Rack gear setup

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DRock88, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. DRock88


    Jul 10, 2013
    Hey there. I apologize for my blatant ignorance on this topic but I could use some direction. I recently began piecing together a rig that I want to be proud of. I decided I'm going to build a preamp/power amp rig. Its my first time doing this. What I have at this point in my setup isn't much, but I'm wondering the best way to wire it together. Currently I have

    Furman Power Conditioner, Sansamp RPM, Korg DTR -2000 tuner, and an Ashly CL50e compressor.

    I'm wondering what's the best way to wire these together. I was thinking of running everything through the effects loop of the preamp, but I wasn't sure if there's a better idea out there. At the point I'm playing it through just an interface through my studio monitors until I get my power amp (which I'm TORN between Crown XLS1500 or Carvin Dcm1000, but that's a different topic) Thanks for the help!!! :)
  2. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    Power conditioner: not required. A simple power bar with a switch will control everything.

    Korg tuner: not required. If your instrument(s) have unstable tuning then get them repaired. I simple hand held is all you need. I have not touched my basses tuning in months.

    Compressor: not required for most live work. I feel they are a sop for less than ideal technique.

    Power amp: I've found the Carvin DCM1000L a really nice unit with good sensitivity. I've noticed no difference in "feel" between it and the lead sled it replaced.

    IMHO of course. :D
  3. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    Carvin DCM1000 is definitely a nice amp. I have to say that I've had good results though with my Peavey IPR1600. Plenty of power, great sound, lightweight, and inexpensive.

    Agree with BassmanPaul on the tuner and power conditioner. Power strip on the floor works just as well. IIRC, Monster makes a nice power conditioner in power strip form that sits on the floor.

    Also, I think that the RPM does do some tube compression simulation as part of the Sansamp circuitry.
  4. Weight is a factor, especially at 2am.
    As noted above, ditch all the extra clutter and keep the RPM.

    If I was to start over, it would be either the RPM or the new VTRM, and a power amp.
    Carvin certainly look nice at an attractive price.
    I use all QSC PLX, 21 pounds and all paid for. No complaints.

    A 2RU power amp + 1RU preamp leaves an empty space.
    Fill with a standard 1RU blank panel for future expansion and visual appeal.
    I use a Rane ME30b equalizer in my 4th space.

    IMO, there is *no* point in buying more rack space than needed.
    It is bulky and heavy.
  5. I would piece it together this way:

    Bass -> tuner (if you must) -> RMP -> IPR 1600 (or crest prolite).

    What do you want the compressor to do? What purpose do you think it serves? I have a comp on a few of the pre's I use, but I feel most people over use them to the extreme and they are a tone suck.
  6. DRock88


    Jul 10, 2013
    Thanks for all the responses. The power conditioner I use was very inexpensive and used mostly for cable management and easy quick setups. I wouldn't spend more than 50 bucks on a power conditioner, same I would spend on a surge protector, just convenient. The compressor is mostly used for the studio. I'm playing in a metal band where we do some pretty fast tempos, and since I'm not big on root note playing, I'm a little all over the place. So the compressor helps just level it out a bit. While the compressor isn't completely necessary to the sound, I find it just cleans it up a little.
    Regarding the tuner, it's for piece of mind. Also, I got it for 40 bucks used. Seems like something I'd rather have than not at that price. And it doesn't add much weight. I'm not looking for a flashy set up. Actually I'm looking at having one rack, likely 8 space, that will work in all applications. Both studio and live. Weather I use all the components in both situations is irrelevant. But at least I have all my tools at my disposal at any point. Likely my end result will consist of...

    Power conditioner
  7. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    If you go with a lightweight poweramp, say a Peavy IPR, Crest Prolite, or Carvin, the 8 space would be very manageable weight wise, IMO. If you're using a heavier poweramp, maybe put the poweramp in its own rack. Bring Rack 1 (preamp, compressor, etc.) for the studio and for live gigs bring rack 1 and rack 2 (poweramp rack).
  8. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    Agree with everything except the tuner part - I can state with absolute certainty that my basses are high quality, and in an excellent state of repair... However, it's not uncommon in summer months for them to change their state of tuning due to coming into cool indoor AC temps from transport, or during outdoor shows, or diferences in stage temps from soundcheck to the venue filling up, and lights on... Also, some people use drop tunings during a performance... Lastly, *I* prefer not to have anything on the floor - if I'm already using a racked amp setup, a 1U tuner that weighs only a lb or two is more convenient *to me* than using a pedal tuner...

    There are plenty of reasons to use a racked tuner - and to dismiss it due to poorly repaired basses is pretty lame, IMO...

    - georgestrings
  9. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    IME, big, bulky(and heavy) racks get old quickly when gigging - I would do everything I could to keep it at 4U or less... For example, lose the conditioner, and comp - and definitely the shelf - those things weigh a ton... Here's what I've been using for a few years now - it works better than any setup I've ever used:



    Everything I need is right there, including a wireless receiver - including an instrument cable for backup, and a spare speaker cable, the whole thing still weighs under 50lbs, and is pretty manageable...

    - georgestrings
  10. If you are moving basses from home to wherever - you need a tuner. To not have one is a bit ridiculous.
  11. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    My Boss pedal tuner does the trick for me. I guess that depends though if you have an amp with a tuner out and mute switch.
  12. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    I love my DBX 160A.
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY

    As usual...+1

    As for wiring it up, I'd go:
    Bass --> RPM Input --> Comp in the loop of the RPM --> Power Amp
    Put the tuner in the tuner out of the RPM if it has one, IIRC it does.
  14. esa372


    Aug 7, 2010
    I would run:

    • the compressor in the FX loop of the SanSamp;

    • the tuner from the "Uneffected" out of the SansAmp (it might change your tone if it's in the signal chain);

    • the power amp from the "Effected" out of the SansAmp.

    Plug everything into your power conditioner, and you're set.

  15. No tuner? ***...
  16. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I am totally lost on how your basses NEVER have to be tuned for several months. However, you live in Toronto. I live in the Chicago area. With the crazy humidity levels, air conditioned bars, hot vehicles, outdoor stages, fluctuating weather, my Spectors needs to be tuned often. It's usually a few strings only every few songs, but still, I have no idea how your basses stay like that.

    To the OP - you are better off keeping recording gear in a separate rack case at home. Once you start carrying a heavy rack case around, you will quickly begin to hate your life. I thought it was a good idea too - then I realized the convenience was lost at 2am when you have to carry it up and down several flights of stairs. Just going 100 feet through a crowded bar is enough to kill the "good show" vibe.

    If you still want to go this route, keep in mind that you need to spend time with all of the gear and understand how everything works together. It sounds like you are clueless with it already - keep this in mind - when something goes wrong on stage with your gear, how will you fix it? What if the sound sucks? How will you adjust it? The more knobs you have, the harder it will be to do it on the fly.

    I suggest hooking everything up and start experimenting. The power amp connection is the most important - don't screw that up.
  17. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    I'm with ya there. A tuner is essential for me.
  18. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    No doubt - I'd estimate atleast a 20 deg temp swing on stage from soundcheck with stage lighting off to lights on and a full house, for one scenario... In another: an hour's drive to a summer gig, then into a venue with AC... or, dead of winter - below zero temps outside, to inside the venue... I typically gig MIA Fenders and EBMMs - there's really not alot to "repair" on them, in regards to tuning...

    I really respect Paul and the knowledge he has, but will always disagree with him on this issue...

    - georgestrings
  19. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    +1 to watching weight. Back in the days of 45 lb power amps (or worse), racks could be a bear at the end of the night.

    But these days a rack rig does not have to be heavy. With light weight power amps, it's possible to put together a shallow 4-space rack rig totaling about 25-30 lbs. Unless you're dealing with health issues, that's an easy one-handed tote.
  20. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    Please note that I did say use a hand held tuner. With mine I check my tuning when I first set up. Odd times I need a slight tweak but not very often. I own two Korg DTR 1000 tuners. Neither of them are installed in a rack. Having a hand held also means that it can be passed to a guitar player who seldom seem to own one! :)

    George, I did not blame poorly maintained basses. I simply said that if a bass's tuning drifts it should be looked at. No lame comment there.

    Gearhead, we too have crazy humidity and all that you mentioned. Take a look at Toronto's news for monday evening for an example. I missed the whole damn thing whilst shopping in Walmart!

    Edit: On rack size, if you want 8U then get two 4U cases. They balance so much better and can be carried easily with one in each hand.

    Rack drawers sound like a great idea for toting all your cables, strings and such. I bought two 2U lockable drawers. They lasted less than two weeks before coming out. They weighed more than the lead sled power amp I was using. They are sitting in my garage unused.