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How much rack gear did you own in the 80's??

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by mikeratan00, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

    Messages:
    883
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    Oct 26, 2017
    Location:
    France/ UK
    right, getting back to the original question, here's more than was asked for:

    I really only ever purchased rack gear. Before I bought my first unit which was an Ibanez DMD2000, I had only ever borrowed amps...and guitars. My parents knew nothing about music other than listening...so they didn't inspire my music obsession.

    The first electric guitar and amp I ever remember playing was at a friend's house in 1978. He had a Lyle LP copy and a Peavey Backstage 30. We were like 15 yrs old High School Freshmen. I got the electric guitar bug then and have had it ever since. My friend had just gotten Hemispheres for Christmas and we were geeking out on that and Move It On Over by George Thorogood. I had a neighbor back then who had a Roland Space Echo. He showed it off to me and that blew my mind.

    By age 16 I bought my first electric a Gibson LP Gold Top Deluxe. Most of the amps I had borrowed had a spring reverb. I had borrowed a 1982 Marshall JCM 800 for a year (yeah, no reverb), also borrowed an early '70s Fender Twin SF with 100 watt EVs I used for several years. I had several friends with amps throughout the 80s and the most common pedal was MXR Distortion+. I had also used a DynaComp, a Vest-Fire Chorus and a DOD flanger...all borrowed or tested out hanging with my friends. Everything was routed in front of the amp's preamp, I had not seen an amp with FX loop anywhere but in the store and certainly had no idea how to use an FX loop nor knew I needed one! I bought a Rockman circa 1985 that I wore out, too, and gave to a friend. Another friend of mine had his Marshall JCM800 modified to have his Rockman insert between the amp's pre and power section...which always was a noisy mess. I wish I had pics, but all of them I knew of were destroyed in floods.

    and now off topic:
    The next gear I actually purchased for a guitar rig was an ADA MP-1 with ADA footcontroller and an Alesis Quadraverb II in the early 90s. Then I got a 6 space rack and 2x12 Pacific (Thiele) Cabinet. I knew a guy named Phil (who was known as having been a road tech for Foreigner, can't recall his surname) in the Santa Rosa, California area and he convinced me to upgrade the Pacific speakers to EV100 and buy a dbx163 compressor. I didn't have a power amp...or any more cash...my friends let me borrow and eventually just gave me a Traynor YMP-1 PA power amp that was collecting dust and I gigged locally in Northern California with that rig from 1991-1994. At one point, I got Phil to install the Traynor YMP-1 into the bottom of the 6 space rack. The ADA MP-1 is the first unit I ever used the FX loop on. Sometimes (often) I would borrow an amp for the other side of stereo. I mostly borrowed a 1968 Fender Deluxe SF or a Peavey KB-1 keyboard amp. This "right side" was mainly used for the other guys in the band to hear me.

    My Quadraverb PSU blew up in band practice one day in 1992. I sent it to Alesis and got it fixed. I then spent months programming guitar sounds between bands. Sometime in 1995, the QuadraVerb PSU failed again and I gave up on it. This was before computers were a common household appliance and I had no SysEx back-ups. I was gigging and needed an immediate replacement. I first went with an ART SGX2000. That didn't last long and I returned it for a DigiTech GSP-2101 Studio Tube and ART X-15 foot controller. I did a few gigs with the 2101, but not very many. I ran out of memory so fast with the 2101 and had no way to back up sysex. I also switched from the heavy, wooden 6 space rack to a pair of SKB 4 space racks which I still have.

    I was also lent a VHT 2150 (purple) for 6 months or so in 1995 and gigged quite a bit with that, what an amazing upgrade from the lowly YMP-1. I'd buy a VHT 2150 in a heartbeat if I could find one in Europe.

    I stopped playing live in 1996.

    In 1999 I pretty much stopped using the 2101 and just played straight into amps.

    In 2005 I bought a Fender Cyber Twin (First Edition) and really did not use it very much...until summer 2017 and I have been using the CT daily in the past 18 mos and purchased a second one in May2018.

    I just purchased a Lexicon PCM81 in Dec2018. I wish I had had this unit back in the 80s and 90s...that said, I wouldn't have known how to use it like I understand it nowadays. Right now the 2101 and PCM81 are sitting on a Zalman laptop cooler on my workstation desk, 2101 balanced outputs and midi manager functionality to the rescue. Peavey Rockmaster and SKB screws should show up at my door sometime today. So, currently heading back to the 80s :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    Michaeltn86 and ThinPaperWings like this.
  2. Big'Uns

    Big'Uns Member

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    Dec 15, 2016
    I didn't get my first guitar until around 1990. But man it seems like 90% of those racks back in the day were such overkill. How much of that stuff can be had today in a single relatively small unit?
     
  3. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

    Messages:
    883
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Location:
    France/ UK
    The ones that weren't great, yeah
    The great ones? Still unsurpassed if you read up on this sub-forum. Technology changed to suit a budget rather than to sound the best...and then everything went in the box. I am no expert in knowing great units, not even close....from what I've experienced with the PCM81 these past couple of days scratching the surface, that unit can do A LOT and very, very well

    If you consider MIDI CC, even for a current gen Lexicon PCM96, the manual suggests no more than 6 (nearly) simultaneous expression commands. Seamless program changes on a big high end FX chain? It's gonna require redundant units and a switching control unit; hence the "overkill"
     
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  4. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    Jun 9, 2005
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Sure... ish.

    Multi effect units can *do* a lot of things, but they don’t always do those things as well as dedicated units. For example, I have yet to find anything that sounds like a TC 2290 or a TC 1210.
     
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  5. uraniumwilly

    uraniumwilly Member

    Messages:
    532
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    May 26, 2016
    Location:
    Berkeley
    A common unit is the ADA MP-1s (from above). I own 2. I recently picked up another, cheaply. This new one is surprisingly much quieter, compared to the other. Cheap Chinese tubes, too. I had assumed they would all be naturally noisy - they're so old. Anyway, I digress.
     
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  6. sahhas

    sahhas Member

    Messages:
    10,009
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    middle usa somewhere
    In the 80s? I owned nothing, that stuff was too expensive, for all of the 90s I just had a RAT and my yamaha delay pedal. From about 2003-2008 I had a splurge of $50 rack units I bought, I had:
    Zoom 9150
    DOD D-12 ( from late 90s)
    Digitech DSP 256xl
    Digitech IPS33...
    Honestly I loved the sounds I got... at times I miss the stuff, sometime after 2008, I simplified and went back to pedals. The combo of the 256xl and IPS33 could get some weird fun sounds!!!!
     
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  7. TheDentist

    TheDentist Member

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    Jan 1, 2013
    Me too! LOL
     
  8. littleb

    littleb Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvannia
    Oh the 80s.the 80s rack thing was an expensive learning lesson for me.i started with all the rockman modules running into a fender twin reverb..lmbo.- totally the absolutely wrong way to run that stuff,thats how our local music store staff told us to run it.Sold it all.Then after seeing the big adds for carvin a full stack for 1k,i bought that..maybe i wasnt dialing it in right but i hated it.Sold it.Had a ton of pedals,sold them all.Then saw stryper live using a mesa quad,tc 2290,strategy poweramp,and thier 40 cabs onstage,i knew that was it for me..Took a small personal loan out and bought a quad,295,tc 2290,abacus switcher,2 cabs and a kramer nightswan from throughrobred music in fl.and was 100% happy! Ffwd to 2000s..i bought all the rockman stuff for now a 2nd time and love it too..oh what a ride its been!
     
  9. peter_heijnen

    peter_heijnen Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Amsterdamn
    Roland sde1000
    Ada mp1
    Zech 2x150w mosfet power amp
    Alesis quadraverb
    Reussenzehn Doubletwin - faux 5 ch midi preamp
    Reussenzehn Slave 100 - 2x50 tube power amp

    Then the 90's started with lots of rackgear coming along. :)
     
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  10. LouRossi

    LouRossi Member

    Messages:
    2,065
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Ibanez SDR-1000+
    Korg SDD-2000
    Roland DEP-5
     
  11. tubetonez

    tubetonez Member

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    350
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    Mar 31, 2008
    I had an ADA MP1, a boss half rack GEQ in the loop - the MP1 needed a bit of EQ to cut the offensive midrange. Roland SDE1000, and an ADA Stereo Tapped Delay. Peavey Classic 60/60 power amp.
     
  12. JJ321

    JJ321 Member

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    1,330
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    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    NG, Maine
    I didn't own any. I started playing guitar around '99. I loved rack gear for years though. My all time favorite rack was:

    Furman power conditioner
    Marshall JMP-1 preamp
    Lexicon MPX G2
    TC Electronic G Major
    Mesa 50/50 power amp
     
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  13. RicOkc

    RicOkc Member

    Messages:
    777
    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Marshall Pre-Amp
    KMD Power Strip w/ Pull Out Lights
    2 Boss 1/2 space units / Delay and pitch shifter
    BBE Sonic Max.
    Alesis Midiverb
    Boss Chorus Unit
    Sabine Rack Tuner
    Rocktron Noise Gate/Limiter
    Yamaha Power Amp

    Into Two Peavey/ 2x12" Half Cabinets
     
  14. JRzoidz

    JRzoidz Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 5, 2019
    None i'm not that oldddd lol...But I knew some that preferred the rack stuff and none integration lol.
    But I modded a bunch of heads. but it's still sounds like dirt out front and that SS statey Digital sound to me.
     
  15. JRzoidz

    JRzoidz Member

    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2019


    I need the TC to goose it...rather quiet...but yeah really cool for that Stuff. and 90s Metal.
    Need another preamp.
     
  16. circle_o_5ths

    circle_o_5ths Member

    Messages:
    6,174
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    May 21, 2015
    I had two 24 space racks, four heads brought down to line level feeding a W/D/W system of three 4x12s. I had all the goodies, the Eventide, the Lexicon PCMs, etc.

    Eventually I paired down to a single 4x12 where I had the two bottom speakers as the dry and the top ones as wet left and wet right. My current rig of the Axe Fx II and a pair of CLRs sounds better, takes 1/10 the space and probably 1/50th the cost.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  17. JRzoidz

    JRzoidz Member

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    Feb 5, 2019
    That Head is DOPE Dude telling ya lol for what it is.
     
  18. cmath

    cmath Member

    Messages:
    73
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Had 3 systems

    Lab sound did the first

    Mesa Quad preamp
    TC-2290 with xtra memory and sampling
    Lexicon PCM 70
    Rane SM-82 line mixer
    rockman octopus to contrll the quad channels
    loops on the 2290 were filled with
    Hush 2CX
    Boss RPS -10 Pitch shifter delay
    Digitech IPS PITCH shifter
    MXR delay sytem II
    EXH mistress flanger
    Strategy 400 pwr amp
    2x MESA 2X12 EV/Celestions

    It was really amazing for big cleans and high gain sounds

    Over time I made changes and with a friend helping me

    Went to Marshall cabs
    Then downsized to a mesa 50/50 in its own rack
    Went to an 8 space rack with bypass switches built into the Mesa FU-2(quad footswitch)
    Furman
    Guitar into Korg A2 into
    Mesa Quad Preamp
    hush
    RPS mono
    IPS mono
    BOSS SE-50 mono
    PCM 70 stereo out into quad loop return

    Not as glamorus but was more portable

    THEN WENT BRADSHAW BIG
    RS-10 CONTROLLER
    4X LOOPS FOR PEDALS W VOL LOOP S/R
    TS-9/BIG MUFF/EHX MICRO SYNTH/RPS-10
    4X SPLITTER (SWITCHABLE) INTO THE FOLLOWING CHAINS
    1.EXH 16 SEC DELAY W REMOTE(ORIGINAL) FEEDING KORG A2 TO CAE LINE MIXER
    2.DIGITECH 2101 INTO CAE LINE MIXER
    3. TC -2290 INTO CAE LINE MIXER
    4 DRY INTO LINE MIXER

    MIXER OUT WOULD FEED 2 CLEAN HEADS OR CLEAN COMBO

    This last system has been taken apart for about 15 years

    Now for fun I'm putting another system and been picking up a few pieces
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  19. matt5150

    matt5150 Either U Know Or U Don't Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,522
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    Tylerville
    Worked at a Mesa Boogie dealer out of high school in ‘89, and was fortunate to build a couple great racks:

    Mesa Quad
    Mesa 295
    TC 2290
    Eventide H3000
    Yamaha SPX 90
    Dyna Tri Chorus
    2 Mesa 2x12’s

    Used a Midi Octopus and the huge Abacus for switching.

    Prior to GIT, I pared down to a slaved Mesa Boogie MkIII into a Lee Jackson power amp. Alesis QuadraVerb was used for effects.

    Currently rebuilding my rack and adding a Mesa Quad and VHT 2/50.

    It never stops

    Matt
     
  20. clcwarlock

    clcwarlock Member

    Messages:
    209
    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Marshall 5210 combo strait in with the occasional Alesis Quardraverb in the loop.
     

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