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>Don't you think there's a small chance that "multieffect manufacturers" have ears (just like everyone else),

After hearing the presets, I've concluded that the effects manufacturers are out of touch with usable guitar tone and real-world guitarist needs. The Digitech 2101 guitar multieffects processor/preamp. Anderton found that those few units that enabled eq before distortion stood far above the rest, for finally giving the *user* some major control of distortion voicing. Why didn't the other companies support this? Because of unthinking adherence to the industry conventions for user-interface. Most designers are not very inspired, which is why guitarists are very dissatisfied with most guitar equipment. Guitarists give the designers a grade of "C". Yes, the designers have ears like everyone else -- that is, they only have an average sense of tone, but what is needed is designers with *excellent* ears and critical listening ability.

*All* the wording, explanations, and diagrams for all guitar effects I've ever seen are completely oriented toward placing effects before the amp. Everyone who is a studio pro knows about placing effects after the amp. All the other guitarists use an amateur approach of putting effects before the amp, because it's counterintuitive to put effects after the amp, given the way the effects manufacturers fail to take post-amp mixing into account in their literature. Most multieffects units say "preamp" on the case. Pre-amplifier.

>and have thought
>of this problem long ago, but just don't expect people to put their
>effects *before* the cranked amps? Perhaps they expect people to
>use these effects like many do, i.e. *after* the whole amp/speaker

It will come as a great surprise to the guitar "preamp" designers and effects designers when they find out how people are creatively misusing their gear.

>After all, tons of guitarists record this way: Plug your guitar
>through a wah and a compressor, into a cranked 100W Marshall head,
>run it through a 4x12 cabinet, mike it, run the mike signal into
>the mixing console, EQ it a bit, and put it on tape. When that
>part is done, when you have your basic tone, and you're ready to
>start mixing and get a really finished tone -- that's when all
>these effect processors come into the picture, for post-processing
>through the aux busses of a mixing console. Then you can sit all
>day and fiddle around with all the time-based effects in the world,
>without worrying about the saturation of power tubes mudding up

I almost never hear about this approach in Guitar Shop or Guitar Player. There is very little awareness in the general guitarist population about post-amp effects placement.

>So in my oppinion, the multieffect processors of today aren't

They are not worthless, but neither are they the last word. Putting MIDI-controlled eq, level, and effects both before and after a tube amp, and simultaneously switching the settings in both effects units or stages, enables you to program amp tone from both sides, which has never been done before.

>, and the multieffect manufacturers aren't mindless,
>ignorant never-seen-an-amp "sound illiterates".

Yet they continue to market their preamps as sounding like a tube amp, merely because they include a *preamp* tube. Just wait til the marketers and designers start putting power tubes and inductive loads in their effects units -- like putting an ADA Ampulator in the effects loop of a Digitech 2101, between the distortion and echo stages. Suddenly they will put down the old units -- "just has a preamp tube" -- and tout their new invention: MIDI-integrated power tube. Finally they can remove the word "preamp" from the unit, and stop calling it an "effects" unit, and call it a "guitar processor".

>most people out there know exactly how bad (yet exiting) it sounds
>to have reverb before distortion -- both guitar players, me and
>you, the jammer next door, and the multieffect processor
>manufacturers. So why urge to have all those effects before the
>amp? No one forces you. You can just as well drop 'em in later.

It's much harder to put effects after an amp. To do it with a mic, you need a $100 microphone, a $25 mic cable, a $15 adapter, and a $25 mic stand. There are several reasons why post-amp effects placement is counterintuitive to all guitarists except for some studio guitarists.

>"New thinking?". Most people are aware of it, I bet.

Most guitarists have never imagined this reverse placement.

>Note, I'm not saying that your ideas about achieving great cranked
>tube tone at low dB levels aren't great, I'm just saying that you
>shouldn't be so hard on multieffect manufacturers.

Multieffects manufacturers haven't quite had time to get a clue about integrating power tubes into their system design. They were hoping to get away with just preamp tubes and low-pass filters, but that experiment is now known to be a failure. The guitar gear world has been sleeping in two camps: amp-heads, who worship power tubes, and effects gurus, who think solely in terms of "preamp" processing. It's time to blend the two realms of circuitry, as ADA and H&K have done.

>> TUBE SATURATION. They are not aware it exists!

Let the race begin.

The tyranny of effects-placement conventions: the entire commodity guitar industry is oriented towards placing effects in front of the amp, by force of habit, and because this setup is most simple. Only a small percentage of guitarists know about these alternatives, and it's doubtful that anyone has combined all of them, though they fit together so naturally, an integrated package should be designed. *Every* rock guitarist should know about the following, including combinations:

o speaker isolation cabinets
o simultaneous switching of level, eq, and effects both before and after a tube amp
o low-wattage power tube products
o inductive loads, attenuators, and low-pass filters

By combining these lesser-known alternative components and approaches, the following design for an integrated guitar processing system could be turned into a product selling for $1000:

o MIDI controlled level, eq, and effects
o Low-wattage tube power amp
o Speaker isolation cabinet (and lesser alternative, inductive load)
o MIDI controlled level, eq, and effects

o Clean power amp
o Monitor(s)

It takes a great deal of convention-breaking to assemble such a system now. You can implement this using a traditional amp, but the system really comes together naturally when using an isolation cabinet.

Several people have reported using a speaker tap to send to a post-amp effects unit. There does seem to be a significant awareness of this possibility, though the effects manuals don't mention it, instead always showing the convention of placing all effects before the amp.

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