The slow, painful death of my rack... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-07-2003, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 150
The slow, painful death of my rack...

I just got back from Guitar Center after playing a Mesa Road King and I'm really at a crossroads.

I have been using a rack guitar system all of my professional career (14 years) except for nearly a year of using a Johnson Millenium 250H. I've had ADA MP-1 and MP-2, Marshall JMP, Triaxis, Lexicon G2, Chameleon, Pod PRO etc. and I've gotten a pretty good tone out of each of them. The reasons for all of the changes vary from boredom to disasters. The point is, I've always had a live rig that is very flexible and midi controllable. I use a Pod PRO live now because I recorded our last CD using it (along with Amp Farm) and just got used to it. I go direct to the PA and I am fairly happy with my tone. Some nights it's great, other nights I wish I played bongos instead of guitar. I've been slowly weening myself from having a buttload of sounds. I'm trying to get away with different volume variations of just four or five basic tones. I mainly play a Gibson LP Custom and I my tones run the range between very clean to verge of metal.

What I'm getting at is that I may be in a position to switch to a "real" amp soon. My biggest reservation is relative volume at different shows. I play shows in clubs with 400-2000 people and I also play shows outside where volume is not an issue. I've got a great sound engineer who will attempt to make whatever I'm using sound better, but I'm afraid I will get an amp that has a "sweet spot" level that is either too loud or too quiet for the venue. I currently use a 800 watt power amp with my Pod PRO but that's just so I'll have a tremendous amout of headroom (cleans are cleaner and leads stick out better). In other words, I have no real experience or perception of the volume of a Triple Rect relative to a Mark IV or how either would work for my situations.

I need input from any of you who have either made this kind of switch, or who just have a lot of experience with a great multi-channel tube amp. I am considering the Mesa Road King, Triple Rec, or Mark IV as well as a Bogner Ecstacy, Engl Savage 120 or even a Marshall TSL 100. If anyone has any other suggestions I am open to them.
kent is offline  
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-07-2003, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,502
If you get your decent tube amp and you find it's sweet spot, get a THD Hot Plate so you can use it at any level. I've never used one, but I heard they work well.
Jeff is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-07-2003, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH USA
Posts: 1,357

I went through a similar evolution with my amp rigs... I used a Johnson JM150 religiously for a while before switching to a Triaxis/2:90 setup. While I loved the Mesa tone, the rack rig was a little more complex than I was shooting for, plus I pretty much had to haul around the rack, a cab, and a MIDI pedalboard just to jam. So I decided to simplify...

After much looking around, I ended up with a Mark IV combo. I absolutely love it! Very flexible (took a while to find my ideal tones), and comparatively simpler than the rack rig... I can have the full blown rig with extension cab, rack FX, & pedalboard, or I can be lazy and only take the amp (sounds great either way). With the 3 channels and the switchable EQ, it acts more like a 6-channel amp. One great thing about the Mark--you can change the modes (Class A, triode, half power) so that you get awesome distortion at low volumes (great for recording), but then you can switch the modes back (Simulclass, Pentode, full power) for the full 90 watts. And for the record, I don't think I've ever had to turn mine up past 2.5 in a live setting.

For MIDI control, I bought a Rolls/RFX RP-93 Patchwork, which can switch the 3 channels and the EQ on the Mark. I use a Ground Control on the floor, although pretty much anything should work with the Rolls.

No matter what you decide to do, good luck! If you have any questions about the Mark IV, let me know!


PS--For the record, when I bought my Mark IV I also got a Nomad 45 for a backup amp. The Nomads are killer amps, too, but I like the Mark IV so much that I'm planning on trading the Nomad in for a second Mark IV!
bduersch is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-08-2003, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 150
To Brent-

I actually tried to email you through the Jemsite but I never got a response. I could tell by other posts you have made over the last year that you were in a similiar situation to me. Send me an email and let me know how to get in touch because I definately have a few questions. And thanks for the info so far.

kent is offline  

bogner ecstacy , engl savage , extension cab , johnson millenium , marshall jmp , marshall tsl , mesa road king , midi pedal , pod pro , power amp , tube amp

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