#1
At some point this year I'm thinking about changing over to a rack-based setup, probably using an ENGL e530 pre. I can get that used for fairly cheap, so don't worry about that.

As far as a power amp goes - I've heard the Carvin DCMs are pretty good for the money, so I'm thinking I'd get a DCM200L. Opinions?

As far as cabs go... I'm trying to keep this as cheap as possible so I'd say my max price for a cab is $350. 2x12 preferred. I'm in the US near Boston MA.

Forgot to mention - progressive metal. Power amp budget is probably no more than $350.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Last edited by oneblackened at Jan 7, 2012,
#2
Meh, it is my experience that the cheaper rack rigs aren't really worth it. That Engl is supposedly pretty good, but you'll likely quickly outgrow that power amp and want something that is tube.

I once started making a rack rig and halfway into buying things, decided that I'd rather just stick with a head and cab. Once you start buying power amps, you realize, most of them are stereo, so you can run 2 preamps into it at once, at which point, you'll want two preamps. If your cab doesn't have stereo inputs, you'll then have to buy another cab, or replace yours with one that does. Then if you want to switch channels, 99% of them require MIDI controllers, which means you'll most likely end up getting something with a bunch of buttons that you can't fully use with just the amps. Then you'll want some kind of rack effects processor, even if you don't really use effects. By this time, your rack alone weighs over 100lbs and is a pain in the ass to move around.

Not trying to discourage you from building one, but just give you more insight into it. I thought having everything in one box would be great, but I soon grew out of it. Right now, I'm debating switching to an Axe FX II rig, but with this, I've already planned out the entire rack, and it will only consist of 4 spaces, since the Axe already has so much built into it. It will weigh significantly less than any amp I currently have
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#3
The Carvin Poweramps are nice. They also make a tube one if you want that version, but I hear good things about the solid state ones as well.

Once again, check out Carvin for cabs too. They have awesome stuff and it is much less then what you would pay for a Marshall/Mesa cab
Quote by strat0blaster
This is terrible advice. Even worse than the useless dry, sarcastic comment I made.

Quote by Cathbard
I'm too old for the Jim Morrison look now. When I was gigging I had a fine arse.
#4
MC, you just need a short head that you can fit into a rack.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#5
Yeah, I have no idea what to look for in a power amp, if they even make them in mono.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#6
Quote by Cathbard
MC, you just need a short head that you can fit into a rack.

I had a Mark IV short head that was rack mounted at one point
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#7
Rack rigs tend to be overkill, unless you're The Edge...
"We're content, to pitch our tent,
When the glory's evident"
Petra - Beyond Belief.
#8
They can be overkill at times, but also so much fun. So much flexibility and flashing lights keep me wanting to build one myself. I love the Engl e530. I also hear great things about the Marshall JMP-1 and a Mesa Triaxis...but Engl is definitely the better one for getting started.
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ESP LTD EC-500
Krank Krankenstein
Krank Krankenstein 4x12 Cabinet
Alesis M-EQ 230
Ibanez TS-9 Tubescreamer
Jim Dunlop Cry Baby GC95
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
#9
Quote by Any7423
Rack rigs tend to be overkill, unless you're The Edge...

I'm talking like a 4U high rack, nothing overkill there at all... At the start there wouldn't even be 4U's worth of stuff in it.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#10
Quote by tehbeatnik
So much... flashing lights

Ooh yeah. That's what I like too.

As far as a rack amp being stereo (earlier comment) is concerned, you don't need 2 preamps unless you have a stereo guitar (think Rickenbacker). The stereo aspect of the rack amps comes into play when you have a rack effects unit that has some stereo effects. For the most part, everything will be in mono, but you will be feeding 2 cabinets. For the effects that use stereo, the effects unit processes the stereo aspect of things which you will actually notice given the proper separation of your 2 cabs.

The Mesa rack amps can be used on a single cab using only one channel. They mention this scenario in their manuals. You just keep the volume of the unused channel down and the presence control up full and nothing plugged into the input of that channel.
Various Strats
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Fessenden SD-10 pedal steel
Koch Studiotone XL
Mesa Boogie Express 5:25+
1958 National lap steel
Eastman El Rey 1
#11
Quote by Vulcan
Ooh yeah. That's what I like too.

As far as a rack amp being stereo (earlier comment) is concerned, you don't need 2 preamps unless you have a stereo guitar (think Rickenbacker). The stereo aspect of the rack amps comes into play when you have a rack effects unit that has some stereo effects. For the most part, everything will be in mono, but you will be feeding 2 cabinets. For the effects that use stereo, the effects unit processes the stereo aspect of things which you will actually notice given the proper separation of your 2 cabs.

The Mesa rack amps can be used on a single cab using only one channel. They mention this scenario in their manuals. You just keep the volume of the unused channel down and the presence control up full and nothing plugged into the input of that channel.

That's cool, I bet a lot can do that.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#12
Stereo into a single stereo cab is ok, you just use two mikes. The stereo effect is for the audience, not you.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#13
I have a compressor, an EQ, an overdrive unit that can serve as a preamp, two rack delays, a spring reverb unit, two multi-FX units, and a power amp.

Some of these can be reordered or in the case of the multi-FX, put in the effects loop.

I have even put pedals in between rack effects and in the FX loop.

Having a patch bay and a shelf for pedals is helpful.

Just remember. All of that stuff in one box can get very big and very heavy. A couple or several smaller boxes is the way to go.

So, my advice to you is, buy the rack pieces first without a box. Possibly buy a home rack stand that will allow you to mount them or buy little rubber feet to put on the bottom of each unit so you can stack them.

When you have something you like and are comfortable with, then by a box or boxes to house them.

I am going to leave the merits of a power conditioner out of it (they are helpful) but there are also rack mounted power strips that you can use for the odd pedal power units as well.

In a nut shell, a power conditioner, a rack tuner, a patch bay, and a shelf take up 4 spaces unto themselves.

I want to add a rack mounted attenuator (Weber Mass 100) and that may require one space at the top for ventilation depending on who you ask...

Then there is all the leads and managing the birds nest of power cables...

In other words, you get what you pay for.