Published 1 week ago on September 15, 2023

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

Tech 21 SansAmp GT2
MSRP: (UK) £219 / (US) $229

With the SansAmp GT2's combination of three 3-mode voicing switches, a 2-band EQ, and a massive range of gain, you can conjure up just about any amp tone you can imagine. Need to run directly to the PA? No problem! All you need is a SansAmp GT2 and a DI box—and you'll never miss your amp. In this review, Nick Jennison explores why after decades on the market, Tech 21's SansAmp GT2 is still the desert island pedal of choice for guitarists and bass players worldwide.

We live in a golden era of guitar technology—with at least a dozen manufacturers of high-end, cutting-edge amp modellers, offering component-level digital recreations of legendary analogue gear. We're even seeing the advent of plugins that can do the same. Surely then, with digital amp modelling being so powerful, the analogue "direct" solutions of "yesteryear" are a thing of the past? Not so fast.

Appearing on almost as many hit records as there ARE hit records, the venerable SansAmp is an all-analogue "signal-chain-in-a-box" that sounded awesome in 1989, and continues to sound awesome today. Fast forward to 2009, and the GT2 is the successor to the original SansAmp. It's a go-to for players, engineers and guitar techs the world over, and with good reason.

Despite its simplicity, the GT2 offers a vast range of tones. It sports three "Amp" modes: Tweed (read: "Fender"), British (read: "Marshall") and California (read: "Mesa/Boogie"), with a three-position "Mod" switch to radically re-shape the gain structure of the "Amp". "Clean" will give produce tones reminiscent of a Twin in "Tweed" mode, a Plexi in "British" mode and a Mark 1 in "California" mode. "High Gain" sounds more like a Tweed Deluxe, a JCM800 or a Dual Rectifier, while "Hot Rodded" is similar to the amps mentioned with the master volume cranked (with a hairier and looser tone to match).

There's a misconception that analogue speaker sims don't sound great, but the GT2 has us begging to differ. The cab sims come in three simple flavours, all of which sound killer. "Classic" is reminiscent of a Jensen-loaded 1x12, distant mic'd with ribbon and condenser mics, while "Center" and "Off Axis" offer two flavours of the classic "4x12 and 57" pairing. Add a very broad gain range and massively powerful Treble and Bass controls, and you have a massive range of tones in about as simple a package as you can find anywhere.

Of course, this is all worthless if it doesn't sound good, and in this regard, the SansAmp GT2 can still show the young-‘uns what for. Firstly, being all analogue, there's zero latency—a huge deal when it comes to play-feel. The tones themselves are rich, juicy and immediate, with airy (but not fizzy) highs that sit perfectly in a mix.

Whether you're a simple soul who's not into menu-diving, a busy engineer who needs a time-tested DI solution, or someone on a budget who still needs killer recorded tones, you overlook the Tech 21 SansAmp GT2 at your peril. This thing is a classic for a reason, and you need one in your tool kit.

For more information, please visit:


Top magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram