Price paid: $ 315
Ease of Use: It's an easy to use, 1U rackmount, orange multi-effect processor. Firmware version 1.09. Editing is a breeze. My first ever processor was a DigiTech RP10. Spent days trying to get some decent sounds out of that one. But it kept having it's own, artificial, sound. The GX however, can sound like everything you're looking for. (But be prepared to spend some time with it.) // 10
Sound: This unit now acts as the centre of my setup. Formerly owned a Laney Pro tube 100 Watt (all tube) amp head, with 1 and later 2 4x12's. (Much like an old JCM800.) Never really liked the fact that it didn't have switchable channels or a reverb. (Here come the stompboxes. But since I hate setting those up everytime, and the wiring spaghetti on the floor...) So I bought the RP10. (Comments on that are above.) After getting tired of hauling that stuff back and forth every time, I traded the head for a BBE 386 acoustic pre amp (Wich is now in the GX's effects return. So I can go from acousic to electric with the flick of a switch and can still use all kinds of effects.), and bought me a Marshall 8280 valvestate combo. Loved that for a while, but the RP10 kept getting on my nerves. So I traded that in for the GX and an FC200 midi footcontroller. I started out with the 5 way wiring trick, so I was able to keep using the Marshall's pre amp. (Basiccaly using the GX as a bunch of stompboxes.) After a little while I changed to just using the Boss in the Marshall's return-inputs, with the 8280 acting as a poweramp and speakermonitor. It's much more flexible in this manner. Second advantage is that my setup doesn't weigh a ton anymore. But I'm still looking for a dedicated poweramp in a 1U rackformat (Marshall 8008), so I don't need to take the Valvestate along anymore. As far as speakers go I can use 2 12" wedges as monitors, or when it has to look like something on stage, I can still take the 2 4x12's.
As far as guitars go I use an Ibanez RG470FMR, 2 Hohner L59 Les Paul copies, a Squire strat, an Aria (nylon string) acoustic and an Ovation Celebrity CC257 Deluxe (steelstring). The electric guitars all go through a Rexer wireless (diversity) system, connected to the rear input of the GX. (Leaving the front input available, in case of a breakdown in the wireless system.
Basically you have to think of this setup as "studio monitoring" at high volume.
It's as quiet as possible, even with all the gains cranked. (That's probably what a real tubehead will miss. A lot of hiss, hum and static.)
Effects are good. (But, as I stated before, you have to spend time tweaking this contraption.) Standards for sound quality are higher when recording. So, if it's good enough for a studio, it's certainly good enough for a live situation.
The (switch pedal) wah sounds a bit weak and is a little unresponsive. It keeps switching off while using. But that's probably because of the used continuous controller on the FC200. (I'd love it when that would have a dedicated switch underneath the pedal.) I guess I still haven't finished tweaking.
The ring modulator is useless for me. Delays are good, as are the speaker and pre amp modulations. (Delays and reverbs were a bit more flexable on the RP10. But more parameters also mean more chances of f**ing up your sound.) If you think that the amp simulations sound a bit dead, use the plate-reverb in between the pre amp and speaker modules. Then use the delay for some ambiance. (This can give you a nice warm tone.) // 10
Reliability & Durability: Guess so. I've been using it for over 5 years now. It has never let me down. (But I never had any problems with my inputs (yet). I guess it's because I don't have to plug in and out every time, due to the wireless receiver.) // 10
Overall Impression: I play everything. Basically top 100, funk, blues, rock, (80's and 90's) metal etc. After (again) some tweaking this baby delivers. I guess nothing beats a tube-amp at 11. But this is so much lighter!
The GX has turned out to be very flexable. Also in conjunction with other gear. (But you have to connect it properly. So read the easy to understand manual.)
I wish it had some more assiignable controllers, instead of the ring modulator. // 10