How To Purchase GT Rack Effects
Our purchase process below is straightforward, less complicated than it may first seem. Of course, once you get past the first step, we're happy to help all the way through. We just can't tell you what you want or need!
1. Figure out what you want in your signal chain, from guitar(s) to effects to amp(s), and the order you want them in your chain.
Include all the "other stuff", such as tuners, ABY pedals, amp selectors, and other routing or switching pedals you may be using.
2. Take a look at your guitar and amp cables.
If you have a decent meter, check the capacitance of those cables, from tip at one end to tip at the other end of each cable. If the capacitance is above 200pF (picoFarads), you may want to consider adding buffers on those cable runs or perhaps getting better cables. At somewhere around 200pF or more, you'll begin to lose enough highs that it can become noticeable. Buffers can help prevent the loss of those highs. It may be interesting to also check your patch cables between effects. There is no "good" vs "bad" concerning cable capacitance. Some, such as Jimi Hendrix, used long coiled cables to help shape their tone by rolling off some highs. Others wouldn't want that. Or you may want to carefully control where the buffers are in your chain because they can change the tone of some effects. Regardless of your preferences, it is one of those details you should probably know about and consider, particularly if your chain is lacking some highs. Note that some modules contain buffers. That info is noted for each module.
3. Map the pedals you identified in the first two steps to modules offered by GT.
You can use one of the tables in Compares To to lookup GT modules that compare to pedals you know. We offer 200+ module configurations. Of course, there are far more pedals than that in use, so what happens if you need something we don't offer? You have multiple options.
- If you have one of those pedals that sound so good you can't live without it, you can continue using it. Connect that pedal to one of our Bypass Looper modules, strap your pedal to a shelf in your rack, leave it on, and use our footswitch to turn it on/off in your chain just like any of our modules. If it is an "always on" pedal, you don't need the Bypass Looper module - just cable it in and leave it on.
- If the pedal is a wah or tuner or some other pedal that you put at the beginning of your chain, you can continue using it normally. Run your guitar cable to that pedal, and the output cable from that pedal into your GT rack effects. That may increase your cable length (and capacitance), so consider buffering again. Some tuners and pedals already have buffers built in, which may be on even when the effect is off. If that is the case, then you already have a buffer and may not need another one.
- Another option is to check with us to see if we are already working to add the pedal you need to our module lineup. At any given time, we have some new modules in the works that we haven't announced. Or if you catch us at the right time with a new pedal request that would be a good addition to our lineup, we may be able to adjust our priorities. Sometimes, a "new" pedal is very similar to one we already offer and can be built on boards we already have. Those are fast and easy to add to the lineup. If it is something different from anything we offer, we may need to research it, develop a board, go through testing, etc, which can take longer. There are other factors that come into play, but the main take-away is that you can ask us to check it out and we'll be happy to do so.
- Finally, consider a substitute module. Suppose you are using an overdrive that we don't offer. Check out our overdrive (and maybe amp sim, distortion, and boost) modules. Some of them may be good substitutes. You may be able to borrow from a friend or otherwise try out the pedal our module compares to so you can consider it. The trickier part is to consider the options we offer. A number of our options are mods that many find desirable to change a stock pedal tone into "the tone" they want in their chain. For example, some may find a Tube Screamer kinda "meh", but a Tube Screamer with less mids and a bit more headroom could be the bomb. If you've tried a pedal and thought it would be great "if only...", then check to see if we offer it with an option that would deal with the "if only..." aspect.
4. Put together the list of GT gear you could use to build your desired signal chain.
- List of effects and routing modules: all the effects and signal routing modules you need in your chain. For the modules with different base configurations, pick your base configuration. For modules with options, pick your options (we can help with details). From that info, count up the number of knobs and switches that each module would have, so you can figure out how wide each module will be. Look for help with this in each module description, or simply ask us. This will get reviewed later, so it isn't super-critical at this point that you know each module width. The reason you'll need to know exactly is so you can figure out how much space you need in your enclosure(s).
- The "other modules": power, switching, and any special routing modules such as 18V Power, Bypass Looper (perhaps for your tuner or pedals you want to continue using), Amp Selector or Amp Pass Thru, Guitar Pass Thru, Filler Module, and Rack Switch. A basic bundle of some of these may be helpful Startup Bundle #1. Consider whether you need or want buffers in your Pass Thru modules.
- The "other pieces": enclosure, footswitch. These are also included in the Startup Bundle #1, depending on your Rack Switch configuration (VGA or DIN) and footswitch choice (3-Button Footswitch, 12-Button Footswitch). Presently there is only one choice of enclosure, 3U Enclosure. Add up the widths of all the effects and "other" modules to figure out how many enclosures are needed, as well as how many and what sizes of Filler Module will be needed.
- Note that each enclosure will need a left and right Wing Modules. Those may likely be Guitar Pass Thru and Amp Pass Thru modules for your first enclosure. For wing modules in your second or subsequent enclosures, look at the module details to see if they are offered in wing configurations. A general guideline is that modules with fewer knobs and switches are more likely offered in wing configurations than are modules with lots of knobs and switches.
Don't worry about it being complete or correct. If you have any trouble figuring something out, just drop us a line and we'll help get your configuration complete. Once we get a first pass at it, we'll carefully review module options and widths, wing module availability, and all the other details to make sure everything is correct and complete. This will also include pricing, broken down by item and option, so you know how much it would cost.
6. Finalize the configuration.
We'll continue communicating back and forth until we have the configuration tweaked to be what you want, and reviewed for any technical/build issues. We may make some recommendations along the way if we think that's appropriate or helpful, but this is about getting you what you want, not about us selling you something we want to sell. Once the configuration is finalized, we can also tell you what cables will be necessary. You may already have some of these or you may need some new ones.
7. Place your order.
Once you agree that we have the configuration you want and we have reviewed it for technical/build feasibility and cost, then we're finished with the configuration process. You can then place your order by paying a non-refundable Order Deposit, typically around 50% of the order cost. The quoted price will be valid until a specified date, so you will have some time between finalizing the config and placing the order. If that time passes before you place your order, we can always re-quote the order and make it valid for another time period when you are ready. We will also give you an estimate of when we will likely start work on your order.
8. The order is placed in our queue to be built once the order deposit is received.
Until you place your order deposit, you are not committed to anything and can make changes. Once you place your order deposit, you are committed to the order. Please read our policies in the Support section of our website to see how we handle changes and other situations once the order deposit is placed.
9. We will notify you when we begin work on your order.
We may have additional questions once we start building. These will be communicated in email to you, and we'll work through any questions or problems as we build your order.
10. Final payment and shipping.
Once we are finished building and testing, we will send you a request for the balance due for the order. Once we receive full payment for the order, we ship it to you. Presently, we accept payments via PayPal. You can use a PayPal account, credit cards, or PayPal financing to cover PayPal invoices.
We use email for this process so that we can keep track of all the details we discuss about your order configuration. Email lets us specify the details so you can review them, in full, when it is convenient to your schedule. For some configurations, this can be quick and easy. For others with extensive options and mods, it may take a little longer to make sure that all options are compatible and address your needs. In either case, the final configuration will be reviewed and specified clearly in full before you place your order deposit. That specification is what we will build to, so it must be correct and meet your requirements before you commit and before we start building, of course.
Check out our policies in the Support section of our site to find out about order changes, cancellations, and other important matters.
SORRY, BUT AT PRESENT WE ARE ONLY TAKING ORDERS FROM CUSTOMERS IN THE USA.