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How do you run your 500 series live rig?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Murphbass, May 9, 2018.

  1. Murphbass


    Jun 12, 2005
    Sacramento, CA
    I realize that a small very number of bassists use a 500 series rack in their live rig. I've used a number of rack mounted preamps into a racked power amp for 20 plus years. In an effort to refine my live sound and have a nice preamp for studio sessions, I'm looking at 500 series gear.

    When I use my Alembic F1X, for instance, I have the choice of a sending the house a pre or post EQ signal from the XLR on the front and a 1/4" feeds my power amp. If I set the preamp to PRE, I can adjust my volume and EQ to my rig without affecting the house.

    I'm curious how others have figured out how to send the house signal from a 500 series preamp while be able to adjust the volume to the power amp (without affecting the house level). The idea is to feed the house and my rig the same preamped signal. My current power amp has level controls, but the ones I'm looking at to replace it (Lab Gruppen, etc.) don't have front panel controls for volume. Maybe there's a menu driven way to do it, but I'd like an elegant hardware solution, if possible.

    I was thinking of not having any EQ in the path, if possible, as I hardly ever touch my EQ. I have a few basses with the pickups wired directly to the jack and enjoy the purity of sound. However, if I need another unit to control the level to my power amp, I'd consider an EQ with an output level (if they exist).

    The Radial Powerstrip 500 series rack I'm looking at has both XLR and TRS in/out, so I'm guessing I could accomplish the split to house (XLR) and amp (TRS) that way.

    So, long post to ask: if you use 500 series gear in a live rig, how do you configure it?
  2. What is 500 series gear?
  3. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    It's a standardized modular rack equipment that accepts a multitude of modules. I've always thought of it as studio specific, but I guess it's making inroads into live performance as well.
    500 Series Chassis | Sweetwater
    BassmanPaul likes this.
  4. Thank you Sir. :)
  5. Now that I have looked at the unit I can see the resemblance to a PA device that TOA put out many years ago. I have a bunch of modules and the 2U case they fitted into from when the Head Office PA system was upgraded.

    Every thing old becomes new again! :D
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah some call it a "Lunchbox" rig. They make replicas of a lot of the preferred compressors and preamps and some rack effects for them. They were designed for studio guys to walk into the booth and plug and play with some of the best components available that are familiar to the guy behind the board.

    BasturdBlaster likes this.
  7. Aka halfspace rack units?
  8. Murphbass


    Jun 12, 2005
    Sacramento, CA
    The 500 series modules are a propriety size, not a 1/2 rack. The rack provides power to the modules, so there is one power supply rather than one per module. The rack also has all the input and output hardware. The modules have card connectors that slot into the rack. You can use each module separately or daisy chain sequential modules via a rear mounted switch. So, you can create a channel strip with whatever components you like.
  9. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    I've only seen one or two people mention their 500 series rigs over the years. They just used a pre, eq, and comp. Don't remember what order.
  10. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    If there were a 500 Series power amp module I would have been on board (so to speak :smug:) years ago.
    Murphbass likes this.
  11. Murphbass


    Jun 12, 2005
    Sacramento, CA
    That’s a great idea!
  12. IvanC


    May 22, 2016
    Bellingham, WA
    I've been thinking about this as well. What have you seen that interests you as an input stage? This is a new company that looks pretty good:

    Camden 500

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