Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bayou_Brawler, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I don't know anything about em.

    1. what is included in a normal rig (power conditioner, pre-amp, what????)

    2. what are your total options for pieces?

    3. what do each of these pieces do?

    4. how much does a middle of the road model of each of these pieces cost?

  2. 1) The necessities are definatly a power amp and a preamp, but I believe you can get away with just a power amp. You can also get rack mountable heads (power amp + pre amp in one,a typical head!).
    You can also add in a power conitioner, which is highly recommend for looking after your gear, and as much effects as you want! You can also buy tuners, too.
    Really, what you put into your rack is all dependant on what you need!

    2) You can have huge studio type racks that have practically unlimited space - how high is your ceiling? Afraid oif heights? ;) IMO, it would probably be a better idea to have 1 or 2 racks - Of course, if you've only got a pre, a power amp and a conditioner, then all you really need is a 6 space rack. I think that the biggest "road ready" sized rack is around 8 spaces. I maybe wrong...When you start putting lotsa stuff into the rack, it's probably more ideal to have more than one, so you end up with two lighter racks.

    3) Preamp: basically your EQ, this is where the tone shaping takes place.
    Poweramp: Supplies the power for your rig.
    Coniditioner: not too sure how this one works. I guess it gets rid of any "bad power" so that your components do not get damage, and I tihnk it may also act as a surge protector?

    4)rack cases: anything between $50-$200 - thats a rough guess tho. You'll find plenty of info thats far mor eindepth, and the kinds of things fellow TB'ers put in their racks..

    hope that helps a little. :)
  3. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    Well there are lots of options for rack rigs.
    I would reccomend a power conditioner just to protect your gear.

    Middle of the road amps would be around the 4-600 range right? Kustom GrooveBass has 1200Watts into 2Ohms which is huge for at middle of the road amp.

    You can also go the Preamp Power amp route that may or may not be cheaper depending on how many watts you need.

    SansAmp makes good Preamps and QSC is pretty highly reccomended for a Power Amp. I would search the amps forum for more info on all this it comes up pretty often.
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Sky's the limit on what people have in their racks. Basics are either a standard bass amp that has rack ears, to separate preamp and power amp, after that anything can be added. I've seen racks four feet tall. Effects units, graphic EQ's power conditioners, rackdrawers for cables and accessories, rackmount tuners, etc. etc.
  5. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    on the other hand you can get a single space preamp and poweramp and throw them in a 2 space rack bag and call it a day. so that would be approx $600 for the pre, $500 for something like a stewie 1.2 world and $80 for the bag? $1200ish new, but probably can cut off at least 30% of that buying used but still keeping the quality top notch

    actually there are some good preamp options for around $250 new (bmax/sansamp) so that would take you down below $1000 new.
  6. Racks are not limited to power/pre setup... a lots of heads (pre/power in the same box) have rackmounts ears...
  7. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    FWIW ...

    I have a 2-space rack drawer in my rack and I love it! It is the perfect place to keep my wallet, watch and extra cords when I go out to play. Oh, and I even keep all my manuals for stuff in there. You never know when you might have to change things around (like little switches on the power amp!). :D
  8. WayneP


    Oct 11, 2004
    Katy, Texas
    Here’s what’s in mine:
    • A Furman conditioner/with built-in tuner (no sense “burning” a rack space for a separate tuner). Forget how much it cost, probably well under $200 on eBay.
    • A vintage Ashly bass pre-amp. I think around $250 from eBay.
    • A vintage dbx 160X compressor, connected across the effects loop. The nice thing about a rack system is being able to use a high-quality compressor rather than one of those cheesy stop boxes. $150 from local newspaper want-ad.
    • A Yamaha dual-channel 15-band equalizer, connected to the pre-amp’s stage send, to EQ my stage speaker and another for the drummer. Paid $325 at Mars – twice what this POS equalizer is worth.
    • An Ashly parametric equalizer, connected to the pre-amp’s house send. This way I can precisely tune my bass send to the room and PA system much better than the sound man can with his channel strip. $165 on e-Bay.
    • Carvin stereo 75-watt amp, $200 on eBay. I use stage monitors for myself, so I don’t need much power.
    • Medium duty 6-space rack, $125 from mail order company.
    • Custom rear termination panel, probably way less than $100 in odds and ends – connectors, electrical outlets, etc.

    A six-space rack ends up being pretty heavy, even with only processing gear. IMO if you’re using a separate high-powered amp I’d put it in a separate case, simply for transporting purposes.

    Other gear you might want in a rack includes an effects processor and an electronic crossover.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
  9. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    My rack rig ATM consists of:

    - American Audio Power Conditioner/Light Unit
    - Peavey Bass Preamp, soon to be replaced with an ART Nightbass
    - Samson F800 Power Amp

    That's about as basic as a rack rig gets, I wanna get a better power conditioner, tuner, bigger power amp and a Sonic Maximiser...
  10. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    you win the prize - i'm posting a link to this thread in the FAQ sticky. :D

    As stated a rack setup can have just about anything in it. All rackmount gear is a standard 19" wide for mounting purposes. A single rackspace is 1 3/4" high. A good # of heads are rackmountable. If you go modular you need at least a preamp and a poweramp (a head is just both of those in one box). After that, anything goes, power strips/conditioners, tuners, outboard eqs, effects, etc.

    FWIW, I used to have a good amount in my racks compressors, eq's, a couple of preamps, etc. Due to financial woes i had to sell off a bunch of stuff and made an amazing discovery. a cat that hangs out at one of my local shops had his 2 space poweramp in one 2 space rack and his 2 space preamp in another 2 space rack. I was able to score a couple of 2 space skb racks used from this same store and put my 2 space stewart 2.1 poweramp in one, and my 1 1/2 space demeter preamp in another. Boy, are those 2 tiny racks light, easy to move around, and they fit anywhere. :D There's nothing wrong with having a big rack with all kinds of goodies in it, but i'm really digging this bare bones and very portable alternative. :cool:

    BTW, this is in no way a slam at rack rigs. i think they're cool. I'm just a lazy old bastard. :p Having all of your stuff in one rack is definitely convenient, and a lot of rack mount stuff is superior to the stomp box anolouges. IME, 4 space racks are the most common. 6 space racks are still manageable and lots of cats end up with those as they want to include a power conditioner, tuner, compressor, or whatever. 8 space and bigger racks start to become more of a pain depending upon your transportation, use of casters/hand trucks, and back. Like waynep mentioned, having your poweramp in one rack and the rest of your stuff in another rack is a great way to distribute the weight around.

    as a parting thought, when considering a rack setup, there are a lot of rack cases to choose from. rackbags, skb style plastic racks, calzone style heavy duty racks, custom racks for heads, and shockmount racks of all types have their advantages and drawbacks. one of the biggest things to consider is rackable depth when using a poweramp. many poweramps are 16" deep or more and require deep racks to fit.
  11. dont


    Jul 25, 2004
    My rack contains a Crest Pro 200 8200, an Alembic F1X, and a Sabine RT 7100; it doesn't need anything else!
  12. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    I have an SVP-PRO and a QSC PL218. Looks like I win on simplicity and weight categories.
  13. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I have a Furman PL-2 power conditioner, a Read Purity preamp, and a Crest CA-9 power amp in a 4-space Gator Case rack. I'm guessing it's total weight is close to 80 lbs.

    I've been thinking about a rackmounted compressor and a tuner. Because my power amp is somewhat heavy, I want to put it in it's own 2-space rack. This will give me the space in my existing rack for the compressor and tuner.

  14. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    woo hoo what's the prize???? :hyper:

    still i'm not clear on what each of the items do. an explanation in 5 year old terms would be helpful too.
  15. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    Power Conditioner - Most expensive power bar ever.
    Preamp - Turns the little signal into a line level signal to drive the power and handles all tone shaping.
    Poweramp - Turns preamp signal into speaker level signal to drive your monster cabs...
  16. stringtheorist


    Jul 14, 2005
    I am a newbie with stuff related to basses, but I'm pretty well versed in sound reinforcement. Having owned several different makes, models and sizes of power amps (Crest, Crown, etc) I can tell you the best I've ever worked with is my QSC RMX-1450. The words crisp, clean, uncolored, transperant and heavy (sound-wise and weight-wise) come to mind. They run cool and last forever plus two.

    Edit: My Crest Vs450 sounded awesome until it ignited. I had a couple crowns... The MacroTech's are probably one of the best amps on the market, but anything short of the MacroTech series ... well ... sucks.
  17. - power conditionner: protects your rig (slightly) and gives you an "on" switch for everything in the rack. It can also provide lighting for your rack on dark stages. I use the pull-out lights to hang my shirt, or cable, or even bass strap while I set up. :) And those lights just looks so darn cool! :cool: Also, as they usually have 8 AC inputs, you can usually use it to provide power to the drummer for his stupid gadgets!!!

    - Tuner: I love having it in-line. Hit the mute pedal and there you go. I got a Boss TU-50 a few years back and it works great. I only had half a space available and this was the only tuner that fit the bill at the time.

    - Compressor: if you like the sound, or if your playing style calls for one. I got a dxb163a. This is the half space one with the slider and gain setting. Somehow, it works great for bass and totally fool-proof. I don't use much compression if at all, but sometimes, in really live rooms, the soundmen love me for it.

    - Preamp: I used to have an Alembic F-1X which is legendary but I got rid of it when this place gave me iAmp gas. I found I couldn't get the bass to cut through enough with it. Now, I'm thinking that this is due to the Barts in my Lakland. I really wished I would've kept it when I went to in-ear-monitors last year. There are a bunch of different brands out there and they can really define your sound. I think the Sansamp RBI is a really nice and versatile one too.

    - Power amp: if you are using a preamp, you will need one of these. I would stick with one of the big 3s.... QSC, Crown or Crest. BTW, you never have too much power. I used a QSC PLX3002, sending 585w to a EA CXL112 or Eden 210XLT. There's lots to be said for headroom, IMO.

    I carry all this in a 6 space SKB rack. It's a little heavy, but I can handle it. It's not the sturdiest box out there, but I don't tour and I handle my own gear, so I can be careful.

    These days, I took out the pre & amp and replaced with an iAmp800. I still have my IEM in there for the occasions where I fill in with my old band, but I usually run the iAmp through a couple CLX112s when filling it with others. Oh yeah, I also have a cheap Samson wireless in there as I usually did sound for my bands. I could walk out there for soundcheck and hear the FOH mix. I would like to find a Shure ULX for cheap. I think they are the best bang for the buck, and one of the only systems that will reproduce bass frequencies.

    All this to say you could probably build a simple rack for fairly cheap or a really fancy one with has many gagdets (effects, etc) as you want. There really isn't any limit.

    Good luck,
  18. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Maybe you should just go with a nice Combo Amp? :D
  19. Just out of interest, with some amps, like the mesa 400 you have 2 different pre amps and can run them together, could you use 2 seperate preamp units into the same power amp? a y spliter on each end essentially?

    Just curious, i dont see why it wouldnt work