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Sound Quality

My setup is American Deluxe Tele -> Carl Martin Compressor -> Teese RMC-3 -> H&K Tube Factor -> NYC Big Muff -> Marshall Shredmaster -> SGX -> Reissue Vox AC15. The bypass of this unit is the biggest weakness. Definitely sucks tone and volume and flattens the higher frequencies. This can somewhat be mitigated with the EQ. The compressor is surprisingly very quiet and good. Distortions are very lacking, sound digital harsh. The tube overdrive is the best setting and can emulate some good tube saturation. Reverbs and delays are very harsh and digital. The echoes are like ice picks to my ears. The modulation effects are satisfactory. It was good to learn what each effect was but as my ear matured, so did my disatisfaction with the modulation effects. The pitch shifting effect sounds very digital. Tuner is great and seems to track well. Noise gate works fine. Envelope filter is weak and thin.

Reliability/Durability

Very reliable though the LCD screen went dead about 6 years ago, but ART replaced it immediately (at no charge) and it hasn't presented a problem every since. I would gig without a backup.

General Comments

I've played guitar for 7-8 years and have owned the ART for about 6 of those years. I consider myself very well-versed in the SGX. I play modern rock (Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, etc.) and am venturing into more classic rock and blues (Jimi, SRV, etc.). This unit does not match well with these styles because of its digital nature. I am in the process of phasing it out of my current gear setup and replacing it with analog stompboxes. I would only recommend it to rich kids who are just starting out and need to learn what each effect does. But because it's discontinued and other cheaper products can teach the same information, I probably would not recommend this to anyone. Also, I've used this preamp to record directly into my DAW (using a Midiman Delta 66), and the tone was ok, but definitely thin and unacceptable.




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