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Just scored a Rane PE-17 Parametric EQ in a trade.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Flux Jetson, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. I traded about $100 worth of stuff that is kinda useless to me for a *works perfectly* Rane PE-17 with power supply.

    So are these things pretty nice?

    I downloaded the manual and it seems like the snizfizzle! I like how it has five PEQ bands with 100% overlap and the super tight .03 octave Q capability. I also like how three of the five bands are in parallel and those are in series with two other parallel bands. Each band has a dedicated bypass, as well as a master bypass for the whole gadget. :cool: Plus a high shelf and low shelf eq .. so technically it has SEVEN bands of equalization. It seemed like "$100 bucks" worth of stuff that I don't want in trade for this thing was a good deal on my end.

    I've heard good things about Rane gear in general. Are these PR-17s decent EQs?

    The specs are pretty great, 98db:1 S/N ratio (which is way better than my Rolls PEQ which is 90db:1).

    Can anyone tell me about Rane gear? Or maybe more about the PE-17? I've never owned any before.

  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Nice score man. In my former world of mixing <500 seat club sound Rane, Symetrix, and Ashly were often the parametric EQs of choice, with the Rane being the best deal on the used market due to their fairly unpopular use of external power supplies, addressed here. I also slightly preferred the low pass and high pass features of the Ashly, but they are all solid pieces that you should be able to keep running for a very long time.

    As far as I know, all three of these companies have moved to digital-only PEQ solutions in recent years, and as you know I use one the Rane RPM boxes in my big rig, which does a lot more but maybe just a little less well in some ways.;)

    PS: be sure to check out the rest of the Rane website, the reference section is money.
  3. Thanks for the encouragement. The more I'm reading and learning about the Rane the more I am realizing that I really picked up a winner! It's so well thought out and SO featured! I can't wait until I can try it out for about a solid week!

  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Rane has always been a very solid company. I'm sure you'll dig it, especially sine you clearly have a thing for lots of knobs and switches. :p
  5. My shrinks have told me I have .....

    control issues ... :rolleyes:

    (budump splash ........)

    I'm at the Airport Hilton all week. You've been a great audience, Thanks folks!
  6. enjoi1018

    enjoi1018 Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2011
    Auburn, AL
    Got any rack space left for it, Flux?

  7. My lousy dump-bar standup humor aside .... :rolleyes:

    The external power supply thing was a bitch-point with the Tom Oberheim reissue of the SEM synth module. And many of the same reasons that Rane cited were also used by Oberheim. It just makes it easier for global acceptance. If you (as a manufacturing company) elect to use internal power supplies, there are any number of "commissions" and "boards" that your device must comply with to permit sales of your device in various countries and regions ... like most of Europe, USA, Australia, etc.... If an external power supply is used then the device you've invented does not have to comply with all of those different standards, only the power supply does. At which point the use of an already approved power supply is easily adopted.

    So to me, the external power supply angle makes perfect sense from a manufacturer's point of view. :smug:

    :meh: - The only thing that makes me a little itchy about the Rane, is from what I can tell in the operator's manual it looks as though Rane used what looks like a "Cat 5" connector for the PSU. Hmmm ... well, I suppose it is something that's pretty much hard-mounted in a rack, so it's not like the Rane psu is going to be repeatedly kicked around or repeatedly plugged/unplugged. I mean it is going to be mounted in a 12u rack with modular synth modules for cryin' out loud! Those are the epitomy of "junk all stickin' out all over the place in back" devices. So with the Rane psu I'll just carefully route the cord, affixing it to the internal walls of the wooden rack case, and solidly mount the PSU itself, just the same way I am treating the PSU/DC Squid for the modular synth modules in that same rack.

    Simple dimple easy peasy. :)

    Other than that one little bugaboo, the more I read about the Rane the more I like it. I love the way it's designed. Five identical parametric eqs. They all have the exact same ranges and parameters. The frequency ranges of each of the five stages are EXTREMELY wide. I mean 10hz to 20k .... each stage ... wow. And the individual bypass switches for each stage PLUS the master bypass for the entire unit, that alone is pretty cool. Not to mention "fail safe" bypass relays (if the Rane power supply quits, or for whatever reason the Rane fails and can't be turned on, or even if just one of the EQ modules fails, the bypass relays default to hard-bypass .. aka "true bypass").

    :D - Q to the friggin moon! The Q element is crazy-wide. From 0.03 of an octave (that's 1/30th of an octave folks!, that's roughly dividing a half step by 2.5 times! So take the musical amount of change between a one fret step on your bass, and divide that by about 2.5 .... that's how narrow the Q adjustment can be set on the Rane. You figure a musical half step divides an octave by 12 .. well the Rane's Q adjustment can divide an octave by 30). And on the opposite end of the scale it can go as wide as two full octaves. The Q has a spread of 0.03 to 2.0. That's nuts. I don't know for sure just yet until I actually use this thing, but I'm guessing it will self oscillate.

    :D - Totally Freq-y Spex: The freq spread is from 10hz to 20k hz on all five EQ stages. And the db spread is +12db of boost to -15db of cut per band on all five stages. Plus the parallel/series arrangement of the eq modules, individual hard bypass of each eq module (aka "stage"), all things that make this a very well designed PEQ.

    Some of the other specs:

    :D - Input gain slider = +/-12db

    :D - Output gain slider - +/-12db

    :D - High Pass filter = 10hz to 250hz 12db rolloff Butterworth filter.

    :D - Low Pass filter = 3khz to 40khz 12db rolloff Butterworth filter.

    :D - Freq response = 20hz to 20khz.

    :D - Signal to noise ratio = 98:1 (98db of sound for every 1db of noise).

    :D - Dynamic Range = 120db

    :bassist: - 18vdc operation, all steel construction, only 9 inches deep in the rack, and weighs 5 pounds.

    :) - One other neat thing is that you can use both the TRS output jack AND the XLR output jack both at once. So you can send to two separate destinations. It also has a TRS "patch" connector that allows you to use it in the insert "FX LOOP" of various other devices. You'd need to utilize an insert "Y" cable if the other device has separate send/return jacks. I have a half dozen of those so I'm good.

    :) - And lastly, each single circuit block is attached to the clipping/OL led. So if any one stage/module is clipping the LED will bark. Each stage/module also has a bypass LED.

    This thing totally puts the smack on the other PEQs I have ..... mybitchslapper-1. ..... it's not even a contest.

    :hyper: This is easily the single most comprehensive Parametric EQ I've ever had. All for a Benjamin. :hyper:

  8. Oh sure, no sweat. The synth module-router gizmo only takes up 5u, patchbay is 1u, Furman power conditioner is 1u, the Aphex 204 is 1u .. that leaves 4u. Even if I decide to leave my POD Pro in the setup (2u) I still have 2u left. Add the Rane we're at a total of 11u used in a 12u rack.


    I have my DIY bass pedal rig in a separate setup ...


    And the master power supply for the entire studio only takes up a little room ....


    And then there's the new synth sequencer that plays itself I've adopted ....


    It's all a far cry from the setup I had not long ago .... here's me (really!) with one of my previous rigs. 6 string Carvin bass, SVT Classic, and 610HLF cab. There's an AVALON U5 on top of the SVT, and an HHB FatMan compressor on top of the SVT as well. That was my entire bass rig. If you look carefully you can see a can of Cambell's Tomato Soup sitting on top of the amp head. It was there to remind me to keep my bass lines simple. Hey ... it worked!

  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yes indeed! Their "Rane Notes" should be required reading for anyone interested in how all our gear works together as a system.

    And also agreed of course that Rane PEQ's are a total score--and that if you see any Ashly or Symetrix units, they are also the real stuff.
  10. YES! Cool. I feel lucky to have been in the right place/right time on this one. That doesn't happen for me very often.
  11. Due to show up today ...... c'mon Big Brown Truck!!!!!!! Then we shall do the happy dancing.
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Yes sir. You will find some absolutely hilarious stuff in there too. The tech writer guys at Rane have always had a great sense of humor.

  13. Well you've just eaten a crapload of my spare time with that link. Rane may get some money from me on that link alone, if I can spare it.
  14. Pretty killa stuff, que no? Them guys truly know they're act, of that there is no doubt. I've downloaded a bunch of the PDFs from that library already ... WAY worth keeping for future reference!

    I am blown away by the technical awareness they demonstrate. I owe member passinwind a debt of gratitude for turning me on to Rane, his old "Big Rig" rack bass rig that he used to employ had a shipload power, much of which was dependent on the Rane gear in it. He told me of their quality and musical approach to things and it really made me aware of a USA MADE company that now only knows their shyte, but lead the way on a number of things we take for granted these days, such a "Auto-Q" on graphic EQs .... a Rane innovation! .. thanks grampa!! :)

    Here's a link to his bass setup page, well worth a look see ...


    Kinda makes my http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/experimental-fully-modular-bass-rig-902681/ look a little bit like kids' stuff!

    Here's a peek at his rig ....


    And the flow chart that lays it all out and helps to make sense of it all .... this is of the routings and processors that the Rane RPM26z set up .. a "no longer available" technical wonder.


    Like I said, my shyte's shadetree stone and axe stuff next to what he did. I have a lot of "experimentor's respect" for him!

    Still wearing a path in the floor as I pace back-n-forth waitin' on the Big Brown Truck .... c'mon dang it! Where's my RANE!?!?!

  15. Snaggage! Got that sucka!


    Works GREAT. Still working with it. EQ stages 1, 2, and 3 are parallel with each other, EQ stages 4 and 5 are parallel to each other BUT 4 and 5 are in series with 1, 2, and 3. So there are many way to use this thing. It's as quiet as any of the most quiet EQs I've ever used. It takes some getting used to ... the "bypass" LEDs are actually LIT when the stages (or the whole thing) is bypassed .... which is totally back-asswards of a stompbox. And I was slightly (ever so slightly) disappointed to learn that the control pots are not attached to the chassis and rely on their soldered connections for total mechanical support. I haven't cracked it open yet but when viewed inside with an inspection light it doesn't appear that Rane used a "mounting stooge" (or aka a "stooge plate") to shore-up the pots mounts.

    The danged thing is heavy! Stout little sumbunnagun. It'd do well for musterin' knots!

    Tonally (so far) it's a total WIN. It sounds great, has a nice character that complements the bass. TONS OF GAIN is available as well.

    More when I have more to tell. :) But so far I'm very pleased.

    And now, I do happy dance ..... :hyper:

  16. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Cool mang. Just think of the bypass switches like the mute buttons on a mixing board...:cool:

    Still does seem a bit bass-ackwards though, I agree.

    Thanks for the shout out on my old rig too. A lot of it was about the same process you're doing: refining, editing, then paring down. I'll put up some more comments in your long modular rig thread soon. Just re-did my Fender tube combo with bass apps in mind for one channel.
  17. That has got to be cool! (the Fender with the Bass channel). Safe to assume it's a bass support channel to be used alongside a bass amp/cab?

    In the loooooong thread I just started Page 11, I'm focusing on journal entries about using the EQs/filters I have and how they are working within the parallel sends/returns and the 3 amp sends. That'll be good for at least another page and 4 to 6 more SoundCloud demo tracks, y'think? :)

    Sure do like what Rane puts out. I looked into that RPM26z .... downloaded ALL of the published articles and PDFs, I even downloaded the DragNet software. I read all about the whole setup ... wow .. what an innovative design. I like everything I've seen Rane make (even if I while a little about the pots issue). I saw a PE-15 on fleabay for $105 the other day ..... four bands, all parallel, some different design protocols than the PE-17. I may just be forced into getting one of those. :)
  18. (NOTE: This post was copied from page eleven of this thread .... http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/experimental-fully-modular-bass-rig-902681/ .... I've added this information here because it is totally appropriate and applicable. Besides it was easier than retyping all of this!)

    The Mighty Rane PE-17. What a monster of a Parametric EQ. Seven total bands, five of which are fully overlapping fully parametric filters. Each band is bypassable with a button and each band's status is indicated with individual LEDS. Oddly enough when their LEDs are lit, that means that band is bypassed (totally opposite of a stompbox). There is also a master bypass button that operates a "fail safe" relay. That means that if for some reason the power to the Rane fails the bypass relay will default at "bypass mode" .. said another way if you turn the Rane off, you still have sound.

    USA made, steel chassis, easily read graphics, excellent design, SOOPER DOOPER sound, as silent as a resonant parametric EQ can be built, 100% all analog design.

    The Rane PE17 is pretty unique. It has five bands of PEQ. Bands 1, 2, and 3 are in parallel with each other. Bands 4 and 5 are also in parallel with each other BUT those two bands are in series with the first three bands. Perhaps this drawing will help explain it better ......


    This sets up a very useful and versatile filter bank. It's kind of like having a 3 band PEQ patched into a whole separate two band PEQ. Most PEQs are arranged completely in parallel, so the PE17 is like having (at least) two separate PEQs. Actually like having three separate EQs in total. Look at the diagram, you have...

    *** A low shelf EQ and a hi shelf EQ (so that's like a having one box with "Bass" and "Treble" controls).
    *** Then you have a gain stage (think of it as a boost/cut pedal).
    *** Then the 3-bands of parallel PEQ (like a WMD stompbox).
    *** Then another pair of parallel PEQs (yet another two band PEQ stompbox).
    *** And lastly one more gain stage (yet one more boost/cut stompbox).

    Holy Radioactive Coyotes, Batman!!! Don't forget that each parametric band has it's own dedicated bypass button as well!

    We're not done here yet .....

    Each one of the parametric EQ bands is fully 100% overlapping. That is to say that each band is identical to the others ... all five of them are exactly the same and have exactly the same frequency range. Each band has a range of ...(get this)... 10hz to 20khz. Each band's frequency control knob only has a 1.9khz ~spread~, said another way each band can be adjusted a total of 1,900 hz. So the frequency control is not all super touchy and twitchy, it's easy to adjust. The trick lies in this teensy tiny little slide switch located under and between the gain level and frequency knobs. It has three ranges ... 0.1 - 1.0 - 10.0. Thos are your frequency knob "multipiers". So if the switch is set to 0.1, and the freq knob is set to (let's say) 1khz that means the frequency is actually only 100hz (1,000 multiplied by 0.1 = 100). See how that works? Each of the five parametric bands are set up identically, so you have 100% overlap.

    Are you beginning to see how much control and sheer power this thing offers?

    We're still not done here yet .....

    Let's talk about the bandwidth control. Oh yes, let us talk about that friggin bandwidth control. You want spread? You want nearly (literally) pinpoint control over frequencies to be able to target a nearly precise frequency? The "Q" control on the Rane PE17 has a spread of 0.03 octaves to 2.0 octaves. Ok, wrap your head around that first figure .... that is point zero three ... :eyebrow:

    That translates to 2.5 divisions of a half step! So take the musical distance of one fret .. one fret! ... and divide that by 2.5!!! Said another way, it divides up one octave into THIRTY divisions! Your bass divides up an octave into twelve divisions, so does a piano. The Rane PE17 divides an octve up into THIRTY separate divisions. That means you can pinpoint a problem frequency area down to the tiniest of slices. You can zero in on such a precisely narrow band of frequencies and either cut it by 12db or boost it by 12db.

    Think of it this way, a 31 band graphic EQ divides up an octave into thirds ... while this EQ divides it up into thirtyeths .. that would be the same as a 310 band graphic EQ!. That's three hundred and ten bands! (relatively speaking).

    And the bandwidth control goes as wide as 2 full octaves. So from two full octaves down to 1/30th of an octave of bandwidth spread.

    SOUND: I have used this EQ a LOT over the past three days. It sounds excellent. And well it should. These EQs are no longer made but when they were made they had a street price of $499. So it sounds every bit of what a $500 parametric EQ should sound like. Rich, full, nearly noiseless, clear, open .... in a word ... expensive. This PEQ is just great. I'm glad that I was able to take advantage of the deal that was offered to me and pick it up. It offers a lot more potential than I have had the time to exploit just yet, For instance since you have the series/parallel arrangement, you can dial in a particular frequency on two of the series bands (let's say 1 and 4). That setup can provide up to 24db of boost or cut on a single frequency bandwidth because you're stacking the gain structures. You can create complex filter arrays with it as well. So far I've just been using it in simpler setups. But what it has demonstrated so far, I know that this eq will be with me for a very long time. I plan on buying another one at some point just to have as a spare.

    It drove the 4x10 beautifully. I even set it up to overdrive the Aphex a little in a narrow frequency band (in "that sound" area of roughly 600 to 700hz or so). That setup ROCKED BONES!!! It really worked well.

    Many notes taken.

    A well spent (roughly) $150 after shipping. It actually became mine in a trade for some gear I did not want! Win Win!!

    And I do happy dance now ... :hyper:
  19. It not only made the team, it's a first string player! Here it is amongst it's new peers .....



    This is the basic algorithm I'm using that describes my basic rigging for the most part. The Rane PE17 will most likely be used in insert position #4 or #9 .. depending on how a few other things shake out. If it ends up at insert position #9 it will go in front of the Aphex 204 then out to the 2x10's power amp channel. The neat thing is since I'm normalizing most everything to the main patchbay at the bottom of the 12U rack repatching the Rane into a different insert point is as simple as using one or two patchcords to reroute it.


    For more on how this Parametric EQ is being used in my bass setup, hit the link in my signature. The Rane's inclusion begins around page 12.

    Und now ve dahnce ... starred. nana. it's good as dancin' freekin' bacon, yo! bacondancing. .... SHPROCKETS!!!