#1
So I am thinking about upgrading my gear and saw some guitar rack setups, I don't quite understand them though, how they work, the purpose of all of it, but so if I was getting this what would be some more budget friendly gear to allow me to play multiple guitars live, and other needs to have a guitar rack system? Also does this replace my amp head?
Thanks!
-Dylan
#2
A guitar rack system is a conglomeration of components (pre-amps, effects, power amps etc) that allows different combinations to be selected together via switching to give different sounds. One famous player that still does this is Alex Lifeson from Rush.
Options that are more affordable include Fractal Audio's FX series, Kemper, Eleven rack and Line 6's PD HD Series which rely on the addition of a flt power amp and full range flat response speakers to give you enough volume without coloring the simulations they supply.
Moving on.....
#3
Rack gear is generally not "budget friendly."

You'll want to get to a point where you understand why people have them before you wade in.
#4
The main point of rack gear is that it's all the same size so different components can be mounted together in the same case, making it easy to box up and transport and also quick to set up and strike.

Essentially if you're not a gigging, touring musician they're pretty pointless unless you're after a specific piece of gear which is only available rackmount.
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#5
Moving into a rack system rather than effects pedals or multi-effects units can be expensive. The rack case alone will cost $150 and up depending on the size and quality of the rack you need. It also can get very heavy and take up a lot of space. A single piece of high quality rack gear can often cost a few hundred dollars so when you say "budget friendly" I think this may not be the way you want to proceed.
I have a rack for my bigger PA that contains a lot of PA gear like a mixer, reverb, delay, EQ, wireless mic units, power conditioners and more. It sits in my garage 99% of the time because it weighs too much and I can get by with a much smaller rig. The whole thing with the rolling rack probably cost me $2500-3000.00 dollars to put together and that was cutting corners (not counting power amps or speakers). Though a guitar rack system is not as expensive as a PA rack a good quality guitar rack will not be cheap either so really make sure that's what you want before you start down that road. Big time players use rack systems because they can afford to and they have people to move them, set them up and fix and operate them.
Watch a few "rig rundown" videos on YouTube featuring some of your favorite players and you'll get the idea.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Feb 17, 2015,
#6
Okay, I need to rephrase this, I mean more like the lower Priceline of the gear, I have the money for it, but don't have the money for like top of the line stuff. So any like not crazy expensive, like behringer v amp pro, other things of that sort, but thanks guys, and I did a lot of research and takes to some guys about it so I am going to slowly switch over to thag stuff, I am just not ready for top of the line gear. Anyone have any recommendations? Like recoment the bare nesesaties to start to build a rack system, and the rack isn't a problem, I can build one no problem.
Last edited by FOHLguitar at Feb 17, 2015,
#7
Quote by FOHLguitar
Okay, I need to rephrase this, I mean more like the lower Priceline of the gear, I have the money for it, but don't have the money for like top of the line stuff.Anyone have any recommendations? Like recoment the bare nesesaties to start to build a rack system, and the rack isn't a problem, I can build one no problem.


The issue with a rack isn't building the rack; you first have to know what you're going to put in it. I have a rack setup (not in use a the moment), for example, that used TWO different preamps -- an all-tube Mesa Triaxis and an all-tube Carvin Quad-X. Both were run into a single tube power amp (Carvin TS-100) and from there into speaker cabinets. In my case, I also had a Carvin AC-120, which is a power distribution setup. You plug all your gizmos into it and it turns them on one by one automatically with a delay in between, thus helping to avoid a surge of power. But you can add things like a rack-mount tuner, rack mount FX boxes and much more. Before you're done, you can be looking at five or six feet worth of rack gear, and you're calling it HAL and it's saying, "I can't do that, Dave..."

Racks were big in the 80's, but you'll still see some touring musicians using them. Neal Schon has several, Orianthi never steps on a pedal any more (her tech switches things), etc.

You can get by with much less, of course. A Pod HD Pro would be a good setup in a rack along with a solid state power amp (I have one that puts out up to 1500W and weighs 9 lbs). You could add a rack-mount receiver for wireless, run a footboard (say, an FBV Shortboard) out to the front of the stage using an ethernet cable. That's pretty much all you'd need.
#8
Quote by dspellman
The issue with a rack isn't building the rack; you first have to know what you're going to put in it. I have a rack setup (not in use a the moment), for example, that used TWO different preamps -- an all-tube Mesa Triaxis and an all-tube Carvin Quad-X. Both were run into a single tube power amp (Carvin TS-100) and from there into speaker cabinets. In my case, I also had a Carvin AC-120, which is a power distribution setup. You plug all your gizmos into it and it turns them on one by one automatically with a delay in between, thus helping to avoid a surge of power. But you can add things like a rack-mount tuner, rack mount FX boxes and much more. Before you're done, you can be looking at five or six feet worth of rack gear, and you're calling it HAL and it's saying, "I can't do that, Dave..."

Racks were big in the 80's, but you'll still see some touring musicians using them. Neal Schon has several, Orianthi never steps on a pedal any more (her tech switches things), etc.

You can get by with much less, of course. A Pod HD Pro would be a good setup in a rack along with a solid state power amp (I have one that puts out up to 1500W and weighs 9 lbs). You could add a rack-mount receiver for wireless, run a footboard (say, an FBV Shortboard) out to the front of the stage using an ethernet cable. That's pretty much all you'd need.

Thank you, that was very helpful, this is going to be a project of mine that will take a few years to complete, i understand everything that I want, and that I need a pre amp and power amp, but I don't understand what I need to look for in the power amp, I would be powering a Marshall 4x12 cab I don't remember how many watts it is, so what's the rule with the power amps? Like how many watts so I shoot for?