Talk me out of getting a student-wise rediculous girly 19" rack

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by nitefly7, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. nitefly7

    nitefly7 Member

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    This might just be a HRI-question, but anyway here goes:

    I was planning on building a 'girly rack':

    - Mod Pro (pre-gain/pre-amp modulations; univibe/tremolo/flangers)
    - G-Force (either post-gain in fx-loop or post-amp through 2 fullrange speakers; filters/choruses/delays)
    - MPX-1 (post gain as an overall delay/reverb, at the same time used as a delay/reverb for piezo-pickups)
    - Rack interface; line-mixer for fx-loop processor and a line-mixer for output to PA/Studio-monitors/fullrange system)

    I've got the Mod Pro, which hasn't got a lot of competitors in that price range.

    'all that is left' are two 19" rackprocessors that will give me stereo delays in the loop, octave up/down shifting, nice soundscapes and maybe some funky/whacky-filtering (1st one) and overall nice delays + reverbs for both guitar amp and for piezo-pickups (2nd one)..

    Being a student, I can't really justify the costs of (even 2nd hand) G-force AND MPX-1 combination..
    And I really like either one, but I really shouldn't buy both ....

    So what are my options, according to you guys:

    FX-loop/delay/post-gain/post-amp:
    Intellifex: sounds pretty sweet and has really nice delays and chorussing, the lack of filters would be solved by buying a nice auto-wah pedal; which will save me money, by not shelling out for the G-force... The G-force's tuner can be substituted by a Boss TU-12 or TU-2
    G-Major: although I like the relay-switching, the Major doesn't have its big brother's sound (or mojo....)

    Post-amp:
    Any sub $500/Eur 300-Lexicon should suffice, as long as it's got a display..
    But the little Intellifex should work ok, as well..

    what say y'all ?
    Something like: Mod Pro/Gforce/Intellifex or Mod Pro/Intellifex/MPX-1
    or maybe even Mod Pro/MPX-1/Intellifex ?
    Let's hear it ...

    and... if you got to here: thanks for reading!
     
  2. Mac-P

    Mac-P Member

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    OK, I'll try to talk you out of it:

    Almost 100% of the time in my experience when you go through all that rack gear, your tone just vanishes. Period. In the 80's all these players had these huge racks and their tones were just processed to **** with little or no organic "realness" left.

    Of course back then the alternative was Boss, MXR, Ibanez and a mere handful of vintage FX all with their own pitalls - so rack gear seemed like the more "pro" route.

    These days, with THE best sounding stuff being analog, handmade (I know it's all subjective - this is just my take), - if you spent great money on your guitar and amp - and wanna hear it - with all sorts of beautiful colors on it sometimes - there have NEVER been more or better options.

    And here is the other side of it: Ever gig with a rack? First off, it is a pain in the balls to move if it is too big. Pre-amps & power amps with transformers in addition to all the signal processing can get these racks close to 100 lbs - or over. Plus speaker cab.

    And if something goes wrong at a gig & you need to trouble shoot - you are **** outta luck diagnosing the complexities of it in time to finish your set. All these wires buried in the back of rack gear with a million connectors - it's like getting behind your home stereo system at a party to figure out why the CD player doesn't work when the power amp goes on....... ugh :bkw

    And straight up, there are very few players who I've heard (to these ears anyway) who actually sound better through those kinda rigs. They exist of course, but not the norm, at least to me.

    A great guitar, great amp and pedalboard with some choice analog pedals is kinda hard to beat soundwise, and can be a LOT cheaper to boot. And infinitely simpler and easier to use - if you have a problem with a pedal or wire at a gig - remove/replace it. Period. :rolleyes:

    Just my 5 cents. Don't in ANY way mean to dis rack users here. Just my own experience & personal taste.

    Peace. :cool:
     
  3. SFW

    SFW Member

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    Have you actually played a G*Major? They sound great, and are easy to use.
     
  4. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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    I have a simple rack setup.
    Sansamp PSA-1 ===> Digitech DHP-55 (poor man's eventide) ==> Mosvalve Poweramp ===> 2x12 cabinet

    Easy to move and it's light and offers me great set of tones.
     
  5. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

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    A well put together rack system sounds great, and is much more flexible and user friendly than most pedal guys can imagine.
     
  6. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    Oh my gosh. I had this EXACT rig in 1993 or 1994, though I had very little idea how to get the most out of it. The processor later changed to an Alesis Midiverb III.

    The one thing I didn't understand back then that the 2007 Phil would do is get a friggin' midi interface. I could've set up patches with various preamp and processor settings in a single stomp, but I was totally wasting all that power. I got scared of all the technology and retreated back to simple tube amps...
     
  7. monk

    monk Member

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    I like racks but I use mine to switch pedals. I would keep the Mod pro and
    get a rackdelay, like the TC D-TWO. A midi switcher would be nice as well.
    Axess GRX-4 if you don´t need more than 4 loops, otherwise a Voodoo Lab
    GCX or similar. They can switch amp channels as well. I just bought the Line6 mod pro and echo pro and will put them into my rack and combine them with some analog pedals.
     
  8. nitefly7

    nitefly7 Member

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    i was turned off by some rotary encoder issues and by the 'lack of G-Force mojo' that the Major has.. (plus I didn't know that the Major had an auto-wah, which is the sort of filtering I wanted.. plus the Major now has an EQ, which it lacked at first...)

    actually, at this point in time (some hours later)
    I'm really seriously considering the G-Major for post-gain/fx-loop stuff.. and maybe even for the post-amp (W/D/W-like) setup..

    It seems, for the money; it has everything I need, autowah, dual delays and 'verbs...
    plus the relay-switching for amps allows me to keep my cable run to the amp to a minimum..

    But I'd still have 2 separate processors for post-gain/Fx-loop stuff (magnetic pickups) and for post-amp/PA stuff (overall ambience + piezo pickups)

    So I might be looking at either a
    Mod Pro/G-major/Intellifex (super cheap !)
    Mod Pro/G-Major/Lexicon (perhaps a bit 'too much' just to use the MPX-1 for delay/reverb alone)
    Mod Pro/G-Major/Lexicon MPX200/500/550 or MX-series
    Mod Pro/G-Force/G-major (pretty neat combo)
    Mod Pro/Lexicon MPX-1/G-Major (pretty cool, not too sure about patch change time on the MPX...)


    @ Mac-p:
    I already have 2 pedalboards (1 band/fun/elaborate and 1 big band/jazz/basic jam-board), but I needed tremolo, flange and fx-looped delays.... I figured (and still stand behind) having a rack for those fx..

    Plus the added bonus of making sure my piezo-outputs are processed in a good way, before giving it to someone who doesn't know how do 'work with' acoustic guitar-sounds..

    Both my pedalboards have a chorus-pedal I like (CE-2 / TC SC/F) as well as anin-line 'analog' delay (modded DD-5 / Replica)..
    But I didn't want to add another pedal to my big board (Musicom EFX MkII + wah + 2 expr + 6 pedals), for the 'occasional' tremolo, phase, filters and 'lead-delay's.. Nor did I want to add another tremolo, phase, filter or 'lead-delay' to my small board (6 pedals)..

    The basic idea is two-and-a-half-fold:
    - get a basic guitar sound by using the pedalboard, without the need for a rack
    - use the rack in order to keep stage real estate to a minimum (move the rack to the back..rhymes!), but still have access to sultry delays-in-the-loop, crazy pitch shifts, tremolo, flange.. Plus having a nice reverb for my acoustics..
    - use the rack in a 'post-amp' W/D/W-setup, where the piezos and the overall guitar sound can be heard in stereo, with subtle and nice delaying/reverb goin' on...
     
  9. nitefly7

    nitefly7 Member

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    hej ! I've seen your Mac1-setup, very nice indeed..

    In a way, my 'big pedalboard' is a rackshelf + pedalboard all-in-1; the Musciom looper allows me to put 6 fx in presets + channel switches my amp + rackmodules..

    The rack is meant to give me:
    1: special fx-needs modulations (Mod Pro),
    2: fx-loop rack delay + filters + soundscapes (G-Major/G-Force/MPX-1/Intellifex)
    3: and overall reverb/delay (MPX-1/MPX-550/Intellifex)

    I'm not too sure an Echo Pro will satisfy the needs I have for positions 2 (it's 'only delay', albeit a really nice one) or position 3 (it doesn't have as much reverb options..)
    The D-Two might be a good one for position 3 though...

    The "problem' is just that, as much as I love the rack options; I don't want to take it with me everywhere (for instance, jams or small rehearsals perhaps going somewhere by bike)..
    So that's why I opted for the Musicom over the rackshelf-idea..

    I have a pedalboard with the basic modulation + delay (either TC Chorus + Replica or CE-2 + DD-5(modded for hi-cut) ).

    Both pedalboards will have a Midi-footcontroller at one time in the near future (the 'big one' has a Musicom EFX MkII, the 'little' one might get either a Rocktron Xchange, Tech21 Midi Mouse or an Axess MFC-5)..

    I add in the rack for special songs that require tremolo, flange and for instance a filtering texture..
    Plus the rack has piezo-reverb/delays for my acoustic needs..

    The Echo Pro is a good choice, but I feel it might be too limited in terms of effects and too elaborate in terms of delay-options...
    But coupled with a G-Force/G-Major or MPX-1/MX300, it might be a good suggestion for one of the two vacant rack-spaces..

    As of now, my choices are between:

    fx-loop/post-gain (delay/filter/reverb):
    in this order:
    G-major
    Intellifex
    G-force
    MPX-1
    D-Two

    post-amp/piezo's:
    In this order..
    G-major
    Intellifex
    MPX-1
    MX300/400
    MPX-550
    D-Two

    I was looking at a combination of affordable processor + slightly more expensive one (preferably sub EUR 600/$800 for MPX-1 combo's or sub EUR 750/$1000 for G-Force combo)

    But I if I can get what I want out of a Intellifex + G-major, that's great as well...

     
  10. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change! Supporting Member

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    I really dont think you need multiple processors. Put your money toward one of the better units (g force/MPX1) and a foot controller. A w/d/w rig can be done with just a power amp and two more cabs but its not really necessary if you dont need a massive rig.
     
  11. nitefly7

    nitefly7 Member

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    It's a big paradox, processors can 'do it all', but in terms of routing, I figured that dedicated boxes would be easier to setup..

    I think I can do without a dedicated piezo-reverb in my rack.. But I'd rather not..
    And if I'm going to get a piezo-reverb that gets send to fullrange speakers, why not have the guitar amp reverb'd/delay'd as well, through those fullrange speakers... ?

    Guitar magnetic pickups -> Pedalboard -> Mod Pro input -> Amp input
    FX send -> line-mixer w/ ' FX-loop' processor in 'parallel' -> FX-return -> speaker
    (Recording out ) + Guitar piezo pickups -> Reverb/Delay processor -> Fullrange speakers

    The W/D/W would be a setup in my home studio, having a Koch Studiotone, paired with 2 active Studio Monitors..

    Also when playing live, I wanted to get my basic guitar sound with a processor in the FX-loop, but adding reverb and stereo delay after the entire amp (recording out or mic'd amp), like Larry Carlton's setup..

    For live use, I wanted to have a solution that wouldn't need to rely on the PA too much; so my piezo's would be send to active monitors..

    I figured I might as well mix in a little of my normal guitars-signal (I play hybrid solidbodies with both mags + piezos), because that's the sort of delay/reverb style I've seen and heard and found to sound really nice...
     
  12. nitefly7

    nitefly7 Member

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    That would make a brilliant backup rack...

    :nono....settle down, your amp only failed you once... and the Recording output saved my life :)

     
  13. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change! Supporting Member

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    I guess it all depends on what you want to do. I would never want to carry my own PA or play through studio monitors.
     
  14. johnrea_77

    johnrea_77 Silver Supporting Member

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    There were some pieces of rack gear in the 80's that offered a lot of options but lacked audio quality. I remember my early ART SGE, that unit cut the bandwidth and life out of the guitar signal even in bypass mode. I also had a Digitech GSP-2101 that was much better audio wise, but the switching between patches had audible dropouts and a significant delay.

    I had some Rocktron Units that had very good audio quality and switched seamlessly (Intellifex/Replifex).
     
  15. nitefly7

    nitefly7 Member

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    The PA and Studio Monitors are for reverb/delay + mild chorussing for the Piezo's, piezo's sound best through fullrange, which studio monitors also are in a way..
    In the other setup, my Koch will have the 'straight' guitar tone and the PA/Studio monitors are used to add in reverb/delay + mild chorussing + pitch shifts...

    Thanks for your help so far, I appreciate it !

    @ Johnrea; I'm looking into the Intellifex as we speak.. Maybe an Intellifex/Lexicon MX-combo
    or possibly a G-Force/Intellifex combo...
     
  16. Sixa

    Sixa Member

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    Hey nitefly7:

    I have both, one thing that you NEED TO KNOW (very important to me at least) is the Lexicon MPX1 can not recieve controller messages, this means if you were to use a midi foot controller that can turn on/off individual effects per patch the MPX1 won't recognize this. You have to set up different preset for every effect you want to use.

    Hope this helps and makes sense to you.
     
  17. nitefly7

    nitefly7 Member

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    Both = MPX1 + G-force?

    I've read the CC-issue in the MPX, but with MIDI-mapping and/or presets, I should be able to go somewhere..

    My Musicom can do PC's and CC's, so that would be flexible enough I guess..

    As I see it now, a Mod Pro/Gforce/MPX-1 combo would be too much I think...
    So it's either a Mod Pro/Gforce/Intellifex
    Or a Mod Pro/Gforce/Lexicon MX-300...

    something like that...
     
  18. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Member

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    That is exactly my experience, and I am sold right there. Thanks./thread
     

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