#1
i was thinking about what amp i should get next (in a few years, after getting the DSL i learned research is crucial) and i came to the conslusion, that i want a rack set up. i'm just looking for good tones with greath versatility. i'd rather have alot of good tones, as opposed to one execellent tone. and this would be my live setup.

so i guess my question is, where the hell in australia do you get decent rack mount pre amps and power amps.
i'm not looking for effects yet, just pre and power amps.

obviously i'm open for suggestions and dont take this too seriously, i'm just scoping out my options.

the pre/power amps i'm considering are the Rocktron Gainiac, Mesa Recto Pre, Mesa Simiclass power, ENGL 50/50 stereo power and a marshall 50/50 stereo EL-34.

the music i play ranges, but mostly sticks close to metal. the sort of tone i amp for is between the buried and me, heavy, with plenty of harmonics and crunch. i just feel i wont get this sort of tone through just one amp.

So....suggest away...
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Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#2
Any big music chain stores. Don't know specifics for qld, sorry.

Rack gear is a bit of a double edge sword. Yeah you'll get some nice tones, but rack gear is expensive **** and you have to rig it up to a footswitch-board which can get tricky.

However, if you're willing to go through the trouble, I'd look for a good quality compressor and EQ as well as the preamps you've mentioned. I'd give you specifics but I know studio rack gear better than guitar stuff, sorry.
#3
yeah. i'd go for a EQ and a noise gate as well. just some more things i forgot about. i just honestly can't see me getting the vareity of tones i want outta one amp.
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Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#4
Probably won't get them out of the amp itself but it's worth looking into some pedals too, even if they live in your rack connected to a footswitch they're cheaper than rack gear.
#5
yeah. but keeping in mind i'm not looking for cheap stuff and i can save up forever, i can live with my DSL. i just want to get, for lack of a better term, the ability to go from dream theaterish smooth gains to BTBAM to Necrophagist in the push of a foot swtich.
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Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#6
instead of the recto pre, I might suggest looking at the Triaxis if you're looking for more versatility. You might want to consider a couple preamps, maybe adding a JMP-1 or ENGL to the mix, that's a lot of loot though. The Triaxis is a great sounding preamp.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#7
Joel Racks are very expensive. but i will give you some suggestions.


For a pre amp by far the most versatile i have ever played is the Mesa Triaxis it is by far amazing look for any of Corgan33s post he had one amazing versatility. Also you can get a Marshall JMP-1 off Ebay for pretty cheap 500 USD. Engl also apparently makes very good rack stuff though i have never tried it.

Power Amp the Mesas are my favorite the 2:90 or 400 IMO are their bests. also Marshall Power amps are pretty good if you replace the tubes with 6550s or KT88s. and VHT power amps are very good as well.

EQs there are various companies that make EQ but by far the best is Alesis they make two different Digital EQs a 2 channel 15 band and a 8 channel 31 band you would probably be best with the 8 channel it is amazing.

Compression - DBX is by far the best the rest just dont sound good to me. You can get away with lower end models to the 166 and 266 are very good but the 1066 is by far there best amazing compressor does just what you need it to comes with a Suppressor as well.

Noise Supression - I like the Rocktron Hush Super C i think it is by far the best but you may want to hold off on getting it as if you get good equipment there probably wont be any noise.

Multi Effects - For cheap stuff T.C. Electronics makes very good effects the G-major is very good for 400 USD. if your willing to go to the elite processors the Eventide processors are by far the best the Eclipse is the best money can buy but its 2000 USD god knows what the price is in AUD.

Tuner the Korg DTR -2000 is great also look into peterson rack mounts.

Midi switcher - the GCX switcher is very good you can even plug pedals into it and control them via pedalboard as well as all your rack mounted stuff. for the pedal board the DMC ground control is the one you buy that goes along with the GCX both are about 400 USD both are very good.

PLus a Rack, leads, a cab, midi cables, etc...

Very large amonts of money upwards of 10,000 USD even more in AUD as prices are higher for you.

Good Luck joel when you get all this together though it will be one badass tone
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#8
I wish I came by here more often so I could drop my 2 cents in every now and then, lol...

All in all great advice from the above poster. He essentially saved me typing time, I would have recommended looking into most of the same things.

As for preamps...

If you're willing to save and wait, you're in a good position to get a great setup built (maybe now, but a year, couple years, etc). If I were you, I'd try and get a preamp first that can fulfill your most desired tone. Most preamps are very versitile in what tones they can offer, but don't lie to yourself, some are just better at different tones and different types of tones. So preamp "a" might be great at this tone, and really good at this other tone, but preamp "b" might be better at that other tone. So you really want to consider what's important, and what kind of tones you're most into. Well... I see you've already done that, but you'll really want to try and get hands on time with some equipment to see what fulfills those needs the best.

Some additional advice to take into consideration either now, or in the future...... Obviously you'll want to start out small, but I'd highly recommend considering a rack (the rack itself) that will have extra spaces. Why? You're always going to find something you want later on, and it's a bitch to have to buy a new rack because you didn't have space. So consider this when you go to purchase one. You'll also want to keep in mind weight. Most racks themselves tend to weigh quite a bit just due to the wood, but once you start adding in equipment, you could be increasing the weight of the rack by a couple hundred pounds. My rack weighs around 70-80 pounds by itself (empty), and my poweramp weighs somewhere around 100 pounds. With other equipment in my rack, I could be looking at a rack that weighs 200 to 500 pounds, lol... Not a big issue if you'll rarely move it and transport it, but something you'll really need to consider if you'll be gigging regularly.

Again, for preamps... I'll go ahead and notes ones I'm familiar with, which are most likely either ones I own, have used, or want to get (and have thus researched them and such considerably lol)...

The Mesa Recto Pre is great if you like the high gain tone of a Recto. If you love that tone, this is the best preamp to get. I love mine, because I love that tone. I also find the cleans on the Pre to be more enjoyable than the head (especially if using its direct recording outputs). Which BTW, are another benefit. I've been satisified with the tones I can get using it's direct outs, you just have to take the time to adjust the EQ and such (the same settings on the knobs don't sound exactly the same when running it to poweramp and cab as it does running through direct outputs, so to make both comparably the same, you'll have to make some adjustments). Only drawback that bothers me... only one "distortion" channel. In other words, you can only really use the footswitch to go from distorted sound to a clean/bluesy sound. A considerable disadvantage for live use, especially if you require a wide range of distorted gain levels throughout songs. Of course, if you only really use one range of distortion and clean in any given song/band/etc, it all works out fine. All in all I'm happy with having just the one channel, it fulfills my needs, but it would always be nice to have another. And if you get this preamp, you'll really want to consider the Mesa 2:100. It's built to match with this preamp to give you 100% identical circuitry as a Dual Rectifier head. It's important to do if you like the Rectifier tone. Though obviously, you can always experiment with other poweramps to find a more unique tone.

For a more well-rounded, all around good preamp... the Tri-Axis is hard to beat. It offers a wide range of good and useable tones, from cleans to blues to overdriven to low gain to modern rock to metal and etc etc etc. It's comparatively cheap considering it's wide versitility, brand new you can get one well under $2,000 USD. This preamp would most likely fulfill your needs of wide diversity at the flip of a switch. Personally, I'd say it's shining points is the Mark tone you can get from it. Of course you must consider, other tones are good and useable, but they're most likely not the 'best' you can do/get. I eventually plan to add a TriAxis to my rack to get that Mark tone. If you get a Tri-Axis, it will perform most optimally with the Mesa 2:90 (simul-class). This preamp also offers direct recording ability, as well as MIDI capability. Of course, you can always combine it with another poweramp to find a more unique/better/personal/etc tone.

Another preamp to consider, the Engl E-580. It's very similar in function to the Mesa Tri-Axis, in that it offers a very wide range of tones and settings. Like the Tri-Axis, it offers a couple hundred different presets, which you can use or create/set your own. Like the Tri-Axis it offers MIDI capabilities, and it too offers direct recording abilities. And where as the Tri-Axis is essentially all based out of Mesa tone, the E-580 is based out of Engl tone. So a consideration can be made... "do you like Mesa tone more, or Engl tone?" However, I'd almost class this preamp on a level a bit above the Tri-Axis. I've had the lucky opportunity to listen, as well as use, both in the last few months for a limited time. If I could only pick one to add to my rack, I'd pick this Engl. Just about every tone I messed with on this Engl sounded good, if not great, and very useable. It offered a wide range of uses, from cleans, blues, country, metal, rock, funk, and all that. I wouldn't say this is an end-all-be-all type preamp, but it was very good and very versitile. In all honesty, my rack will most likely consist of my Recto Pre running into one channel of my 2:100, and when I have the money, the E-580 running into the other channel of my 2:100. And between the two, I'll have just about every tone I'll personally want. The downside is that it's among the more expensive preamps, running just under $3,000 USD brand new. And unfortunately, it's somewhat rare to find one used for a good deal.

Unfortunately those are about the only preamps I have spent any considerable time with. However, there are others you may wish to look into. The Bogner Fish is supposed to be a good preamp with versitility and amazing tone, unfortunately they're limited in numbers, so it is difficult to acquire one, as well as the fact that they're highly priced (some contend that the price isn't worth what you get). Other preamps could be the Marshall JMP-1. It's another MIDI-type preamp (like the Tri-Axis). I'd only consider this preamp if I were after a sort of Marshall type tone. It's not too expensive, somewhat comparable to the Tri-Axis in price, though I'd say it probably isn't as versitile (I recall it lacking with more high gain tones). Other preamps to consider would be Soldano, they too are expensive, but nice preamps. You'd probably have to try a particular one to get an idea of the tone. I'd say they're not among the most 'versitile', but do what they do very well.


NOTE...have to split my post into 2, the forum says it is "too long", lol...
#9
.... continued from above....


Something else to consider now or in the future.... a rack can be however you want it to be. You don't have to be limited to just having one preamp, or just one poweramp. You can put as many in as you want. You can have 3 preamps and 2 poweramps, etc. You can mount them and manually switch cables as needed (most likely how I'd do mine, since I'm more recording/studio oriented right now than I am live oriented). Or you could invest in a switching system to switch between poweramps, preamps, etc. A rack offers you the versitility to have quite literally, as many amazing tones as you want in just one "convenient" box. You don't have to go for the all-versitile preamp for your rack. If one preamp gives you a tone you LOVE, get it and rack it. Save up and get another preamp to meet your other needs, etc. It doesn't have to be the typical/standard setup of: power conditioner > preamp > effects > eq > compressor > poweramp. Throw some other preamps in there, other poweramps, drop the EQ, whatever you want.

And of course, don't forget the other things a rack can offer. EQs (not something I feel is really needed if you got the preamps and right settings). Compressors (not something I feel is a must for live work, but very useful/necessary for direct recording operations or other work within a studio/recording type environment). Power conditioners (most recognize you need this, but tend not to mention it, don't forget to get one lol... it's basically just a fancy and expensive rack-mount power bar strip). Effects processors... perhaps the most important to consider. You can all sorts of effects processors. Ones that try to cover all the bases in one rack item. Or you can get ones that specialize in just modulation effects, just reverb, just delay. Take advantage of the versitility. And just because it's a rack doesn't mean everything has to be in your rack or rack-mount, you can still run pedals/etc. It's also worth noting that it is inevitable in a guitar rack, that the more and more pieces of equipment you throw into the signal chain (not really considering preamps or poweramps, most particularly processors, like effects, EQ, etc), the more and more your sound/tone will sound "processed". This is amplified by using low quality gear, though it can happen with top-level gear as well. You just have to take into consideration, that your tone WILL be affected noticeably if you throw it through A LOT of equipment.

Also worth considering now or later.... your speaker cabs (as well as your signal path setup). You can run all sorts of setups. You can run a mono signal, into a 2x12, 4x12, etc. You can run a stereo signal, where each runs however you want. You can setup say the left side to run through one preamp, through effects, to one poweramp, and out into a 2x12 of 4x12.... while the right side runs through another preamp, effects, and another power, and out into a 2x12 of 4x12. Or the stereo signal can run from the same preamp, to effects, each to different poweramps, to cabs. Or the stereo signal can run from separate preamps on to a single poweramp, into cabs. The setup is ultimately up to you and the abilities of your equipment.


Well, I hope you find something useful in there, I got interrupted several times with phone calls, so I really don't remember if it all makes sense, lol
#10
:goldclap: man that was amazing. i'm aware that it costs lots of money, but its not like i'm gunna save up and by it all in one go. i figure i cant get started at least, for about the price of the amp i want (Mark IV $5000 AUS). i should at least get a pre and power amp for that. i'd love to hear a mesa pre into a marshall power. crunch and balls.
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Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#11
any one else have any opinions?
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Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#12
I dunno Joel, it might be worth saving for the Mark and keeping your Marshall. What about a powerball maybe, with the 6L6? I bet that sound orgasmic. I made a clip the other day of my Framus(EL34) and the Mark IV(6L6) on one track, and it sounds pretty mean. It's the last clip on the page . BTW, Is that used price for the Mark IV?
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Last edited by Erock503 at Aug 15, 2006,
#13
nah thats new. ok. well in that case i might just have some questions about the mark IV

obviously those clips sound badass, but can it do smoother gain like Dream Theater?
Can i get a death metal style tone? (think necrophagist)
how would you think it compares to other amps in the price range (Framus, ENGL) as the Cobra and Powerball are about $2000 less (when comparing new prices) keepign in mind that i need a Dream Theater style smoothness as well as face melting gain.

and last but not least, listening to bands like Between the Buried and Me, Lamb of God (Mark IV), Nile, Necrophagist, Opeth (Laney), As I Lay Dying, Machine Head (Peavey), In Flames, Dream Theater (MarkIIC+), Caliban (Powerballs), Killswitch Engage (Framus Cobra) and some god 'ol 'Tallica, would i be looking for a darker tone or a brighter tone?
and which of the 3 amps would bring me closest to the tone i deisre (a mix of most of those bands) ?

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Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#14
himmm i also went rack well for effects but i can honestly say the mesa triaxis is an amazing preamp, the recto pre not so much i wasnt happy with it at all, the mesa coliseum poweramp is amazing if you can find one, really for pres and power amps ive only messed with marshall and mesa but both companies seemed to do well
#15
For effects, I'll recommend TC Electronics products. The G-Major is supposed to be awesome, but I haven't played it. The G-System is INCREDIBLE, best multi-effect I've ever played.
#16
Quote by Danno13
For effects, I'll recommend TC Electronics products. The G-Major is supposed to be awesome, but I haven't played it. The G-System is INCREDIBLE, best multi-effect I've ever played.


Apparently Danno you havent played any Eventide Processors. If your on a budget the TC stuff is awesome but if you can break 1000 Eventide kills them

Joel for the tones you listed im gonna say a Mark IV or Powerball will get yo closest. As will a Triaxis so its up to you at what you want to get
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#17
would you say i'd be looking for a dark or bright tone?
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Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#18
Quote by Syn Harvest
Apparently Danno you havent played any Eventide Processors. If your on a budget the TC stuff is awesome but if you can break 1000 Eventide kills them



That's true, I haven't.

But now that you've said that, I'll make sure to try them out next time I'm at the shop!
#19
Ya definitly try them the G-Force is TCs Most High end processor but at the same quality and everything thats Eventides lowest end processor the Eventides are much better but also come at a Hefty price. By far their "Flagship Unit" is the Eventide Eclipse and it runs at a whoping 2000 USD but also try the Harmonizers 8000 and 7600 are very nice they also do individual rack effects.

Joel id say your looking for a Dark tone some are darker than others and your gonna have to do some EQ tweaking between tones. But a good Versatile Dark amp should handle what your after
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#20
Quote by joel_grieve
nah thats new. ok. well in that case i might just have some questions about the mark IV

obviously those clips sound badass, but can it do smoother gain like Dream Theater?
Can i get a death metal style tone? (think necrophagist)
how would you think it compares to other amps in the price range (Framus, ENGL) as the Cobra and Powerball are about $2000 less (when comparing new prices) keepign in mind that i need a Dream Theater style smoothness as well as face melting gain.

and last but not least, listening to bands like Between the Buried and Me, Lamb of God (Mark IV), Nile, Necrophagist, Opeth (Laney), As I Lay Dying, Machine Head (Peavey), In Flames, Dream Theater (MarkIIC+), Caliban (Powerballs), Killswitch Engage (Framus Cobra) and some god 'ol 'Tallica, would i be looking for a darker tone or a brighter tone?
and which of the 3 amps would bring me closest to the tone i deisre (a mix of most of those bands) ?



hey Joel, I think you could hit those tones with the Mark pretty easy, throw a ts in front and you're tracking a lot of territory. Honestly though, if the Cobra and Powerball are $2000 less, I don't know if I'd bother. I love the Framus, the 3 channels give you a wide range of tones along with the bright and notch switches for voicing, and it's got a really great clean channel. The Cobra to me is voiced more like a Recto but a little tighter, with some Marshall qualities about it. I haven't tried a lot of DT type tones with it though, so I can't be much help there, the Mark would probably win there obviously. From what I've heard of the Powerball, it sounds like it can hit just about any metal tone as well, and the cleans are supposed to be very good too. The Framus is a darker voiced amp compared to the powerball, and that wll also be preference. I honestly don't see you being dissappointed with either amp, as long as you can try it out first.
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#22
Randall has a modular all-tube preamp system too. The chassis is about 500USD and each module is about 200USD. You might want to look into that system.
If you could blow up the world with a flick of a switch,
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Would you do it?

With all your power,
What would you do?
#23
Quote by Pieter-Jan
JP uses a mark IV alot, he even shows it at his dvd rock discipline.


Well, from what I heard and read, he mostly uses it for leads. Otherwise everything else are the Mark IIC+, Recto preamp and Triaxis (before he switched to Roadkings and Lone Stars).
#24
Quote by Wayward_Son
Randall has a modular all-tube preamp system too. The chassis is about 500USD and each module is about 200USD. You might want to look into that system.


I have played a few modules and there is nothing that great about them. they do a horrible job modeling the amps they are supposed to be modeling
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