I bought an old ART SGX-2000 a few years ago, intending to use it as my main guitar processing for my recordings. But along the way, the parameters changed a bit and the methods I used for recording changed. I found myself the owner of an Alembic F-2B preamp, which gave me that amazing, elusive clean sound I’d always wanted (think David Gilmour). I also wound up with IK Multimedia’s Amplitube 2 software, and was finally made to believe that software amplifiers had, finally, arrived. So the SGX-2000 was left in my rack, and has literally only been powered up a handful of times.
Now I’m beginning to re-think that. While I like the basic tone of the Amplitube 2 rigs, the effects are virtually useless. That’s no big deal. I use effects from my DAW to process guitar, anyway. So while it might be easier to just plug my guitar into my audio interface and wail away using an Amplitube 2 rig, it leaves something to be desire. Some undefinable something is just… missing.
The SGX-2000 has been sitting in my rack patiently the whole time, watching and waiting. And I’ve finally begun to see the light. I think the time has come to fire up the old dinosaur and see what kind of magic I can make happen with the thing. I still remember the first time I ever played through one (I bought my first in 1992). I was blown away by the width and breadth of what the unit was capable of. You could literally take an SGX-2000 and walk into any studio for a professional level recording.
So… in keeping with my philosophy of giving old gear a new lease on life, I’ve decided to clean the pots on the old dinosaur (the only thing that’s really wrong with it) and see if I can bring it back up to speed as a part of my recording rig. If nothing else, you can never have too many colors in your tonal palette. Between my old Ampeg V4, the Alembic F-2B, the Amplitube 2 software and this old ART SGX-2000, I should be just about covered where guitar tone is concerned.
This should be interesting…
Waht happen? what is your conclusion after using it after all these years.
The unit works fine. With the pots cleaned up, it’s a very useful addition to the other equipment. I have an old Ampeg V4 which I use for softer distortion, but when I need something a little more rowdy, the SGX-2000 is perfect. Some people complain that it has an 80’s sound, but when they say that they’re talking about the effects section. I usually don’t use the effects at all, but use outboard pedal effects or effect plug-ins on my computer during recording. When used solely as a preamp, the SGX-2000 more than holds it’s weight. You can go solid state or use the tubes, or blend the two. In my opinion, that gives it a flexibility that a lot of other units don’t have. Of course, it is what it is (kind of like having a Marshall – it has its own sound). I like it. And for what I paid for it, it was one hell of a buy.
Loved reading your experience with the old Dinosaur i also was a fan of this when it came out and tested it in a guitar shop in Germany at the time i was living there paired with a mesa simulclass 2.90 into a 412 Marshall. The sound and feel was unbeleivable. Unfortunately i was too young and too broke to be able to afford it. I’m now 57 and finally found one second hand here in Australia with X-15 footboard which i snapped up quick smart. Now in my ripe old age i added this to my computer recording rack comprising the Line 6 TonePort ux8 3 fostex patchbays Samplitude Pro X3 Suite etc and it is awesome. Having said that being a unit of age and definate electronic manipulation i did have to open her up and fix issues of bad workmanship and dodgy fixes with capacitors and lifted pcb traces around the tube socket which rendered the tube inoperable once fixed with new socket, tube, capacitors and installing an iec socket withe built in fuse and switch its singing sweet guitar tones again
Thanks for sharing. I think the old SGX-2000 can sound dated, but it’s still a pretty solid tube pre-amp. Right now I’m just using mine as a clean tube channel which I’m running my distortion pedals through for warmth. It’s amazing how much that old dinosaur brings out the richness of my pedals. I’m still convinced the SGX-2000 is nothing to sneeze at.