If you are familiar with James Hetfield’s personality, you probably know that he is a very practical kind of guy. If anyone has been through the thick of it in terms of guitar gear and accessories, it’s him. When a guitarist of his caliber decides to ditch a good portion of his guitar pedals for a rack mounted effects processor, the only right thing to do is look into that piece of gear. TC Electronic G-Major 2 is the name, and it is quite an amazing piece of tech. Today we are going to take a closer look at this beast, and try to find out just how it ended up in Metallica’s inventory.
TC Electronic G-Major 2 Review
The way most rack-mounted effects processors work is by providing the guitarists with the majority of effects without the bulkiness of individual pedals. Instead, you use a dedicated board that features a number of footswitches. For the most part, it is a cleaner configuration that is easier to use when you are in the heat of the moment. However, TC Electronic G-Major 2 has a few more tricks up its sleeve, which make it quite impressive even compared to its immediate competition.
Just as its name states, this is a rack mounted processor, meaning that you will need a rack if you want to use it as the manufacturer has intended. One of the things that people often worry about with this type of processors is the control panel. The one found on TC Electronic G-Major 2 is extremely clean and easy to figure out. Every knob and button are fairly intuitive, while a very detailed display takes care of the navigation. We are about to get into the effects available, but before we do so, we need to discuss one important thing. TC Electronic went one step ahead with their G-Major 2. Aside from allowing the user to select and control effects from the processor, they have also built in a switch into that allows you to control some of your amp’s functions using the very same board. This way, the only thing you need to focus on during a performance is the clean switchboard in front of you.
With G-Major 2, TC Electronic basically took all of their successful modulation as well as temporal effects and crammed them all in a single rack processor unit. There are six main modules with a whole lot of effects in each of their sub-divisions. You are generally looking at several types of delay, uni-vibe, tri-chorus, intelligent pitch shifting and more. Here is where we need to insert the always necessary disclaimer. TC Electronic G-Major 2 is not similar to modern, pedal style FX processors. This one doesn’t feature any distortion or amp emulations. The only thing TC Electronic has focused on were various modulation effects, delays and similar. In other words, this is a niche processor and that is a good thing. This way you know that a company has invested every ounce of effort in making those available effects as good as they can possibly be.
But wait, there’s more. TC Electronic G-Major 2 allows you to choose how your signal is routed through the unit. You can select different effects, pair them as you see fit and completely cut out the ones you don’t want. Look at the back side of the G-Major 2 and the I/O is bound to blow your mind. They have included jacks for relay switching, a MIDI In, MIDI Out, and MIDI Through and more. Lastly, there is the software suit you can use to edit presets and shape up effects using your computer. This is nothing new for TC Electronic and is actually one of their main selling points. Most of TC Electronic pedals come with this type of versatile software side.
Once everything is set up and ready for use, it is time to figure out whether the G-Major 2 is just another shortcut a guitar player can take or a professional piece of equipment which actually brings solutions to certain problems. Right off the bat, we are going to say its the latter. The performance of the G-Major 2 is impressive. All of the effects sound extremely organic and natural. This is the type of attributes you can’t really use too often. No matter what kind of setup you are running, the response of the G-Major 2 is lightning fast. Its user-friendly design makes it pretty easy to set it up and start using it within minutes.
Is it worth spending this type of money on a rack mounted effects processor? Absolutely. It might be awkward at first, but given a few days, you will fall in love with this thing. Seeing how decent the effects sound, how fast it is to respond to user input and how clean the switchboard is when in use, you will wonder why you haven’t switched to this before.
Many guitar players will question the need for having something like this if you are not a member of a top tier band like Metallica. The truth is that TC Electronic G-Major 2 is not for everyone. It all depends on how heavily you use effects and how much importance you put into them. Here’s the kicker, TC Electronic G-Major 2 costs a lot less than equivalent quality effects pedals combined.
Right from the start, this unit saves you money. On top of that, if you are not a hardcore purist, the quality of its effects will be more than satisfactory. The only thing to remember when you are dealing with this type of equipment is that it needs some additional gear in order to work. We are talking control boards, pre-amps and similar. Even so, there are a lot of guitar players out there who would definitely benefit from a setup such as this one. Especially if they like to have clean work environment during their performance.
Watch this video review / demo of the TC Electronic G-Major 2.