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  #1  
Old 07-04-2003, 08:48 PM
trouble311  is offline
 
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Location: Bangor, WA
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So it's finally happened...


I have finally gotten to the point where I feel my ears are telling me I need to make the jump from digital modeling to tube amps...I thought this day would never come, but as I have gotten older and my playing has gotten better/more mature, I can hear the subtle nuances that just make all the difference....

So now here's my problem. I think I want to go with a small rack setup so that I can keep everything portable, and just buy a 2X12 cabinet, either a Mesa or Marshall.

Could someone give me a quick rundown of what I will need? Basically, I just need a preamp and a poweramp, right?

I was thinking either a Mesa Boogie Triaxis or ADA MP-1 for the preamp (the MP-1 of course being more affordable, and probably a good starting point), and a Mesa 2:90 for the power amp.

What do you guys think? Any suggestions are very welcome and wanted, as this will be my first rack setup!!

Thanks guys!
Abe
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2003, 09:04 PM
Carlo  is offline
 
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consider a Voodoo Lab Preamp, I have one and it ROCKS! Great tone...all tube.... and it sounds pretty good even when u are recording direct (which is something the Triaxis and the MP-1 really sucks at). And it has oodles of gain and it's very dynamic. Listen to Blues Saraceno's demo....I think it's a good representation of what the preamp has to offer...

http://www.custom-sounds.com/audio/preamp-song.mp3


but there's no effects loop or midi so it's a no frills type of preamp. But I found it a lot easier to tweak and get a good sound out of it than a Triaxis. Triaxis really takes some patience.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2003, 11:12 PM
darren wilson  is offline
 
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Location: Canada
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I came to the same realization a few months ago, but i'm taking baby steps to get there. I'm still using my trusty GT-6 to generate most of my tones, but i'm powering it with a Peavey Classic 50/50 into a Genz Benz G-Flex.

Once i shed my need to run through at least a dozen different effects patches over the course of a short set, i'll likely simplify further.

I *really* like the sound of the Mesa Rectifiers. The clean channel is so sweet, and the distortion is just monstrous into a Mesa 212. Costs double what my current rig cost me, though.
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  #4  
Old 07-04-2003, 11:19 PM
caprile  is offline
 
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Do you need a programmable unit? if not, I'd just go for a really good combo, for instance a Laney VC series.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2003, 11:56 PM
rlintz  is offline
 
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Location: California
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I read your post and moreso the replies with great interest because after playing Line 6 stuff for about 4 years now, I'm also interested in dialing in some more authentic tube tones. The new Mesa Dual Rectifier Road King looks incredible allowing for multiple preamp, poweramp, and rectifier options but looks pretty pricey. I need to check out the Mesa Nomad stuff as I've heard great things about them. I'm also to the point where I've slowly built the guitar collection to provide for a wide array of tones (classic Fender, Gibson, my favorite G&L, seven strings, nylon string) and now need to focus on amps.

Love the Line 6 stuff but it still doesn't quite capture tube tone absolutely.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2003, 01:40 AM
jonrayl  is offline
 
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I would recommend staying away from the 2:90 unless you are playing stadiums. The thing with tubes is, to really make them sound good, you need to drive them. The other thing with tubes is that they are louder than solid state. the 2:90 is giving you just over 180 watts of tube tone, and thats clean power... translation - freakin loud.

I use a similar setup (rack with 2 1x12 cabs) and Im using the mp1 (love it to death, and honestly I think it sounds better than the triaxis), but Im using the boogie 20/20 power amp. 44w of class A tube power.... I turn the thing about halfway up to get over the drums. The advantage of the lower powered amp is that you can turn it up higher (drive the tubes harder) while maintaining reasonable volume levels.

Food for thought.
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2003, 01:52 AM
microdmitry  is offline
 
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Goddamit, guys, PLEASE STOP using the term "Class A". None of the production push-pull amps is Class A. None, period. Not even Vox or Matchless. With 20/20 it's the opposite, it's as close to class B as it can be without ruining the tone.
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2003, 02:09 AM
microdmitry  is offline
 
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BTW, I owned a 20/20. The only thing I didn't like about it was a noisy cooling fan inside. It can only be heard at bedroom volumes, but I'm at bedroom volume levels most of the time.
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2003, 02:50 AM
bpd111  is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microdmitry
Goddamit, guys, PLEASE STOP using the term "Class A". None of the production push-pull amps is Class A. None, period. Not even Vox or Matchless. With 20/20 it's the opposite, it's as close to class B as it can be without ruining the tone.
Alright, Microdmitry, you're going to have to educate me on the Class A and B thing. Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2003, 03:21 AM
microdmitry  is offline
 
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A great article describing all kinds of classes can be found here:

http://www.aikenamps.com/ClassA.htm

It pretty much avoids any technical details, so it should be easy to understand. If you have any questions I'll be happy to clarify.
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  #11  
Old 07-05-2003, 07:57 AM
Platypus  is offline
 
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Don't stay away from the 2:90 because of its power rating, listen to it and get it if you like what you hear.
I seriously recommend that you try out the VHT 2/50/2, I used to have a Mesa 2:90 and it was the best sounding power amp I had heard until I got my hands on the 2/50/2. It's better sounding in every possible way and it even has a usable "half drive" mode (the half drive of the 2:90 sounds horrible), so I sold the 2:90 ad I'm still extremely pleased with my sound.
It's also cheaper than the 2:90 and use 2 tubes per side (the 2:90 use four tubes per side) which means lower maintainance cost as well.
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  #12  
Old 07-05-2003, 09:54 AM
bpd111  is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlo de Dios
consider a Voodoo Lab Preamp, but there's no effects loop
Do you just run your FX in-line and they sound OK? If I run my delay pedal in-line and not in the FX loop, it sounds stinky.
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  #13  
Old 07-05-2003, 01:46 PM
(a)
ScottB  is offline
 
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How about a Carvin Quad-X preamp? 4 independent channels, each with its' own effects loop. Footswitchable and on board midi. 9 - 12ax7a tubes in this one. Separate reverb loop and a stereo master loop. Cabinet voiced output for DI.

I think I saw one recently on ebay. Can't remember the prices though.
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  #14  
Old 07-05-2003, 02:02 PM
trouble311  is offline
 
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I played through a Mesa Road King and it sounded incredible, I just can't afford $2700...that's why I am thinking of going rack mounted....I can probably score a good sounding preamp and a good sounding power amp for cheaper than I could get a head for, and possibly grab a TC Electronics G-Major for effects...and then get a really decent 2X12 cabinet so that I can play at bedroom level or at gig level....

So far we have discussed the Voodoo Labs and a little bit about the MP-1...any more suggestions? I think I would like a Triaxis for "modern" tones, but I don't know if I can afford that at this point....so I am looking for a cheaper all-tube preamp that can nail a modern tone, a great clean tone, and a good vintage lead tone....I was thinking the MP-1, but I am worried it would sound a little thin for high-gain chunk...which the Triaxis would excel at.
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  #15  
Old 07-05-2003, 02:52 PM
microdmitry  is offline
 
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Or you can get something cheaper (but still non-rack) than Road King and save your dough. The thing with rack setups is that most of them are stereo. You aren't going to use stereo live (due to phase effects between cabinets standing far from each other) and you have to buy two cabs to fully use it at home. Also, it is unlikely that you will get a spring reverb with your rack setup and spring reverb IMO is the best thing since sliced bread. Now let's see what you get with the head. You can get spring reverb. Your power amp is matched to your preamp. Overall a head will be lighter than a similar rack setup with the same power. No wire mess anywhere. And it's actually cheaper than rack setup if you buy used. The only thing I don't like about heads is that it's not as convenient to use rackmount FX units with it. But why the heck needs anything but spring reverb anyway?
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