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What to do?


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This forum's been pretty dead lately...

so I figured I'd ask a question which might incite some constructive debate, and has been on my mind for a while.

I've been saving up for my rack for a while now, which gave me plenty of time to think about what I'm wanting to do.

 

Here's what I have:

Rocktron Vendetta head

2x12

Rane MPE14

Power conditioner

Intellifex

ADA MP-1

 

Here's what I want for sure:

Replifex

DIY rack interface

Another preamp (based on Dumble preamp)

 

Here's what I think I'd also need:

A GCX or something to switch between preamps

A power amp

 

Here's some other toys I'd like:

Some sort of cab sim

a load?

Another cab

 

 

Here's the problem: I'm really liking the ADA... as a matter of fact, I like it even better than the Vendetta preamp when I alternate playing both through the Vendetta power amp. Weird, huh?

I've also really like my friend's Dumble clone, and since I'm into DIY, have built some amps and stompboxes, why not try to build a preamp? But that's another story. Anyway, I'm thinking about going full rack.

 

Well, here comes the issue of the power amp: They're heavy. They take up space. I want to keep it at 10 spaces. No more. I want it to be relatively light. Tube preamps don't agree with me here.

 

So here's my train of thought: I'll be going through a PA basically all of the time anyway, or at least have the option to. A cab sim like the Palmer PDI-09 would be optimal here, since I can put it in the back of the rack (won't take up a space, goes between power amp and speaker) and will give me consistent tone without any mics to fall over. I only need a power amp for stage volume, and for the tone it gives me. I think... But again, I'd love for it to be 1 space, stereo rigs are awesome (I think), and it would only be used for stage volume anyway... so why not a 1 space? I guess my best solution would be a Tubeworks or Hafler G series power amp (even though latter one isn't 1U)? In my opinion the 20/20 power amps are overpriced... I'd live a Peavey 50/50, but again, space and weight. What do you guys think?

I don't want you guys to talk me into a 50/50 or anything like that, mind you. Thanks, but really, no thanks.

 

:blah:maybe I should stop talking now and let somebody else do the talking? :idea:

 

Andy

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There aren't too many 1U tube power amps out there, so you have some choices to make.

 

Pay for the Mesa 20/20.

 

Go 2U and get any number of tube pwer amps.

 

Go SS on the power amp.

 

My power amp is 3U tube, but I put it in its own rack so weight isn't as big of an issue. I have 2 6U racks, one has the power amp, and the other has the pre, wireless, effects, etc. If I had it all in one box, it'd weigh a ton!

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Yeah... I figured I might just put the power amp into its own rack. I don't know about the Mesa... I'm growing tired of power tubes... maybe I do too much amp servicing for locals? SS would weigh less, cost less, but... I know it won't sound the same.

I just borrowed a Hafler G300 from a friend... weighs a ton, but at least it'll give me the perspective on how a SS preamp built for guitar sounds.

 

Andy

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Try the Mesa 20/20 (1u rack power amp with el84's) with the deep mod. It sounds great with the MP-1 Classic and Rane MPE14 I use. Right now my rig has a Rocktron Piranha, ADA MP-1 Classic, Rane MPE14, and TC Electronic G Major, with my wireless and power conditioner and I am happy. Adding a GCX next week so I can switch preamps and a few pedals up front. I was using a Marshall JVM410h and Laney Vh100r before. I play all kinds of music and this rack rig is real versitile. Oh and the Mesa 20/20 is plenty loud enough, I couldn't believe it was that loud until I tried it, and it also sounds great at lower volumes too, kind of the best of both worlds there. If you want a good 2u solid state power amp try the ADA B200s, I was using that before the 20/20, but the 20/20 is better and doesn't cost that much to retube either, it's 3 12ax7's and 4 el84's, cheaper than most tube power amps and the peavey 50/50. I have had alot of compliments on my tone with this rig also. Other guitar players have even been amazed at all the different sounds I get from it too.

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Thanks Krash. That really helped!

Ambient, thanks for the info, but I've done my homework. I already know pretty much every SS amp out there that's within my price range. I've played through one of these before, and actually didn't like it too much.

Guess I'll have to think about biting the bullet with the 20/20.

 

Andy

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I think you're on the right path with everything. :thu:

 

As far as an interface/patch panel, you have the option of mounting on the rear rails. I do stuff like that, I've even mounted pedals to the back of my rack on an access panel, so I could still get in/out of the back. This was only because I didn't have enough room inside the rack.

 

The Palmers are a good idea. Dummy loads are fairly cheap if you don't want to haul a cabinet around. Being a DIY'er myself, I've thought about building a little box w/ dummy loads and the ability to connect to a speaker (or 2).

 

Just a couple thoughts for ya.

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thanks for the heads up, sacredgroove.

I think I'll get everything else first, then think about the power amp... until then I'll use the power section of the Vendetta...

I've thought about the access panel in the back for "stuff"... I could maybe even make the interface small enough to fit into the back, would free me up another rack space up front. I'd need longer cables, but that sounds like a trade-off I can deal with ;-).

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+1 on the Marshall 8008 solid state 1u power amp.

I had one that I kick myself for getting rid of.

Another great option for cheap power with a small footprint is the Crate Powerblock. It fits in the back of a rack, weighs 5 pounds and is 150 watts.

It's an awesome little unit for what it is.

 

I have a couple small rigs set up for portability; one is a powerblock with my Digitech GSP1101; sounds awesome and does so many different tones.

It's super light weight and covers a ton of ground.

 

I've also got my AxeFX with a MosValve 500 which also does just about any tonal option, but the 500 power amp is kinda heavy. I have another Powerblock that I thought about trying with the AxeFX, but haven't yet.

 

One cool thing about both of those units is that they both have cab simulators and XLR outputs...so you can essentially run right into a recorder or board and save a lot of hassle.

 

I normally take my 12 space Mesa shockmount rack with my 2/90/2, Egnater M4's and G-Majors and that covers my love my tubes, but I've also done some shows with the Digitech GSP1101 and the powerblock and a mesa 2x12 and it's great tone that fits in the trunk of my car and takes no time to set up.

 

I did the Deep mod to my Mesa 20/20 and put toggle switches on the faceplate to switch the mod on/off and that's the best mod for that power amp.

It's an expensive little sucker, but it's a great power amp.

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I've read that many of the guys over at Hugeracksinc use the 8008 for the wet sides of the w/d/w rigs... would you tell me more about it? An honest review would be awesome, in comparison to the Mesa if possible.

I'm still in High School and will be starting college this fall, that's why I would like a relatively portable rig. And having everything in one rack, which I can put locks on, would give me some peace of mind.

 

Again, thanks Jimosity

Andy

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Anonymous

I just switched over to a QSX PLX3602 (3600w bridged mono, stereo 750w/channel @ 8ohms, etc). It sounds like a dream, internal fans for cooling, noiseless operation.. AND..

 

It weighs in at about 17#... If you get a smaller version like the 1850, it weighs in at 13#, all are 2U.

 

mm

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