The Genesis 1 is a simplified version of the Genesis 3 modelling guitar preamp/effects unit reviewed in SOS October 2001, offering a reduced feature set at a lower UK price. Unlike the Genesis 3, it is not programmable, and has no 'amp morphing', but it has the advantage that all the control positions always relate to the sound being produced, which is clearly not the case when you recall a patch on a programmable model. Gone too is the digital output, though the CD input remains, so that you can play along to backing tracks and monitor the mix via the stereo headphone output jack.
Although there are fewer amp models, and no acoustic models, there are still eleven amp types and eleven cabinet types to choose from using the two rotary switches. The chosen settings may then be modified using Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, and Level controls. The simplified effects section permits compression, noise gate, one modulation effect and one delay/reverb effect to be used simultaneously. The reverb type changes automatically depending on the amp model selected.
The modulation effect can be chorus, phaser or tremolo, and there is control over the modulation rate, though not the effect depth. In the delay section, delay occupies the first third of the control, with reverb on the second section -- as the knob is advanced, the effect depth increases until you move to the next effect. The last part of the control provides a combination of reverb and delay. A tap tempo button sets the delay time, and the feedback is preset to a sensible value. A footswitch jack enables the effects section to be bypassed remotely.
I compared the Genesis 1 to my own Genesis 3, and though the effects section is far simpler and less adjustable, the basic sound quality is much the same, and by combining the amp models with the various speaker models, there's still plenty of variety. If you're looking for high-quality emulations of classic rock and pop guitar sounds without unnecessary frills or programmability, this box is hard to beat.
- A no-brainer to use.
- Good amp models with reasonable dynamic response.
- Good-sounding effects.
- Effects may not be quite as controllable as some people would wish.
The Genesis 1 is simple, effective, and sounds really rather good.