Shiva or rack setup

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Razor, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Razor

    Razor Silver Supporting Member

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    I currently own a Shiva head (El-34 non-reverb) and have been thinking of trying a rack setup. I can not have both, so I was wondering if I would be making a mistake by trading/selling my Shiva and switching to a rack system? Also, if I did trade for a rack system, what would be a good system for rock and metal type tones? Lastly, what should I expect to be able to trade a mint Shiva for (power amp/preamp)? Any thoughts will be appreciated!

    Razor
     
  2. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Shiva.

    I have done racks, and played/heard some massive killer setups. But IMHO a good amp - like the Shiva - just cuts better and has more balls.

    Just my opinion.
     
  3. Mondoslug

    Mondoslug Supporting Member

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  4. devbro

    devbro Member

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    First, a Shiva non-reverb head in good condition should fetch around $1400 (barely the price of a good rack preamp Se3+, Engle or the like). Next you'll need a poweramp. You can pick up a used VHT 50/50 or Simulclass 2:90 for about $700.00. Depending on the preamp and how you want to control your effects, you'll probably want need a midi foot controller and a midi looper. A Rocktron Midimate will set you back around $150.00 and an Axess looper another $300.00. Assuming you have a stereo cabinet or can wire your existing 2x12 into stereo, you're already into it around $2700.00.

    My advice, keep the Shiva. I just got rid of a high-end rack set-up and went to a Shiva and never been happier.:D
     
  5. bluessyndicate

    bluessyndicate Member

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    I dumped my Mesa Triaxis/2:90 stereo 4x12 rack system of 10 years for a Shiva with an oversized 2x12. Went from real time midi control to a guitar volume pot. Went from good gain with bad cleans to good gain with great cleans. Haven't looked back once.

    Moving to the shiva was like giving up condoms for life!

    er,.... or something...

    :D
     
  6. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    Racks are great for Live players who want/need a number of different sounds on demand. With a programmable pre-amp and MIDI effects, you can tweak and save all your settings ahead of time. With one click of a footswitch you can immediately change ALL your pre-amp settings and ALL your effects settings. For the player that needs that kind of versatility, nothing comes close. A rack lets you leave all your cables hooked up, and you can use different speakers as needed. There is a trade-off for sure. I agree with what Scott said. Racks can end up sounding less "raw". Also, a rack system is only as good as it's weakest link. Keep it simple and very high quality. I have used a rack system for years, but I'm moving away from it now.
     
  7. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    I currently use a rack and am looking for a nice amp to add to it. The problem with rack power amps is that most do not send the power tubes into full clipping. If I'm wrong on this, please name some that do. The good thing is that they aren't hot right now and you can usually get some good deals.

    You don't need a midi preamp to use midi, the G-Major, for example, can switch two footswitchable features via midi. Some foot pedals have this feature too.
     
  8. DallasD

    DallasD Member

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    I went through the rack/floor preamp phase for several years...and bought and sold a lot of gear looking for the sound I wanted. I also came to the realization that when I actually find time to play, I need simple equipment with no patches, banks, menu systems, etc. to keep me from wasting time seaching for a good sound.

    Sold all of the rack gear on ebay and decided to take a chance on the Shiva based strictly on sound clips and reviews. Great amp and good value used. Cleans are beautiful. I don't need this much amp, but good grief it sounds good even at low volumes - and so much more "alive" than any preamp/poweramp that I owned. My advice is to hang on to the tone monster you have.

    BTW, I highly recommend the Barber Tone Press in front of the Shiva for single coils or to tighten up the sound a touch.
     
  9. Razor

    Razor Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the input! It is great to have knowledgeable people to bounce ideas off before making a mistake. Thanks to everyone who makes this site available.

    Razor
     
  10. Baba

    Baba Supporting Member

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    One thing Razor, that nobody addressed (and always gets left out around here) is that you mentioned metal. The Shiva is not a metal amp, so you may want to check the Effects Section on tips for a gain pedal that will get you into metal territory.

    I'm not a pedal guy myself, but I agree with the others that the amp will probably end up sounding better than the rack stuff.
     
  11. Razor

    Razor Silver Supporting Member

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    Baba,

    That is the main reason I was thinking of going to a rack. I would love to know if there is a pedal that would mate well with the Shiva to produce good metal sounds. I may check in on the effects section as you suggested. Thanks!
     
  12. jgraham

    jgraham Member

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    If you need a lot of tones quickly like GasMask posted, you could consider using some rack equipment around your Shiva. That's what I did with my Tremoverb, I can't seem to part with it. And when the day comes that I don't need all the extra stuff, I'll still have that T-verb. Basically I'm using two preamps through the Boogie power amp section, and they're mostly straight through and dry. Topped off with a midi-switcher and an Intellifex.

    But don't sell the Shiva if you like it.
     
  13. TheGrooveking

    TheGrooveking Member

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    I don't have a Shiva, yet, I know it is one of my short comings. But what I recommend, kind of like JonGraham suggested is that you use the Shiva as a basis for a wet/dry/wet rig. Split the preamp out into a stereo processor lie either the Rocktron Repliefex or a Lexicon MPX-1 (either of these can be had used for around $30-$350) into a small one space power amp, for this application, since the tone is being generated by the Shiva you can use solid state.

    Carvin has there DC150 going for $199. Run this into two 1-12 cabinets. This will give you a great sounding rig that is portable rig. Get a padded two space rack, they are super portable, and they don;t damage your car getting them in or out. Can carry them on your shoulder with a strap.

    By the way what type of cabinet are you running through now?

    TheGrooveking
     
  14. Razor

    Razor Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the additional suggestions. I have never thought of using a preamp running through my Shiva, but it sounds like an interesting idea. If I can figure out how to do so and have it sound good, then it would be great because as you stated I will still have the Shiva.

    Again, I appreciate all the input.

    I have two cabinets at the present time, a Bogner 2x12 (larger version) and a Bogner Ubercab (4x12).

    Razor
     
  15. dinrodef

    dinrodef Guest

    Nice cabs!

    I doubt you'll like a rack setup. Unless you've got a very specific reason to build one it can get complicated, tedious and expensive...

    My experience is that pedals don't do metal well. To get a good metal sound takes a head dedicated to metal. You can overdrive the shiva with a good clean boost and maybe switch out the pickups on a guitar to get a more scooped sound. But I think it would be smarter to just spend the money and get a new head... it'll go great with the cabinets you already have
     
  16. Razor

    Razor Silver Supporting Member

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    Once again, I just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and information. I feel as though I now have viable options. This site is great!

    Razor
     

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