My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together - Need some exper - Jemsite
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2002, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together - Need some exper

Okay, first of all let me start off with a disclaimer... I've never really had a guitar rack system before, so with all the possibilities of preamps & FX units & power amps and the various ways they can be interconnected it's possible (and highly likely) that I've screwed something up below. Anyway, for a long time I've wanted a rig with both a Triaxis and a JMP1, so I can get a mix of Mesa and Marshall tones through a common set of FX. Of course, everything should be controllable by a single footswitch unit. So here's what I'm trying to assemble:

Basically, I started out with only the Samson wireless, Crybaby 535Q, Digitech Control One, RackRider power conditioner and Johnson 2x12 cabinet. I should be picking up the Mesa Triaxis & 2:90 sometime this week, the Digitech 2120 and DS1 should be in the mail, and I'm still in the market for the BBE 264, Marshall JMP1, and some switching device (most likely the Rolls Patchwork, but possibly an Axess Electronics GRX4, Mesa MIDI Matrix, or Rocktron Patchmate).

Here's how I think all this should be connected:

Hey, I know it's a mess, but it helps me figure out how many cables I need to buy...

In my mind, this makes things simple from a performance perspective, because all I really need to use is the Control One and the 535Q. It'll obviously take some MIDI programming to get it set up right--I haven't done any serious MIDI control work in 5 years, so hopefully it'll come back to me. I don't have to worry about switching the DS1 and 535Q (I can leave them on all the time). I can pick between the Mesa & Marshall preamps, or bypass them both (don't think I'd ever do this) and use the Digitech preamp. Or if I want to get really nasty, I can run the Mesa, Marshall, and 2120's distortion circuits in serial. And, of course, thanks to the Triaxis I can not only switch the modes on the 2:90, but I can also switch the BBE unit on and off.

Anybody see any major problems with this setup? (Heck, any minor problems?) Any suggestions to simplify? Is anybody doing anything like this?

Thanks much in advance! Wish me luck...

PS--Despite what anybody says, PowerPoint is pretty cool. *

(Edited by bduersch at 10:39 pm on Feb. 3, 2002)
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2002, 10:50 PM
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

I would ditch the 2120, you don't need another preamp (unless you want one) and there are plenty of better sounding MIDI controllable effects boxes out there that can be had as cost effectively (read cheaply). *Some that come to mind are the TC Electronics M-One or G-Major, the Lexicon MPX-500 or MPX-200 (probably the best bang for the buck), Rocktron Intellifex, Multi-Valve or Replifex. *

Just my $0.02,
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2002, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

Right now I want to stick with the 2120 for a few reasons...

1) It's the only thing that works with my Control One (and I could buy a new MIDI foot controller, but I think I've bought enough stuff this week)

2) I've been using Digitech & Johnson gear for years, and I can build patches with my eyes closed

3) Most FX units I've had the pleasure of using switch really slow over MIDI (I have a Lexicon MPX500 now... sounds great, but switches too slow)

4) It's paid for and in the mail *

That having been said, if the Digitech gives me too much grief, I'm certainly open to selling it & pursuing other options. If I stray away from Digitech gear, I'll probably look at the G-Major first, since it's reasonably priced and I've heard nothing but good comments about it.


(Edited by bduersch at 11:57 pm on Feb. 3, 2002)
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-04-2002, 02:43 AM
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

I run a setup *that is close to the one you are setting up and the only comments that I have about it are that although they are just relays sometimes *switchers do not work well with pedals and you should be aware that swichers that have lots of loops often do not secure the jacks. And If you buy a switcher that can not switch one preamp off as the other turns on ouch! *One more note if you buy a switcher that takes CC controls the midi out jack on the marshall will not do this.

All in I am really inpressed that you planned all this out and the diagrams you should this for a living.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-04-2002, 03:31 AM
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

I am a fan of digitech stuff. Always have been. I have owned about every decent peice of rack gear from all manufactureres.. I'll will alwys keep Digitech gear around! Beleive it or not, i actually prefer my old Valve FX.. there's something sweeter about the distortion and delays in it...

As for your set up.. All I can say now is that I dont think you can controll everything with the control one.. Maybe you can but i didnt think you could.. .. unless you midi mapped everyhting.. Hmm.. now you got me thinking...

Let us all know how it turns out...

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-04-2002, 08:12 PM
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together


Clearly, you've got some serious thought going into this rig! *I thought my setup was gonna be complicated . . . all I want is a sweet combo (Mesa/Boogie Nomad 55 2x12), a nice effects processor (Rocktron Replifex) and a magical box to let me switch everything on a preset basis via MIDI. *I don't know much about MIDI, but I don't have to draw a picture of my rig to figure it out . . . LOL

I'm just teasin' . . . those are some really sweet diagrams. *I agree with winterlong, I think you should draw these planning diagrams for a living. *Hey, maybe is looking for a new graphics designer! *Best of luck with your dream rig! *I myself am nearly in heaven . . . just a couple more pieces need to show up *:biggrin:

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2002, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

Well, I picked up the Triaxis & 2:90 tonight, and managed to rig things up just enough to take it for a decent test drive. I'm using my rather noisy MPX500 for reverbs temporarily, Crybaby 535Q for wah, and Johnson 2x12 cabinet with Celestion Vintage 30's. (I was even able to switch the presets using my Control One through the JM150 amp, which was basically turned on only as the world's largest MIDI router.) Now granted, I've been raving about modeling amps for a couple years now on the forum and I didn't think I'd ever find anything that'd make me want to sell my Johnson Millennium, but the Triaxis has so much tone that I almost don't know what to do with it. Based on how sweet it sounds, I don't know if I'll ever bother with getting the Marshall preamp and hassling with all the switching & routing stuff (and after I went to all the trouble to draw the pretty picture...) *

Based on everyone's suggestions, I just might go into the rack-designing business. I'll gladly draw up schematics for people, for a small fee. All you need to do is send me a cool piece of rack gear, and I'll draw up whatever you want. Got only 3 items in your rack? I can do that. Want the JP-style 30-space rack? No problem! Want to have Carmen Electra holding your POD Pro? It can be done!

Anyway, back to the lecture at hand, I don't know if I've "found my tone" so to speak, but without a doubt this is the closest I've ever come to finding it. Now if I can just figure out what all these buttons do...


PS--Does anybody know how to do a global reset on a Triaxis? I'd like to start with a fresh slate.

(Edited by bduersch at 12:20 am on Feb. 5, 2002)
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2002, 11:40 AM
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

ok, that setup is just sick. and that diagram is just too much, my G.A.S is gonna kill me.

and i though me with just a wireless a pod pro and a poweramp was too much.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2002, 01:57 PM
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together


Got this from Mesa's website about reloading the factory presets:

Press the shift key once, then press the mode key. *This will wipe out all previously stored programs in slots 1-20. *

Hope this is what you are looking for.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2002, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

Well, I gave that a shot, but it only reset the first 20 presets. Hmmm...

So I picked up the phone and called Mesa, and here's what they told me...

Remove the top cover. There are two small metal prongs (like a jumper) sticking up behind the dynamic voice display. While the unit is on, use a screwdriver tip to connect those two prongs. That will trigger the full factory reset, after which all the displays across the front will read 20 (for version 2.0, I guess). Everything is then restored to it's stock configuration.

I haven't tried it yet, but I've done that a couple times before in computer-land to reset BIOS's, so I don't think I can screw it up too badly.

In other news, having just gotten done with one of the loudest and most toneful band rehearsals I've ever been a part of (between my new Triaxis rig & djrjem's new Nomad setup), I'm pretty much going to leave the rig as is for a while, perhaps forever... no Marshall preamp, no BBE box, no preamp switching. I am thinking about getting a relay box just to eliminate a little pedal switching, but I just don't feel like I need any more tones to play with right now (perhaps ever).

Well, time to go make some George L's patch cables...

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2002, 09:25 PM
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

*In a twitching heap on the floor from G.A.S. pains* *Woah. *I don't need anything that complex. *I've been spoiled by my Korg AX-1G (multi-effects unit) and Flextone II setup: *It's simple, and you just switch from one patch to another, no fancy footwork. *But now I want more complex stuff to improve my tone. *I love the Flextone II, but hate the AX-1G. *Things I want to buy:

Line6 Floorboard
A better multi-effects unit.
A few stompboxes.
A couple more guitars :biggrin:

Basically, I want a rack to show off. * *endless towers of heavenly blinking lights. *lol
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2002, 04:48 AM
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

I like the JMP-1 Triaxis blend Idea, that does sound very cool! What do you think you are going to use the various preamps for?

The wiring also looks good btw, and it shouldn't really be too difficult to get working with a decent switching system.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2002, 11:29 AM
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

Brent, when I was switching between my Formula Pre and my JMP-1 in my rack, I looked at the Rolls RFX and found it couldn't handle splitting a guitar signal to two preamps decently (I can't remember why but it explains in the manual that is available on line), so I went with the Peavey MidiPro instead - the Peavey's a great, great, GREAT unit and cheap for all it does at only $300-$350 on the used market (if you can find one)... That being said, I had everything rigged up in an 8 space SKB and it worked beautifully, but it weighed so damn much and was so damned big and unweildy that after only three gigs I said screw it and broke it all down into two completely seperate four space racks... and my back is much happier for it! *
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2002, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

Yeah... I was reading the manual for the Rolls and I noticed that the guitar (in) is always connected to all the sends, so I was a little concerned about it sucking my tone dry. Also, I'd be mixing instrument (from the guitar, pedals) and line (from the preamps) in the same loop, which could be a little wacky. If I do get a switch box at this point, if for nothing more than switching the pedals, I'm looking at the Axess electronics box--it has a buffer and uses true bypasses to not suck the tone as dry. It doesn't offer the amp switching like the Rolls box, but I don't really have anything to switch (except for the 2:90, but that's switch by the Triaxis anyway).

Ideally, to do the full Marshall/Mesa split rig I'd really need something with more loops, like the Rocktron Patchmate or Mesa Midi Matrix. Then I could have all the available options for sending different preamps to different speakers.

Having spent 3 days with the Triaxis, though, I don't think I'll be going to Marshall-land anytime soon. I'm sure it'll give me more flexibility, but at this point more flexibility is the last thing I need. Once I get my 2120 I think I'll have enough programming to do to keep me busy for a while. After all, in my current band, I really only use 5-6 different preamp tones with various combinations of effects on them. If I put the Marshall in the rack, I'd probably use it only out of obligation (I feel like I need to use it because I'm always hauling it around).

I kinda like Jimi's idea of the second rack... have a simple 4-space rack with the JMP1, scaled-down FX box, and a smaller power amp just to use as a backup. Then I've got all the Marshall tones accessible should I ever really feel the need.

Too many options! :idunno:

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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My Mesa/Marshall dream rig coming together

Well, for the record, here's where I've come out...

I used a partially-assembled rig for a show on Sunday, using the Triaxis & 2:90 along with my Lexicon MPX500 for reverb (didn't switch the patch on it all night), the DS1, and 535Q (and djrjems' DMC Ground Control unit!). Sounded great and worked like a champ!

Then Monday I got the 2120 and started to put it all together. I really like the 2120's FX and MIDI routing capabilities, but at the end of the day, I just couldn't get the EQ's set in a way that wouldn't mess with the Triaxis' tone too much. Sounded awesome when plugged directly into the 2:90, but didn't sound great in the Triaxis FX loop (and the Triaxis didn't sound great in the 2120's FX loop either). The moral of the story being--how many preamps does one person really need (especially when they're running in serial)? So anyway, I'm out for a new FX setup, and for the first time in over 10 years I might not be using any Digitech gear (this really is hard for me--I've been using Digitech stuff since I got my GSP21 Legend in high school, and I've had a 2101, 2120, and just about every Johnson amp in the interim).

So I'm thinking about getting a G-Major to use for chorus, delay, & other FX and using the MPX500 I currently have only for reverb. I've heard lots of good stuff about the G-Major. I don't like the chorus & other modulation effects in the MPX500 and it switches slow via MIDI, but it has a killer reverb, so I might rig it up and only use one patch on it all the time. Any other rackmounted FX boxes I should be checking out? My goal is to have something decent sounding, relatively flexible, but not break the bank in the process.

The only other piece I'll need will be a new foot controller--the Control One I've been using isn't real MIDI, so I need something that supports standard MIDI. I'd really like a pedal with banks of 10 and no expression pedals to get in the way--the Ground Control is probably top on my list at this point. Any other foot controller suggestions?

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