Rack Questions

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by don maxxx, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. don maxxx

    don maxxx Member

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    Hello,
    I've tought about getting a rack unit for a while. Something with delay(most important), chorus(2nd) and modulation effects go third as importance. Something around 500$. I want something transparent, becouse I'm very anal about my sound.
    The fact is that I have a DRRI, so no FX loop. Someone guested me to put a DI Box between my speaker and the speaker line out. Will be a better idea to put a FX loop in my DRRI?

    Please, shed some light!
     
  2. don maxxx

    don maxxx Member

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  3. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    I really like my GSP1101. It's not perfect, but for GREAT stompbox models that can go in front of the input, cool routing features and clean sounds, it's pretty hard to beat for around $ 450 online.

    Definitely get the Control 2 to go with it. A single CAT5 cable connects it making setup fast and no power cord needed for the pedal.

    I gig with mine 3-4 nights per week and it has performed perfectly for almost a year. For me, it's worth the money for the stompbox models alone. They sound really authentic, without all the impedence issues caused by big pedalboards.

    It actually sounds pretty good in front of an amp as long as the amp is set clean. I think FX loops are essential, as they just give amps so much more versatility. But it from Sweetwater or someplace that has a great return poilcy and try it out. If it doesn't work for you, no risk. It has a cool global EQ to quickly and easily compensate for room acoustics and amp tonal coloration. Pretty good amp modeling too.
     
  4. don maxxx

    don maxxx Member

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    if it has Digitech stompbox quality I'll say no to that one.
     
  5. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    For that price it's hard to beat a used Lexicon MPX1. GREAT delays, cool "effects matrix" routing and really nice chorus/efx.
     
  6. don maxxx

    don maxxx Member

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    I was looking at that one, I just cant find any demos.
    Does the Chorus compare to a AnalogMan Chorus?
     
  7. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    TC Electronic has a bunch of inexpensive rack units that would fit the bill. The G Sharp, G Major, M-One, and M350 are worth looking at. I have an M350 and it's fine. Just don't expect too much out of a sub-$500 processor. If you are in fact very particular about your sound, you may not find anything you like in that price range.

    I'm confused about this:

    If you're contemplating putting a DI between your speaker output and the speaker itself, do not do that. The speaker output is a high current, amplified signal and the direct box is designed to work with line and instrument level signals. I think you would just fry the direct box, and potentially any other equipment that you connected to the direct box.

    I'm assuming you're getting your distortion from pedals, since the DRRI only gets dirty at extreme volumes. If so, why not just run the rack unit between your guitar and amp, after any distortion pedals? The main purpose of an effects loop is to insert delay and modulation effects after the preamp (distortion) stage, because they sound best there. Putting your delay and mod effects after distortion pedals and before a clean amp accomplishes the same result.
     
  8. don maxxx

    don maxxx Member

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    doing that, it will the same thing with the serial or the parallel loop?
    And yes I'm very particular about my sound, the G-Major felt lifeless and sterile to me, a bit too HI-FI.
    Someone said that Lexicon PCM70 have a good warm sound. Any opinions?
     
  9. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    With the approach I suggested, you're not using an effects loop at all, just running the signal directly from your guitar to distortion pedals to rack unit to amp. So series vs. parallel effects loops don't have anything to do with it.

    The PCM70 is one of the best units Lexicon has ever produced, particularly for reverbs. If you can buy one for $500 or less, do it.
     
  10. don maxxx

    don maxxx Member

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    I just saw one for 700$, If it had amazing delay and an amazing chorus I'd buy one. But I'm intriguated that I can't find any sound clips.
    I'm not very interested in revs, I have one in my DRRI and it's pretty good.
     
  11. geetarman

    geetarman Member

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    I've owned a PCM-70 and the reverb is great but you can't run more than one effect at a time. I replaced it with a PCM-80 over ten years ago which I still use today and it has fantastic reverb plus you can run delay, chorus etc... simultaneously.
     
  12. don maxxx

    don maxxx Member

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    how are the delay and the chorus? Can you make a comparation with a stompbox(let's say eventide timefactor?)
    It's expensive to put a loop in my DRRI?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  13. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    OK, let's stop a minute here. First off, you can run a direct box (assuming it has a 40 dB pad like the Peavey ones do) between your speaker and your amp. However, that gives you a balanced (XLR) signal and after you run to your effects unit you'll need some kind of amp to amplify that signal. Better would be to use an H&K Redbox which gives you a speaker sim, then into a powered speaker for your delay/chorus/reverb effects. This is a wet/dry rig and can sound killer and 3D. It's a pain to carry around.

    Next, you could run the rackmount gear before the amp just like a glorified stomp-box. I'm not a super big fan of this, although you can get pretty decent results, rackmount units are optimized for higher levels than a guitar rig usually puts out (unless you're using the guitar dedicated ones from Zoom, Digitech or TC) so there may be more noise than you like. A level conversion device like the Ebtech or even a line driver can solve that problem. BUT if you just want a good delay for a mono guitar amp, why not buy one of the many stellar delays for guitar, and an analogman Chorus and be done with it? Is there some other reason you want rack gear? Another alternative if you search REALLY hard is that you can find an Eventide H3000 for $5-600, or the D/SX for $800 (which gives you the same kind of effects matrix the MPX1 has where volume/pitch/lfo etc can modify parameters in the effects). Or, sell the DRRI and buy the Axe-Fx, and a powered speaker, which'll give you the whole enchilada, great sounds, decent programming ease and good stomp-box immitations!
     
  14. strangec

    strangec Supporting Member

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    Try the Rocktron Xpression.
     
  15. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    It actually has models of many vintage stompboxes (TS, Sparkledrive, Rat, MXR, Dyna Comps, Etc.) that are pretty accurate and definitely usable...

    If all you want is digital fx with no front end gain at all, a used Rocktron Intellifex (or the above mentioned Xpression) is about as transparent as it gets in that price range...TC G Major is decent too...and it will switch channels...definitely will sound better in a loop...

    :drink
     
  16. don maxxx

    don maxxx Member

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    This will make me sound louder, am I right? That's not very desirable in my case.
     
  17. griff3

    griff3 Member

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    Try the Rocktron Replifex. It's got a -10db or +4db switch so it runs fine in front of your amp, will not color your dry signal if you don't use the hush (it routes the dry signal straight to the output) and it's got a great "stompbox" style sound. I'm always on the lookout for another one because I'm stupid and keep selling the old ones.
     
  18. takakat

    takakat Member

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    I recommend vintage Ibanez UE405 rack multi effects to you. It comes with all analog effects including delay, stereo chorus, eq, and compressor. It is a great vintage gear and you can find on eBay or Craigslist time to time.
     
  19. Adwex

    Adwex Member

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    I believe Digitech "absorbed" Lexicon, so they are now the same company...I believe, could be wrong.

    I also heard that the Digitech GSP1101 is basically what the Lexicon MPX-G2 used to be. It has some common features, like the "preamp insert send", and stompbox emulations. Don't know if it sounds as good as the Lex though.

    I have an MPX-G2, awesome processor. The insert send lets me have wah/compressor/boost/etc. before the input of my Marshall, then those beautiful Lexicon digital effects in the Marshall's loop. This arrangement also allows for the smartest noise gate....the gate is triggered by the incoming guitar signal (pre-gain), but the actual gating occurs after the digital effects (post gain).

    It also has a 20 second looper, built in tuner, and the best sounding reverb and delays I've ever heard. Too bad they discontinued it.
     
  20. geetarman

    geetarman Member

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    The delay and chorus are top notch very warm and tweakable. I can't really compare them to any pedals because it's really apples to oranges the Lexicon is a pro level piece and goes far beyond what any pedal can do but there is a bit of learning curve involved.
     

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