#1
it seems like everyone that I talk to in my area is frightened of rackmounts...they just give me weird looks when I say that I prefer using that to pedals. There's just so much customization when it comes to them...I spend maybe 20 to 30 minutes a day tweaking my patches and making new ones, it's a lot more fun than pressing pedals and such. Everytime I talk to one of my friends, he's just like "why the **** would you need those? are you going on tour?" I just say that they're more flexible than pedals and worth a shot...All he does is get pedals and that's it...Even at the guitar shops, they say "why not pedals?"

I feel left out...Playing music without rackmounts is like trying to go to outerspace in a bottlerocket
#2
Lots of reasons really. I used a rack for many a year but these days, because I am playing music with very few effects, it's just easier to use a simple rig. Marshall stack and a few pedals.
Cost is another factor. Rack gear can get pricey.
Another factor is the way guitarists tend to be rather conservative as a whole. Most people would rather just use an old fashioned Marshall or Fender and a couple of pedals. Just look at MIDI. It should be far more popular than it is - but MIDI scares most guitarists shitless. The uptake of MIDI has been extraordinarily slow, glacial even.
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
#3
1. It's expensive. Especially if you plan to setup a fully MIDI-capable rig.
2. Most musicians like playing their instrument and turning simple knobs rather than programming countless parameters on a rack.
3. They are big and bulky, which means they are heavy and hard to transport. (This depends on the size.)
#4
I study electronics in school and even I would just assume not mess with a rack mount lol. Nothing wrong with it though, I just prefer a simple setup for guitar rigs.
This is the life we must choose.

Quote by Cathbard
I'm surprised that a big arm hasn't appeared out of the amp and slapped you across the face.
#5
Nobody around here uses racks either. I had a rack setup for awhile. One nice thing about pedals over racks is you can switch different sounding pedals in and out of your board, so if you have a lush chorus pedal, you could replace it with a more subtle chorus pedal. On racks, whatever is in your multi-FX is what you get, unless you have more than one, which gets pricey, more MIDI cables, more ports taken up on the power conditioner, have to get a taller rack...

However, pedals can be much more noisy and MIDI is awesome. Racks definitely look a lot cooler too!
#6
They're more expensive?!? The reason I first bought any rack gear is cus it was cheaper than pedals.
#7
Quote by Cathbard
Lots of reasons really. I used a rack for many a year but these days, because I am playing music with very few effects, it's just easier to use a simple rig. Marshall stack and a few pedals.
Cost is another factor. Rack gear can get pricey.
Another factor is the way guitarists tend to be rather conservative as a whole. Most people would rather just use an old fashioned Marshall or Fender and a couple of pedals. Just look at MIDI. It should be far more popular than it is - but MIDI scares most guitarists shitless. The uptake of MIDI has been extraordinarily slow, glacial even.


Quote by cdr_salamander
1. It's expensive. Especially if you plan to setup a fully MIDI-capable rig.
2. Most musicians like playing their instrument and turning simple knobs rather than programming countless parameters on a rack.
3. They are big and bulky, which means they are heavy and hard to transport. (This depends on the size.)


All of this, and for me personally, I guess in line with the "simplicity" theme, racks just don't have the same visual appeal of a head on a 412.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#8
A lot of people I know around here use racks, probably almost as many who use pedals.

I don't use a rack because it's expensive (all of my pedals are $100 or less and the board is homemade) and I am constantly turning things on and off during shows, so I would need switches anyway.

Quote by emad
jthm_guitarist
Warned for trolling!


Quote by metal4eva_22
Didn't you say that you had a stuffed fox that you would occasionally fuck?

Quote by Axelfox
It's not a fox,it's a wolf.
#9
Quote by Green_Ghoul
They're more expensive?!? The reason I first bought any rack gear is cus it was cheaper than pedals.

You can build a cheap rack vs. a quality rack. It's just like buying cheap pedals vs. boutique. You get what you pay for. On a good rack, the shelf alone costs more than a fully assembled pedalboard. Add a good preamp, an Axe-FX 2, Furman conditioners, etc, you can easily go to $10-15,000. For custom setups, $20,000+
#10
Eek. I just put them on top of eachother and plug through my pedals then into my amp. 10 grand is a lot.
#11
Most people assume rack mounted setups are too expensive, complicated or only needed when you are a famous musician. The contrary is true, if you buy a TC Electronic G - Major 2 and a run of the mill midi foot controller it is actually cheaper then buying quality analog pedals to replace the effects of a multi - effects processor such as the G - Major 2. The added benefits are obvious: no tap dancing, lots of tweakablity, lots of different effects, small package, less cables. Down side is the steep learning curve of the different parameters. Another reason why someone might prefer pedals is the tone quality. The tone of analog pedals is something that can't be replicated by a digital effects unit. However the most common reason why people buy pedals is because they think they get a great deal with a cheap digital pedal.
Gear:
Gibson Explorer
Engl Savage 120
#12
The TC Electronic stuff sacrifices quantity for quality though. Their units barely do anything, compared to a typical Boss or Line 6 unit.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#13
Quote by Offworld92
The TC Electronic stuff sacrifices quantity for quality though. Their units barely do anything, compared to a typical Boss or Line 6 unit.


I have to disagree, it all depends on your setup. First make sure you have a low impedance serial fx loop and from there on set the internal level parameters to appropriate levels. Next is the routing option and then the fx balance (wet/dry). The most common complain about the TC stuff is that the sound is very digital however there are allot of guitar players who actually like the pristine tonal quality which comes with that. The boss and Line 6 stuff is often accompanied with modeling technology and is still in the same or under the price level of the TC G - Major so making even more quantity over quality decisions.
Gear:
Gibson Explorer
Engl Savage 120
#14
PS: Offworld92 I see you own a Peavey 6505 if you tried the TC electronic G - Major with that amp then you are out of luck. The fx loop on the 6505 is high impedance (instrument level) the G - Major needs line level to operate on a normal level.
Gear:
Gibson Explorer
Engl Savage 120
#15
Actually, the G Major has a consumer setting that allows it to be ran through instrument-level loops. You just have to go through the patches and change the output from -6 dB to 0.

And I agree with the TCE quality > quantity statement. Their stuff is generally considered top notch. However, if I am going to be going for a rack MFX unit, it would either be a Axe-FX II or an Eventide H8000.
#16
Agree about the Axe - FX II although it is in a different price range. The consumer / pro setting works in most cases however for some amps this is even not enough to get proper levels. The global levels, preset levels and the front knobs for input / output need to be also match to achieve optimum performance. However there is no guarantee this will get you in the specified -3 Db region. And even if you could achieve the desired levels with or without some kind of line booster etc. The annoying hum from the mismatched impedance would not disappear together with the tone suck.
Gear:
Gibson Explorer
Engl Savage 120
Last edited by dnamra13 at Jun 14, 2013,
#17
I had a rack for a while. It was about the same price as my current pedalboard. I don't know if one way is better than the other, but I know that now with my pedalboard I am happier with how I sound and I have more fun playing. I like to be able to do little tweaks all the time. And I like to use different effects for parts here and there. Having midi presets and stuff was nice, but I felt too tied to the presets where now I just turn on all the stuff I want on. I think racks are great and for some people they are definitely the better choice. Not for me, though.
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


╠═══════╬═══════╣
τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
╠═══════╬═══════╣
#18
I was strongly considering going with a full rack setup about 6 months, but when I started adding up the cost, it was going to run me almost 5k for what I wanted!

I ended up buying a $300 switcher, and now just have my pedals and amp looped through that, and I'm still able to create about 100+ patches. So all in all, I achieved my main goal of getting away from that awful tap dancing routine
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
MIJ Tele
MIA Strat

Amps:
Silver Jubilee 2525
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
74' Vibro Champ
#19
I think the first two replies nailed - Mainly the cost/complexity (for good stuff anyways), and the conservative nature of guitarists in general when it comes to gear. I thought it might be cool to get into rack stuff a little while back, but ultimately decided that it wasn't for me. I'm not a huge effects user, so my live pedal setups are never that big in the first place. Even the amps I stick to tend to be pretty "plug and play" as well - It's just what suits me I guess
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#20
I actually want to start running rackmount to simplify my gear. I don't run any pedals, save an ISP Decimator that's always on and just sits on top my amp. Eventually, I just want an 8 space rack to hold my (future) amp, a power conditioner, a rack ISP noise gate, and the Line 6 rack wireless. I'll still run my 4x12 with it, I just want it all for ease of setting up/neatness reasons.

I still really have no clue what MIDI even is, other than it can switch a bunch of pedals on and off. That's convenient to me, but seems like it'd be a lot of cable mess.
Ibanez
Universe UV777 Signed by Steve Vai
Prestige RG2027X with Bare Knuckle Aftermaths
RG7621 swirled
Prestige RG1420
AEL207E
#21
Quote by dnamra13
Most people assume rack mounted setups are too expensive, complicated or only needed when you are a famous musician. The contrary is true, if you buy a TC Electronic G - Major 2 and a run of the mill midi foot controller it is actually cheaper then buying quality analog pedals to replace the effects of a multi - effects processor such as the G - Major 2. The added benefits are obvious: no tap dancing, lots of tweakablity, lots of different effects, small package, less cables. Down side is the steep learning curve of the different parameters. Another reason why someone might prefer pedals is the tone quality. The tone of analog pedals is something that can't be replicated by a digital effects unit. However the most common reason why people buy pedals is because they think they get a great deal with a cheap digital pedal.

If you want quality rack gear, even used it is not cheap

It would cost me $2000+ to get a rack set-up (used) I would want to actually play out. I also don't use that many FX, to make it worth investing in.

Even going with a rack Peavey pre amp, Poweramp and a few rack fx I'd be over $1300 easy.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#22
I used to run my 6505+ with a G major and never had any issues... any ways...

I'm full rack with a handfull of pedals... well two pedal boards (not completely full) and a G major midi controlled with a voodoo labs ground control pro which has its own pedal case... Anyways aside from that, I like the rack setup cause I have a lot of options and i can change everything with the click of a button, other than the couple of pedals... but I have the separate pedals so I can control them on a whim without changing my presets for certain songs.

Anyways, like most things I do, I jumped into racks and midi, it was confusing as hell at the beginning, but at 4am the day before (early morning of, I suppose) band practice I made a breakthrough and programmed my setup and now I have an alright grasp... all my needs are fulfilled with my midi controlled rig.
I guess all in all, once you know what your doing, it allows you to focus on playing (and in my case singing too) cause it streamlines any of the tap dancing you would have done down to one button tap. But its the "getting it" that is tricky, its kind of a new language... a very techy side to guitar playing if you've not used anything like midi before.
Reinhardt 18 Head
H&K Tubemiester 18 head
Blue 6505+ head

TC Electronics G Major
MXR phase 90, Pigtronix Echolution 2
Digitech Whammy (5th gen)

ETB Infinity x2
ETB Yoda

Frust
#23
I always assumed rack gear was for studios. And I'd like to have a small home studio set up but in the past I've had violent reactions to befangled gadgets so I tend to keep my distance.
#24
The reason we have effects loops in amps now is because people in the 80's were using rack gear live and needed a hotter signal to drive them.
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
#25
I don't know if its the lack of people having a rack setup, maybe it's who you play with

I mainly play with blues musicians and have yet to see one of the rack from any of them. Most of them plug straight in or a small pedalboard.

I have seen a couple of metal band using them, with enl e530s but they play a larger venues and have larger venues and are doing small tours. sometimes if they are playing a smaller venue they just use heads/combos and mic up.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#26
Its really quite hard to dispute how much more complex a rack setup is over a amp + pedals. Just the simple matter of setting up a rack put me right off.

I once asked my local shop to put together a ENGL 530 preamp > T.C. Electronics G-Major > Mesa/Boogie Stereo 2:Ninety. When the guys started explaining all about the different considerations for levels, power conditioning, MIDI, it got me so confused that a simple head + pedals setup seemed to simple.

I'm sure it probably is possible to set up a simple, but good sounding rack, but sometimes, I'd rather just play than to look into technical stuff. If I can get a good sound out of my MkV + some high end pedals, it beggars belief why I'd want to spend more time dialing in and configuring a rack to do what I can do in less time with a traditional set up.
Quote by Blompcube
it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
C('')('') signature to help him gain world domination.
#27
I ran a rack system for a little while when I bought it off the original owner. It was definitely cool... but not for me. I don't use many effects to begin with.

I had a power conditioner, ADA MP-1, Sonic Maximizer, Midiverb 4, and a Peavey Classic 60/60 power amp. Definitely a fun rig and delivered quality tones, but there was too much going on. Just trying to figure out the Midiverb was a nightmare, although it sounded great and had every sound I could ever want.
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#28
Racks are great if they are used in moderation and not stuffed with useless crap. My rack is super small and portable and does everything i want it to. If you go used, a rack setup can be extremely inexpensive as well
#29
It's mostly about what you are playing, Kitty. If you are using a lot of complex effects configurations and need to change settings frequently then a rack is the way to go. You can have everything pre-programmed to the finest detail for your setlist and easily select them. Horses for courses, man.
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