DigiTech GSP2101 Appreciation

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by ctreitzell, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    reasonable price? I think I spent €250 just to purchase the PPC210 (from Dieter). I just bought a Lexicon PCM80 for £375 and the Lexicon fx blows the 2101 out of the water. The 2101 is a lot more "guitar-friendly" from a user point of view and has many fx the PCM80 does not.

    All the 3.00.00 EPROMs do is give you the latest version of the firmware. It the the GSP2101 Artist firmware which is pretty powerful and you can refer to the Artist user manual which is readily available.

    The 2101 is a pretty powerful midi hub and the Artist firmware is the top end of that power for the 2101.
     
  2. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    OK, I ain't no expert as you can tell from me photos, but here goes. I post my experience in case it helps somebody :) :

    3.00.00 EPROMs + Tubes Unboxing
    [​IMG]


    Original Factory EPROMs and single SDisc; new battery already installed
    (VLSI Chip is a SDisc version 1)
    [​IMG]


    Newly installed 3.00.00 EPROMs; note my dodgy tool I modified to pull the EPROMs:bonk
    Those original EPROMs were really stubborn and felt glued in
    [​IMG]


    PPC210 unboxing: Daughter board with a Harman SDiscii chip; DIGITECH PPC210 printed on the board
    (This SDisc is a version 2 as denoted by the SDISCii)
    [​IMG]


    Pulling the newly acquired SDisc from the PPC210 as instructed by supplier
    note the big scratch across the top of the chip which occurred with my inexperienced chip pulling;
    IIRC it shot out into the air; spinning around like a coin flip and splatted on the table:eek:
    [​IMG]


    all set to install the PPC210 to the mainboard. This is totally staged to see both the PPC210 and the spot where the PPC is to be installed. Note, the original chip has been pulled from the unit and inserted into the PPC210 daughter board and the new SDisc has been pulled from the PPC210 and installed in the mainboard. You aren't doing this without a chip puller! Also, take note of the soldered pins under my thumb on the PPC210. Those pins have a connector underneath that must line up with the 28 pins protruding from the main board: this is tedious to align the connector and pins and get the floppy standoffs connected all at the same time. Working on a laptop or projector is easier than this!
    [​IMG]


    All done: new EPROMS and PPC210 installed. I had also changed the battery and the tubes before and given the unit a clean (I didn't take any photos of that). I found the battery is rather awkward to change; you can see it in this photo...looks easy enough...but...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
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  3. Technica

    Technica Member

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    Thanks for posting the photos. It looks like you upgraded from a single 10MHz S-DISC to two 20MHz S-DISCs. The original parts were all 10MHz, so it was essentially a simple matter of plugging the daugterboard on top of the motherboard. I am not positive on whether the two S-DISCs must have the same clock speed but I would assume they need to, or at least for best results they should be.

    I'll always say that the GSP-2101 is a vastly underestimated unit, and most people would be very surprised at what it could do. Even by today's standards, it's advanced - actually, it was just too complicated for most users back then and that's what a primary goal was for the 2112 and 2120 to follow.
     
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  4. Slicklickz

    Slicklickz Member

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    I think you could have found a dual S-Disc 2101 for what you paid for the PPC 210,at least around here.Does anyone sell just the PCB without the processor?
     
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  5. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    No, this is my original Studio Tube unit I purchased in San Francisco, CA, USA in 1995. I only added the Harman chip; the Digitech VSLI SDisc is original and never before disturbed by me. No one else has had access to this unit as it has been in my possession since the original purchase. These photos were taken when I upgraded this unit 2 years ago. I recall my original firmware was 2.00.00 and the original SDisc was 20MHz when I ensured what to buy 2 years ago.

    Have you ever physically installed a PPC210? I found it to be a tedious process. You keep making it sound like a doddle...like slipping in a PCM card or adding memory. For an experienced tech or tinkerer, maybe it is a lot easier. For a one time task, it was a little nerve wracking!

    I am under the impression both SDiscs need to be the same speed. IIRC correctly, Dieter asked that question before sending me the PPC210...I think that answer is on his site.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
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  6. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    Again, this is my original unit which I had always wanted to upgrade. I remember back in 1999 the PPC210 was $400!
    I did find several LEs back in 2017-18 near me for sale on various ebay searches. They were usually 350-500 currency units in various conditions. I completely agree that holding out to find a Dual SDisc unit is the smart move. Even If one can find a PPC210 to add to a Single SDisc unit, it will shake out more expensive than the LEs I was seeing previously.

    Also, when I did the upgrades 2 years ago, money was tight...so I did a little at a time. Since money has become more plentiful for me the last couple years, the LEs I had seen for sale online have all disappeared. Also, diving deep into the 2101 has set me on more of a rack unit collection beyond the 2101. I used to think the 2101 sounded fantastic...then I purchased a Lexicon PCM81 and have seen (heard) the light; there really is no comparison. If I stumble upon a pristine Cosmic Blue LE I will buy it...
     
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  7. Slicklickz

    Slicklickz Member

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    I guess they're cheaper over here(USA)considering they were made here.Just like Marshall stuff is way cheaper in the UK than here.
     
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  8. Technica

    Technica Member

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    I may be misunderstanding your process in the photos. Did you remove the S-DISCs from the motherboard and the PPC and swap them? Other than the clock speed I’m not sure why you would need to swap the S-DISC chips themselves. Why was it necessary to remove the S-DISC from the motherboard?

    I have a number of 2101s and I’ve installed PPC-210 upgrades in two of them. The PPC daughterboards were a very quick and easy plug-in affair. They just plugged into the top of the motherboard, on both of my units. I’m referring to the daughterboard install here specifically. The firmware/BIOS chips were a bit tight in the sockets so those took more time.

    There is also the PPC-200 upgrade, which is for the DigiTech TSR-24 studio rack effects but it’s my understanding that the 200 and 210 boards are exactly the same and are interchangeable.





     
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  9. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    The instructions supplied with my PPC210 said to swap the SDiscs before installing the PPC210, so that's what I did (as it shows in my photos). I looked for those instructions, yet I may have disposed of them :-/ I am guessing the instruction set Dieter flashes the PPC210s with has to go in the mainboard slot to initialize? ... but I don't know about that. I don't have any plans to swap the SDiscs again to see if they are swappable.

    Sounds like you have installed more PPC210 than I :) I didn't find it as easy as your experience.

    AFAIAA the PPC-200 standoffs are shorter and that is the only difference...but I don't know. I considered getting a TSR-24S, but I decided to go Lexicon.

    I hope I don't sound salty, I dig talking about this stuff =-D Let's see more photos!
     
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  10. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    hmmmm...I am re-reading Dieter's site...looks like I might have misunderstood about 20MHz processor speeds...I will have to back track to see what really happened:confused:
     
  11. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    ok, I found the PPC210 installation instructions :)

    This is a SDisc-i verses SDisc-ii issue. If that is the clock speed designation, then @Technica you are correct. The VLSI chip is a SDisc-i. So, in my case (as my pics show), the factory i stalled into the mainboard SDisc-i needed to be swapped into the PPC210 to then have SDisc-ii in the mainboard. I don't know why, he doesn't explain that.

    What is required is at least firmware 2.00.00 which is the earliest firmware version that supports the PPC210 Dual SDiscs.

    Now, whether or not my unit is fully upgraded, I will have to confirm...do I require both SDiscs to be SDisc-ii to get the best performance from my 2101?

    I was certain I have a 20MHz unit...maybe not, I do not fully recall...I will have to dig deeper...I know it is the ".a" at the end of the firmware which denotes the unit's clock speed. I will say the speed of my unit (switching programs, expression response) is not mind blowingly great. I 'm pretty sure my original firmware was 2.00.00.a (the ".a", which I left out in previous forum posts)...I have an email trail which should confirm that rather than swapping the EPROMs in my unit again.
     
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  12. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    he we are, from Dieter's site:

    Q: What is the meaning of the designation "PPC-200" and "PPC-210"?
    A: PPC means Parallel Processing Card
    The designation "200" was used because the firmware (EPROMs) which came with the PPC-200 was Version 2.00 (for the TSR-24).
    The designation "210" was used because the firmware (EPROMs) which came with the PPC-210 first was Version 2.01.01 (for the GSP-2101), later the PPC-210 cards were shipped with the 3.00.00 (= Artist) version, but the designation remained "PPC-210".
     
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  13. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    confirmed with the upgrades in the photos I posted, my 2101 Studio Tube is running firmware 3.00.00.a :)
    I just powered it up to check
     
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  14. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    ha! Funny, last night I looked for Cosmic Blue 2101 LE...and there is one for sale on ebay in the US

    it's the guy on ebay who is always bangin' on about how powerful the parametric eqs are on the 2101 and how he can't fathom why the factory never made any algorithms with the PEQs...and he's done all the programming work so you don't have to:facepalm
    he uses "Jammin" all the time as program title:facepalm:facepalm:facepalm

    anyway, that unit looks a bit beat up. I saw two auctions for that same listing. one is at $595 and the other at $795...it would be less expensive to pester Dieter into procuring a PPC210 and modding another Studio Tube single SDisc which can be found for in the neighborhood of 200 currency units in Europe.

    anyway, I thought is was interesting to find a Cozmik Blue the moment I go looking. If I found a mint-y one, I'd probably buy it
     
  15. JustinA1971

    JustinA1971 Member

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    It might be easier to buy an Artist - they are around £300 on eBay, saves the faffing and it will also give me time to upgrade the standard one as-and-when...

    One other question: where is the Tuner on this? I've found the Tone Generator but for the life of me cannot find the Tuner???

    I'm sure my last one had it but like I said that was a loooong time ago.
     
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  16. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    Artist versions are also single SDisc afaiaa.
    Only the LEs are Dual SDisc.

    Artist firmware (EPROMs) are the diff. I have only seen a couple of LEs go for cheap. I think both things are really important to get the most out of your 2101. That said, IMO, Dual SDisc is a deal-breaker...until you've tried the morph with zero dropout, you won't know how awesome it is.
     
  17. JustinA1971

    JustinA1971 Member

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    Thanks for that. Sooo, what about the tuner?
     
  18. sahhas

    sahhas Member

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    that is this one:
    [​IMG]
    digitech w/ all the #s, it gets hard to keep track of their models....i did always want one of these!!!!!
     
  19. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    from page 10 of the 2101 Artist user manual:
    "To access the tuner, press the [TUNER] button"

    later on the same page:
    "To access the Tone Generator, press and hold the [Tuner] button"

    and the user manual is wrong!o_O Welll, maybe not wrong; just very misleading and definitely not clear and concise.

    There is no "Tuner" button! At least, there is no button labeled "Tuner"...
    In the EDIT Buttons group; there is a button labeled "Tone Ref" which is the button to access the Tuner. If that isn't working there might be something wrong with your Tone Ref button.

    Control One footcontroller has a dedicated "TUNER" button function.

    You could try GSP Control software to press the Tone Ref button via computer which could tell you if your Tone Ref EDIT button is malfunctioning
    ...altho, setting up a midi connection might be a major faff:p

    Again, the user manual has its foibles...
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
  20. Larry Eh?

    Larry Eh? Member

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    On my unit, clicking the Tone Ref button enters the tuner. Pressing and holding the Tone Ref button takes me to the Tone Generator.
     
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