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  • Amp to put in rack

    I'm thinking of buying a tc electronics g force and get rid of all my pedals, I can power it with my Marshall 50 wtt head but was wondering if there was something I could put  in the rack space for power instead, yet not lose the tube feel

  • #2

    94 views no opinions ?


    • kt100
      kt100 commented
      Editing a comment

      ok should I run straight into the Marshall or through the fx loop ?

  • #3

    If you want to ditch the head, you're going to want to start thinking about a preamp as well as the power amp. I use some Mesa rack gear and I love it. But it was grossly expensive. If you like the sound of the current marshall, why not just keep that and plunk the TC into the effects loop? Have you picked up a floor controller yet? 



    • #4

      Yes, you can. And you may end up being like me. I was an all tube guy and was going to do what you are doing here for the effects, and I ended up liking the digital pre amps better than the real amps. BUT I needed a tube power amp. Because with no tube power amp, I can't get the feel I want and it usually isn't as loud and it makes it sound digital.

      So, what you are going to want to do is get a pre amp first of all. The TC electronics is good for effects. But go ahead and get something that is very good at doing every effect you need and has a lot of good amp models. I use the GSP 1101, it is around 500 bucks. It has real lexicon reverb, it has every effect I need. I then use a midi controller to switch the effects off and on and to move from amp to amp.

      I then run that into the power amp, which is a Mesa Boogie 50/50 tube amp. It sits below the pre amp in the rack. 

      Out of that, I run into a Mesa 2x12 cab on one channel and a Carvin 2x12 on the other channel. 

      Go on youtube and look at people who have done video's like, "Real Marshall vs Marshall sim on 1101." You'll notice they sound exactly the same most of the time. Especially if they are running a tube power amp.

      If you like the Marshall tube tone, Marshall also makes tube power amps. I seen one on ebay for 500 dollars which was a 100 tube power amp much like my mesa. But I prefer the Mesa power amp tone over the Marshall.

      Before I had a tube power amp, I ran it through the return of the fx loop on my 6505. Which allowed me to use it's tube power amp but by pass it's tube pre amp and use the digital pre amps. 

      When it comes to these pre amps, there are 3 good options, the Axe fx, the HD500 or HDpro, and the GSP 1101. There are others, but these 3 seem to be the best I have messed with.

      The HDpro will go in a rack, but then you have to buy  a midi controller to control it. The HD500 is the exact same thing but it's not in a rack. It's in a foot controller. So you won't have to buy a midi controller, and then you just run it out to your tube power amp. 

      The GSP 1101 is a rack unit, to me it sounds more realistic and is the better unit. I can use my Line 6 HD500 to midi control it, or another cheap midi controller I have called the FCB1010

      The Axe FX, is an investment. Only buy that if you are for sure you want to go this route. It is a lot more money. And it depends on how many things you need. 

      For example, I have known of people who sold their Axe Fx to down grade to an 1101 or an HD500. Because they did not need all the stuff the axe fx had on it. 

      When it comes to the sound, the amp models I use on the 1101 do sound as good as the amp models on the Axe Fx. But, it does not have as many amp models as the Axe fx. That is okay with me because I am not someone who does that. 

      I use 4 amp models on pretty much everything. I find the best lead channel for metal stuff, in this case the 5150 on the 1101, then I find a crunch channel, A marshall JCM 800, then I find two clean channels and add different delays, A jazz 120 and a Fender twin. 

      I never need any of the other amp models. So if I had a lot more of them available, I still wouldn't use them. I also don't need a million effects. The 1101 has every effect that you are actually going to use. So does the HD500. 

      For the whole set up, if you buy the GSP 1101 new you are looking at 500 bucks. Then a midi controller to control it, 150 bucks for the cheapest one. A rack to put it in, I use a 6 space rack, 100 bucks. A tube power amp, this is where I'd go used. Mesa fifty/fifty 500 bucks on ebay. Marshall tube power amp between 500-900 bucks on ebay. Peavey 60/60 tube power amp, around 350 bucks on ebay. Carvin TS-100 tube power amp 600 dollars new. 



      • scottkahn
        scottkahn commented
        Editing a comment

        Sticking with the basics... you have a Marshall head. A G-Force is a great sounding multi-effects processor that should be placed in your amp's effects loop.

        The next step up in rig design with these products might be to build a wet/dry/wet rig. In that scenario, the effects loop Send goes into the G-Force, but instead of a mono output to your amp's effects loop Return, you take the stereo output from the G-Force and run that into a stereo tube power amp (like Mesa 2:Fifty, ENGL 850/100, etc.) and then run the output from that power amp to a pair of speaker cabinets placed on either side of your Marshall's speaker cabinet. In this setup, your dry amp tone comes out the main cab, and stereo effects on either side, hence w/d/w refers to the speaker layout. If you just run mono out of the G-Force to a power amp to a single cabinet, then you have a wet/dry rig. But these are complicated in terms of balancing sounds and volume. It's the perfect setup for recording in the studio when effects are integral to your sound/style/tone, but it's a big hassle live.

        If you're thinking about a full rack setup, here's a great primer I wrote on the topic a while ago:


        I further expand on the topic in the book, Modern Guitar Rigs: The Tone Fanatic's Guide to Integrating Amps & Effects.



    • #5

      I am going to attempt to install my new amp tower speakers run the wires and add a second battery to power the tower. It was time to make an amp rack to get my amp off of the floor.

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