Simple rack setup- Any advice appreiciated - Jemsite
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Simple rack setup- Any advice appreiciated

Hey. After looking around ebay for a long time and bidding on copious amounts of combos but with no luck i might see how cheap a simple rack setup would come to.

I basically know nothing about rack systems apart from you need simply a Pre amp, power amp and cab.

Can anyone offer me any info on pre/power amps, and whats generally the best second hand that can offer a wide range off tones (mostly metal/rock, blues).
I was looking at a lot of mesa combos but didnt have much lcuk with the winning on the item, so any suggestions for possible mesa rack stuff would be great as well as other brands.

ta
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 02:54 PM
 
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I hate to be predictable (bah...no I don't ) but take a look at the Line6 Pod Pro 2.0 or xt. I know Stephen Carpenter's got a 2.0 in his rack and I couldn't have told ya that if I tried and I own a Flextone II (same thing, but in a combo amp)

I've heard great things about the Mesa Triaxis and others though.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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I seem to notice preamps like old Boogie Stuidos, for dirt cheap, and from reviews they seem like nice preampes.

If anyone has one, could they possibly comment on it, and correct me if im wrong in saying its just a two channel that shares the same knobs for both channels?
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 06:34 PM
 
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I went through a couple Studio Pre's and here's what I have to say about 'em:
Although they're designed around the Mark III series along with the Quad Pre, the Studio is technically your Mark III preamp section in a rack. The Studio doesn't have push-pull knobs like the Mark III but the Studio has the Lead Bright, Rhythm Bright and Lead Fat switches . There's technically 3 modes on the Studio Pre but only 2 channels are accessible with the footswitch. One channel is for clean (Rhythm) and the other channel is for distorted tone (Lead). From what I remember setting the gain low on the Rhythm gives that clean Fender-like tone but setting it higher brings it to Marshall terrirtory. The Lead channel is pure Mesa that can be used with or without the 5 band EQ. The amount of gain and volume that's set on the Rhythm channel affects the Lead channel. Basically, you have to comprimise a setting in the Rhythm channel to drive the Lead Channel and try to get a good sound from it.The reverb and eq can be activated via the optional footswitch or a switching system. Otherwise, it's a nice piece of gear but don't expect Recto-grind out of this Pre.
The Formula Pre is somewhat the same thing but is based from Mesa's Heartbreaker series. It's a 3 channel preamp (with their own dedicated controls) with 4 modes that also has a 5-band EQ in a one rack space format. I personally haven't use one but it might be worth checking out for your needs.
And of course, the best way to hear tube preamps at their best is with a tube poweramp

Reg
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 07:23 PM
 
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I've got an ADA MP-2 and carvin T-100 tube power amp going into a 5150 412. It sounds great. I have no complaints about the tone...now if I can just figure out why the power likes to fade out when the effects loop is engaged..
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 08:05 PM
 
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About the TriAxis,

I was at Guitar Center today and heard a guy playing. He was pretty good, playing nice bluesy stuff, and the tone was great, so I went over to watch him. He was playing through what I thought was a Line 6 combo, and I thought "Man, those digital amps are really starting to catch up!" However, it turns out that he was playing through a Mesa TriAxis through a Marshall 100 watt EL34 power amp. No wonder it sounded so good.

The moral of this story is, the TriAxis sounds great and Mesa rules.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 01:16 AM
 
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ADA MP-1's should be available really cheap, and are considered a good preamp for general rock sounds...
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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What are the MP1's and (2's) like for metal stuff? id mainly be playing metal, and vai/satch/timmons kinda instrumental stuff. Thats why i think maybe the mesa Studios are possibly a good contender.


Anyone able to offer advice about cheap, yet good poweramps, a lot of people say the mesa 20/20 and 50/50 are both nice poweramps
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 05:33 PM
 
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I think ADA MP's are mostly known for the 80's hi-gain sounds...check out soundclips at www.adadepot.com

As for poweramps, I think the Mesa and Marshalls would be both quite pricey, I'd look into Peavey...
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 06:20 PM
 
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Got me an ADA MP2 about 2 weeks ago and the thing is INCREDIBLE! So much gain on tap...theres both gain and drive controls, so you can really pile it on Im a total gain freak and this thing really delivers what I want; it will handle most styles of music no problem (I can even get a crystal clear jazz tone out of it). Leave the MP1 alone if you want to play metal though...

-better shred than dead-ANDY
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 07:36 PM
 
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Unless you have a modified mp-1 it probably won't handle modern metal tones. The mp-2's are capable of so much more than just gain filled sounds. Yeah, it has gain and drive which ads a certain diversity to the gain structure...but then there's not only 10 tube voicings(I only care for about 3 or 4...) but a compressor, chorus, wah filter, tremelo, graphic eq and the standard bass, mid, treble, and presence blah blah blah. It's also incredibly bassy. LOTS of low end. I'm still trying to get 'my' sound out of it with the lead tone. It's got so much to tweak that it can be a bit daunting at times. I honestly prefer a triaxis, it only took me 2 minutes to nail a great lead tone. But at 1/3 the price of a used and 1/5 the price of a new triaxis I'm happy.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 07:38 PM
 
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Unless you have a modified mp-1 it probably won't handle modern metal tones. The mp-2's are capable of so much more than just gain filled sounds. Yeah, it has gain and drive which ads a certain diversity to the gain structure...but then there's not only 10 tube voicings(I only care for about 3 or 4...) but a compressor, chorus, wah filter, tremelo, graphic eq and the standard bass, mid, treble, and presence blah blah blah. It's also incredibly bassy. LOTS of low end. I'm still trying to get 'my' sound out of it with the lead tone. It's got so much to tweak that it can be a bit daunting at times. I honestly prefer a triaxis, it only took me 2 minutes to nail a great lead tone. But at 1/3 the price of a used and 1/5 the price of a new triaxis I'm happy.

I dont really see a studio or formula pre from mesa really nailing any 'vai' or 'satch' tones. Maybe I'm wrong, as I haven't tried them. Now for metal tones, remember they're based off of the preamps of the mark III and heartbreaker, not exactly amps that come to mind for metal.( in my opinion)
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 08:54 PM
 
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Here's my advice to you:

If you don't have much money and are not married to this "rack" idea, buy a good combo with a spring reverb (Mark IV or Egnater TOL50 / TOL100) and enjoy life.

If you don't have much money but still want a rack setup, buy inexpensive preamp (ADA MP-1, Marshall JMP-1 are good), GOOD power amp and GOOD set of cabinets. NEVER skimp on power amp and the cabinets, they define your tone a lot more than your preamp. An example of a good power amp would be pretty much anything (anything tube to be exact) from Mesa (20/20, 50/50, 2:90, though the latter two are expensive), VHT or Marshall. Be careful with mesa 20/20 though. It has a relatively noisy fan inside which makes playing at "bedroom" volumes very uncomfortable. Good cabs would be Mesa 1x12 Thieles or 2x12 rectos or 4x12. Thiele cabs MUST have EVM12L speaker. 1x12 closed back sounds thin, if you only have money for one 1x12 (in which case you should forget about Marshall stereo amps), buy Mesa Widebody 1x12 3/4 back and put an aftermarket EVM12L into it. That's what I use, sounds great.

If you're not limited in terms of budget, go crazy. Buy something like Egnater IE4, Bogner Fish, CAE 3+ SE, VHT power amp or Mesa 2:90 and two Mesa Thieles or 2x12's. Don't forget to add TC Electronic G-Force to the mix.

Buying a combo is by far the cheapest route you can take. And you're guaranteed not to have a cabinet that doesn't sound good with your amp.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-07-2004, 07:32 AM
 
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On the subject of cabs... I have a mesa 2 x 12 threequarter back that I re-wired for stereo when I got my rack - it sounds huge, and hopefully Ill be able to take advantage of the g-majors stereo effects (when i get it)

-better shred than dead-
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-07-2004, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
I dont really see a studio or formula pre from mesa really nailing any 'vai' or 'satch' tones. Maybe I'm wrong, as I haven't tried them. Now for metal tones, remember they're based off of the preamps of the mark III and heartbreaker, not exactly amps that come to mind for metal.( in my opinion)
Hmm, not what i wanted to hear lol Some people hd said the Studio could handle metal pretty well, but like you say, the Mk III's wernt the most 'metal' amp mesa ever made.


Quote:
If you don't have much money and are not married to this "rack" idea, buy a good combo
Thats what i planned on doing, although here in the UK even second hand MKIV's go for 800+

Quote:
buy a good combo with a spring reverb (Mark IV or Egnater TOL50 / TOL100) and enjoy life
I just checked on ebay on in the UK theres a TOL50 for 450 ($650?) Buy it now. I checked some reviews and people rave about the clean channel but say its not amazing for metal and you cant really get a high gain sound out of it, which kind of puts that out for a lot of my style.


Im not in a rush to get anything atm so its nice looking around. Does anyone recomend any other possible gear that would satisfy me, by all means if a nice combo pops up on ebay then ill grab it , but racks seem not only more flexible but cheaper when starting out...i may be wrong though lol.


Btw Jammy, where did you get you MP2 from?
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