Rack gear 101 - Jemsite
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Nr. Liverpool, UK
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Rack gear 101

Well guys after problems with my mesa head I have decided to sell it and take the plunge into the world of racks...
I want to make a small, resonably low power versitile system that wont take up my whole room but will still be ok with small gigs (pubs). I think I have basically decided on a mesa 20/20 power amp, and a couple of 1x12 recto cabs - mainly to keep the size (and volume levels) down slightly.
I really could do with some advice on pre amps, and effects units. I like high gain "american" tone and would need something thats full valve and could give me that. It would have to have at least 2 foot/midi controlable channels. What you think would suit me best?
I have heard great things about the TC electronics G major effect unit - does anyone own one/has played one who can give me some opinions on them? Also, what other products would you reccomend instead of the G major?
Bare in mind I dont have TOO much cash to spend and would like to keep the costs down as much as possible.
Thanks in advance

-better shred than dead-ANDY
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 06:51 PM
 
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Biggest Problem on building a rack from scratch:

it will cost you some Greenbacks.

For american Sound I'd recommend a Mesa-Formula-Preamp (here comes the problem, it is not Midi-Switchable... so you'd need a seperate Midi-Switching unit... or you use the two Swithces provided by the G-Major, that leaves two functions on the Formula not being controlled by MIDI).

Maybe you should have an eye on a Triaxis... that is completly MIDI.

Since you want all Tube and american sound that is all I could think of right now (concerning Preamps).

Somewhat cheaer than the Mesa 20/20 is the Marhsall 20/20, which sounds very similiar, but it has the disadvantage of only one volume for both channels. If you like playing around with different cabs this is a big minus.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 09:48 PM
 
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The Rockman Midi Octopus will handle up to 8 switches and you can find them pretty cheaply nowadays.
As far as preamps, the mesa formula is supposed to be nice ( never played one) or there are a few other racks that would work, like the ADA MP1, the [url=http://www.sansamp.com/PSA1.html] Sans Amp PSA-1 [url]

Between them, you'd have a real arsenal of tones that you could fit into any setting. I would also opt for an intellifex from Rocktron if you can get one used, you'll save a ton of cash, otherwse the Gmajors run about $3-400 U.S. One pro about the ADA is there is a pretty good support community for them and you can build ( or have built) mods to increase the gain to sound more like the Recto amps.

http://www.adadepot.com

Good luck !

Bamm
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 09:56 PM
 
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Re: Rack gear 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammy
I have heard great things about the TC electronics G major effect unit - does anyone own one/has played one who can give me some opinions on them? Also, what other products would you reccomend instead of the G major?
Got one. It's fantastic. Very good effects (actually equal in quality as the G-force, just less options). Very transparent. Easy to program, enough room for your own creations, easy to control with a floorboard (I use an FCB-1010, but I'm hoping to get an CAE rs-10 for it). You cannot directly plug in your guitar, you have to put it into your loop. The G-Force does allow you to plug in directly.
G-major has reverb, delay, pitch (shifter, octaver, whammy etc), compression, noisegate, equalizer, filter/mod(wha, phazer, etc) and chorus. And a wad of option on how to use them. Nice display, includes a tuner that's allways on (and programable). Has a tap function.

If mine dies, I go get the G-force.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input guys. I think Ive now settled on the g major for effects. still undecided on pre amp though. I would love a tri-axis but there just to expensive. Anyone like rocktron? they seem to have some cool products....

-better shred than dead-ANDY
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 03:11 PM
 
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I'll second the vote for the MP-1 (or MP-2). These are GREAT preamps, and are probably the best "bang" for buck preamp out there. Combine that with a BBE 482 or similar and you're good to go.

Rob
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 06:32 PM
 
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yea

Quite simply Rockman XPR = good, Rocktron = bad. Trying to keep it cheap but dishing out the money for the effects processor, I know it's not a G force, but the Major is still the price of a decent guitar.

lol
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-24-2004, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Tried out an ADA MP2 - I was really impressed. So one of those will de me! thanks for all your help

-better shred than dead-ANDY
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Right guys another quick question. Can someone please outline to me the main differences between the ADA MP1 and the MP2, wether it be tone, features, whatever - just let me know what you think.

-better shred than dead-ANDY
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-01-2004, 12:01 PM
 
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Well....lets see:

MP-2 - A LOT more gain (than a stock MP-1).
MP-2 - seems to have more low end.
MP-2 - can do CC midi commands (MP-1 doesn't).
MP-2 - More features (10 tube voicings, Graphic EQ, Noise Gate, Tremolo, Wah etc)
MP-2 - can record direct

I think that's the majority of it. Some say the MP-2 sounds more sterile (possibly because of all the digital circutry the signal passes through), but this doesn't bother me in the least.

You should go to www.adadepot.com for more info.

Rob
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-01-2004, 06:39 PM
 
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The Rocktron Piranha is a good preamp - midi switching, lots of decent tones, but it's a bit odd to dial in; I find the parametric mid control a bit of a mind bender - you really have to use your ears and just twist the knobs till you find the tone you want... still, it's a good sounding unit with decent tubes in it... I run mine in parallel with a Marshall JMP-1 - another great preamp for a reasonable price, imho - into a G-Major and a Mesa 20/20 with a handful of different cabs to choose from... I find it's all I need - a killer little rig
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-01-2004, 08:52 PM
 
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Man all the suggestions are cool, however if you're used to mesa then getting a triaxis would definatley be a winning bet I know they are stupid prices new!! 2000 uk pounds i thnk. However have you thought about looking for one second hand?

Alternativley, and I know you wanted to get into racks but if you were to give another head a chance perhaps then you could potentially spend less money. If you got say a real versatile head and then the g-major + cabs, thats another option that would potentially save money.

I dont have first hand experience with the ADA, rocktron pre-amps I hear good and ba dthings about both - try 'em out. I have played the trixais and although it is killer sounding I'd rather have head - its far cheaper. I must admit though I'd look into getting a triaxis if i lived in the US where they come up on ebay for aruond 900 bucks! 8-)

Good luck let us know how you get on.

David
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 12:47 PM
 
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I am using a JMP 1, with a Behringer Virtualizer in the loop.

It is a very versatile preamp, that ticks all the boxes in terms of live and studio. The virtualizer is good for the effects, the reverbs in particular are very good, although the flanger and chorus is not so hot.

These go out into various things but through a behringer tube compressor.

I am thinking of flogging some of this stuff, as I am about to move house. Let me know if you want any, before I stick it on Ebay.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2004, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Got the basics today guys - ADA MP2 (got for 300) and a marshall 20/20 power amp (got for 365) - who said rack gear was expensive? Im running it through my mesa 2x12 which i re-wired for stereo last night and it sounds brilliant. Ive not had a chance to really crank it yet but it sounds amazing even at bedroom levels :P im stoaked! All I need now is a g-major and a foot controller for the whole lot.
Also, Ive heard alot about these sonic maximisers - can someone give me a brief idea of what they do and why I should put one in my rack? Also, If I were to get one, which model should it be?

-better shred than dead-ANDY
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2004, 01:57 PM
 
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Cool jammy, nice rig. What's the MP2 like? Can you do heavy metal/shred with it? I've been offered one 2nd hand but if I bought it I wouldn't have the money for a power amp for a while. Can you use it with headphones?

Thanks!
Joe
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heavy metal , marshall jmp , power amp , recto cab , rocktron piranha , sonic maximiser

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