A partnership with Rush’s legendary bassist results in a dual preamp unit that earns his mark of approval and brings big, analog bass tone.
Recorded direct with 1965 Fender P-bass into SansAmp GED-2112 into Apogee Duet.
**Each clip has a sample of A) both preamps blended B) just the drive section engaged C) just the deep section engaged D) no SansAmp (direct bass)**
Clip 1 - Fingerstyle
Clip 2 - Pick play
There’s no shortage of companies out there making amp simulators, but Tech 21—with their proprietary SansAmp technology—is one of the originals, and their wares remain a must-have for many bassists. Part of the reason is SansAmp forgoes digital modeling, unlike many other products on the market, to achieve emulation with a completely analog signal chain. Bassist Geddy Lee happens to be a fan of SansAmp technology, and through a collaboration with Tech 21, the GED-2112 Geddy Lee Signature SansAmp was born. Yes, it’s a signature model, but don’t rush (sorry) to judgment. Turns out this new model could be useful for a wide range of players in a variety of applications—especially rock situations where amp-like color is desired.
The GED-2112 is a single-rack-space unit with a minty green front panel sporting a little drawing of Geddy raising his eyebrow at you. (When I was trying to learn his bass parts, I got the feeling he was raising his eyebrow in judgment of my ability to replicate his bass lines, but you can decide what he’s saying to you.) The device is basically separated into two sections—a “drive” preamp section and a “deep” preamp section—that run parallel.
The drive section is based on the SansAmp RPM preamp and has dials for overdrive, bass, and treble, parametric midrange, and output level. There’s also a blend control, which allows you to blend-in the desired amount of unprocessed, clean tone. The deep section has an EQ curve preset to Geddy’s personal specs and only has two controls: saturation and output. In my opinion, the “deep” name might be a little misleading. While it sounds great, I didn’t find it all that deep sounding. To my ears, it had more of a midrange growl, which really complemented the drive section nicely.
There are two options for plugging in: either a single input on the front panel or the two on the back. You can switch between the two back-panel inputs with a button that’s located on the face of the box. It seems like it would be a nice option to be able to do this with a footswitch, but no such luck. The back-panel inputs have a -20 dB pad for receiving line-level signals.
For outputs, there are a few options that give a player a lot of flexibility. Each section (deep and drive) has individual XLR and 1/4" outputs, and each output section has a switchable -20 dB pad. Additionally, there is an uneffected 1/4" out, which is essentially a buffered version of what goes into the input. Lastly, there’s a tuner out, which is the same signal as the uneffected output, but is not silenced by the front-panel mute switch. I would have liked to have seen a dedicated output that provides a blend of the two preamps—especially if one wants to use the GED-2112 in a live rig for clubs. With that said, Tech 21 states that there are a couple of workarounds for this, including a permanent modification that would need to be performed by a qualified technician.
On the big-plus side, the GED-2112 delivers an all-analog signal path, and there are myriad reasons to prefer an all-analog signal over digital. A major one is that if you’re using a digital modeler and splitting your signal pre-processing (say, to send the sound mixer an un-modeled option), the latency in digital processing will mean that the processed and unprocessed signals will be out of phase. That’s not a concern with the GED-2112.
Test for Echo
For testing, I plugged in my beloved 1965 P bass and ran each preamp’s XLR out into an Apogee Duet. I often find option-packed gizmos that are intended to be versatile instead tend to have just one trick that works well. Not so here: I was able to get a very wide variety of usable tones out of the GED-2112.
The deep section sounds fantastic, with its built-in EQ curve, and its saturation sweep provides tones from fairly clean to a nice bit of overdrive. So, used individually, the deep section can serve as your basic plug-in-and-play tone, with a touch of amp-like air residing somewhere between clean and an amp turned up just before break-up.
Meanwhile, the drive section delivers everything from a nice, clean tone to full on, raise-your-sign-of-the-horns distortion. I also found the drive section’s EQ points very usable: Even with the treble cranked all the way up, you do get a satisfyingly bright tone, but it still retains a pleasant warmth. Given its control set and ability to head deep into overdrive and distortion world, the drive section is more versatile used on its own.
While both drive and deep were quite nice sounding as stand-alone preamps, the real magic comes when blending the two together, which is how the GED-2112 is intended to be used, after all. Taking advantage of the drive section’s deep, scooped sound and blending in a bit of the slightly midrange-y deep section provided me with a huge, thick, balanced rock-bass tone.
The GED-2112 is an excellent-sounding, versatile bass preamp. That said, I encourage players to not just look at it as a box to get Geddy Lee’s sound, but rather as a flexible tone machine that he helped create. I think the GED-2112 would be very handy to leave patched in at a studio where you don’t want to muck around with a bunch of amps or plug-ins. I would have liked it if the two preamps had a single output that blended them (especially for live use), as well as an option to switch between the inputs with a footswitch. But those observations aside, I found the SansAmp GED-2112 to be a great piece of equipment to have at the ready—at least whenever you need to get a killer bass sound quickly. Which is always, right?
Watch the Review Demo:
Built on a classic class AB output the amp sounds similar to the old V800 as favored by the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Keith Richards and Robert Plant.
Usk, United Kingdom (November 2, 2011) -- The GT800FX rackmount amps from British amp builders Matrix Guitar Amplificationare now in full production and available worldwide.
The GT800FX is built on a classic class A/B output and is designed to sound similar to the old V800 as favoured by the likes ofÂ Eddie Van Halen, Keith Richards and Robert Plant but only takes up one rack space. Matrix says that Dave Friedman of Rack Systems Ltd and Rob Navarrette of Tone Merchants reports that the GT800FX was a more than suitable replacement for the V800 in a wet-dry-wet rig. The Matrix GT800FX weighs less than 5 kg, and is less than 9" deep.
'We have had great feedback from guitarists using the amps with modelers such as the Fractal or Line 6," said Matt Button, Sales Director, 'They are now finding it easy to tuck the 1u amp in a 3u case with a modeler and take their whole modeling/amplification package to gigs and rehearsals. A couple of customers have reported that they now find it easy to travel through airports with their rig."
The GT800FX are built in house by Managing Director, Mr Andy Hunt, an amplifier designer with more than 20 years experience of audio design within the industry. Andy even builds the transformers in house to ensure they remain of the highest quality.
With Neutrik 1/4" jack and XLR inputs coupled to Neutrik 1/4" jack and Speakon outputs the amp is designed to be a very flexible solution.
For more information:
Matrix Guitar Amplification
Eventide lives up to their reputation of stellar studio effects with the rackmount Eclipse V4
|Download Example 1
ModFreqShift + Reverb
|Download Example 2
MultiShift + Heavy Overdrive
|Download Example 3
Hold Filter + Reverb & Reverse Tap Delay
Start Me Up
The Eclipse can be an intimidating beast at first glance—packed with enough features and controls to keep me wrapped up for days. But a little study reveals it to be a fairly guitarist-friendly unit. The construction quality was rock solid, with a classy, brushed aluminum faceplate that housed a super clear Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) screen, a 15-button keypad with a satisfying feel, and the famous Eventide control wheel for scrolling between patches and altering program parameters. In addition, there was a highly useful dual level meter to let me know if my signal was clipping the inputs, and a memory card slot for saving presets to a compact flash memory card. The neon green, LED backlit Tap Tempo button was a nice touch too, making it a snap for me to punch in a tempo for modulation and time-based effects.
The rear panel of the Eclipse has more connections and routing options than I could shake a stick at. Eventide has always been really good about designing processors that anticipate any connection setup in live and studio rigs alike, and the Eclipse is no exception. In addition to the standard dual analog audio inputs—specially calibrated for either unbalanced ¼” or balanced XLR cables, the device has an XLR digital interface, along with separate digital interfaces for RCA and optical connections. Eventide’s engineers even included a serial port for transferring data between the Eclipse and a PC—evidence of the company’s well-known dedication to the pickiest studio rats.
There’s also a Remote Power In jack for powering an optional MIDI foot controller, effectively making the Eclipse an all-in-one MIDI effects solution without the need for an additional wall wart for foot control power. Granted, most guitarists would probably only rely on the analog ins and outs—and possibly the MIDI interface, but it was really nice to see Eventide go well beyond the average guitarist’s conventional needs and provide interface options for any stage or studio situation.
Setting up and using the Eclipse seemed daunting at first, but overall the interface is fairly intuitive and reduces the learning curve for what is a very feature-rich processor. You can effectively think of the Eclipse as not just one effects unit, but two working in tandem. The device contains two separate effects “blocks” that are essentially separate effects processors. I had the option of using either block separately, or both together. This was an immensely cool feature that opens up the unique tones that are possible from chaining multiple effect units, while eliminating noise, clutter, and messy cable patching problems.
Building Blocks of Tone
I set up the Eclipse via the effects loop of a Diezel Schmidt head and a matching 2x12 halfback cabinet with a Fender Stratocaster, and a set-neck 1978 Ibanez Iceman. The Eventide emitted a short boot screen as I powered it up, and in no time I was ready to go. There are five program categories to choose from in the program list—guitars, vocals, drums, keyboards, and special effects, which range from subtle delays and reverbs to radical pitch shifts. There are a number of presets that can provide a good starting point for the player, which is a great idea considering the Eclipse’s position as an entry-level effects processor in their product lineup.
From a sound quality standpoint, the Eclipse is a glorious piece of equipment. The overdrive patches may have been the most challenging effects to dial in (I usually had to work to eliminate some digital graininess) But apart from distortion flavors, it was hard for me to find an effect that I didn’t think sounded absolutely stellar. The clean, crisp delays and reverbs that helped put Eventide on the map were lush and touch sensitive and delayed signals rose and fell very naturally with my varied pick attack. The same touch sensitivity was also evident in effects like the phasers.
Obviously, Eventide is well known for its harmonizer effects, and the harmonizers on the Eclipse are distinguished by super-quick tracking and dual, fully adjustable pitch parameters. Parameters were extremely simple to access and alter. Just one tap of the Program button, a twirl of the control knob and pressing the Load command was all it took to bring up a patch. After it was loaded, the four rubber buttons lying across the bottom of the display were each assigned to the effect’s parameters, such as wet/dry mix, rate, depth, and feedback.
Still, for all of its bells and whistles, the Eclipse’s simple dual effect block design was its strongest aspect. Crafting the perfect delay tone with just the right bounce and rhythm, then joining it with one of Eventide’s famous, carefully tweaked reverbs was an experience that I will not soon forget. And the amount of depth that the unit added to my tone in these applications was staggering.
As great as the Eclipse is at producing mammoth-sized effects in crystal-clear detail, I never really forgot that it was there while I was playing. Quiet though it may be, the Eventide isn’t exactly transparent (if that’s a priority). The inherent clarity of some of these effects can often make them stand out and feel distinctly more processed, which might be a turn-off to players who prefer the fuzzier tones of analog distortions and delays. But if you’re willing to work with more clinical and precise tones, there’s no end to the textures you can create.
The Eventide Eclipse is designed to be an effects workhorse, and it’s a powerful tool for the guitarist that works across multiple styles and uses a broad array of textures to create moods and enhance songs and compositions. The time-based and modulation effects are flat out extraordinary, and the reverb capabilities are stellar. Such effects can possess a kind of sterility if you’re a stickler for analog sounds. But what you might lose in analog authenticity, you gain in detail, noiseless performance, and touch sensitivity. If you’re interested in a pro-level rack effects unit that covers a lot of territory and can spare the expense, look no further than the Eventide Eclipse V4.
classic Eventide quality and sonic range in a convenient multi-effects unit justify the price.
you only use a few effects or insist on analog sounds.
Street $1995 - Eventide - eventide.com