#1
I recently moved to Europe, the land of depressingly expensive music gear. However, I still have relatives in the USA who can buy things for me, (for another 3 months or so). I want to try and end up with something close to my end all rig before that, as the 43% price increase is ridiculous.

I don't need the best of the best of the best, just something suitable for all purposes with nice tone.

I'd like your feedback and advice on the following rig:

Amplification:
Carvin V3 amp
THD Hotplate attenuator
Avatar 2 x 12 with Greenback speakers

Effects:
TC Electronics G-sharp
DBX 166XL compressor/limiter/expander/gate
DBX 215 dual channel 15 band EQ
Maxon OD 808
Behringer BTR 2000 tuner
Furman power conditioner of some sort

Anything missing, or anything that can be improved for a similar price?
WTLTL 2011
Last edited by Mark G at Jan 30, 2008,
#2
The avatar 2X12 cabinet would be 50W total. I see you have the hotplate, so it might not be an issue, but if the Carvin is more than 50W you would not be able to crank it. Just be careful of that fact. I am not a huge effects guy so I cannot help you there. But the head, attenuator and cab sounds fine.
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#3
just be careful you don't get stung for customs...
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#5
customs should be alright, not worried about that.

Whats wrong with the cab? What would I have to change to be able to handle the carvin properly?
WTLTL 2011
#6
Quote by Mark G
customs should be alright, not worried about that.

Whats wrong with the cab? What would I have to change to be able to handle the carvin properly?

I believe the V3 has a half power switch? Just have it at 50 watts and never crank it its loudest and greenbacks would be fine.
#7
Too much crap you don't need. You can do a pro tour without most of that stuff. If you WANT it all, then fine.
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#8
Quote by dgonz
Too much crap you don't need. You can do a pro tour without most of that stuff. If you WANT it all, then fine.


alright, and what in your opinion should be excluded?
WTLTL 2011
#10
I would recommend a GT75 + a greenback to give you the ability to use your amp head at the full 100watts.

Everything else sounds great. Don't let anyone on her tell you you don't need effects. If you like effects get em, otherwise you'll always feel something is lacking.

Your EQ sounds a bit overkill too. Just get a morely 10 band EQ. TBH, with a good overdrive pedal an EQ isn't really necessary. Yes it could be helpful as a solo boost but for rhythms and stuff the OD should have a decent enough EQ or frequency filter to give you enough tonal freedom.
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Last edited by MESAexplorer at Jan 31, 2008,
#11
how's that EQ treating you?
I think i'll get one if I hear enough good feedback.
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#12
Well, in my opinion...

Amplification:
Carvin V3 amp (nice)
THD Hotplate attenuator (not needed)
Avatar 2 x 12 with Greenback speakers (great cab)

Effects:
TC Electronics G-sharp (ok if you need a thousand effects)
DBX 166XL compressor/limiter/expander/gate (not really needed, doesn't g-sharp have these?)
DBX 215 dual channel 15 band EQ (for what? you don't like the true tone of your guitar and amp? get a differnet guitar or amp then)
Maxon OD 808 (not needed if you have an amp you like)
Behringer BTR 2000 tuner
Furman power conditioner of some sort (for what, is this really "needed"?)

I've been of the opinion that if you can't get an awesome tone from just your guitar and amp, then there's something wrong - either with your guitar, amp or your playing. If you're getting decent gear, and you're still using od pedals and EQs, then you need to rethink your basic gear or something else, not add on to it.

Gsharp? Not bad if you need a lot of effects live, but this on top of the excessive OD and EQs, and you're sucking the life out of your tone. With all that, it almost doesnt' matter what guitar or amp you have since you're completely recreating your tone anyway. Not saying you are like this, but most of the guys I've seen with a lot of rack and pedal stuff are more into playing with their digital toys and finding the perfect mixes than getting a great, true tone out of the amp alone and learning how to actually play better.
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#13
Good looking rig. I just thought I would point out by the time you pay to ship all that and all the customs forms you'll go thorough and whatnot it might be best just to get some of it (at least the stuff you can find there) in Europe.
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#14
I have no comment about the rig per se, but I will point out that in Europe ENGL and Hughes and Kettner amps are much cheaper than anywhere else.
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#15
you dont need that hotplate the v3 sounds fine at low volumes and in return for that hotplate get a better cab. also you dont really need that eq pedal the v3 has a pretty good one on its own and you dont need to spend an extra hour making it sound good with it. you again dont really need that maxon pedal, the amount of gain on the v3 is huge and can be turned down enough to make it vintage, but if your looking for the tubescreamer sound only by itself then get it. you dont need most of that sutff, like that multi effects rig. all in all, just buy the head and get a nice 4X12 cab and then with the money left over if you need effects only get the single ones because the v3 sucks balls with multi effects no matter what anyone says.
#16
Quote by dgonz
I've been of the opinion that if you can't get an awesome tone from just your guitar and amp, then there's something wrong - either with your guitar, amp or your playing. If you're getting decent gear, and you're still using od pedals and EQs, then you need to rethink your basic gear or something else, not add on to it.


Sorry, but some people actually like the sound of an OD added to their amp. It gives it something no amp could achieve by itself. The EQ is also for the same purpose, even the best and most expensive amp could benefit from a good EQ pedal or rack unit.

As for your comments on the TS's list...

Quote by dgonz

Amplification:
Carvin V3 amp (nice)
THD Hotplate attenuator (not needed) - Again, this is something most players might like to have because they might never be able to turn it up loud enough to hear the amp's full potential. However, with the V3, you should be able to get good tones at low volume.
Avatar 2 x 12 with Greenback speakers (great cab)

Effects:
TC Electronics G-sharp (ok if you need a thousand effects) - I know a lot of people that have these just for a few effects because they prefer them over what they can get in other units/pedals
DBX 166XL compressor/limiter/expander/gate (not really needed, doesn't g-sharp have these?) - I could be mistaken, but I think only the G-Major and higher has the gate, etc? Don't quote me on that.
DBX 215 dual channel 15 band EQ (for what? you don't like the true tone of your guitar and amp? get a differnet guitar or amp then) - Already addressed this one
Maxon OD 808 (not needed if you have an amp you like) - Already addressed this one as well
Behringer BTR 2000 tuner
Furman power conditioner of some sort (for what, is this really "needed"?) - With the all the rack gear he wants, it would be a good idea to have one, yes. Maybe not needed, but I wouldn't want that much in gear being put through a cheap power strip. It will also cancel hum caused by bad grounding in a house, which is quite common
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#17
Furman power conditioner of some sort (for what, is this really "needed"?) - With the all the rack gear he wants, it would be a good idea to have one, yes. Maybe not needed, but I wouldn't want that much in gear being put through a cheap power strip. It will also cancel hum caused by bad grounding in a house, which is quite common

+1
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#18
I haven't figured out how to quote multiple people in a single post, so forgive the fact that I'm not quoting:P

To MESAexplorer:
I don't really understand the technicalities of speakers, I just know which ones I've tried that sound amazing. How would a GT75 + a greenback give me more power? If this combination allows me to use the CarvinV3 at its full potential I will definitely considergetting this combo instead.

The reason I out that EQ in there is because I am currently using a radioshack 215 EQ. This thing was only 50 bucks, so its not the best. However, it did give me a taste of the incredible versatility two added EQs give. This really cheap EQ took away from my tone very slightly, but noticeably. Still, I found its effect worthwhile to have in my rig. I'm not sure if its compensating for the crappy B-52 speaker, or for my carpeted room. I suppose I will have to leave this thing for last, see if I still need an EQ after I get all the other things.

To Darkarbiter7:

Which EQ? The Radioshack one? It beats the **** out of the Boss GE-7, which was way more noisy. An incredible machine for just 50 bucks. However, because its so cheap it does take away from your tone slightly, especially if you run it twice utilizing both channels. I think its the best EQ 50 bucks can buy, but there is much better out there for sure.

To dgonz:

Well, in my opinion...

Amplification:

THD Hotplate attenuator (not needed)

Well, the Carvin V3 is pretty damn loud, and I will be at practise volumes 99% of the time. I figured an attenuator would allow me to get that cranked tube gain sound at modest volumes. It might not be needed per se, but I think it would make my rig sound a lot better for practise.

TC Electronics G-sharp (ok if you need a thousand effects)


You're thinking of the G-major, this is the G-sharp. This one only has delay, reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser and tremolo. This unit costs 250 bucks, which is a steal for this many effects of quality equalling the G-major.
DBX

166XL compressor/limiter/expander/gate (not really needed, doesn't g-sharp have these?)
DBX 215 dual channel 15 band EQ (for what? you don't like the true tone of your guitar and amp? get a differnet guitar or amp then)


Again, you're thinking of the G-major. The G-sharp doesn't have these. I run a lot of gain, so my setup is pretty noisy. I've tried a couple of noise suppressors like the ISP, but they always took away from my attack and tone somewhat. A gate shouldn't give me the same issue,

Maxon OD 808 (not needed if you have an amp you like)

I found that a nice OD really tightens up the sound, no matter which amp you use. I am currently using a Bad Monkey OD which is great, but the maxon sounds better.

Furman power conditioner of some sort (for what, is this really "needed"?)

It powers all my effects and "cleans" the power, getting rid of more noise. Sounds pretty good to me?

I've been of the opinion that if you can't get an awesome tone from just your guitar and amp, then there's something wrong - either with your guitar, amp or your playing. If you're getting decent gear, and you're still using od pedals and EQs, then you need to rethink your basic gear or something else, not add on to it.

Gsharp? Not bad if you need a lot of effects live, but this on top of the excessive OD and EQs, and you're sucking the life out of your tone. With all that, it almost doesnt' matter what guitar or amp you have since you're completely recreating your tone anyway. Not saying you are like this, but most of the guys I've seen with a lot of rack and pedal stuff are more into playing with their digital toys and finding the perfect mixes than getting a great, true tone out of the amp alone and learning how to actually play better.


I agree that too many effects will take away from your tone. Even the best of effects have 0.05% sound degradation. However, I don't think anything below 0.5% is audible.

In a way, I am a guitar effect junky. For some reason, I derive just as much pleasure from playing with my effects and experimenting with different sounds as I do playing. I don't see why this is a problem though, guitar is about having fun after all.

To soul_power:

My parents are currently living in the USA, and they'll move back to europe in 3 months. In other words, everything will be packed in boxes etc. and loaded into a container. It'll just be part of their own things, so customs won't be a problem.

To Zaphod_Beeblebr:

I get my salary in euros, and I'm buying things in the USA for dollars. Thats like getting a 43% discount.

To convictionless:

I've never heard anything about the V3 sucking with multi effects. Sounds dodgy to me. If this is true though, that would change things significantly.

To Matrixclaw:



To fenderulzbluz:

Good to know I was right, and it isn't just a power strip.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I heard some really valid points. The speaker change to be able to use the amp 100%,

the Carvin V3 can't handle multi-effects???,

does the Carvin V3 really sound that great at low volumes? I've never been able to crank it, but I always assumed it would be heaven compared to low volume playing,

I really hope all these effects won't degrade the signal too much. Although I doubt it, this is nothing compared to the rigs some guys use. Anyway, I'll definitly check all these things out.

Keep the replies coming
WTLTL 2011
#19
That looks like a very solid rig that should have you sorted for quite some time.

Quote by Mark G
I don't really understand the technicalities of speakers, I just know which ones I've tried that sound amazing. How would a GT75 + a greenback give me more power? If this combination allows me to use the CarvinV3 at its full potential I will definitely considergetting this combo instead.


You have to look at the power rating of the speakers - Greenbacks are (conservatively) rated at 25watts each, which means that together, they will handle up to 50watts and stay within tolerances for speaker distortion etc.. They can handle more power, but they will distort and eventually blow completely if you run them high above their rating for an extended period of time.
If you are going to be using a 100w head you should probably be looking to get a set of speakers that can handle at least 100w, or have the half-power switch on your head permanently engaged.

EDIT: to manually quote people, write
Quote by username of the person you want to quote
...
without any of the spaces in the brackets.
#20
Quote by Nolly
That looks like a very solid rig that should have you sorted for quite some time.


You have to look at the power rating of the speakers - Greenbacks are (conservatively) rated at 25watts each, which means that together, they will handle up to 50watts and stay within tolerances for speaker distortion etc.. They can handle more power, but they will distort and eventually blow completely if you run them high above their rating for an extended period of time.
If you are going to be using a 100w head you should probably be looking to get a set of speakers that can handle at least 100w, or have the half-power switch on your head permanently engaged.

EDIT: to manually quote people, write
Quote by username of the person you want to quote
...
without any of the spaces in the brackets.


I see, so I should probably get either a 2x12 with two speakers rated at 50, or a 4x12 with greenbacks. Or I have to keep the head on 50 watt, but I'm not sure how that will affect my sound.

Thanks for the quoting advice, I'll use that from now on.
WTLTL 2011
#21
Mark - then it looks like you're all set. You thought it out well, know your gear well and have everything you need.

Just one thing - with all this great stuff, and you being away from home for a while, you'll surely get inspired to write and record some good stuff.

Are you bringing any recording gear?
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#22
Quote by dgonz
Mark - then it looks like you're all set. You thought it out well, know your gear well and have everything you need.

Just one thing - with all this great stuff, and you being away from home for a while, you'll surely get inspired to write and record some good stuff.

Are you bringing any recording gear?


Good question, The truth is I don't have any recording gear at this time. considering to get a nice microphone and a recording interface later down the road for my recording. Right now all I have is a crappy microphone and a Line6 Toneport GX.

If you have any recommendations for recording gear, I'm all ears!
WTLTL 2011
#23
Depends on what you like and what works for you. Some people like stand alone recorders like the Boss BR series. Some would rather record it to a laptop or desktop and then have preferences over which software they think is best.
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#24
I have an older Boss BR8 that I use for quick ideas, or to take places, then I'll edit the tracks on my laptop.

I also have various recording and editing software to use, as well as a full studio at work (interactive/flash game field).

But, what I've been looking for it a small, quick, digitial field recorder. Maudio and a few others make these, where you can just turn it on and capture a decent quick recording right on the spot, then transfer the files to a computer for editing later. I'd keep this in my case so I could grab ideas and some impromtu jams here and there, and easily edit them later.
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#25
right now I'm considering to get something like this:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/M-Audio-Fast-Track-Pro-Mobile-USB-Audio-MIDI-Interface-Refurb--No-Software--103520185-i1126084.gc

along with this:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Shure-SM57-Instrument-Vocal-Mic-100038239-i1126420.gc

That should do the trick. It doesn't have to be professional quality, but it should be nice enough to enjoy listening to.
WTLTL 2011
#26
The GT-75 and Greenback would give you 100watts power handling. The Greenbacks top out at 25watts a piece which could lead to some problems if you want to use the 100watt mode. Tonally, both of them are pretty bright, the GT-75 has a bit more of a scooped tone though.

The V3 combo would be a good choice as well.

If the rack EQ works then keep it. I didn't realize you've already purchased it.
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#27
I don't have that particular rack EQ. I have a different, cheaper one. I like the cheaper one, but it does take away from my tone somewhat so I'm considering upgrading it to the DBX215.

Would I be able to use an attenuator with the combo?
WTLTL 2011
#28
You can use an Attenuator with a combo amp. A combo just has the head inside of the cab, so there is still a "cord" or some sort going from the power transformer to the speaker. That is where you insert an attenuator.

Also, for attenuators, I'd have a look at ted weber, I've heard the mass series is very good since it uses a speaker motor so it cuts tone less. (although all attenuators will cut some tone)
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