Roland GT-10 Review

The GT-100 is the replacement from Roland Corp. of the GT-10 effects processor which was launched at NAM in January 2012. Heres a full review of the GT-100. Is this worth the extra money over the GT-10? What exactly is the extra cost of this unit for against the GT-10? And what's it sound like? Find out right here, right now in this GT-100 full review from tonymckenzie.com

WhatsNew:

Review of H&K Grandmeister 36.

12 November 2013

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The Grandmeister 36 is a new loaded amp head from Hughes and Kettner. Does this thing really rock or is it just a Tubemeister with effects? Find out HERE

Also the GT-100 Floor Pedal From Roland Corp. Here's a full review of this great pedal.


 

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Find out if this amp can topple the Axe-FX series and all the features that are built right in to the MULTIAMP such as a 500w amp for a bargain price! And does this amp deliver the goods?

Check out this review online ..take a look at the Multiamp from DV Mark and see the most in depth review to date on this product.

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Roland GT-100 Effects Review

Roland GT-100 Effects Processor Floor Pedal Inside and Out Review

 

The Roland GT-100 review is here now below at last.

tony-mckenzie

I always like to look at these silicon based 'tube amps' (now that's a conundrum in itself) and keep up with the newest kid on the block. At the moment the Kemper Profiling amplifier is probably the king on the block and honestly, I don't think the GT-100 is going to DE crown that amp any time soon. But then again, the GT-100 is much cheaper... could you really expect the GT-100 to reasonably do that? probably not.

But of course that's all conjecture until I review the GT-100 right? And actually I like Roland kit - it's usually built like a tank and from what I see the GT-100 is no exception.

There's usually a lot to see in new GT processors (and even some of the older ones the GT-5 was really cool at the time) so rest assured our review below will cover lots of angles and even do a short comparison of tech specs between the GT-10 and the GT-100 (its an obvious comparison really).

And remember it's worth visiting www.youtube.com/tonymckenziecom for video reviews as they come out - you never know what you might find on there.

But video reviews don't come near these reviews on tonymckenzie.com and actually never will (even though some videos are hours long from me).

So the review is now online below - it's a long one and it's going to be one hell of a ride with the GT-100 from all accounts... but lets see if it really delivers everything that the unit claims (like the VG-99 did).

gt-100

 

REVIEW ONLINE NOW:

 

Overview of the GT-100

 

The GT-100 is at last out there to see, like (or not) and buy (or not). It's been a very long wait as far as I am concerned and with a release date of February 2012 Roland have dragged there feet on the release of this unit. I received this one on the 19th April!

The GT series of pedals I have used off and on for a long time. My first one was a GT-5 (I liked the colours) but the sounds were 'ok' but not earth shattering. The unit was built well as is the other Roland kit out there (read GT-6, GT-8 and GT-10) and this GT-100 is no exception to the rule in that department.

The basic idea with the GT-100 is really to make things even easier than the GT-10 for users of the pedal and I like to see 'easy to use' as opposed to 'here's the 150 page manual' approach because it should allow musicians to actually make music - remember that's why you bought it? right? So the two screen GT-100 was conceived.

Roland say the unit has the next generation of COSM processor and new 'vintage' sounds like never before. But they might indeed say that if they have thousands of units to sell.. but that's just my take on sales speak.

That familiarity when you are in front of this unit is immediate with the old tone grid idea and one or two other familiar aspects of the earlier GT-10.

But there are some new things as well as some of the older stuff now gone forever. I'll cover some of this aspect later in my extensive review but for now there's the A/B channel thing, its a bit like having two amp setups with a switcher between the two (at least in the real world of tube amps it is) but like anything else the emphasis from the sales speak is over the top a little. The digital out has vanished (as on the GT-10) but there's an audio in (for you Appleites) and you can use it on any analogue audio signal from any similar device such as an Android phone etc.

 

Here's the tech spec of the GT-100 from Roland:

 

items in red are the same and yellow is different

AD Conversion 24 bits + AF method (*1)

DA Conversion 24 bits

Sampling Rate 44.1 kHz

Program Memories 400: 200 (User) + 200 (Preset)

•Effect Type COMP, OD/DS, PREAMP, EQ, FX1/FX2(*), DELAY, CHORUS, REVERB, PEDAL FX, NS1/NS2, ACCEL FX * FX1/FX2 ... T.WAH, AUTO WAH, SUB WAH, ADV. COMP, LIMITER, SUB OD/DS, GRAPHIC EQ, PARA EQ, TONE MODIFY, GUITAR SIM, SLOW GEAR, DEFRETTER, WAVE SYNTH, SITAR SIM., OCTAVE, PITCH SHIFTER, HARMONIST, SOUND HOLD, AC. PROCESSOR, PHASER, FLANGER, TREMOLO, ROTARY, UNI-V, PAN, SLICER, VIBRATO, RING MOD., HUMANIZER, 2X2 CHORUS, SUB DELAY (there may be some differences in these effects, but the effects are very similar in most of these cases listed here)

Nominal Input Level INPUT: -10 dBu RETURN: -10 dBu AUX IN: -20 dBu

Input Impedance INPUT: 1 M ohm RETURN: 100 k ohms AUX IN: 47 k ohms

Nominal Output Level OUTPUT: -10 dBu/+4 dBu SEND: -10 dBu

Output Impedance OUTPUT: 2 k ohms SEND: 2 k ohms

Dynamic Range 100 dB or greater (IHF-A)

Display Graphic LCD (132 x 64 dots, backlit LCD) x 2

•Connectors INPUT jack (1/4-inch phone type) AUX IN jack (Stereo miniature phone type)OUTPUT L/MONO, R jacks (1/4-inch phone type) PHONES jack (Stereo 1/4-inch phone type) EXT LOOP jacks (SEND, RETURN; 1/4-inch phone type) AMP CONTROL jack (1/4-inch phone type) SUB CTL1, 2/SUB EXP jack (1/4-inch TRS phone type) USB port MIDI connectors (IN, OUT) DC IN jack

Power Supply DC 9 V

Current Draw 600 mA (reduced from 800ma)

Accessories AC Adaptor USB Cap Owner's Manual

Options (sold separately) Footswitch: BOSS FS-5U Dual Footswitch: BOSS FS-6 Expression Pedal: BOSS FV-500L/500H, Roland EV-5

•Size and Weight Width (W) 542 mm (21-3/8 inches) Depth (D) 271 mm (10-11/16 inches) Height (H) 80 mm (3-3/16 inches) Weight 4.8 kg (10 lbs. 10 oz.) Maximum height 102 mm (4-1/16 inches)

 

And here's a tech spec of the GT-10 for your own comparison:

 

Input Impedance INPUT: 1 M ohm

RETURN: 220 k ohms

Nominal Output Level OUTPUT: -10 dBu / +4 dBu

SEND: -10 dBu

Output Impedance OUTPUT: 2 k ohms

SEND: 3 k ohms

Dynamic Range 100 dB or greater (IHF-A)

Digital Output Coaxial type (conforms to IEC60958)

Display 132 x 64 dots graphic LCD with backlit

7 segments, 3 characters LED

Connectors INPUT jack (1/4 inch phone type), OUTPUT L/MONO, R jacks (1/4 inch phone type), PHONES jack (Stereo 1/4 inch phone type), EXT LOOP jacks SEND, RETURN (1/4 inch phone type), AMP CONTROL jack (1/4 inch phone type), EXP PEDAL 2/CTL3,4 jack (1/4 inch TRS phone type), USB connector, DIGITAL OUT jack, MIDI connectors IN, OUT, DC IN jack

Power Supply DC 9 V (AC Adaptor: Roland PSB-1U)

Current Draw 800 mA

Accessories AC Adaptor (Roland PSB-1U), Owner's Manual, Roland Service (Information Sheet)

Options Footswitch: BOSS FS-5U, Dual Footswitch: BOSS FS-6, Expression Pedal: BOSS FV-500L/500H, Roland EV-5, Footswitch Cable: Roland PCS-31L (1/4 inch phone plug (stereo) - 1/4, inch phone plug (mono) x2)

Depth 272 mm 10-3/4 inches

Height 77 mm 3-1/16 inches

Weight 4.9 kg 10 lbs. 13 oz.

Maximum height is 104 mm (4-1/8 inches) when pedal-up

* 0 dBu = 0.775 Vrms

* In the interest of product improvement, the specifications and/or appearance of this unit are subject to change without prior notice.

*1 AF method (Adaptive Focus method) This is a proprietary method from Roland & BOSS that vastly improves the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio of the A/D and D/A converters.

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Choices:

Now all you need to do (other than listen) is to sum up whether you want to pay an extra $150 or £150 for that massive change of product (not).

To be fair, there is far more under the surface of this new kid on the block than the older GT-10, but I think the GT-10 (if you MUST buy a Roland floor pedal) is a great bargain at its newer discontinued price and as I write they are out there for as low as £269 or less.

But we will undoubtedly visit this area later in the review.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Inside the GT-100

I always like to get inside a new piece of kit just to see what's going on in there and what is not. Its a great way of seeing what you just bought from a quality point of view, and while I agree that we don't want to spend too long on a pedal like this inside, it does give you a pretty good insight to exactly how the manufacturer sees quality and whether the thing is thrown together in some sweat shop or not.

On examination of the pedal it felt pretty much like the GT-10 in size and weight (there's a few variations but without the two side by side its hard to tell).

There's about 12-15 screws underneath and the bottom plate comes off easily. Its not held on to the unit with any screws on the sides.

Inside you will see the I/O board, a small board for the foot pedal and a main board with one or two other bits and pieces.

The main board holds the latest stuff for this pedal and the rest is typically ordinary and what you might expect in this sort of unit.

The main board has the Roland COSM processor on there (which they don't tell too much about tech specs) and some memory on board.

It's typical of a very well made digital board from the 21st century as you might expect from a far east manufacturer. Its actually made in TAIWAN but don't hold that against it as there's some really high end stuff made there these days (lots of Taiwan manufacturers went to China - so this unit is higher cost than Chinese origin for sure and probably higher quality too).

Heres a few pictures:

 

gt-100-inside

Inside View of the GT-100

gt-100-main-board

GT-100 Main Board

gt-100-processor-and-menory

Close-up of Custom Roland Chips Processor etc.

gt-100-io-board 

GT-100 I/O Board in Sutu 

There are a number of additions to this unit such as the looper and the USB out for connectivity to your PC which sounds exciting, but we shall see. I noticed that there was not a huge amount of memory on the board, and no way of expanding it (as per the GR-55 with a memory stick... if only... but more of that later).

Overall I got a feeling of high quality build, but somehow also a feeling of 'low cost' syndrome as you will see for yourselves with the not huge amount of technology in the GT-100 to produce what this pedal does. In fact this pedal could be substantially smaller if the designers did things in other ways and I think even the VG-99 could look big in comparison.

But this IS a floor pedal, so we want to get at least a reasonable size to the unit and Roland kept it similar externally to the GT-10. But with that board being so small I wonder what the cost of that main board really is?

Take off the retail of the GT-100 in the UK of a VAT hit 20% by the government (that leaves about £320) now remove 20% for the dealer (margins are tighter on Roland/Boss Kit) leaving £250, take of the shipping and duties etc. (lets be generous) -£30 and it leaves a unit price of approximately £200 to £220 (approx. $300) and I would say that Roland is making good money.

From my experience of far east (read China and Taiwan) products and manufacturing they are doing well and the cost is likely to be low on the hardware - but a little higher with this unit being made in Taiwan. But of course there's all that development work. Really? well it IS a different pedal, but I do get those lingering feelings of dejavu with this GT-100 somewhat, but we shall see later in the review what that's all about.

So concluding inside, a nicely made unit, mainly showing high quality components, a good housing and put together so it looks cool on the outside. I found just one cable slightly tight (a board connecting cable) but it was not particularly concerning. Funnily enough, this unit was made better than the Axe-FX II I saw inside - which cost over five times the cost here in Europe - there are no bad weld joints of ANY kind and I would say that for the price the GT-100 is a winner in the build stakes.

-----------------------------------------------------

Simplicity of the GT-100 in use:

One thing that is always concerning about simulators/emulators/effects units is that they tend to be a bit difficult to use - especially for the first time users. You know the story as I do, but those manuals can be a real pain, with the unit having menu after menu and stuff hidden away where no one will ever find it and there goes another feature you pay for but will NEVER use.

Well Roland have seen fit over recent issues of this pedal to make things easier as they go. The user interface has changed, it now has TWO screens to look at and each screen shows different parameters in a relatively easy way. Shock horror - there are no menus!

gt-100-two-screens

Twin Screens of the GT-100

Thankfully Roland (I might call them Boss but it reminds me too much of Bruce Lee) have had a direction of making the GT series easier to get to grips with over the years. And that manual now comprises of no more than 60(ish) pages including all that safety stuff and the index at the back. Now no matter how you look at it that IS an improvement.

Remember, we want to make music and we don't want to end up being some geek that spends all day trying to find enough time to read the 160 page manual and then never having the time to apply to the product what you read... and when you do... you forgot what to do. Sound familiar? It might be to you, but if that is the case then the GT-100 is really not for you.

Actually its one area where I could think of many products out there within this realm that could benefit from taking a leaf out of the human interface that Roland have and are continuing to develop. It makes getting those sounds easier so there's more time to play your music or indeed someone else's :-)

----------------------------------------------------------


So lets take a closer look at some of the easy settings and controls of the GT-100 and how we control parameters and how they are presented to us.

GT-100 Global EQ

gt-100-global-eq 

As you can see from the above image, on the left screen is what I will call the 'target' item (in this case the Global EQ) and on the right screen the parameters which we might want to change for our own needs. Knob 4 allows selection of the target and in the right window the parameters will change for that target.

There are also sometimes more than one screen contents in the right screen and these extra screens are easily chosen with the 'page' buttons below the screen.

GT-100 Patches

gt-100-patch-list 

The GT-100 has 200 user patches in there and 200 factory patches, which you could use to make our own new patches from. For me these are easily enough patches for use and I think you could easily go over the top with so many patches available.

But if you wanted to make your own patches then Roland Boss has seen fit to help you.

The truth is, that the facility called EZ-TONE has been used on previous models including the GT-10, so if you have used one of those then the routine is familiar - with a few exceptions for the better. As you can see on these image above I chose EZ-TONE from the buttons to the right of the screens and up popped this little ditty. The 'target' on the above screen is the EZ-TONE patch create (in the left window) and in the right window we are presented with basic tones, i.e. blues, rock, country etc.

The advantage of course is that the right screen once again becomes very useful. OK we choose which genre and which tone from the scroll window (in this case the 'Spin Delay' then we can edit that tone even further like this:

gt-100-ez-tone-edit 

Notice that at the right screen we are on view 2 (in the right hand corner) and our previous image was view 1 - chosen from the page buttons.

Now its a simple matter of tweaking the sound for what we need then easily save it with the write button to the right of the screens to where you want and rename accordingly.

Its very simple to use.

Patches can store multiple things, such as that AMP Control for switching the amp (maybe to another channel) as well as the ACCEL setting right in each patch, so the flexibility is there.

GT-100 Effects Chain

gt-100-effects-chain 

Check this out... above we can see in the left screen a partial effects chain - the target is PreA (its darker) and we have options to turn it on or off, to move it in the chain or select something else. In this case the PreA has its controls on the right as usual and we can see if you look close, there are a number of screens to choose (top right of the image there are a number of tabs). This is similar to what we discussed earlier...

But take another look at that left screen and you will see there are TWO preamps shown PreA and PreB. This is because we have effectively TWO amplifiers and we can switch between the settings with the CTRL switch. But there's more...

The DIVIDER

You see, right before those two preamps there's a single line (watch the left window) and after NS1 and NS2 there's also a single line. That denotes the feed in and the feed out... but in between we have a 'split' of the line, one for each preamp... Its described as a DIVIDER in the Roland speak.

The MIXER

Once divided you can add whatever you want to either PreA (in this case) or PreB (again in this case but could be anything) and when each section is complete we see that the signal once again goes back to one... this area unsurprisingly is called the MIXER but Roland and its here where you would balance the tone mix for your needs.

With these features you can even assign strongly picked notes and softly picked notes to different channels or even assign differing frequency bands of the guitar to different channels. Its a very powerful feature and takes absolutely NO LEARNING because of the new two screen system that Roland have developed.

Controlling Effects

gt-100-overdrive

Distortion

Above is a simple example of what you get when you want to choose an overdrive pedal... you even get a picture of the one you have chosen.

There are many to choose from too check these out:

  • Mid Boost * Clean Boost * Treble Boost *  Crunch * Natural Overdrive *  Warm Overdrive *  Fat Distortion * Lead Distortion * Metal Distortion * Oct Fuzz * Blues Overdrive * Overdrive 1 *  Tube Screamer * Boss Overdrive 2 *  Vintage Distortion *  Vintage Proco RAT * Marshall Guvnor * MXR Distortion *  Boss MT-2 *  60's Fuzzface *  Electro Harmonix Big Muff or lastly make your own custom distortion.

gt-100-reverb-edit 

Reverb

Once again as you can see above, simplicity is what this GT-100 is all about. Why, even I can use it without the manual right out of the box. We can place the reverb anywhere, in any chain and apply humongous differing reverbs as required. Then finely tune the requirements and save your masterpiece.

There are obviously numerous (and many) things I could continue to demonstrate but its all basically as easy.

Direct Control of Effects

With the GT-100 it is possible to use it as delivered where the effects are stored in patches and I guess many will indeed work that way, with (say) four patches per song or more... but if you keep it to four then you can use each bank as a song....

But you can also set up this unit so that each pedal becomes a direct on or off pedal for a particular effect, for example pedal 1 might be chorus, pedal two might be reverb etc.. and some users will work this way, just like in the 'old days' as it were.

I did not photograph this so use your imagination :-)

USB Support on the GT-100

gt-100-usb 

For the first time on the GT series of floor effects pedals there is a USB port that you can use for recording your masterpiece (and for other stuff too - read on).

Lets face it, the GT-10 was getting a little old with no replacement for years and in this area of technology that's a really long time... so when Roland decided to make the GT-100 they added the facility to connect the GT-100 to your computer to STREAM audio with. Note the GT-10 DID have a USB, and the librarian was just as bad as the one for the GT-100, but the GT-10 cannot record your sound through the USB to your PC.

gt-100-usb-setup 

Audio Interface and recording

Well it all sounds good, but what can we do really?

We can record what we play from the GT-100 to the computer (with a piece of software for recording like maybe Cubase or some other audio recording software).

The bad news is, that out of the box you will NOT be doing it... why you ask? Well in my opinion the reason is because Roland is cutting back a little on costs.

You will need:

Remember to get a LONG USB cable, if you are like me the recording computer is a little way from me and a three foot (1 metre) cable will not hack it... I prefer a 15 to 30 foot (5 to 10 metre) cable. 

Install the DRIVER FIRST on your computer or you will run in to trouble. After that plug in the GT-100 and turn it on. The computer will pick it up in the usual way and then you will see in your (compatible) program an USB Audio I/O which you can record from and stream audio out too.

This will allow us to record to something we are playing back, but always be careful regarding the delay of the sound or what is known as latency. This effectively means that there is a short time difference between what we play, hear and record and the lower 'latency' figure the better. When I tried this out it was fine for what I did and I guess it will be fine for you too... unless you have some 1985 computer :-)

By the way, we can set the USB to be either original output (with effects) dry, or even a reamp facility!

gt-100-reamp-features 

Reamping with the GT-100

Yes that's right, you CAN use the GT-100 for Reamping your recorded stuff. 

Now I'm not going to ramble on for hours about reamping... as its not really something I bother with and you will probably not bother either. But of late (since around the Eleven rack period) this thing has been pushed as a feature. Basically, you record a track as normal (with the effects, distortion or what have you), but at the same time you record a 'clean' signal.

Now later, if you want to use a different amp or different effects etc. then you send this 'clean' guitar output back to an amp and rerecord it sounding how you want it to sound. Its one way to ensure that no matter what, once you have that perfect lead guitar or rhythm tone... then someone deletes it forever, that you CAN recreate your masterpiece from the original guitar playing. I'm not an fan and would just record it again ;-)

Other features of the GT-100 Effects Pedal

There are some other features which I liked on this unit such as:

  • Control of the effects loop in the unit so that when I set up an external effect (or indeed rack of effects) I can store the send/return in an individual patch. That's a nice feature.
  • Midi. Roland are for the most part past masters with midi control (but not on the GT-8) and I plugged the GT-100 in to my amp that really tests this out (the Engl E670). I had no problems with this and it was relatively painless so for the GT-100 the thing works to control my Engl (and probably most midi enabled amps) for channel switching etc. through the midi ports.
  • The use of the midi interface to store a dump of the settings. This was there before on previous models but it is always a welcome sight.
  • The Auto off after 10 hours switched on can be useful but there are caveats to that one.
  • The Power switch if just pressed momentarily while turned on does NOT switch off. Can be useful of accidentally knocked while using the unit.
  • They say NEW COSM Amps... and emphasise 'vintage' within the manual.

GT-100 Accel Pedal

I know.... its another one of those cranky sort of things...

gt-100-accel-pedal-control 

Well its in the unit and you will have paid for it whether you like it or not. I've seen the Roland guy (that one with the blonde hair) demo this Accel feature and it was not that impressive. I did press a few keys in the video demo (on my YouTube channel presently www.youtube.com/tonymckenziecom ) but I don't really like most gimmicks.

But there just might be more to this than I thought. The Accel pedal is really just another effects pedal with some assignments such as:

  • S-Bend - applies intense bending of the note or chord
  • Laser Beam - A laser beam like sound (who knows)
  • Ring Modulator - I NEVER use these but you might (someday)
  • Twist - Aggressive rotation and used usually with distortion
  • Warp - Roland say it produces a dreamlike sound... really...
  • Feed backer - generates feedback performance

Nope... I'm right, there is no more to this than I thought. For me its a waste of intergalactic time capsule and I really don't want to go there. No doubt it was developed by 'Reggie' (check out my video).

The GT-100 Sounds

We have come a long way have we not?

Its all good having these new interfaces, and a nice black and gold colour to the unit, even having that USB audio, but it all boils down to nothing if the sounds emanating from this unit are a waste of time.

Now I've heard some on the internet berating those sounds somewhat. But that's just an opinion, and remember some of those very guys are users of competing equipment that was made yesterday and is now out of date and over priced because of the new GT-100 from Roland Boss (there I used the B word).

But I've always tried to put across what I find on a piece of equipment and not someone else's views and that's why I spend an inordinate amount of time messing around with musical equipment. My reviews are trusted by many - if the kit is crap... then I say so.

I worked my way through each and every sound with a friend, getting a second hand corroborating view as I went so that it was easy to single out the great sounds from the average and the bad ones, along with the ones I would never use.

The results were average for a piece of equipment like the GT-100 and in many ways the unit sounds reminded me of the GT-10.

But here are the ones which stood out right away at least for me:

  • U09-3 Twin Crunch
  • U09-4 (we agreed a Boston sound)
  • U11-3 Diamond (think mistreated intro)
  • U13-3 Dual MTL (I cant read my own writing ;-)
  • U17-1 Boss tone - nice..
  • U17-3 Country Pickin (think Sweet Home Alabama)
  • U21-3 Basic Blues - best on distorted ctrl
  • U23-1 Think Marshall Tone
  • U23-4 Its that Reggie guy again....
  • U38-1 Recto Sarius good with ctrl pedal on - could give you a 'recto soreass' 
  • U38-2 High Gain Lead 2 nice

And of course the list could go on but I decided that there are enough good to great tones in there to warrant that this unit does indeed have some in there.

What about the new COSM Vintage stuff

Now there's a good question... I'm still trying to find all of that stuff... I know its all in here somewhere (Roland say so! is that good or bad I ask?), but with this really easy none menu system I cant find it anywhere. I think that 'Reggie' guy has been snorting cola and I reckon someone should tell him that he forgot to put them in the unit they sold.

For me, those sounds were not even as vintage as I am (and that's old) but nowhere could I get a really convincing 'old' sound, not even on the presets that Roland say are vintage.

Don't look too hard for these... they are a figment.

But the Looper is there Right?

gt-100-phrase-pedal 

Well it is, and I demo that on the video any time now at www.youtube.com/tonymckenziecom

but is it what we want?

Well it is and it is not - here's why:

  • Can record only 38 seconds in mono
  • Can record only 19 seconds of stereo
  • You CANNOT save the final loop anywhere except maybe as an audio out track for say Cubase or similar program on your computer.
  • If you leave the phrase looper then you lose the loop
  • If you have the auto off mode enabled (it is by default) then when the unit turns off after 10 hours you lose the loop.
  • You CANNOT expand the memory in any way for the phrase looper

You know what, if they had just made the addition of a USB stick (like on the GR-55) and enabled recording and saving to that stick then this feature would have been great. I think this was excluded to stop the reduction of sales of their dedicated phrase looper.

 

Roland GT-100 Librarian Software

As always, Roland have released a Librarian for the GT-100. Now if you don't know what one is, then basically this is a piece of software that runs on your computer to move around all the sound presets and a load of other stuff's settings rather than working on the GT-100 itself. You can back up the presets and settings with this software. You need the GT-100 driver installing then connect the GT-100 via the USB connector to make it all work correctly.

The thing is, while many companies do a really good job of graphic interface for their Librarian software Roland is having none of it. You are going to get a really awful user interface for this Librarian (as they did with countless other bits of kit including the GR-55) and make no mistake, unless other programmers write one its likely to be the only offering with basic revisions over time. I reviewed V1.

The Librarian does however allow you to import GT Pro, GT8, and GT-6 settings in to the pedal which shows just how the 'same' it really is in some ways.

For me, this interface was (again) a really big let down and maybe once again its a reflection of saving money on development costs, or maybe Roland are just mean and don't care.

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Review Conclusions of the GT-100 from Roland Boss

I spent some time with this unit, firstly because as its a major product for Roland Boss and many people will want to look at if not buy one of these and at the price on offer its very competitively priced bearing in mind its actually made for the most part in Taiwan and not China.

The unit has basically met my expectations, but has also been let down in a few areas so its not going to be a quite perfect score on the GT-100.

I have to say, that for much of the time with it I got that dejavu feeling that somehow I have been here before, even though this is a brand new unit fro  Roland. Its almost as if many of these pedals these days are running out of steam about the next major breakthrough in the effects floor pedal market for musicians... there's not too much new and lots of stuff that have absolutely come from the GT-10 or even before. But those new features? Some are not good value while others change the unit dramatically.

Heres what I liked:

  • Build Quality is exceptional for this price
  • Cheap Chinese power supply :-(
  • Dual Screens
  • No Menus to mess around with for hours on end
  • The user manual is excellent and simpler than any Roland one I have ever seen before
  • The addition of audio streaming through the USB port is a massive improvement and one needed on the GT range for some time
  • Some great sound right out of the box and lots of presets
  • Auto off after 10 hours left on
  • Roland GT-100 Librarian Software to Download free HERE

And heres what was less exciting:

  • The Accel Pedal... no thanks, I thought this was one of the least exciting additions
  • The Looper - basic at best and a poor mans alternative to other kit by Roland and others
  • No memory expansion - what a let down
  • No USB Cable - really? They would not throw in a $1 cable with the unit
  • No Disk for drivers
  • Loss of loop when auto off of the unit kicks in at 10 hours
  • The Librarians 1983 computer interface of the software - as bad as it gets.

So overall this unit gets a 7 out of 10 from me as a final score.

It is nevertheless a competent floor pedal that can dish out some really good sounds for a price that's competitive in this sector of the industry. Most competitors have China as the origin of their products so this one scores a little better in the quality stakes in my opinion and should last for many years - or at least until, like the GT-10, that technology overtakes it somewhat.

Recommended if you are on a tight budget or you are not too bothered about those extras that I highlighted further back in the review. But if this is the case, maybe you should rethink and buy one of those GT-10's while they are still out there. I suspect they will be sold out any time now - especially with that saving on the cost against this unit.

This review is (c) A B Mckenzie 2012. All Rights Reserved. www.tonymckenzie.com

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