if you are just looking to adjust factory programs on your own, but if you are looking to create your own algorithms... then grab some coffee. Arm yourself with patience, the thick manual and a highlighter pen.. and you will be rewarded! ( once you understand the creating,mixing and saving patches.. it is easy... and the flexibility is unreal.)
Connections are 1/4 inch and XLR (with/without cab simulation),MIDI, and effects loop to sidechain other stuff. 2 rack spaces... Dunno if this has any USB thingie... hmmm
Easy to moderate for basic editing..a bit more difficult for creating patches, and deep parameter manipulation. Gosh. That almost sounded dirty. The manual is clear...a bit heavy to the Digitech propaganda side...however it is thick, comprehensive and has a bit to remember. Not for the plug and play guys. I mean it.
Good to great... The phaser is unreal for trippy, ambient Robin Trower, Pink Floyd stuff... with a LOT of different parameters available. Pick your wave shape. Same goes for the Chorus. Lots of delays available... very clear... total control over milliseconds you want.( no tap tempo).
Pitch shifting, extensive reverb programs ( with control over early reflections,high, low, mid freq. rolloff... and that is just the BEGINNING).
Tremolo... super. Compression.. eh. E.q.'s.. well.. there are a LOT of them. Graphic, parametric,notch... it has 'em. Panners, mixers, flangers, etc. 20-20khz clarity.
Ok.. So. The effects are pretty yummy. Just have to invest some time to really get to know the unit. The preamps... welllllll... again good to great. The cleans... amazing. I dialed mine in next to an old Fender Twin. I think I got my rig to sound sweeter. Mid level gain stuff... very very good with delays, etc. I get some great blues, edgy rock sounds. Nice and crunchy. (no factory presets...you have to adjust them to your taste.) Heavy distortion.. here is where it becomes a matter of perspective. I would say...do not use this amp with V30's or G12-75's....I would say it does best with an organic set of speakers and a good tube power amp. It seems to become a bit sterilized with modern Celestion heavy rock type speakers, and benefits greatly from some of the Eminence stuff or Greenbacks. Something warmer. This unit is great for tight hi gain rhythms.. i have had a love/hate relationship with this unit for leadwork. It does not get a very organic tone for lead.. but I have only used it with 6L6 based poweramps... maybe with an EL34 setup it would be a bit warmer... Less tight. More note bloom. Currently, I just use this as an effects device for my Voodoo Labs preamp.. but did use it extensively as my primary tone generator for years... ( Yep. I have had this unit for about 15 years.. still chugging!!) Use it with Les Pauls, Strats, Tele's, metal type guitars.
It sort-of respects the differences between these guitars... but really... on the high gain stuff it has it's own personality that it globs on to whatever guitar you play..I kinda hate that. The good news is... you can play a 2k Les Paul.. or a 200 dollar Rogue... and get them to sound close, quality wise
Using it almost 15 years. Lots. I love the flexibility... don't mind the complicated interface...wish it sounded a bit more organic so that I could have one dead silent killer rig. I DID try a lot of models before this..during that time period... (alllll those years ago....) You can pick these up for between 300-500 bucks...which is still holding a good value..but not a bad deal. I have tried to replace this many, many times..and the quality and amount of effects keep me coming back. So...yeah..I would make the same choice. I might get another one just as a backup!