DigiTech GSP1101

Quick Summary

The DigiTech GSP1101 has been around for quite some time now, but remains a popular choice for budget-conscious guitarists who want a flexible rack processor capable of providing high quality effects and a versatile assortment of guitar amp and cabinet models. With a substantially lower price than newer units that offer similar features (like the Fractal AxeFX II and Line 6 Helix), that GSP1101 packs a tremendous bang for the buck. Any semblance of outdated modeling technology with this unit totally vanishes with the use of third-party speaker cabinet impulse responses, which can be loaded into the unit by updating to the beta C63 firmware version. With a selection of great impulse responses loaded, it is clear that the GSP1101’s amps and effects modeling is top notch despite the sometimes lackluster stock cabinet models. The unit also provides tremendous versatility for any situation with its flexible input/output routing options and comprehensive MIDI functionality. With all the features and great tone it packs, it’s no surprise that it’s been a favorite of artists such as Dave Mustaine and Dweezil Zappa.

Pros:

  • Huge number of amp, effects, and cabinet models
  • Very flexible routing options for functioning in many different rig setups
  • Built-in FX loop allows the ability to use an external preamp with GSP1101 effects
  • User friendly preset editing interface and great software for editing presets via computer
  • Functions as a 2-input/2-output audio interface, negating the need for additional recording equipment
  • Extremely comprehensive MIDI functionality
  • Unofficial beta C63 firmware update adds many great features, such as third-party IR support

Cons:

  • Cabinet simulations are lackluster
  • Limited ability to change signal chain placement of effects units
  • Maximum of 6 effects blocks may be used simultaneously (and pitch shifting and modulation occupy the same block)
  • Model is no longer officially supported/updated by DigiTech (all firmware updates are considered beta and unofficial)
  • X-Edit software update for beta C63 firmware supports Windows only

Overall Rating: 4.5 stars

4.5 Star Rating

Features

The GSP1101 includes 33 amp models (plus 19 more with the beta C63 firmware update), 22 speaker cabinet models (plus 3 more and the ability to load up to 10 third-party impulse responses with the C63 firmware update), 67 effects models (plus 8 more with the C63 firmware update), a noise gate with auto-swell mode, a 3-band parametric EQ for each preset, a global 7-band graphic EQ, a tuner, and 2 acoustic guitar simulators.

Despite the gigantic number of options available, using the unit is simple and the learning curve is small. The face of the unit has an overall Output Level knob, standard amp control knobs for quick preset tweaks (Gain, Bass, Midrange, Treble, and Amp Level), an ‘Edit/Select’ combination knob/button (for scrolling through presets and for adjusting preset parameters), a ‘Back’ button (for navigating through editing menus), a ‘Store’ button (for saving or copying presets), a ‘Tone Library’ button (which allows the selection of presets containing combinations of pre-amp effects, amps, cabinets, and EQ settings), an ‘Effects Library’ button (which allows the selection of presets with post-amp effects combinations), an ‘Effects Level’ button (which allows quick adjustment of modulation and time-based effect levels with the select knob), a ‘Tuner’ button (which also toggles the Setup Wizard function when held), and a ‘Bypass’ button (which sends a completely dry guitar signal from the unit).

DigiTech GSP1101 Rear

Editing presets is very straightforward — just push the ‘Edit/Select’ button twice, rotate the ‘Edit/Select’ knob to the select the submenu you want to view and press the ‘Edit/Select’ button again to enter it, rotate the ‘Edit/Select’ knob to highlight the parameter you want to adjust, press the ‘Edit/Select’ button to cycle through available parameter values, then press the ‘Back’ button to return to the previous submenu or exit the editing mode. Once the preset is to your liking, press the ‘Store’ button. The preset name can then be modified using the ‘Gain’ knob to change which text character is being modified and the ‘Edit/Select’ knob to change the text character itself. A Quick Edit mode (allowing parameters to be tweaked from one menu) can also be accessed by pushing and holding the ‘Edit/Select’ and then following the previous instructions to modify parameters from the single Quick Edit menu. Presets can also be tweaked using DigiTech’s X-Edit software when the unit is connected to a computer via USB.

The GSP1101 sports a flexible arrangement of inputs and outputs. On the front panel, you’ll find a 1 megaohm guitar input (approximately the same impedance as most analog guitar amp inputs, ensuring a realistic response) and a 50 ohm headphone output rated at 250 mW per channel at 50 ohms (more than adequate power for most recording and practicing situations). The rear panel hosts an FX loop with a mono send jack and stereo return jacks (with a button to select between appropriate input gain levels for -10 dBV or +4 dBU devices), stereo 1/4″unbalanced line output jacks, stereo XLR balanced output jacks (with switchable ground lift), MIDI In and Thru jacks, a 1/4″ expression pedal jack (for manipulating effects parameters in real-time, such as wah sweep and Whammy pitch shift), a 1/4″ footswitch jack (for use with a 3-button footswitch, like the DigiTech FS-300), and a USB port which allows the unit to function as 2 input/2 output 24-bit 44.1 KHz audio interface when connected to a computer (and allows the user to edit presets via the X-Edit computer software, as mentioned previously).

Flexibility

The GSP1101 can be configured to integrate with many different types of setups. The ‘I/O Setup’ menu provides numerous options to optimize performance in different configurations and the ‘Setup Wizard’ function is helpful for obtaining a walkthrough in how to connect devices for a variety of configurations.

Setting the FX loop type to ‘Effect Loop’ causes the FX loop jacks to behave like a standard series FX loop and patches in any connected devices post-amp and pre-cabinet simulation (if enabled). This setting is ideal if you have any external rack or pedal effects processors that you want placed after the GSP1101’s amp modeling. Simply connect the GSP1101’s FX send to the external device’s input and connect the external device’s output(s) into the GSP1101’s FX return(s).

Setting the FX loop type to ‘External Preamp Only’ makes the FX loop function as a global external loop, meaning all presets will automatically bypass the GSP1101’s amp models and utilize the external preamp unit patched into the FX loop for the primary tone source. This setting permits the use of an external hardware preamp unit but with the GSP1101’s pre-amp and post-amp effects. To use the unit this way, connect your guitar to the GSP1101’s input, the GSP1101’s FX send to the external preamp’s input, and the external preamp’s output to the GSP1101’s FX return. The GSP1101’s 1/4″ line output can then be connected to a power amp input if amplification is desired (use the ‘Global Cabinet’ mode and select ‘Direct’ to disable cab simulation if the power amp will be connected to a speaker cabinet designed for guitar amp signals). Because the guitar signal is first routed to the GSP1101’s input rather than directly to the external preamp, it is still possible to properly utilize the GSP1101’s pre-amp effects in this configuration.

DigiTech GSP1101 External Preamp configurationThe GSP1101 configured for use with an external preamp

Setting the FX loop type to ‘Int/Ext Preamp’ allows the unit to function in a hybrid mode in which specific presets can be configured to either use a GSP1101 amp model or bypass the amp model in lieu of the external preamp patched into the FX loop. As described for ‘External Preamp Only’, simply patch the external preamp into the FX loop and your preset settings will determine whether the GSP1101’s amp model or the external preamp is being used.

The GSP1101 can also be used as a preamp modeler and effects unit with an amp with an FX loop (or with a standalone power amp). Plug your guitar into the GSP1101’s input and connect the GSP1101’s 1/4″ line output into the amp’s FX return (or power amp’s input). This will bypass the amp’s preamp and will instead send the GSP1101’s amp modeling and effects modeling through the amp’s power amp. Of course, the GSP1101 can also be used with an amp that doesn’t have an FX loop by connecting the GSP1101’s 1/4″ line output directly into the amp’s input and disabling cabinet simulation. For best results using the GSP1101 this way, you will likely need to set the amp very clean and run the GSP1101’s overall Output Level fairly low to avoid overloading the amp’s input. The ‘Cabinet To Amp’ mode can be especially useful in a situation that requires the signal being output to a speaker cabinet and a PA system/mixer/recording interface simultaneously. This mode automatically disables cabinet simulation for the 1/4″ line outputs but keeps it enabled on the XLR balanced outputs (which are generally connected to devices which utilize full range speakers, which sound horrid with amp distortion and no cabinet simulation). If you are not using the ‘Cabinet To Amp’ mode for either the setups described above, be sure to use the ‘Global Cabinet’ mode and select ‘Direct’ to disable cab simulation since the output signal will be going to a real cabinet/combo anyway.

DigiTech GSP1101 Preamp Modeler/Effects Unit configurationThe GSP1101 configured for use as a preamp modeler and effects unit

It’s also quite simple to use the GSP1101 as a dedicated post-amp effects processor with an amp with an FX loop or as part of a rack rig with a separate preamp and power amp. Connect your guitar to your amp’s input, the amp’s FX send to the GSP1101’s FX return, and the GSP1101’s 1/4″ line output to the amp’s FX return. The equivalent setup with a rack rig is accomplished by plugging your guitar into the rack preamp’s input, the rack preamp’s output into the GSP1101’s FX return, and the GSP1101’s 1/4″ line output(s) into the power amp’s input(s). As mentioned in the previous paragraph, be sure to use the ‘Global Cabinet’ mode and select ‘Direct’ or use the ‘Cabinet To Amp’ mode to disable cab simulation on the 1/4″ line outputs. This configuration will send the amp’s preamp signal through the GSP1101 to be processed by its post-amp effects (modulation, delay, and reverb), and then the effected signal is routed back to the amp’s power amp.

DigiTech GSP1101 Effects Unit configurationThe GSP1101 configured for use as a post-amp effects unit

The most versatile way to use the GSP1101 as a dedicated effects processor with an amp with an FX loop is commonly known as the “4 cable method”. Connect your guitar to the GSP1101’s input, the GSP1101’s FX send to the amp’s input, the amp’s FX send to the GSP1101’s FX return, and the GSP1101’s 1/4″ line output to the amp’s FX return. In this configuration, the GSP1101’s pre-amp effects are sent to the amp’s input (from the GSP1101 FX send), then the amp’s signal is routed to the GSP1101’s post-amp effects section (via the amp’s FX send into the GSP1101 FX return), and finally the signal is routed back to the amp’s power amp (via the GSP1101’s 1/4″ output into the amp’s FX return). This means that effects which are placed pre-amp in the digital chain and ones that are placed post-amp in the digital chain will maintain those respective placements with the external amp, and thus the tones will be ideal. Again, be sure to disable the GSP1101’s amp modeling since the external amp will be providing the base tone from its FX send (and leaving the GSP1101’s amp modeling on will send a modeled amp signal to the external amp’s input, which will likely sound muddy and overly saturated). And once more, be sure to use one of the methods described previously to disable cabinet simulation since the signal will be going through a real cabinet/combo.

DigiTech GSP1101 4 Cable Method configurationThe GSP1101 configured for use with the “4 cable method”, providing both pre-amp and post-amp effects

The GSP1101 has very comprehensive MIDI capability and interfaces with no fuss with units like the Behringer FCB1010. MIDI setup is even more straightforward with DigiTech’s Control 2. The MIDI capabilities are too vast to describe here, but are outlined in detail in the product manual.

Tones

The GSP1101 offers plenty of options to craft great tones across a huge variety of styles. The list of amp, cabinet, and effects models is huge, but it’s likely the most intriguing collection of information about this unit, so I’m going to provide all of it.

Amps

Stock firmware amps (names have been changed to the real amps being modeled):

  • Fender Tweed Champ
  • Fender Tweed Deluxe
  • Fender Tweed Bassman
  • Fender Brownface Bassman
  • Fender Blackface Twin Reverb
  • Fender Blackface Deluxe Reverb
  • Marshall JTM-45
  • Marshall 100-watt Super Lead (Plexi)
  • Marshall JMP (channels jumpered) (non-master volume)
  • Marshall JMP 2203 (master volume)
  • Marshall JCM800
  • Marshall JCM900
  • Marshall JCM2000 (lead channel)
  • Vox AC15
  • Vox AC30 Top Boost
  • Hiwatt Custom 100 DR103
  • Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC
  • Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier
  • Carvin Legacy VL100
  • Matchless HC-30
  • Soldano SLO100
  • DigiTech 2101 Clean Tube (DigiTech original design from GSP2101 unit)
  • DigiTech 2101 Artist Clean Tube (DigiTech original design from GSP2101 Artist unit)
  • DigiTech 2101 Artist Saturated Tube (DigiTech original design from GSP2101 Artist unit)
  • DigiTech Solo (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Metal (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Bright Clean (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Chunk (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Crunch (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Blues (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Fuzz (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Spank (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech High Gain (DigiTech original design)
  • Dreadnought acoustic guitar simulator
  • Jumbo acoustic guitar simulator

Beta C63 firmware update amp additions (names have been changed to the real amps being modeled):

  • Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier
  • Mesa/Boogie Studio .22 Caliber
  • Matchless Chieftain
  • Laney Supergroup
  • Gibson GA-40
  • Orange OR120
  • Peavey 5150
  • Raven RG100
  • Roland JC-120
  • Sunn 100S
  • DigiTech Monster (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Tweedface (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Black Bassman (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Stoner Rock (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Dark Metal (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Transistor (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Transistor (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Brown Sound (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Mosh (DigiTech original design)

Stock firmware cabinets (names have been changed to the real cabinets being modeled):

  • Fender Tweed Champ 1×8
  • Fender Tweed Deluxe 1×12
  • Fender Blackface Deluxe Reverb 1×12
  • Fender Blonde Bassman 2×12
  • Fender Blackface Twin Reverb 2×12
  • Fender Tweed Bassman 4×10
  • Vox AC15 1×12 with Vox speaker
  • Vox AC30 Top Boost 2×12 with Jensen Bluebacks
  • Marshall 1969 Straight 4×12 with Celestion G12T-75 speakers
  • Marshall 1969 Slant 4×12 with Celestion G12M-25 Greenback speakers
  • Hiwatt Custom 4×12 with Fane speakers
  • VHT Slant 4×12 with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers
  • Johnson Straight 4×12 with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers
  • DigiTech Bright 2×12 (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Solo 4×12 (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Metal 4×12 (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Rock 4×12 (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Alt Rock 4×12 (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Vintage 4×12 (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Chunk 4×12 (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Spank 4×12 (DigiTech original design)
  • DigiTech Speaker Compensation 4×12 (DigiTech original design)

Beta C63 firmware cabinet additions (names have been changed to the real cabinets being modeled):

  • Gibson GA40 1×12
  • Roland JC120 2×12
  • Mesa Rectifier 4×12
  • Ability to upload 10 impulse responses

The GSP1101’s amp models give you practically everything you could ever want. The history of Marshalls is well represented and I’m very impressed with their touch sensitivity when rolling down the guitar volume knob and/or picking lightly. An assortment of classic Fenders makes for gorgeous clean and slight breakup tones, especially when paired with the unit’s Fender Twin spring reverb and Fender optocoupler tremolo models. The two Vox models provide the classic chime we all know and love and get creamy in the perfect way with their amp model volume controls cranked. Those seeking vintage tones will also be impressed with the Hiwatt Custom 100 DR103 model and the C63 firmware update’s Gibson GA-40 model. Players seeking more modern and heavy tones will be thrilled with the excellent recreations of the Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC and Dual Rectifier and the Soldano SLO100, plus the C63 firmware update’s Peavey 5150 model (which has caused many GSP1101 users to sell their real 5150 amps in favor of the GSP1101 and a power amp). The modern amp models have perfect levels of saturation, plenty of gain on tap, and manage to sound massive while still remaining tight and defined in the low end. The noise floor is extremely low and I don’t notice any hissing at even fairly high gain levels, unlike with the Line 6 POD HD series.

The only disappointing thing I can find in the GSP1101 is its cabinet modeling. The cabinet models aren’t terrible, but for the most part, they sound fairly narrow, flat, and unexciting. Attempts to EQ them to sound more ‘in your face’ generally create muddy and/or fizzy results. They’re perfectly adequate (and in fact can sound quite good) for practicing or jamming along to recordings, but when used in a live environment or as part of a studio mix, they fall quite short. If the GSP1101 was stuck with only the ability to use DigiTech’s cab models, I would feel that the unit’s tones were slightly above average at best. However, by far my favorite feature of the C63 firmware update is the ability to upload up to 10 third-party cabinet impulse response files into the unit’s memory. This feature is relatively new given the GSP1101’s fairly long time on the market, and it really transforms it into a whole new unit.

For those who aren’t aware, an impulse response is a file created by routing audio signals through a particular amplifying setup (power amp, cabinet/speaker), miking the setup as normal (‘baking in’ the microphone response and effect of the room and mic placement, the preamp used for the microphone, etc.), and using deconvolution software to analyze the differences between the original audio signals and the recorded test signals. The result is essentially a snapshot of what a particular microphone/microphone placement/room/speaker/cabinet/microphone preamp combination sounds like. Any audio signal that passes through the impulse response (such as a GSP1101 amp model signal) will essentially sound like it had also gone through the setup that the impulse response was capturing in person. There are thousands of free and commercial impulse responses available and there are many great ones and many bad ones alike, but when using great ones, it is truly like taking a blanket off the speakers when compared to using the GSP1101’s cabinet simulations. Good impulse responses are a crucial element for recording extremely realistic tones, and the GSP1101 is an absolutely killer recording tool when loaded with a good collection of them. I highly recommend the impulse responses created by OwnHammer, Rosen Digital, and RedWirez to get the most out the GSP1101.

One slight drawback is that the impulse responses must have no higher than a 44.1 KHz sampling rate in order to be loaded into the GSP1101, and only the first 128 samples of the impulse response (of the left channel if the file is stereo) will be loaded. The sampling rate is not an issue at all as far as I’m concerned since aliasing artifacts would only be present if the impulse response was created with the use of any signal processing plugins that do not internally oversample, but the 128 sample limitation is a little bit disappointing since it can remove some of the room/ambience/reverb information that could be present in an impulse response file. However, it is certainly possible to disable the cab simulation completely and use digital audio workstation plugins to load full-size impulse responses when recording the GSP1101, and the truncated file isn’t really an issue when running the GSP1101 through a guitar cabinet or PA system since real world room ambience will naturally fill out the sound anyway.

Effects

Stock firmware effects (names have been changed to the real effects units being modeled):

  • Wah
    • Dunlop GCB95 Crybaby
    • Vox V848 Clyde McCoy
    • DigiTech Full Range (DigiTech original design)
  • Compressor
    • Boss CS-2 Compression Sustainer
    • MXR M102 Dyna Comp
    • DigiTech Compressor (DigiTech original design)
  • Distortion/Overdrive/Fuzz
    • Ibanez TS9
    • Ibanez TS808
    • Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
    • Guyatone OD-2
    • DOD Overdrive Preamp 250
    • DOD FX13 Gonkulator Modulator
    • DOD FX52 Classic Fuzz
    • Pro Co RAT
    • MXR M104 Distortion+
    • Boss MT-2 Metal Zone
    • Boss DS-1 Distortion
    • DigiTech DGR Grunge
    • DigiTech DDM Death Metal
    • Roger Mayer Octavia
    • Demeter FUZ-1 Fuzzulator
    • Arbiter Fuzz Face
    • Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi
  • Chorus
    • Boss CE-2
    • TC Electronic SCF Stereo Chorus+ (chorus model only)
    • DigiTech Multi Chorus (DigiTech original pedal)
    • DigiTech Dual Chorus (DigiTech original design)
  • Flanger
    • MXR M117R Flanger
    • Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress
    • DigiTech Flanger (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech Triggered Flanger (DigiTech original design)
  • Phaser
    • MXR M107 Phase 100
    • Electro-Harmonix Small Stone
    • DigiTech Phaser (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech Triggered Phaser (DigiTech original design)
  • Delay
    • Mastro Echoplex EP-2
    • Boss DM-2 Analog Delay
    • DigiTech Analog Delay (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech Digital Delay (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech Modulated Delay (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech Ping Pong Delay (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech Tape Delay (DigiTech original design)
  • Reverb
    • Fender Twin Spring Reverb
    • EMT 240 Plate Reverb
    • Lexicon Ambience (Lexicon authorized genuine model)
    • Lexicon Studio (Lexicon authorized genuine model)
    • Lexicon Room (Lexicon authorized genuine model)
    • Lexicon Hall (Lexicon authorized genuine model)
  • Vibrato
    • DigiTech Vibrato (DigiTech original design)
  • Rotary Speaker
    • DigiTech Rotary Speaker (DigiTech original design)
  • UniVibe
    • Unicord Uni-Vibe
  • Tremolo/Panner
    • Fender Optocoupler Tremolo
    • Vox Bias Tremolo
    • DigiTech Tremolo (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech Panner (DigiTech original design)
  • Envelope Filter
    • DOD FX25 Envelope Filter
    • DigiTech Envelope Filter (DigiTech original design)
  • Pitch Shift
    • Boss OC-2 Octave
    • DigiTech Whammy (DigiTech original pedal)
    • DigiTech Pitch Shift (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech Harmony Pitch (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech Detune (DigiTech original design)
  • Miscellaneous
    • DigiTech VibroPan (vibrato + automatic panner) (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech AutoYa (human vowel “yah” sound) (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech SynthTalk (dynamic envelope filter capable of synth-like tones) (DigiTech original design)
    • DigiTech Step Filter (automatic random wah with square waveform) (DigiTech original design)

Beta C63 firmware effects additions (names have been changed to the real effects units being modeled):

  • Distortion/Overdrive/Fuzz
    • Ibanez TS9 (modified) (“Redline”)
    • Ibanez TS808 (modified) (“TS Mod”)
    • Fulltone OCD
    • Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive
    • DigiTech AmpDriver (DigiTech original design)
  • EQ
    • DigiTech 3-Band EQ (DigiTech original design)
  • Chorus
    • DigiTech Glisten Chorus (DigiTech original design)
  • Tremolo
    • DigiTech Scatter Tremolo (DigiTech original design)

The good news is that, as you can see, there are enough effects models to keep you busy experimenting with tones for years. The bad news isn’t all that bad, but it’s that only one model per effect type block can be engaged at a time. The effect type blocks are Wah, Compressor, Distortion, Modulation/Pitch, Delay, and Reverb. For example, this means that a distortion model and a fuzz model could not be used at the same time. A slightly less obvious example is that you could not use a pitch shifter model and a phaser model at the same time (less obvious because they may be thought of as two distinctly different types of effects, but they both occupy the Modulation/Pitch effects block). This is a limitation of finite processing power and can be an issue with even the most expensive digital units on the market today because processing an audio signal and still keeping the latency low enough to be imperceptible requires a lot of processing power. Although it’s a slight drawback, it’s not a big deal because there are still plenty of tone-shaping options at your disposal. The ability to run 6 types of effects at once still gives you a generous number of tonal combinations to play with.

Another drawback is that the with the stock firmware, the Wah, Compressor, and Distortion effects blocks can only be placed before the amp modeling section (and must be placed in the order I’ve listed them), and the noise gate, parametric 3-band EQ, Modulation/Pitch effects block, Delay effects block, and Reverb effects block can only be placed after the amp modeling section (and again, must be placed in the order I’ve listed them). This again is not a huge deal because this is the traditional placement of most of these types of effects (except possibly noise gates and pitch shifters) and most players feel they sound ideal in this configuration. However, the C63 firmware update helps a bit by allowing the Compressor block to be placed before or after the amp modeling section, and by adding another parametric 3-band EQ model which can be loaded in the Distortion effects block (allowing for pre-amp tone shaping). The update also allows the noise gate to be placed at the input stage or after the amp modeling section (or after the FX loop).

Despite some of the underlying DSP algorithms being fairly old at this point, the effects are world-class and are sure to please even the most discerning effects junkies. The distortions, overdrives, and fuzzes create a huge palette of options and open up a huge spectrum of gain levels and tonal characters. The models based on modded Tube Screamers and vintage fuzzes are both instant favorites. Even if you’re not looking to add much gain to your signal, the unique character of each model provides a lot of tone shaping ability. The wah models cover a great range of territory from vintage and quacky to modern and throaty, and the C63 firmware’s added ability to tweak the response curve of the expression pedal allows you to truly personalize the wah response. The classic DigiTech Whammy model is included and makes for hours of fun trying your best Tom Morello impressions, and the intelligent harmonizer model is a blast for cranking out Iron Maiden and Boston styled stacked guitar leads. Modulation effects like chorus, phase, and flange are deep and lush and are extremely wide in stereo mode. A wide variety of beautiful delays is available, including gritty lo-fi analog simulations, rhythmic stereo ping pong delays, and pristine digital delays with ducking functionality to emphasize key parts of your solos. The reverbs are studio-quality, which is no surprise given that many of the models are authorized genuine models of famous Lexicon units (widely considered to be the pioneer of digital reverb).

The C63 firmware update allows stereo effects to be panned to taste (and even manipulated in real time with an expression pedal) and for the width of the stereo field to be adjusted. Another very cool update feature is that it allows for parallel signal routing for modulation, delay, and reverb effects (opening many new tonal possibilities, especially for those who enjoy ambient tones). Yet another awesome addition for ambient tones is the ‘input mute’ parameter which can be engaged for delay and reverb models and allows only trails to be heard.

Conclusion

The DigiTech GSP1101 is a fantastic choice for guitarists who want an extremely versatile collection of effects and amp models. It can be integrated in a wide variety of different rigs and fulfill many different needs. It is very user friendly for how many options it has and plays nicely with any MIDI floorboard controller. Its amp and effects models sound fantastic, and although its cabinet models aren’t extremely impressive, the ability to load third party impulse responses with the beta C63 firmware update brings the tone quality into the same playing field as units four times the price. The GSP1101 may not be the newest unit on the market, but it is still a seriously awesome piece of gear and provides tremendous value at a very reasonable cost.

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