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Digitech GSP1101 , verdict ??


faisal

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Whats the deal with the GSP1101, i didn't like the sound samples on the website or youtube, but i'm reading really good user reviews.

My main preamp will be a Sansamp PSA1.1 so my priority is transparent sound so it doesn't alter the PSA1.1's tone, and the FX.

Ofcourse i'd like tonal variations and it would be great if the stompbox and amp modelling is atleast at par with the L6 Pods which i have used and sound decent. Some reviews say its even better. I'm not a fan of modelling to begin with, but some useable versatility in my rig would be a nice bonus.

 

My other option would be to run a TC Nova System in the PSA1.1's loop for mod/delay/verb , but then i'd have to purchase a comp/od pedal or another preamp separately.

 

Unfortunately i dont have the option of trying the GSP before i buy , nor will i be able to return it as i live far far away in a land of no guitar shops or dealers.

 

For a poweramp i'll get the Tech 21 power engine 400.

 

btw, i play rock/clean blues and metal. my rig in college was a 5150 halfstack with stompboxes in the front and in the loop. I simply cant get the same here nor afford the shipping costs due to the weight, but i'm trying to come as close to organic tone as possible.

 

Ur thoughts please. My options are really limited.

Thanks

F

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The GSP-1101...In Review
DigiTech FINALLY makes good on the promise of digital modeling

by Surrealistic Brillo

GSP1101.gif

First off, let me say that while I prefer analog gear, I am of the "if it sounds good, it IS good" school of thought, so a well made piece of digital gear is just fine by me.

That being said, since digital modeling technology has hit the market I have been less than impressed with the offerings over the years. I've owned a few different Line 6 Pods, a Line 6 Flextone III amp, a Boss GT-Pro and I've spent several hours with various other modeling products from Vox, Roland, Marshall, Fender, etc. and, with the exception of the Line 6 Echo Pro rack, Line 6 Verbzilla, and the Boss DD-20, I haven't been overly impressed with any of them...especially the amp models and distortion sounds.

One unit that I took a chance on recently was a DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory. This was a major deal for me as I have been the biggest critic of DOD/DigiTech gear for the last 15 years. I've just never been satisfied with it, whether it was the features, the sound quality, the long gaps between program changes, etc. I basically vowed to write them off until they at least had seamless program changes. For me, if a unit doesn't do that, it's pretty much useless.

Anyway...I was very impressed with the versatility and sound quality of the Expression Factory. I did end up selling it when I needed the money, but when I had it, I used it a lot in the studio...my only beef was that it could do so much, I would need at least two or three of them on stage to use live unless I wanted to be tweaking knobs all night...but the sound quality was great, the wah, vibrato, Whammy, chorus, etc. all sounded great. The distortion models weren't amazing, but they were functional and still some of the better digital distortion models I had yet to hear.

So with renewed interest in things DigiTech (and a desire to get some of the same sounds I was getting with my now sold EX-7) When I heard that DigiTech was coming out with the GSP-1101, I was very interested in seeing what it could do and I picked one up at AMS. Folks...I was not prepared for what I experienced.

While the GSP-1101 is not without it's faults... they are minor compared to the sound quality and functionality of this unit. This is beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best sounding, well built, digital modeling unit under $1000 on the market today...Period!

Let me start the actual review with my review setup...Basically I use vintage style single channel tube amps (this one in particular was a Emery Sound modded Fender Blues Jr. with a Celestion Greenback speaker) a variety of nice analog pedals (FoxRox/Keeley/Analogman/Skreddy/ElectroHarmonix/etc.) and an American Standard Tele with a Dimarzio Fast Track 2 in the bridge and a Fender Noiseless Tele neck pickup). Live I use a Plexi and a Twin in stereo or Valvetech Hayseed 30 heads (well...I will in a couple of weeks when they arrive). Live I will be running the 1101 in one of the loops of my DMC Ground Control Expander and using it for effects only (no amp/cab models), but for review purposes I ran the guitar straight into the 1101 and into my amp.

Setup was a little tricky but not too bad. There is a single output knob and no clipping LED...I suspect that this unit has so much headroom that the LED isn't necessary (I cranked the unit well past unity gain and still no distortion from the unit itself), but it would still be nice to have. There was also no input level control...again, it didn't seem to need it as my guitar (which has really hot pickups) didn't cause the unit to go into audible distortion. It's best if you have a true bypass loop box of some kind so that you can not only hear how the bypassed unit affects your tone, but also to make it easier to set the unit for unity gain.

I found the bypassed signal to be very strong, clean and very much like the sound of my setup with the guitar plugged straight into the amp. As far as I'm concerned, this is the first and most important test for ANY rack processor...if it doesn't sound good bypassed I return it...and I've done so with many other units. It's a real sticking point for me and I won't compromise on this at all. With my amp, guitar and GSP-1101 all set and ready to go, I'm ready to check out the effects.

Now...if you're like me, the first thing you do is go to the first user patch location and turn off all the effects, noise gates, EQ's, etc. and start from scratch. From there I proceeded to audition each effect on it's own to get an initial impression of the quality of the particular effect and, if it's supposed to be modeling a particular effect, make any direct comparisons to the actual unit it's supposed to be modeling. That being said...the GSP-1101 is DEEP! There's a seemingly endless supply of effects on hand...but what makes this particular unit shine over many other lesser products out there on the market today is that MOST of them are actually useful and do what they're supposed to do. There's not a lot of filler effects in the GSP-1101.

I have to admit I usually hate digital distortion/overdrive/fuzz/compression/etc. and have mostly used digital for modulation, delay, reverb and pitch shifting effects, but the GSP-1101 is the first digital unit I have used that I would actually consider using the digital distortions in a live situation
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