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Sound Quality

I have used this with a host of gear, including SS Power Amps and it sounds like the 80's (which is when it was designed, so that does make sense). I have also used it with tube stereo amps (Marshall, Mesa) where it sounds WAY better. I have quite a few guitars from the same era (Guild X-series, Ibanez) and they have all had a crack at it - my Ibanez Pro Line (MIJ neck-thru - the one with the pup buttons) being the most sonically versatile always sounded the best with it. The unit colors the guitars tone, which I found primarily to be due to the Acoustic Environment Simulator (sort of like a second, non-adjustable reverb that only has presets for different room construction). Shut this off in your presets and that coloring all but goes away completely. Most of the factory pre's have this, so copy one to a user location to remove it. O/A I give it an 8 for 80's!

Reliability/Durability

I read that the tubes were placed too close the PCB and that it cracks eventually - um, haven't seen that yet. I bought mine in 1990-ish and rocked well for 10 years or so. I recently had my Marshall 9005 (50/50 rack tube pwr amp) restored (all new caps, tubes, pots) and the gent who did the repair needed a pre to test with so i dragged the SGX along... worked like a champ (and entertained the boutique amp builder for a few days - He's a Strat/Twin guy - not big on FX). I gigged with it for years and never had a backup.

General Comments

This was the first MIDI pre to offer expression pedals that I'm aware of, so as soon as I heard about it - I was there. Most of my peers at the time were playing MIDI rigs (ADA, etc), but I was using 20 pedals in a board and frequently bending down for real-time parameter tweaks which you couldn't do with a std footswitch-only MIDI controller pedalboard. This unit allowed the psychedelic jam-band surf garage punk guy to play something that looked more like what all my shredder friends were using. Almost - only way pinker (the pink ART logo happens to be pretty close to the color of my Ibanez). So if you want extreme versatility and a host of classic 80's (and earlier - it doesn't do a bad job on the Fender clean sounds), without breaking the bank for an Edirol or Rocktron, then this will do the job nicely.




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