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DigiTech GSP2101 Appreciation

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
2,442
I seldom use any other tube pre settings on the 2101 other than Distorted Tube...it's just my pref
and Dieter's unmarked tubes made that circuit sound even better =-D
 
Messages
31
I seldom use any other tube pre settings on the 2101 other than Distorted Tube...it's just my pref
and Dieter's unmarked tubes made that circuit sound even better =-D
Incidentally my GSP2101 had Penta valves that says were made in the USA. According to my valve expert he thinks that they look like well known Chinese brand. I will try to post the results (as a blind test) to see what everyone's favourite valve combinations might be.
 
Messages
31
Incidentally my GSP2101 had Penta valves that says were made in the USA. According to my valve expert he thinks that they look like well known Chinese brand. I will try to post the results (as a blind test) to see what everyone's favourite valve combinations might be.
Tried Dieter's valves, I can confirm that they are better than the Penta valves that were in there. I think a bit more bass (for Jazz Lead sound) and also gain for some of the sounds that I use like Warm Sweet Solo. Not sure how much time I have to detailed comparisons. If enough people want to hear the difference then I will try to find a day to make the necessary videos/recordings. The only thing I should mention you should take care when putting the cover back that holds the valves in place -Replacement valves don't fit as snuggly as possibly the original valves do and therefore did not align perfectly with the cover and you need to take care in aligning the valves with the cover. You should get a technical person to do this if you think you might be uncomfortable doing it.
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
2,442
I replaced the original Penta tubes with EHX back in, like, 1999...then I didn't use my 2101 for something like 17 years! it just sat in my attic in a rack...

The ones from Dieter in 2017 sound remarkably better to my ears vrs the EHX;
I was under the impression some extra step was suggested best practice when changing the tubes in a 2101..don't remember what, exactly

I didn't find fitting the latest tubes particularly difficult...nothing like adding the PPC210...which was truly a challenge.

My 2101 has always had a stripped faceplate screw. I think my unit shipped with the stripped tap. That stripped screw made the unit feel wobbly when racked. Recently I repaired the stripped screw and it now sits really solid when racked.
 

Larry Eh?

Member
Messages
541
I replaced the original Penta tubes with EHX back in, like, 1999...then I didn't use my 2101 for something like 17 years! it just sat in my attic in a rack...

The ones from Dieter in 2017 sound remarkably better to my ears vrs the EHX;
I was under the impression some extra step was suggested best practice when changing the tubes in a 2101..don't remember what, exactly

I didn't find fitting the latest tubes particularly difficult...nothing like adding the PPC210...which was truly a challenge.

My 2101 has always had a stripped faceplate screw. I think my unit shipped with the stripped tap. That stripped screw made the unit feel wobbly when racked. Recently I repaired the stripped screw and it now sits really solid when racked.
All I can think of is trimpot P9 which is the feedback resistor on op amp U6A which drives the first tube stage. I think Dieter had a procedure for adjusting it to the correct gain.

Edit: I found it. He calls it R188 but it's P9 on my schematic: Clean Tube Setup
But I believe it applies no matter what tubes you use.
 
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ctreitzell

Member
Messages
2,442
Here we are; from Dieter's Web Shop:
"Q: Once, you told me that it is necessary to calibrate my Digitech unit after replacing the tubes. Is this really necessary?
A: Yes, definitely. After replacing the tubes you must calibrate your unit, except you use the selected tubes in this offer.
The reason why you don't need to calibrate you unit if using the tubes in this offer is that the "gain" or better said the "mutual conductance" is selected to approx. 1500µMHOS."

He doesn't say how to "Calibrate your unit"; I understand it to mean that if the tubes he sells in that offer are used, the unit doesn't require calibration.
 
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Larry Eh?

Member
Messages
541
Here we are; from Dieter's Web Shop:
"Q: Once, you told me that it is necessary to calibrate my Digitech unit after replacing the tubes. Is this really necessary?
A: Yes, definitely. After replacing the tubes you must calibrate your unit, except you use the selected tubes in this offer.
The reason why you don't need to calibrate you unit if using the tubes in this offer is that the "gain" or better said the "mutual conductance" is selected to approx. 1500µMHOS."

He doesn't say how to "Calibrate your unit"; I understand it to mean that if the tubes he sells in that offer are used, the unit doesn't require calibration.
This brings me back several years ago, but I used to like modding all my gear and optimizing it to my liking. Using my guitar with the hottest pickups, I set Gain1 to 11 and turned everything else down or Off so that the only thing that could trigger the Clip led was the Gain1 adjustment. Then I slammed a few chords and adjusted the trimpot P9 just below clipping. That way I was sure the input op amp wasn't clipping and only the tubes provided the distortion. That allowed me to get the widest adjustment range of distortion. I guess you could increase the trimpot if you only play single coils and such.
 

Swmorgan77

Member
Messages
344
Great unit. The other guitarist in my progressive metal band had one of these, and I was always chasing his tone. I owned a 2112 and 2120 at different times in that same band, and while they sounded good it neither was on the level of tone that the 2101 had. There was something very special about that unit.
 

MikeDV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
126
Thinking of selling mine; it has two S-discs. It has a problem with the display, sometimes it is very faint, then improves a bit over time while it's turned on. Haven't advertised it, seems there are some enthusiasts here. I hate to sell it, but I don't use it at all - it's in the rack with a bunch of other unused stuff. Anyone interested, PM me, I'll take a few pictures of the screen issue, showing the presence of the second S-disc. After the pics, I'll be posting it on the emporium, just thought I'd try here first. In the Phoenix area, prefer local of course, but would ship/Paypal.
 

wedgehed

Member
Messages
548
Thinking of selling mine; it has two S-discs. It has a problem with the display, sometimes it is very faint, then improves a bit over time while it's turned on. Haven't advertised it, seems there are some enthusiasts here. I hate to sell it, but I don't use it at all - it's in the rack with a bunch of other unused stuff. Anyone interested, PM me, I'll take a few pictures of the screen issue, showing the presence of the second S-disc. After the pics, I'll be posting it on the emporium, just thought I'd try here first. In the Phoenix area, prefer local of course, but would ship/Paypal.
There is a trim-pot that adjusts the screen contrast. I've just pulled my 2101 out of storage & had to do this (as well as replace the battery & spray a lot on contact cleaner). I also bought the MidiWizard software & am pleased with it so far. I'm going to try the 2101 as a dedicated stereo reverb on the aux send of my mixer.
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
2,442
There is a trim-pot that adjusts the screen contrast. I've just pulled my 2101 out of storage & had to do this (as well as replace the battery & spray a lot on contact cleaner). I also bought the MidiWizard software & am pleased with it so far. I'm going to try the 2101 as a dedicated stereo reverb on the aux send of my mixer.
A Lexicon PCM will blow the 2101 out of the water for reverb. The 2101 will work ....you prolly hafta make a custom algorithm for this purpose.
 

JustinA1971

Member
Messages
37
Hi all, I have purchased a 2101 off eBay comes with fc and Marshall 80+80 rack mount amp.
I had the very same setup back in the late 90's and the sound was my best ever. I sold it all when I became (sorry for swearing) a DJ but after several years I got back into singing and playing guitar in a rock band.
I've chased 'that's tone and even invested in a Line6 Helix floor but still couldn't quite get there. That is now sold after a year (for a good price) and have decided to go old school again.

It is the early version 1.something but am looking to get it to 3.00.00 by buying the chips (readily available) but might have to wait some time for the PPC210 card (not so readily available)

It's been a long time since I built algorithms in this unit but am quite computer savvy (I work in IT) so am looking forward to getting this unit and getting my old sound back.

I will probably get a spare at some point as it is old tech and could fail anytime but that's just me, would hate to be caught out at a gig.

Wish me luck and I may have more questions when it lands...

Cheers
Justin
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
2,442
Hi all, I have purchased a 2101 off eBay comes with fc and Marshall 80+80 rack mount amp.
I had the very same setup back in the late 90's and the sound was my best ever. I sold it all when I became (sorry for swearing) a DJ but after several years I got back into singing and playing guitar in a rock band.
I've chased 'that's tone and even invested in a Line6 Helix floor but still couldn't quite get there. That is now sold after a year (for a good price) and have decided to go old school again.

It is the early version 1.something but am looking to get it to 3.00.00 by buying the chips (readily available) but might have to wait some time for the PPC210 card (not so readily available)

It's been a long time since I built algorithms in this unit but am quite computer savvy (I work in IT) so am looking forward to getting this unit and getting my old sound back.

I will probably get a spare at some point as it is old tech and could fail anytime but that's just me, would hate to be caught out at a gig.

Wish me luck and I may have more questions when it lands...

Cheers
Justin
Good luck, Justin! Nice to hear your story :) I hope some of our postings here can help you and maybe you will have some good stuff to add.

As you likely already know, 3.00.00 firmware is simply an EPROM swap. Dieter turned mine around pretty quickly. That said, I am just a country border away :) As I said earlier in this thread, a chip puller is a must for the PPC210 install so it's probably a good idea to get one for the EPROM swap if you don't already have one. Battery replacement it crucial, too. Also (again), I found tubes from Dieter to be a big improvement, too.

I'd love to hear more from folks using Midi Wizard. Are you thinking to get that too?
 

Technica

Member
Messages
678
The PPC just plugs right on top of a pin header and it rests on nylon stand-offs so you definitely do not need a chip puller to install or remove it. Actually, a chip puller wouldn’t even work since the PPC is a board, not a chip. The connector on the PPC is similar to the old IDE connectors on PCs.

To change the firmware chips a chip puller is certainly advised.
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
2,442
The PPC just plugs right on top of a pin header and it rests on nylon stand-offs so you definitely do not need a chip puller to install or remove it. Actually, a chip puller wouldn’t even work since the PPC is a board, not a chip. The connector on the PPC is similar to the old IDE connectors on PCs.

To change the firmware chips a chip puller is certainly advised.
Well, in mine which is a Studio Tube single S-Disc, Dieter's instructions said the original SDisc in the unit mainboard is to be pulled and the newly acquired SDisc inserted in the mainboard with the original SDisc inserted in the PPC210 daughter board. Like @Technica says, my PPC210 arrived with the SDisc chip already inserted in PPC210 daughter board. Removing the SDiscs without a chip puller may well have resulted in component damage. Maybe I misread Dieter's instructions...

It was a touch harrowing frankly. I REQUIRED a chip puller ($3 item) for any SDisc removal. I did take photos. My unit works great after the install. I did accidentally scratch the new SDisc with chip puller.

To say "it just plugs right on top of a pin header" is not my experience at all. The standoffs aren't a perfectly designed fit; much patience and delicacy is required as it is a touch of a balancing act with those standoffs. Aligning the PPC 210 connector with the 28 pins protruding from the mainboard was fairly tricky as you must also align the standoffs simultaneously.

I didn't have a chip puller for the EPROMS which I did well before installing the PPC210. I used a little bracket that you tie a cheap, roller-type window blind's string:facepalm to in order to keep the blind open...you know the thing...I modified this tie-off clip (bent it)...that wasn't too clever...coulda broken something. I didn't take no pics of that.
 
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Technica

Member
Messages
678
The only reason to pull out the existing S-DISC on the 2101 main board would be If you were upgrading from the 10MHz to the 20MHz S-DISCs, which is what you probably did. I don’t think you can use one 10MHz and one 20MHz S-DISC at the same time.

I also know that for a while now there have been newer PPC-210 upgrade boards made that were not made by DigiTech. This might be what you might have, which would explain why the standoffs are not correct. The actual DigiTech PPC upgrade boards are very hard to find, however the hardware they use is off-the-shelf components. The S-DISC itself is actually a Z-80 CPU and easily available. I have several 2101s, as well as the original DigiTech PPC upgrades, and they were all a quick, plug-in affair without any chip removal. The standoffs were also a perfect fit. That’s how it was designed to be from DigiTech. The original upgrade kit just included the assembled PPC board without any tools.

I guess this would be a good time to add an awesome acquisition from last year. My second NOS 2101, and this one is an Artist Pro. It’s beautiful and in absolutely new condition!





Well, in mine which is a Studio Tube single S-Disc, Dieter's instructions said the original SDisc in the unit mainboard is to be pulled and the newly acquired SDisc inserted in the mainboard with the original SDisc inserted in the PPC210 daughter board. Like @Technica says, my PPC210 arrived with the SDisc chip already inserted in PPC210 daughter board. Removing the SDiscs without a chip puller may well have resulted in component damage. Maybe I misread Dieter's instructions...

It was a touch harrowing frankly. I REQUIRED a chip puller ($3 item) for any SDisc removal. I did take photos. My unit works great after the install. I did accidentally scratch the new SDisc with chip puller.

To say "it just plugs right on top of a pin header" is not my experience at all. The standoffs aren't a perfectly designed fit; much patience and delicacy is required as it is a touch of a balancing act with those standoffs. Aligning the PPC 210 connector with the 28 pins protruding from the mainboard was fairly tricky as you must also align the standoffs simultaneously.

I didn't have a chip puller for the EPROMS which I did well before installing the PPC210. I used a little bracket that you tie a cheap, roller-type window blind's string:facepalm to in order to keep the blind open...you know the thing...I modified this tie-off clip (bent it)...that wasn't too clever...coulda broken something. I didn't take no pics of that.
 
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JustinA1971

Member
Messages
37
Thanks people - can you send a link for the "standard" manual - mine never came with one (it's arrived today by the way - super excited to get back to my roots).

Thanks again
Justin
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
2,442
Thanks people - can you send a link for the "standard" manual - mine never came with one (it's arrived today by the way - super excited to get back to my roots).

Thanks again
Justin
I have just been using the 3.00.00 Artist ("author" is Connie Norman) manual which I googled and DL'd from manualslib site. I don't know if I've tracked down a 2.00.00 manual since rekindling my racks interest a couple years ago.

Again, I think it's worth considering how you will use your 2101 because the memory is so tiny. 7 Dual SDisc or 14 single SDisc user algorithms is nothing compared to modern gear. You gotta have you SysEx backup workflow down.

A dual SDisc can be programmed to cope with on the fly MIDI PC (Program Changes); a single SDisc is quite a bit more limiting for playing old school MIDI PC; where the Dual SDisc seamless program changes is nice to leave that PC dropout in the dust. I think there is a better tactic in programming footcontroller CCs per FACTORY PRESET program; especially mapping min/max values to FC toggles. You'd have to set up the links for every FACTORY PRESET that you want to use, but you'd get a lot more mileage out of your 2101 memory...and you'd come to the realization that of the factory presets have a silver lining rather than scoff at "that DigiTech sound" from that "bygone era".

Also, if memory serves, the 3.00.00 version is a bit better at quickly programming MIDI CCs than 2.00.00.
Have fun!
 

JustinA1971

Member
Messages
37
I have just been using the 3.00.00 Artist ("author" is Connie Norman) manual which I googled and DL'd from manualslib site. I don't know if I've tracked down a 2.00.00 manual since rekindling my racks interest a couple years ago.

Again, I think it's worth considering how you will use your 2101 because the memory is so tiny. 7 Dual SDisc or 14 single SDisc user algorithms is nothing compared to modern gear. You gotta have you SysEx backup workflow down.

A dual SDisc can be programmed to cope with on the fly MIDI PC (Program Changes); a single SDisc is quite a bit more limiting for playing old school MIDI PC; where the Dual SDisc seamless program changes is nice to leave that PC dropout in the dust. I think there is a better tactic in programming footcontroller CCs per FACTORY PRESET program; especially mapping min/max values to FC toggles. You'd have to set up the links for every FACTORY PRESET that you want to use, but you'd get a lot more mileage out of your 2101 memory...and you'd come to the realization that of the factory presets have a silver lining rather than scoff at "that DigiTech sound" from that "bygone era".

Also, if memory serves, the 3.00.00 version is a bit better at quickly programming MIDI CCs than 2.00.00.
Have fun!
Sorry, I'm not quite sure what you are referring to when you say "Dual SDisc " - do you mean the PPC-210? If so, where can I get one of these (at a reasonable price)?

I've scoured the web but can't seem to find any at all. The 3.00.00 Eproms seem readily available though and cheap enough too.
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
2,442
yep, different things

The PPC210 is a daughter board (a smaller circuit board) which holds a second SDisc so you have "double" the processing power.

The EPROMs house different firmware and memory.

The memory amount (space) of the EPROMs is the same afaiaa; the firmware can be different. 3.00.00 firmware is the latest version.

I will upload some photos to show the difference...you can just google Digitech PPC210 images to see the difference. You can also just look at Dieter's site to see the differences.

With a Dual SDisc 2101, it is possible to perform SEAMLESS PROGRAM CHANGES (aka spillover). That is, you can change from one program to another with ZERO drop out. With a single SDisc: if you change PROGRAMS there will be a small time of silence and/or loss of FX as the previous running program closes and the new selection loads. With a Dual SDisc unit, you can program the transition time/ mix as the current program fades out and the next chosen program loads. This only works with single SDisc algorithms. I stress algorithms. If changing from or to a Dual SDisc algorithm: the drop out would still occur if using a single 2101 unit (Dual or Single SDisc).

Again, some of this drop out can be circumvented by being clever with your programming of stompbox-ness which is possible with a Control One or similar footcontroller. Learn about setting min/max for specific parameters. Understanding that there is a volume for "no distortion" and "distortion" on the 2101 is a crucial first step if you don't already understand that (I didn't fully grasp that until recently). Using min/max can be far more powerful than the expression pedal(s) because you can toggle between exact values rather than searching through values with the expression treadle.

Now, all that said, you will only get Seamless Program Changes with a Dual SDisc 2101 unit. IMO it is very much worth the outlay to source a PPC210 (with 2nd SDisc). "Digitech PPC210" is printed on the daughter board, so it would be conceivable that you could be sold a PPC210 without a SDisc:confused:
So, you need to understand what you are doing when purchasing this stuff. Ask Dieter...last I looked, he was out of PPC210s :-(

Also, Dieter's mother tongue is German so if you have any German language skills that would help.
 




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