Digitech GSP1101 ?

Kids these days......  Glad I'm still living in a world of thermionic current regulation with rare earth coated cathodes......

Glad I'm still living in a world of thermionic current regulation with rare earth coated cathodes......

Ya, I'm glad you got that one covered too.  :icon_thumright:  :laughing7: 

So, no one messed with this unit yet?
What little feedback I've found on the web sounds promising, but I was looking for a bit more to push me over the edge. Ya, I may just have to bite the bullet like you say and find out for myself.
Let me say first that I am NOT a rack gear kind of guy.  I do love to tap dance on some pedals though, and to my ears all of those Digitech Pedals have a quality about them that just seems, I don't know, inorganic.  I had one of their digital delay pedals that really tweaked me the wrong way, if you touched any knob on it, you would get this sound like a robot from a bad fifties sci-fi movie.  I gave that one to this kid in my neighborhood that has a G'n'R fascination, and really, really wanted to try and nail the Welcome to the Jungle intro.  Anyway, I know this is not helpful in any way, I just had to tell you of my distrust for that brand!
Yeah, that's probably why I haven't had any of their gear before. I have this Boss GT-3 pedal that I gigged with a lot in front of a 59 Fender Bassman amp. I got some great tones out of that odd combination that our sound tech loved me for. I've always been able to tweak that boss pedal into sounding cool.

I think that if you're a big tube fan, and have a good ear, you can pull a lot out of digital gear that perhaps some less experienced players can't. If you have access to enough options to tweak, good ear guys find the zone. Places like Harmony Cental are full of reviews by guys that spend more time on the internet than playing their instrument. Some of them giving reviews have only played a handful of live gigs in their life. You should get a "School of Hard Knocks" certificate if you played 6 nights a week live for years and years. Dragged through the muck of gig after gig and town after town for years teaches you a lot as I'm sure my brothers from the 80s will testify to.  :laughing7:
Ah, just found this review on the net:

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

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…I'm mostly a overdrive and fuzz guy…I'll also use medium gain distortions and generally avoid most of the high gain stuff unless I'm donging around on metal riffs at home or something. I compared the GSP-1101's overdrive and fuzz models to their analog counterparts and a ZIM with a VT card in channel A and a T+2 card in channel B and a Skreddy Top Fuel and I have to say only the Big Muff model didn't quite nail it as convincingly as I would have liked. The rest were pretty spot on…again…I've never heard a digital unit that nail these tones before…in fact, the GSP-1101 nails the Boss DS-1 sound even better than the DS-1 model on the Boss GT-Pro rack. Somehow they really nailed the midrange complexity and low end authority that previous distortion modelers have lacked…the highs were not sussy and diffused. I honestly can't even begin to properly convey how impressed I am with the od/dist/fuzz models.

The compressor models also stand up well to their analog counterparts. The Dyna Comp model was particularly spot on.

Everything you may have loved about the Digitech Expression Factory can also be found here, but again, with better sound quality. The wah models were mighty impressive as was the Whammy.
The modulation effects section is huge and complete…some of my favorites were the Small Stone, CE-2 (compared very favorably to my pre 2000 analog Boss CE-5), Whammy, all the Tremolo models, the Vibrato and Univibe models (both were very impressive) and the Electric Mistress models. The Modulation section even has a "pre/post" option for running the effects pre or post preamp. Even with the preamp disengaged, the tone of the effect changes in a manner that you would expect by running the effect pre-preamp or in your effects loop. Very cool.

The delay section was equally impressive as far as tone was concerned…While not as extensive as say, the Line 6 Echo Pro rack, the basics are covered and covered well…there's a few different analog delays (which compared favorably to my Ibanez AD-9), a tape echo, digital delay, modulated delay, etc. I compared my Deluxe Memory Man to the Modulation Delay and I got pretty damn close to nailing the sound…I found adding a little compression got me even closer to the tone and feel. While many of the other models have the same functions as their analog counterparts, I was a little disappointed to find there was no chorus/vibe switch for this model. This is a small complaint. Most of the delays can do repeat/hold and have up to 5 seconds.

The reverbs were really great. Harmon bought out Lexicon and they have featured a few of their reverb algorithms along with a nice plate reverb model and a spring reverb model. The only complaint I have here is the "spring" effect is triggered by volume peaks and it can sound a little unnatural at times…sometimes the pulse of the tremolo model is enough to set it off, but it can be worked around.

Of course there's all kinds of MIDI control and signal routing options.

As far as complaints go (other than the one's I mentioned above), I'll list them in no particular order…

EASE OF EDITING: OK…it's relatively easy, and the included editing software is the model of efficiency and makes creating sounds a breeze, but away from my computer I find the rack's interface to be a little too cumbersome. I would prefer to be able to adjust the various parameters of that effect with the 5 knobs that are used for the "preamp" section. I don't really plan to use the preamp section much and it would be great to hit a "Modulation" button use the big knob to select a particular effect type and tweak the individual parameters with the 5 smaller knobs.

REAR PANEL INPUT (in addition to the front panel input): This is a must. The front panel input is reasonably sturdy and well implemented, but not everyone's setup is optimized for one. Having both a front and rear panel input is a much better way to go.

MORE DELAY MODELS: While the delays that are here sound great, there's room for some cool "effecty" delays like a reverse delay or a lo-res delay, etc.

That's pretty much it. The DigiTech GSP-1101 is a mighty impressive piece of equipment, especially for the money. In my mind it's the first commercially available unit to deliver on the promise of modeling technology…This is where I get on the digital bus.
Bought one. It sounds killer. Simply an amazing unit. I tweaked in my main gain tone in about 20 minutes and it rages. All the other details like fast patch changes and clean tones are all there. Another few hours of dialing in the details and I'll be good to play out with it. Knocks my rack gear in half.

Digitech hit a home run with this one.  :icon_thumright:
Gregg Stewart said:
You should get a "School of Hard Knocks" certificate if you played 6 nights a week live for years and years.

It teaches you that simple is better.  That reliable is better.  And lighter is better.
I've had a few Digitech units over the years, DSP128, DSP256XL, GFXTwin Tube, Valve FX, Vocalist, Johnson Millenium J250H, and my favorite IPS33B.

For effects, the DSP256XL worked well for me in my rack for many years, while being pumped from an ADA MP1, & eventually an MP2.
In the same rack, I used an IPS33B, and aside from getting an Eventide unit, it's still the best tracking intelligent pitch shifter for the dollar out there, certainly better than my Boss PS5.

I've recorded with a Valve FX, Broken Promises which is on my MYSPACE page. www.myspace.com/tonyflyingsquirrelmusic.
While the ValveFX is a little thin sounding for my taste, it does have some punch, and a nice sweepable mids feature in the eq section.  The Johnson Millenium still owns it.

I've had some friends who've owned the 2101 & it sounds nice, but it takes a long time to really dial in the eq just right.

This new unit looks promising, in that it boasts some quality features that Digitech has come short on for a while since they've been pushing the RP pedals.
I had the DoD Death Metal and still Currently have the DoD Grunge.

I like f00kin around with my sound and getting all the different tones.  Right now my knucklehead gives me all the mid heavy warm lovely tube tone I could ever want, and I've got a few pedals that are very "inorganic" that I love using as well.  The grunge is a good example.  That amount of saturation is unhealthy.  but it does sound cool when used in the right spot.

I was thinking about buying the new grunge pedal now that DoD is officially digitech.

I always wanted the Gonkulator.  Sometimes I still see them on Ebay.
Got the GSP1101 installed in my rack a couple of nights ago right next to my Marshall JMP-1. I wired it up using the JMP-1 in the preamp loop of the GSP. Now I can switch back and forth between the GSPs preamps and the JMP-1. That is definately opening up a world of tonal options. I started switching back and forth between my favorite JMP-1 patch and then to the GSP to trying to get the GSP to sound like the JMP-1. Since the GSP has a parametric EQ, I have it VERY close now to the JMP-1. Enough tweaking and it may be very difficult to tell them apart. That's pretty cool.

Just have get the GSP wah to smooth out along its expression pedal travel. It seems to have notches. I recalibrated ny FCB1010 expression pedals but that didn't do the trick. Hmmmm....
TonyFlyingSquirrel said:
Gregg, does it have intelligent pitch shifting?
If by "intelligent" you mean can you choose the scale type, then yes that is in there.
That's cool.

My IPS33B had that also. 

"Why would you want it for guitar? 

Same reason you'd want it for vocals.

Most harmony playing by 2 guitars in a band is done so only chromatically.  Listen to Metallica, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Queensryche, Iron Maiden, etc,etc, etc...

Most of the harmony parts are played diatonically, meaning if the primary guitar part (melody) is doing a C Major scale (CDEFGABC), and the 2nd guitar part (harmony) is one 3rd above, then his part would be (EFGABCDE), and it would be in the same key as the melody, but the 3rd interval.

If you only play a chromatic harmony, it may sound dissonant against your melody, and/or your rythym section.  That chromatic interval could include notes outside the key, causing dissonance, which, for the most part, is very unpleasant to listen to.
Don't know about metal, only harmony leads I ever played was back in the early/mid 70s when you had to (at least in Dallas) play a set and a half of Allman Bros. material to get a gig, but that just consisted of playing the same riffs on two guitars at a V interval. We didn't have DSPs back then...
I had a Digitech GSP-7 ages ago, it was a lot of fun and sounded pretty darn good. I eventually came to the realization that I'm not a knob-twiddler and gave it to the guitarist in a local punk band called SchlongDaddy.


RLW said:
I had a Digitech GSP-7 ages ago, it was a lot of fun and sounded pretty darn good. I eventually came to the realization that I'm not a knob-twiddler and gave it to the guitarist in a local punk band called SchlongDaddy.


I've been bouncing from my Marshall JMP-1 to the Digitech GSP1101 on different patches dialing in the GSP to sound like the JMP. Playing around with the Parametric EQ in the GSP, I now I have a couple of patches set up that make it very hard to tell which one you're playing through. That says a lot for the GSP's flexibility.

Now, if I could just get the midi expression pedal to work the wah in the GSP more smoothly, all would be right in the world. Already re-calibrated the pedal itself (FCB1010), and tried adjusting the GSP wah within the included software to no avail. Sent the question to tech support with no return reply so they must know about the problem. Guess I might have to wait for the next software upgrade or chip? Apparently there's an all new pedal controller board coming out for it in December.