Has anyone else here played through one of these? I did yesterday and I have to say that I was extremely impressed. Hooked up through Carvin's power amp, I thought it sounded amazing. It even sounded great at low volumes. The effects were good, and the very few presets I played through sounded great. I wish I had more time to tool around with it, but my first impression was a very good one.
Does anyone have experience with one of these or perhaps with something similar?
Also, who here prefers the rack mounted preamp/power amp setup over the traditional head or combo?
I want to know too. I have been gassing for one of those since they first came out.
I prefer the rack system myself:
Middle Atlantic rack mount power system
Soldano USA SP-77 Series 2 Preamp
TCI G-Major/DMC Ground Control
Rane PE15 Parametric EQ
Shure rack mount wireless
Carvin T100 power amp
SKB road case
i went the rack route a few years back. it was neat but got expensive REAL quick!!!! aside from that there were A LOT of variables and truthfully it got VERY overwhelming. i ended up going back to using heads with small effects racks. then i went back to just using heads and one multi-fx unit. now i am back to a head with a phase 90 in front. simplcity!!!
what i found daunting about a rack system was finding a killer pre-amp and mating it with the appropriate power section. i used an ADA MP-1 for a while. it had KILLER distortion sounds, but was WEAK on cleans. cleans are important in my band because we do A LOT of switching in songs. then i bought an SP-77. better than the ADA on the cleans, but weaker than the ADA with distortion. both of those were mated with either a marshall valvestate 80/80 poweramp, a peavey classic 50/50 or a rivera hammer 120 poweramp. they sounded the best with the rivera hammer 120, but that power amp weighed a TON. i ended up with a soldano X-88R that was PERFECT when it was mated to the rivera poweramp.
from there it went to finding effects units. i won't even talk about how long that took. being the (one-time, not anymore) co-owner of a decent mid level recording studio i was used to having and hearing certain quality of effects that would be added at mixdown. using processors like the TC 2290, or the eventide h3500 had spoiled me with effect quality. so i bought a TC2290 and put it in the rack. then i added a compressor. then the rack tuner. then the power supply. the the shock rack. by this time the system was SO expensive and SO heavy and SO "elite" that i never wanted to gig with it. i won't even get into the control issues.....UGHHH i still shudder when i think of it!!!!
at the end of all of it, i was still unhappy with the tone. don't get me wrong. it sounded GREAT!!! but it sounded fake too. plus i could never get it perfect. close but it was always missing something.
in the end i went back to my rivera heads because they gave me the clean sound i wanted to hear AND the dirty sound i wanted to hear. plus they were easier to move, set-up, and tear down.
so i sold the X-88R (but man do i miss that in the studio!!), sold the power amp. kept the 2290 and the other stuff for a while, but sold that too. when i play a show now, it is 2 rivera heads, 3 cabs, an MXR phase 90, a VOX wah, a little sabine tuner and my guitars. EASY and to the point.