Well, I took a chance and ordered two GI100's (for guitar), a BDI21 (for bass), and ADI21 (for acoustic) this week... I figured they're worth a shot for the $$$ and the potential to simplify my recording setup (and knowing, of course, that if they did "suck balls", I could return 'em). The ADI21 is back-ordered, but I received my GI-100's and BDI21 already, and put them to use to record the following track (which is about as good as I can improvise on a Saturday morning with no coffee):
The following setup was used for guitar:
PRS Custom 24 w/ Dragon II's -->
Sparkle Drive (for solo part) -->
RM4 preamp (Brown channel for part 1, Recto channel for part 2, Ultra Lead channel for solo part) -->
Intellifex in parallel loop (for light reverb, delays) -->
RT2/50 power amp (JJ 6L6's on left, JJ EL34's on right) -->
Behringer GI100's w/ cab sim enabled -->
ART Tube Channel preamps
So, what's worthy of note is that the GI100's are fed by the power amp speaker outs, which are panned hard left/right in the recording (so the 6L6 side is left and the EL34 side is right). All the guitar tones were generated by the GI100's--no mics were used.
Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the GI100. The GI100's speaker sim is decent (I do prefer it to the Microcab I recently sold); certainly good enough for demos and late-night recording when I don't want to keep the wife up. I could certainly foresee using it in combination with a couple of mics for a super thick recorded guitar tone... pan an SM57 hard left, pan an e609 hard right, and put a little GI100 dead center in the mix. I could also envision keeping one in my gig bag for when sound guys show up with cheap-o mics at gigs. I like the fact that it can run on phantom power when there are no 9V batteries around. Well worth the $35 for one, probably well worth the $70 for two.
Then I used the following setup for bass:
G&L Tribute L2500 -->
Horizon passive direct box -->
Behringer BDI21 (set for "Reggae" setting as described in the manual) -->
ART Tube Channel preamps
Then, similar to the guitars, the BDI21 bass signal is panned hard left and the passive direct box is panned hard right in the recording.
I'm extremely impressed by the BDI21... it warms up the direct tone of the bass considerably, and provides just enough EQ and gain to be useful but not overkill. I far prefer it to my Bass V-Amp, mostly for the sake of simplicity, but I think its analog nature contributes considerably to the tone. It'd be nice if it had a compressor, but for $30, how can I criticize? (May be a good excuse for me to pick up the Behringer bass limiter/exciter pedal for ~$20, which is supposed to be similar to the Boss LMB-3.) I can already tell that this will be used on every recording I make from here on out, most likely running the passive bass signal and BDI21 in parallel like I did on today's recording.
Still waiting for the ADI21 (acoustic direct box) to arrive, but now I'm pretty optimistic about the prospects of it as well. I'll probably use it in a parallel setup as well, where I run the pickup of the acoustic through the ADI21 then put a condenser mic on the acoustic, too.
With the recent addition of the direct boxes, here's the latest studio setup: