Tag Archives: Ibanez

The Behringer GDI21

Share

The Behringer GDI21 is one of the first ever pedals I bought when I decided to shift from multi-effect processors to boutique, effect-dedicated guitar pedals. To start off, the GDI21, like a host of other Behringer pedals, is a clone. It’s a cheaper knock-off of the Sansamp GT-2, and like the GT-2, it’s a guitar amp modeller. But it does so much more. It also acts as a direct recording pre-amp and DI box.

Hardware and Features

The first thing you’d notice about the pedal is the relatively large number of knobs and switches. The pedal recreates three different guitar amps, with three gain modes and three mic placements, giving you a total of 27 possible configurations.

The three amps that are recreated are the Mesa Boogie(Calif), Marshall(Brit) and Fender (Tweed). Each of these amps can be set at three different modes: Clean, Hi-Gain and Hot. If you’re still not satisfied, you may even select how the “amp” should be “mic-ed”. There’s a simulation of where the mic is placed with respect to the cabinet cone. You can choose between ‘off-axis’, ‘center’ or ‘classic’. There’s also a ground-lift switch, which helps in reducing noise. You may also configure your tone via the four knobs present on the pedal: Drive, Bass, Treble and Level.

Tone

The pedal is extremely versatile. It gives you a good tone for almost any genre of music, from jazz to metal. The Mesa Boogie simulation has the beef to pump out some heavy gain, well-suited for thrash/speed metal. The Marshall simulation is perfect for some crunchy rock ‘n roll. I was successfully able to extract a close-to-authentic AC/DC tone (just for kicks). The Fender amp that’s simulated is the tweed. This is probably the best tone the pedal provides. The warm clean tone is reminiscent of an Ibanez Tube-Screamer.

How I use it

I set the pedal to ‘Brit’, at ‘Hi-Gain’ with the mic at ‘classic’ and ground-lift on. Keeping the drive at 10 o’clock, treble at 1 o’clock, bass at 11 o’clock with my Epiphone Les Paul Standard. With the Yamaha Pacifica, I use the ‘Brit’ for overdrive, with drive at 10 o’clock, treble at 11 o’ clock and bass at 1 o’clock.The pedal goes either into the amp or to my Zoom G7.1ut processor, which provides rudimentary cabinet simulation going out to my headphones.

The good

The pedal provides a “true bypass”, which makes for a pure clean tone, or however your native tone to the amp is set. The pedal, set to my needs, gives me a warm crunch that drives hard for the most part and cuts back to a driven clean when I cut the volume from my guitar, giving me a teasing tone that plays out like a clean tone that’s itching to unleash itself.

The pedal sounds more dynamic by setting the drive low and having the mod switched to hi-gain, as opposed to turning the drive up and having the mod switch at clean. They both achieve the same amount of gain, but the former has a beefier and more dynamic feel.

The bad

With all this tonal goodness, come two major drawbacks. Firstly, the body is not metal, but reinforced plastic. Now that can be a rather scary deal considering this is something you’re going to be stomping on when you’re playing live. Having said that, I’ve had this pedal for three years. Over the course of roughly 25 gigs, and playing daily at home, the pedal has not worn out in any form.

The second drawback is not a major one, but would definitely help in terms of tone. The EQ controls should’ve included a knob for mids. That one extra knob would make all the difference in tone and make it a truly great pedal. But you can make up for that with a dedicated EQ pedal or tweaking the EQ on the amp.

All in all, the Sansamp GT-2 is a heavenly pedal. Head-to-head, it outclasses the GDA21 in every aspect, be it the metal casing, or the subtle dynamics that propel your tone to a whole new level. There probably isn’t any reason you should pick the GDI21 over the GT-2, except the gigantic price difference. You can pick up a GT-2 for roughly USD450. The GDI21 is available for about 30 USD. That’s almost 15 times lesser the price of the GT-2. The sacrifice in tone dynamics hardly compares to the money you save, leaving you room to add more to your rig.

Bharath Kumar

Bharath Kumar, besides being a full-time geek, is a keyboard player and music producer. He runs his own studio, Minim Sound Labs www.minimsoundlabs.com, and is an active volunteer in various charities.

Comment

Stratisfaction

Share

In the day and age of death metal, we often find ourselves staring at tattooed guitarists wielding Super-strats loaded with a combination of Emg pickups and the Floyd Rose Bridge, but what in heaven’s name has happened to the good old Strat? If you walk into a guitar store you will notice people toying with a plethora of guitars: The Ibanez’s, The Schechter’s, The Esps seem to be favored by guitarists these days. If you talk about a good old Strat, people frown. Have we forgotten the value of a Stratocaster? From Guitar-God Hendrix to Clapton to Gilmour, everyone has used the Strat. In Clapton’s case he switched from a Les Paul to a Strat!

The Fender Stratocaster has been the single most copied guitar in history. All the Japanese manufacturers came to the spotlight in the 70s because of their ability to make high quality knock-offs while the CBS owned Fender itself was struggling with quality issues. Why do we call a guitar with a double cut away and a dual humbucker combination a ‘Superstrat’? The answer is: its design was stolen from the Strat. These guitars combined the comfort of the Stratocaster with the power of the dual humbucker combination. At that time, people were looking for more power but the single coils were either too weak or too noisy so they pumped it up with humbuckers.

Some of the notable inventions of Leo Fenders magnum opus were the tremolo system, which according to me is still way better than the Floyd Rose locking trems. In my honest opinion, the Floyd Rose is only good at sucking the sweet tone from your guitar! All our modern guitar heroes like Slash, Tom Morello, Kirk Hammett come from a generation of guitar heroes wielding a Strat. The reason people don’t buy Strats these days is probably because they feel it is “not cool”. They don’t have a logical, sonic justification for not using one. Heck, the guys from Iron Maiden use Strats! With modern pickup technology, one can have the power in a single coil package along with the pureness of a clear single coil tone. Doubters must check out the Eric Clapton signature model. With the in build mid- boost circuitry it pumps out a level of gain which eclipses the EMGs of this world by a mile! People think if they own a Jackson RR3 its cool.

For me, the Fender Stratocaster isn’t the single most important instrument in rock history, it is also the coolest one. From the violin-like tone of Eric Johnson’s Strat to the Dreamy echo of Gilmour’s Strat to the Fuzz laden mayhem of Hendrix’s Strat , no other guitar has influenced the destiny of Rock music. From insanely vintage Strats of the 50s to the modern Shred machines such as Yniwe Malmseem’s, the Stratocaster rules the field; not even the great Les Paul manages to match the legend of the Stratocaster.

One often overlooks the curvaceous craftsmanship of a 50s Strat which is still continued in the modern American models. There is no cooler guitar than a completely worn out Strat; remember the little guy from Ireland whom Jimi Hendrix rated as the greatest guitar player on the planet? I’m talking about Rory Gallagher. Coming to modern players, the sight of John Mayer playing his worn out Strat is just iconic and people say wielding a Flying V is cool.

Sahil Mohan Gupta

Sahil, the byline may read, but they call him ‘Bones’ because of his undying love for Star Trek. Sahil is a crazy tech journalist at BGR.in, who also happens to be a blues guitarist and a sound engineer based out of Delhi. Oh, and he also has 14 dogs!

Comment