Show us your rack!

Re: Show us your rack!

Postby Jon S. » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:48 pm

To the Pigpens of the world, normal people appear anal. :P

I think I posted my racks earlier but I can't recall, what the heck, one more time. :smile:

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"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby James-T » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:07 pm

Hey now, finally got something worthwhile to post on this thread. Traded a stratocaster for a GCX rig and built a rack with the help of my trusted friend and sometimes roadie, Steve F. Actually Steve did most of the work and I just directed, but hey his payment was the promise to hang backstage with the band at the local pub. Not bad considering back stage is AKA has sitting outside.

I did this one on the fly, oversized the box for the GCX so it could screw into some wood blocks, canted the "pedal wall" so if the box sat lower on the floor I could see the dials better and cut out slots just like a floor board allowing me to mix and match on the go. I also labeled everything so in that typical pre gig panic trouble shooting is easy easy, and finally I colour coded my labels so my mind can think old school Boss when I'm looking for the "just right" effect for that extended jam sequence. I also velcro-ed in my floor clock which goes to every gig to sense when last call is and velcro-ed in two power bars in sequence so everything runs off of one power source including my amp - which cuts down on noise.

I have to say the GCX is the best thing since sliced bread. Tone went way up and it was so easy to set up at the gig. Lots of other guitar players there as we had a friends band open for us and I sense some local gear envy. I'm seriously considering retiring the Axe FX Ultra, or running 2 rigs, one digital for mostly spacey stuff at bigger venues. Most say folks can't tell your tone on the floor, but I'm going to totally disagree on that one. Being a head that was the first thing I would hear at every dead show, and even when I saw Zappa plays Zappa versus say the Gov't Mule show I could sure hear the difference between Zappa's Fractal rig and Warren's "oozing with killer tone" analog rig.

Peace,

James

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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby jeager » Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:40 pm

I noticed a number of guys have a Furman stacked right up on top of their SMS or other preamp... I know these things don't generate much heat but I have been reluctant to stick one in there even though my rack has space for it (thats what she said). I love the sound of my SMS/Mesa 50/50 set up but am starting to think smaller, especially for practice. I play in a trio part of the time now and the drummer is using brushes so i don't need tho kill my back lugging all this stuff heavy stuff around. I tried some solid state power amps and hated them all except for the Macintosh...which again is a pain to lug. Plus when the amps are all cranking like crazy it becomes difficult to hear the vocals on stage and if you can't hear the lyrics clearly what the hell are you playing the song for? There must be a better way....small clean amp and throw a mic in front of it... just gotta figure out which one.
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby Jon S. » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:32 am

jeager wrote:I noticed a number of guys have a Furman stacked right up on top of their SMS or other preamp... I know these things don't generate much heat but I have been reluctant to stick one in there even though my rack has space for it (thats what she said).

I keep my Furman voltage regulator in its own 2U rack (using just one of the spaces) below my preamp in its own 2U rack with my McI on top. Lightweight and no heat issues whatsoever. I'll never leave home without it. It's saved my ass at outdoor venues to pay for itself many times over. And not just me. Our drummer has an e-kit. It dies at 100V from a generator. Plug it into my Furman and it's like the power's perfect.
jeager wrote:I tried some solid state power amps and hated them all except for the Macintosh...

Can you be specific?
jeager wrote: There must be a better way....small clean amp and throw a mic in front of it... just gotta figure out which one.

You have many options. This might interest you.
http://www.quilterlabs.com/index.php/pr ... ight-eight
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby Searing75 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:39 am

Try a Carvin DCM200L. Great amp! 4 pounds.

Or, get yourself a Mcintosh MC50, and put it in a four space, shallow case with your SMS, and a six space power conditioner off to one side.

All set!
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby Jon S. » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:54 am

Searing75 wrote:Try a Carvin DCM200L. Great amp! 4 pounds.

Or, get yourself a Mcintosh MC50, and put it ... with your SMS

All set!

Why coitenly! :hail:

Jon S. wrote:Image

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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby jeager » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:20 pm

Jon, You ask which ones I have tried...here is the story,

I owned one of the quilter guitar amps for a while, I got the head version and even ran my SMS though its power amp section into a JBL loaded cab. Not bad, nice and light, but not nearly as sweet sounding as my mesa power amp. I tried the Rocktron V300 or whatever its called, again nice and light and way more power than was necessary but not at all pleasing to my ears and lacking in the feel department. Have not tried the Carvin but given all they say about the Quilter class D amp being so great I don't think it will please me. I really don't think any solid state power amp out there can sound/feel as nice as a good old tube amp. The Macs are beautiful of course but what a pain to move around and it seems to be the consensus that to get the spot on Jerry hair on top out the thing you have to crank it up. They sound nice at lower volumes but I still think a good tube amp can do better at reasonable club/stage levels. I use one side of my Mesa 50/50 and hardly have to turn it up 30% and it has plenty of punch, at 50% it will inflict pain...so why can't I have something smaller/lighter that still pleases my ears and has plenty of dynamic capability?

Though I gotta say your Mc 50 look like a cool option... I had the 250 and used one side of it and had plenty of volume, I really think if ya gotta use more wattage the whole band needs to turn down, if it needs to be louder in the house...mic everything. Its a lot easier to sing and hear the rest of the band when your guitar amp isn't
blasting in your ears too.
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby czyfingers » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:33 pm

I have two macs. An MC2120 and an mc50. Love them both, but the carvin is looking very attractive to me just for the mere portability of it. I may have to try one out. Plus I think its time to do some work to my 50. I've been using it for a year exactly as I revived it...all original. It sounds decent and gets loud, but when playing with a band, I have to run it at a minimum of 3/4 of full volume. I don't really know if thins is normal as I've never had another one to compare it to. What do you guys reccomend replacing? I've heard mixed things on the big cans. Some say leave them alone, some say that made the biggest difference. I'd love some opinions. I've opened it up and looked at the schematic. It looks like it would be a pleasure to work on. Just need to figure out what to get and get it.
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby Searing75 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:22 pm

Just go ahead and replace all electrolytic caps. Change the 10uf on the first circuit board to a metalized polypropelene. Change the big cans also. I changed the two 470uf caps on the first circuit board to 1000uf's. Tighter sound all around. This should help with your volume issue.

While your in there, change the three cement resistors, and check all others for drift.

Chris
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby Jon S. » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:13 am

jeager wrote:Jon, You ask which ones I have tried...here is the story,

I owned one of the quilter guitar amps for a while, I got the head version and even ran my SMS though its power amp section into a JBL loaded cab. Not bad, nice and light, but not nearly as sweet sounding as my mesa power amp. I tried the Rocktron V300 or whatever its called, again nice and light and way more power than was necessary but not at all pleasing to my ears and lacking in the feel department. Have not tried the Carvin but given all they say about the Quilter class D amp being so great I don't think it will please me. I really don't think any solid state power amp out there can sound/feel as nice as a good old tube amp. The Macs are beautiful of course but what a pain to move around and it seems to be the consensus that to get the spot on Jerry hair on top out the thing you have to crank it up. They sound nice at lower volumes but I still think a good tube amp can do better at reasonable club/stage levels. I use one side of my Mesa 50/50 and hardly have to turn it up 30% and it has plenty of punch, at 50% it will inflict pain...so why can't I have something smaller/lighter that still pleases my ears and has plenty of dynamic capability?

Though I gotta say your Mc 50 look like a cool option... I had the 250 and used one side of it and had plenty of volume, I really think if ya gotta use more wattage the whole band needs to turn down, if it needs to be louder in the house...mic everything. Its a lot easier to sing and hear the rest of the band when your guitar amp isn't
blasting in your ears too.

Couple of responsive thoughts. I, too, owned a RV300. I replaced it with my Carvin. Night and day. I haven't yet played a Quilter amp so I can't comment on them but the Carvin DCM200L sound really good. Regarding my MC50, I love it, too. It's exactly the right power - very loud, I can't imagine needing more for where I play (and if I did, I'd mic my rig). And BTW, when I sent to to Pat Hickman at Classic Tube Audio for updating, he advised me to leave the original big caps right they were because they tested fine and that's what I did.
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby waldo041 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:24 am

Change all the Electrolytic capacitors, especially the multi section can for the power supply. Only change the Big Filter capacitors if they are out of spec, or leaking, which may require unscrewing and lifting them out to ensure they are not leaking. And only change any other component, resistors or non-polarized capacitors that have drifted out of spec. This info is only for those that wish to keep their units to factory specs. Some choose to alter or modify their units, and that ultimately is the owner choice, but imho, you should at least start with a factory spec'd unit and see what that renders before doing any modifications to the circuit.

~waldo
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby Jon S. » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:11 am

I should probably add that my phrase, "original big caps," is not a technical description but only my best recollection of what Pat recommended to me and I followed his advice.
"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby czyfingers » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:48 pm

Thanks to all for the replies and input! I think now I'll print the schematic, crack this baby back open to take some measurements/do some inspecting and get what I need ordered up. One last question...is mouser probably the best place to obtain everything I'll need? I've used them and digikey in the past, but mouser seems to have a more user friendly system for looking up specific applications, values etc.
I think I'm still gonna grab a carvin dcm200l, just because the rackability and weight are great, the price is right and I've heard nothing but good things about them.
Thanks again for everyone's help.

Kevin
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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby Jon S. » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:00 pm

Mark Norwine, who used to build the Carlson Turbo Pup amp and is a monster player and Deadhead, also swears by his Carvin. In fact, it was speaking with him that convinced me to pull the trigger on mine. If you want to ask him for his opinion directly, PM him on The Gear Page.

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Re: Show us your rack!

Postby jeager » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:22 pm

Not sure if I am posting this right I always have to relearn how to post photos and not a great shot of the rack i suppose, Just had Tracy at sap build me the rack case I have had the cab for a number of years now
ImageSorry, can't seem to link photo from flicker..anybody know what Im doing wrong?...I am kinda shy about showing my rack...

jon, the carvin looks tempting I want something that size with tubes in it...I actually just picked up a used Mesa TA 15. Its a lunchbox sized head that puts out 25 very generous watts, powers my 2X12 very well... I might have to try some tubes and a bit of tweaking to get it right... It will be so great to take to rehearsals and jams with 1X12 cab and a pedal board though

Here my main rig being used for something Jerry never played, a Tom Waits cover...Jockey Full of Bourbon, though I think he would have liked the tune... you can just make out my rack in the background

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