A.R.T. SGX 2000

I’ve always had a fondness for A.R.T.’s SGX 2000. Unless I’m mistaken, it was the first all-on-one guitar preamp / processor. It does double-duty for me, both as a great tube guitar preamp and as a stand-alone effects processor.

I owned one back in the early 1990’s, and never really used it to its full potential. I sold it in 1994, and regretted it So when I started putting together my recording rig in 2006, I looked for, and bought one, on eBay. I think I paid about $50 for it. All appropriate guilt followed.

I’d intended to use the SGX 2000 as my main guitar amp. But this was before I stumbled across the incredible Amplitube 2 software, and before I re-evaluated my beat up old Ampeg V-4 guitar head. So it sort of became the third-string quarterback. At least until the sheen of the Amplitube software began to wear off and I began to re-visit the old SGX 2000.

One can never have too many sounds in my opinion. So while the SGX-2000 might not be the primary amp, it’s still a valued piece of equipment. It gets used. Besides, the knobs on this unit go to 12. Anyone who’s ever seen Spinal Tap should get that reference. There’s just something that appeals to me about the mentality of the people who would put knobs on their preamp that go to 12 (one higher than Nigel Tuffnel’s vaunted amps).

In summation, it sounds great. It’s built like a tank. As old as it is, it will still give contemporary guitar processors a run for their money. At the moment I use it in conjunction with my Ampeg V4, depending upon the song. For the most part, I use the Ampeg V4 for my Stratocaster, and the SGX 2000 for my old Ibanez Destroyer. I also use it as an effects processor and effects loop for my pedals. So basically, this old unit isn’t a relic at all. It puts in some long hours, and it delivers the goods.

“This one goes to eleven.”

– Nigel Tufnel


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