Sunday, July 6, 2008

TONE FREQ REVIEW – Rocktron Utopia G300

Until now Utopia was a term used to describe the perfect society. Now the folks at Rocktron use it for their newest line of multi-effects processors. The Rocktron Utopia G300 is the latest of these processors to bare the Utopia name and it comes damn near close to perfect!

This tough-as-nails unit is as heavy and durable as it looks. After opening the box you get the feel that it was made for the road and tons of punishment. The all-metal chassis protect the Motorola 24 bit DSP Engine with AKM Converters. In layman’s terms the thing sounds kick-ass! There are 64 factory preset sounds and 64 user presets for a total of 128 presets. They sound amazing and down right inspiring, however the beauty lies in creating your own signature tones.

If you are a fan of multi-effects processors the Utopia G300 will be a breeze to operate. I especially like the nice blue easy to read display. Not only can you give whole names to your presets but you can easily see it on a dimly lit stage! (Perfect for cover/tribute bands who name patches with song titles.) If you are more of an individual pedal person you can also use the buttons on the G300 as individual on/off effects switches. Channel selections include: Clean, Texas, British and Mega. Pre-effects include wah, phaser and compressor. Post effects include chorus, flanger, pitch shift, tremolo, delay and reverb. The “treadle” (expression pedal) has been upgraded (from the G100) with a toe switch so you can get that classic wah feel. When activated a blue LED will light up letting you know the treadle has been engaged. You also get Rocktron exclusives like a state-of-the-art Speaker Simulator (for excellent recording), Variac (tube sag emulation) and HUSH noise reduction.

VERDICT: KILLER!
The unit kicks ass. I’ve played gigs with this thing and it sounds incredible! At one rehearsal our other guitarist’s rig went down. I lent him my amp while I played directly out of the G300 into the PA. After a couple of easy “global changes” I was rocking out using the built-in amp sim! The cool blue display is great and it rocks even more in the dark since the buttons and numbers also glow in the dark – nice touch. The unit is easy to use right out of the box with killer presets. Unlike the G100 the G300 does have a built-in harmonic tuner. Unlike other tuners where you can just pluck the open string and have it register on the display the harmonic tuner must register a 12th fret harmonic. This can be a bit cumbersome since I’m used to tuning the open strings. The switches can also take a bit of getting used to as they are not your typical switches. I found myself mistakenly missing my preset due to the rubbery feel of the buttons. These gripes are few and are easy to overcome – or overlook since the sound and overall performance are outstanding for a unit of this price and build. This is one of the most killer multi-effects units I have played in a while (the tracking on the pitch-shifter is DAMN good). There are tons of easy to use features and the presets don’t sound overly processed. If you are looking for dead on models of an AC-30 or Bassman this unit is not for you. If you want some reminiscent models that act as a jumping point to create your own signature tones for a killer price then WELCOME TO UTOPIA!

TONE FREQ RECOMMENDED!

High points: Sturdy build, killer sounds, individual effect on/off pedalboard feel, great harmonizer tracking, GREAT PRICE!

Low points: Heavy, Harmonic Tuner could track easier, rubber effect switches.

Rocktron Utopia G300 Guitar Multi Effects Pedal Features:

Motorola 24 Bit DSP Engine with AKM Converters
Full bandwidth effects
Stereo outputs
Heavy Duty Headphone Output (1/8 stereo phone)
Auxiliary (MP3/CD/iPOD) Input (1/8 stereo phone)
Rugged professional grade chassis and expression pedal made from metal
Power supply

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Check out www.rocktron.com for more info!


Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aljon Go is considered to be a “pedal junkie” by his peers often asked for advice when building pedal boards. He toured the world with his award winning band Mink and was the artist relations/marketing pro for a musical accessory company. He currently spends his time bringing new and exciting tones to regional acts Jaux King, JonesWorld and Mister Happy. He is also host of the long running “Local Buzz” radio show in Nashville and product specialist for a leading guitar company. Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

1 Comments:

Blogger Old King Cole said...

Couldn't agree more!!!

August 5, 2008 at 1:52 PM  

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