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Thread: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    For those that kept up with rack stuff since the late 90s, whatís the difference/progression of the TC rack units?

    G Major
    G Major 2
    G Force
    G System

    Iíve still got this rack bug in the back of my head, not sure why... regardless what can you tell me about these processors?
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    Toneologist Jeffblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    I had owned a G-System and a Nova System. Used for separate rigs and both are fabulous sounding. I unloaded both so that I may get a Line 6 HX Stomp because of footprint. All of them are excellent.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    It seems like the G Major 2 and G System are still active products. Obviously the G Major was the precursor to the G Major 2. It looks like the G System incorporates additional loops for external pedals and includes the floor controller as well. The main unit can be pedalboard or rack mounted. The G Major (and 2) is a traditional rack unit.

    What’s the story with the G Force?
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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    The only thing that turned me off of the G system was that you can't move the modulation blocks so that they're in front of the amp as opposed to being in the loop.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by B2D View Post
    The only thing that turned me off of the G system was that you can't move the modulation blocks so that they're in front of the amp as opposed to being in the loop.
    Gotcha. Seems like you’d want the loops for drives and any effects you’d want in front of the amp (like phaser) then use the processor for delay, reverb, chorus, etc.
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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    Gotcha. Seems like you’d want the loops for drives and any effects you’d want in front of the amp (like phaser) then use the processor for delay, reverb, chorus, etc.
    More or less. One of these days I'd like to use a system like this to switch amp channels and mod/time effects. There's a few I'd want out in front as 'manual' on/off options. But I only like tremoloes, delays, and reverbs in the loop. Chorus I'm kind of split on, and everything else (vibe, phaser, octavers) I like up front.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by B2D View Post
    The only thing that turned me off of the G system was that you can't move the modulation blocks so that they're in front of the amp as opposed to being in the loop.
    Well, you can, but then you have to move the entire thing in front of the amp. It works, but it also means that your delays will be in front. I'm sure that this was a matter of what they could the hardware to do 15 years ago.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    I still use a G-System. They can be a pain to set up, but work like a charm once they do. The effect selection is fairly limited by modern standards, but if you like clear, pristine effects, there probably is nothing better out there. Case in point: I've seen people use their G-Systems in Axe-Fx racks, and for myself it was good enough to make me sell almost all of my modest pedal collection off; to my ears the effects sound far better than my HX Effects. There are two things I am missing in it, both fairly minor: better opportunities for combining two delays (you can have a basic double delay, but that's it), and a dimension chorus.

    I saw that TC was airing the idea of making a new version some time back. Both Fractal and Line 6 have nicked some of TCs best ideas for their own system, so it is going to be difficult to get into the market, but if they can keep the quality up on an updated unit I would get one. Unfortunately it is a very different company today than in 2005.

    Oh, and I love the board for this thing! That is what made me gravitate towards the G-System in the first place. Heavy, but sturdy as anything! It is somewhat limited when it comes to MIDI options, but Steve Vai got it to work for him, so I think most amateurs will be happy to use it to control a modest MIDI rig.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    I too still have G system that I use. I stepped up to it from a nova system. I think the G major 2 is pretty close in terms of effects to the G system and could be used the same way with a midi controller. The effects are still great sounding and do everything I need. Much better than the built in effects in my H&K grandmeister. Some of the advanced effects are limited but itís got all the basics down and they can be switched on or off separately from switching between presets.

    I wish it had some looping ability and the midi implementation is weak. I would have liked a different midi cc for each preset programmed to a switch. I solved this by using the relay switching instead which allows me to toggle between channels in a preset. If it had a few more buttons that were programmable it would be great. Considering it was last updated in 2011, it still sounds light years ahead of most pedalboards. If you need boutique effects that are out there it wonít work but for a great chorus, delay, reverb, phase, eq, noise gate, etc. it does the job well.

    There is quite a learning curve and I spent a lot of time reading about set up and building my own cables and rack panels for my custom set up. Iím sure the curve for setting up a digital system like a kemper is just as steep. The price for the tc systems has dropped dramatically too so it can get you a good setup on a budget.


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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    I still use a G-System. They can be a pain to set up, but work like a charm once they do. The effect selection is fairly limited by modern standards, but if you like clear, pristine effects, there probably is nothing better out there. Case in point: I've seen people use their G-Systems in Axe-Fx racks, and for myself it was good enough to make me sell almost all of my modest pedal collection off; to my ears the effects sound far better than my HX Effects. There are two things I am missing in it, both fairly minor: better opportunities for combining two delays (you can have a basic double delay, but that's it), and a dimension chorus.

    I saw that TC was airing the idea of making a new version some time back. Both Fractal and Line 6 have nicked some of TCs best ideas for their own system, so it is going to be difficult to get into the market, but if they can keep the quality up on an updated unit I would get one. Unfortunately it is a very different company today than in 2005.

    Oh, and I love the board for this thing! That is what made me gravitate towards the G-System in the first place. Heavy, but sturdy as anything! It is somewhat limited when it comes to MIDI options, but Steve Vai got it to work for him, so I think most amateurs will be happy to use it to control a modest MIDI rig.
    The fact that you can rackmount the brain of the thing and then control it with the footpedal portion via a CAT5 cable is easily one of the best features.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by allstarrme View Post
    I too still have G system that I use. I stepped up to it from a nova system. I think the G major 2 is pretty close in terms of effects to the G system and could be used the same way with a midi controller. The effects are still great sounding and do everything I need. Much better than the built in effects in my H&K grandmeister. Some of the advanced effects are limited but it’s got all the basics down and they can be switched on or off separately from switching between presets.

    I wish it had some looping ability and the midi implementation is weak. I would have liked a different midi cc for each preset programmed to a switch. I solved this by using the relay switching instead which allows me to toggle between channels in a preset. If it had a few more buttons that were programmable it would be great. Considering it was last updated in 2011, it still sounds light years ahead of most pedalboards. If you need boutique effects that are out there it won’t work but for a great chorus, delay, reverb, phase, eq, noise gate, etc. it does the job well.

    There is quite a learning curve and I spent a lot of time reading about set up and building my own cables and rack panels for my custom set up. I’m sure the curve for setting up a digital system like a kemper is just as steep. The price for the tc systems has dropped dramatically too so it can get you a good setup on a budget.

    This is pretty much it. Regarding the effects, for all their limitations I doubt that there are that many professional instances where you can't get them to do what you need. Like all such systems, they are not going to be able to do everything, and they are not going to be the best in the world for everything, but unless you are doing very ambient stuff I don't think there will be many cases where it can't excel at the tasks that it actually needs to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by B2D View Post
    The fact that you can rackmount the brain of the thing and then control it with the footpedal portion via a CAT5 cable is easily one of the best features.
    Yep, that was a stroke of genius, and Line 6 have done well to copy it for the Helix (as well as the built-in switcher mechanism). The pedal is kind of large and heavy, but if you want the flexibility of being able to use it as a rackmount or as a pedal, there really is no way around it that I can see.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    What’s the story with the G Force?
    The G-Force came first and was TC's attempt to make a high end guitar-oriented processor circa 1996 or so. They did a great job, but the thing was pretty expensive; around $1,000 or so IIRC. The G-Major was introduced a few years later as a trimmed-down, budget G-Force.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    The G-Force came first and was TC's attempt to make a high end guitar-oriented processor circa 1996 or so. They did a great job, but the thing was pretty expensive; around $1,000 or so IIRC. The G-Major was introduced a few years later as a trimmed-down, budget G-Force.
    That makes sense.... so G Force, then G Major, then G Major 2 and G System.

    How does the G System compare to the G Major 2?

    They seem a little long in the tooth, how do they compare to the modern Strymon, Boss, Line 6, Eventide, etc. algorithms?
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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    That makes sense.... so G Force, then G Major, then G Major 2 and G System.

    How does the G System compare to the G Major 2?
    They're VERY similar. I've heard that they share a lot of algorithms and wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's true.

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    They seem a little long in the tooth, how do they compare to the modern Strymon, Boss, Line 6, Eventide, etc. algorithms?
    I don't have a ton of experience with those, but the G Major 2 & G System both sound like professional level equipment. They probably don't have the same tweak-ability as a Strymon Big Sky or Eventide Space, but they're trying to do a bunch of things rather than one or two. As long as your effects needs are more general, they'll probably work well. OTOH If you need some of the off-the-wall reverbs that are popular in P&W lately or really esoteric delays, you'd be better off with Eventide / Strymon / Helix / etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    They're VERY similar. I've heard that they share a lot of algorithms and wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's true.



    I don't have a ton of experience with those, but the G Major 2 & G System both sound like professional level equipment. They probably don't have the same tweak-ability as a Strymon Big Sky or Eventide Space, but they're trying to do a bunch of things rather than one or two. As long as your effects needs are more general, they'll probably work well. OTOH If you need some of the off-the-wall reverbs that are popular in P&W lately or really esoteric delays, you'd be better off with Eventide / Strymon / Helix / etc.
    I see. I really like the TC Delays and Reverbs in my Mini Flashback and Mini Hall of Fame, and of course the TCF is a classic.

    Thanks for all the info everyone!
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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    They're VERY similar. I've heard that they share a lot of algorithms and wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's true.

    I don't have a ton of experience with those, but the G Major 2 & G System both sound like professional level equipment. They probably don't have the same tweak-ability as a Strymon Big Sky or Eventide Space, but they're trying to do a bunch of things rather than one or two. As long as your effects needs are more general, they'll probably work well. OTOH If you need some of the off-the-wall reverbs that are popular in P&W lately or really esoteric delays, you'd be better off with Eventide / Strymon / Helix / etc.
    I agree. I have limited experience with the G-Major 2, but to me they sounded and operated very similarly, and the YT videos I've seen on the matter seem to confirm this.

    I will say this: The basic algorithms for effects were figured out decades ago. People may have their preferences, and there are plenty of variants, but the improvements in sound in digital effects stem mostly from the units themselves having more firepower and better A/D converters. Where the latter is concerned, I don't really think there have been many improvements since these units were designed. In other words, the units lack the flexibility of modern units (and the G-System in particular demands a little work to be set up properly in many cases), but what they do they are excellent at.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    As nice as the effects the Gmajor 1 & 2 have had hardware issues. The Gsystem, Nova System & GForce are solid units, pricey when they came out but still usuable today. Although there are more options in the market now.

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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    I’ve been looking into the G System more, seems very powerful for effect parameter tweaking and the integration with the Nova Drive is very cool.
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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Quote Originally Posted by allstarrme View Post
    I too still have G system that I use. I stepped up to it from a nova system. I think the G major 2 is pretty close in terms of effects to the G system and could be used the same way with a midi controller. The effects are still great sounding and do everything I need. Much better than the built in effects in my H&K grandmeister. Some of the advanced effects are limited but itís got all the basics down and they can be switched on or off separately from switching between presets.

    I wish it had some looping ability and the midi implementation is weak. I would have liked a different midi cc for each preset programmed to a switch. I solved this by using the relay switching instead which allows me to toggle between channels in a preset. If it had a few more buttons that were programmable it would be great. Considering it was last updated in 2011, it still sounds light years ahead of most pedalboards. If you need boutique effects that are out there it wonít work but for a great chorus, delay, reverb, phase, eq, noise gate, etc. it does the job well.

    There is quite a learning curve and I spent a lot of time reading about set up and building my own cables and rack panels for my custom set up. Iím sure the curve for setting up a digital system like a kemper is just as steep. The price for the tc systems has dropped dramatically too so it can get you a good setup on a budget.

    Are you still using the Nova Drive and Elektron? Seems pretty powerful in terms of multiple drive options.

    This (G System) seems a lot simpler than my big ES-8 loaded board, and you still get the 4 drives you really want.
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    Default Re: T.C. Racks - G Major / G Major 2 / G System / G Force

    Iím using a nova drive, the elektron drive, my H&K tubemeister and a Friedman buxom boost currently. Moving a tc vintage pre drive, a bogner xtc or a decibel 11 dirt clod in rotation at times.

    The elektron drive does a ton of sounds well, but it defaults to switched off and it canít stack drives internally. I can send a midi cc for it at each preset though and have the loop itís in stored as on. The nova drive has only 2 drive sounds but 18 presets and can stack the two sounds together. The tubemiester has 3 channels and I have a relay switch set up to switch between 2 of them, instead of just turning the loop off. I removed the boost section of the G system by locking it out and made it turn on the 4th loop that my boost is actually in. The built in boost just attenuated the overall volume and restores it for a boost in the G system.

    I have a separate external switcher I could add another loop or two with, if I designate another relay switch button. I have been playing with adding a boost going into the power section (return) for more of a volume boost rather than gain. I also have one side hooked up to a Palmer direct box, so I can play around with wet/ dry setups through the left and right sides.

    The G system have some great studio quality effects in it. The 2260 they are based on is still used today as a plug in.

    The routing and midi controls arenít perfect but it can be worked around, and as a controller and effects unit it is very powerful. I built all my cables by hand and used balanced cables, isolated transformers and pseudo balanced cables through out. I think I spent more time reading about setting it all up than anything. I even color coded the cables to my amp so I canít screw it up on a dark stage.

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