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tech 21 SansAmp GT2 Tube Amp Emulator

Sound Quality

I bought mine used, so maybe I got a bad one. But I was really disappointed with the sound of this box. After reading all the glowing reviews here on Harmony Central, I was prepared to be very impressed with it, but for the most part I wasn't. The sound I liked the most was the Tweed/Fender clean tone. I won't say it perfectly nails the Fender sound, but it's close enough, and very useable. Although I sold my GT2 after about 6 months, I almost kept it for that one sound. I liked the California/Mesa Boogie high gain tone, but, damn, it sure was noisy, as was the Marshall. I know that it's to be expected, to some degree, when dealing high gain, but even keeping the settings at moderate levels, it produced way too much noise, especially for recording. Using it live, it might be more tolerable, but in the studio - no way (at least with unit I had). I tried it direct into my Mackie VLZ mixing board and monitored on Yamaha NS10M nearfield monitors. I also played with it through my Mesa Boogie Studio 22+ and Fender Blues Jr. tube amps, as well as a solid state Marshall, using a variety of guitars including a Gibson Les Paul w/ Seymour Duncan humbuckers, Fender Strat w/ Lace Sensors, and a 72 Telecaster Custom w/ Duncan Little '59 in the bridge, so it was tested on a pretty good cross section of instruments. I'm glad so many people have had positive experiences with the GT2, but I was really disappointed.


Seems pretty solid. I didn't have any problems with it.


General Comments

Either, other guitarists are more tolerant of noise than I am, or maybe the unit I bought had some problems - although it seemed to work fine electronically. The Fender clean tone was excellent, but the Marshall and Mesa Boogie tones had too much noise and hiss, even at moderate levels. I also didn't find much to like in the clean settings of those two as well. I really spent a lot of time in the 6 months that I had it, trying to tweak some useable sounds, but in the end I gave up and traded it in.


I have no doubt that all the people who have rated it so highly have found some great sounds that work for them, so no disrespect, but this box definitely didn't work for my use, especially for lead tones - which for me lean towards soaring melodic Santana/David Gilmour sounds. The actual tones were decent, but, as I said, too much noise. I even had a conversation with someone at Tech 21 about it, and I just couldn't dial it in for the right tone without the noise. I've been playing guitar for over 30 years and have owned a lot of equipment. I was very impressed with Tech 21 as a company and would have no hesitation trying out some of their other products. I'd also be curious to try some other GT2's to see if they are any better than the one I owned. So, based on my experience, I can't recommend this box very highly, but with so many other guitarists raving about it, I'd advise someone to check it out and see if it's right for them.

Reviewer's Background

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