Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together - Jemsite
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH USA
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Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

When my band broke up a couple of months ago I decided the musical "downtime" was a good opportunity to re-vamp my rig before rushing off to form/join another band. I'd been using the Randall MTS amps, and although I liked the versatility, playing was no longer as "inspiring" as it was when I first got 'em--perhaps because I was spending far more time tweaking than actually playing.

After selling off all my MTS gear, here's the rig I ended up assembling:





I got the idea from looking at Alex Lifeson's rig, but just scaled it down to be (a little) more practical. I typically run the Triamp (all tube) through dual 4x12's with no FX, then use the Zentera (modeling) through dual 2x12's with stereo FX added. Out in front of the amps I use a handful of pedals that are powered/buffered by a VHT Valvulator, which is a god-send for maintaining tone through long pedal chains with multiple amps at the end.

Of course, now that I have the rig together, I really need to get back into a band so I can put it to use. The whole rig is un-practically loud in my basement!

--B

PS -- My other big project of the past few weeks was replacing the wheat grille cloth on my four Avatar cabs with Fender-style silver grille cloth. That was definitely time well spent.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 02:40 AM
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

alex lifeson all the way.....
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 02:56 AM
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Lovely rig!!!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 03:36 AM
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Loving the TriAmp? One of our local guitar luminaries uses a TriAmp and an ancient battered JEM FP - he pulls the most awesome guitar tone! (and he's both a really nice guy and a jawdroppingly good player!) - so the TriAmp may be in my future as a simpler setup - what's your view on the beast?

Cheers

David
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 10:19 AM
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Thats is super nice. I love the way it looks and I bet it sounds awsome. If and when I build something big I'd like to do soemthing like this.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 11:51 AM
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Sorry to hear about your band, but nice looking set up you got there. I'm not familiar with their stuff, I'll have to go check some of it out. You go through gear like most people go through socks !!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Thanks for the comments & compliments... I definitely suffer from an extreme, obviously uncurable form of G.A.S. Seems like I'm happy with my gear for about 4 months, then the next month I've got 15 things on e-bay and 10 different things on the way. I couldn't make it work if I wasn't super-diligent about selling stuff I don't use and thoroughly committed to buying used gear.

Anyway, I'm digging the Triamp II a lot... it's an interesting beast because some of the channels are designed to be your standard Fendery-clean, Voxy-chime, Plexi-growl, etc, then the high-gain channels are completely unique. Not Marshally, not Mesa-ish, but somewhere in between: fat, aggressive, and mid-heavy. At the end of the day, the high-gain voicing is great, but hard to compare to any other amps I've ever owned.

My biggest gripe with the Triamp (and many other amps) is the shared EQ... granted, it's got a lot of knobs on it already, but what's a dozen more? Seems like the second variation of each channel is a bit darker than the first, but turning up the treble to brighten up the second variation makes the first variation a bit more harsh. Still, it's a tweaker's paradise.

My other complaint is that I have one of the early mkII's before the MIDI switching module was standard, so I'm in the market now for the MIDI module so I can control it from the Lexicon controller. Looks like it should be easy to install, at least, but it's a $200 option. The alternative is using a Patchmate/GCX with a custom cable, so the built-in MIDI option is still cheaper at the end of the day.

The zenTera has been interesting... I'd pretty much sworn off modeling amps 5 years ago when I unloaded my JM150. And I've tried Vettas, Cybertwins, Valvetronix's over the years and been generally unimpressed. But the zenTera's a bit different... it doesn't have a ton of models or effects available, but unlike everything else digital I've ever tried, it feels the most like a real tube amp. So it seems that the H&K folks did their homework and decided to go for quality instead of quantity. My biggest gripe with the zenTera is that it's noisy (tho probably no worse than many high-gain tube amps) and that it has no noise gate, so I'm in the market for a Decimator or something similar to quiet it down a bit.

--B

Last edited by bduersch; 06-28-2006 at 12:02 PM.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyfingersminion
alex lifeson all the way.....
I actually went a little overboard with the Lifeson stuff last week... the zenTera website has a preset dump direct from one of Alex's zenTeras that was sent in for routine service, so I loaded some of those presets up on my zenTera. Lots of patches from the latest album, plus some classics like Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ, Natural Science, New World Man, The Pass, Ghost of a Chance, and more. My favorite of the Alex presets so far is the Roll the Bones one, which has the "drowning in delay" solo sound. Don't know how many of 'em I'll keep using, but the zenEdit software makes it pretty easy to upload/download patches from the amp to make space for new ones.

--B
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 12:16 PM
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

how are you liking those cabs after the amount of time you've had them? I've been considering some 2x12s to replace my mesa 1x12s for quite a while, but i can't ever decide on a brand to go with. Are those open backs or closed? Those H&K's look awesome. I always wanted to try some of their stuff out, but no one has them around here.

oh and where is the mpx G2? i thought you had one of those going into that setup
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Quote:
Originally Posted by bduersch
I actually went a little overboard with the Lifeson stuff last week... the zenTera website has a preset dump direct from one of Alex's zenTeras that was sent in for routine service, so I loaded some of those presets up on my zenTera. Lots of patches from the latest album, plus some classics like Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ, Natural Science, New World Man, The Pass, Ghost of a Chance, and more. My favorite of the Alex presets so far is the Roll the Bones one, which has the "drowning in delay" solo sound. Don't know how many of 'em I'll keep using, but the zenEdit software makes it pretty easy to upload/download patches from the amp to make space for new ones.

--B
that's really cool!
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 02:00 PM
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

That's really nice!

Congrats
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamcbest
how are you liking those cabs after the amount of time you've had them? I've been considering some 2x12s to replace my mesa 1x12s for quite a while, but i can't ever decide on a brand to go with. Are those open backs or closed? Those H&K's look awesome. I always wanted to try some of their stuff out, but no one has them around here.

oh and where is the mpx G2? i thought you had one of those going into that setup
I'm still really liking the Avatar cabs... aside from replacing the grilles (which was purely a cosmetic thing), they've served me well since the day I got 'em. Obviously Avatar is a great value, and Dave @ Avatar understands how customer service works... every time I've bought a cab from him I've talked to him about the possible cabinet and speaker choices... he's very knowlegable and not just in it to make a quick sale. (Also, when I replaced the grille cloth myself, I damaged the Avatar logos, and Dave was kind enough to send me a replacement set of logos.) I've picked up the variety of cabs to deal w/ different recording projects... both of the 4x12's are closed back, one is loaded with V30's and the other with G12H30's; one 2x12 is open with V30's (soon to be replaced with Classic Lead 80's) and the other 2x12 is closed with G12T75's. My biggest complaint on the Avatar cabs is that the tolex doesn't hold up as well as some of the other cabs/amps I've owned over the years, but internally, they are well constructed so I know they'll hold up even if they look like they've taken a beating. For what I paid for 'em, I could afford to re-tolex 'em with something more durable and still come out ahead.

As for the H&K stuff, it was pretty much impossible to find any of it locally to try out... I bought it all on a leap of faith. The only H&K dealer around Cincinnati has been less than pleased with the new distributor (H&K amps are now distributed through Pearl Drums in the US) and really didn't help me out much in the process. I've sent a few messages to H&K customer support in the US... a couple have gone unanswered, but they did send me a CD with the latest zenEdit software + firmware updates + patches along with a H&K beverage coolie for free, so that's something. (Rumor has it that sending e-mails to the support group in Germany gets better results) I bought both the amps used, based largely on reviews on Harmony Central--usually I don't have a lot of faith in reviews there, but I figure there aren't a lot of a$$-clowns out there with $3300 to drop on a new amp head, so the reviewers (probably) know what they're talking about.

Finally, on the Lexicon G2, I still have it, but I dropped it from the rig since I've started running the Triamp dry and doing all FX through the Zentera's FX section (which is nowhere near as expansive as the G2, but it is a lot quicker to dial in, especially when used with the zenEdit software). When I had different FX running through both amps, it was a real pain to keep all the time-based FX in sync (delays are easy, but chorus/flanger/phaser rates and depths were more of a pain). Given a little more time to play with the Zentera's FX, I may sell the G2 or trade it in on something simpler (like a G-Major). Part of the charm of the G2 to me is that it allows some FX to be put in front of the amp (wah, comp, OD) and some to be put in the loop, but that gets tricky fast in a multi-amp rig.

--B
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 10:58 PM
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Green with G.A.S. envy. Enjoy the ride!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 11:00 PM
 
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Way to put my piece of SHlT to shame. Read my other thread
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 11:30 PM
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Re: Got my new Hughes & Kettner rig together

Damn, and you can just touch a button and start playing the "Natural Science" sound? Sounds like fun!
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