The world of yowhatsshakin


As far as my rack gear is concerned, it had to comply with the following conditions:

  1. 1. Separate preamplifier and power amplifier.

  2. 2. Should be stereo with separate speaker cabinets.

  3. 3. MIDI controllable/switchable.

  4. 4. As few cables going back and forth to the outside world.

To comply with all these conditions, I designed my rig as displayed in the Signal Path figure below.  All equipment is placed in a SKB 8U Shock mount Rack Case and gets its clean power from a Furman PL-Plus Power conditioner. The guitar goes into the input of a Lexicon MPX-G2 guitar processor. This multi-effects processor has basically 2 stages: a stage before the input of the preamp and a stage to be inserted into the effects loop of the preamp. The former is more suitable for the analog effects (think compression, distortion, overdrive) whereas the latter is more suitable for all digital effects (chorus, echo, flanger, phaser, reverb, etc.). So the ‘before preamp’ stage out of the MPX-G2 goes into the Mesa/Boogie TriAxis. This guitar preamplifier has 8 different modes, all modeled after famous Mesa amps. It has 128 MIDI channels that can be remotely switched. The ‘recording’ output goes to a Peterson VS-R StroboRack Virtual Strobe tuner whereas the ‘effects send’ (left and right) go to the ‘effects-loop stage’ of the MPX-G2. From here on out, there are 2 separate signal paths are available, each of which can have their separate effects placed on it. All pretty cool. Instead of having the ‘effects out’ go to the effects returns of the preamp, I send them straight to the input of a Mesa SimulClass 2:90 stereo power amplifier. The speaker outs go first to THDHot Plates, so the volume can be attenuated without having to turn down the master volume of the power amp, before the signal hit the Mesa/Engineering ported Thiele extension cabinets each with a single 12” 90W Celestion MC-90 Black Shadow speaker. All of this is cabled up using Monster Cable Pro 1000 Series Instrument and Speaker cables.

The SimulClass 2:90 itself has some nifty features too. It has a half-power setting, and a Deep and Modern voice setting which can all be controlled by the TriAxis. The latter has 4 foot switch outputs and 3 of are connected to the 2:90 to control these additional settings with ordinary ¼”-¼” cables.

And now for the switching. The MPX-G2 has its own dedicated MIDI foot controller: a Lexicon MPX-R1. But connected to this unit, you’ll find a Peavey Volume Controller which is hooked up to one of the external controller inputs by a ¼”-¼” TRS stereo cable. With this pedal it is possible to control the values of the parameters of the TriAxis. So you can go from e.g. a clean setting to a bluesy on the cusp of break-up setting on the fly. Pretty cool again! The switching between the different amp channels is done through a Tech 21 MIDI Mouse which is connected to the MIDI thru on the controller and sends MIDI messages on the channel the TriAxis is listening on.


Rack Gear