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Custom Rackmount Guitar Amplifiers

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Jeemy, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Does anybody know of anybody who builds, reverse engineers, or shoehorns guitar amplifiers into a rack space?

    I'm currently wowed by a Fender Super Rack 60, which I've had in the studio for ages. I plugged into it last night as I was jamming in the room its based in, and my Cornford got a microphonic valve.

    I was utterly stunned by the clean channel, I know its Designed by Rivera, and heavily based on the Rivera-designed Twin Reverbs, but nothing had prepared me for just how good it was, without EVER having had a valve changed.

    So it got me thinking. I'd ****ing love to have this racked with a Marshall Plexi head, and A/B between them for clean and dirty.

    So what I'm wondering - does anybody know anybody who rackmounts old Marshall gear on new boards? Ideally with a rackmounted power soak too - if so please pass them on, or any suggestions you have for a EL or 6L6 4-tube power stage in a rackmount box without too much weight - I'd love to hear about it, I'm seriously in the market to do this.
  2. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I love my Mesa 20-20

    Mesa Boogie 20-20 Stereo Amplifier
  3. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I meant a full amp with a pre & power stage, rather than a power amp. Although I'd love the Mesa, I was really looking for a second full rack amp.

    As nobody got back to me I spent some time messing about with the Rack 60 and I'm now certainly getting most of the flavours I like out of it, enough for gigging. Just need to play with the speaker cabinets now. And I finally got hold of an MXR1500 so I might lose my Digitech GSP2101. But I might get another preamp to feed the Fender and try to hack into its power amp section. And I wish it was stereo. lol.
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Doesn't Cornford offer that type of service? Is there so much "old Marshall gear" in the UK that you can pop for an old Plexi and have it's heart ripped out and the guts shoe-horned into a rack?
    My, oh my...LOL!!!
  5. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    I'll speak to Cornford and see. I didn't know they did. Not quite sure what you are saying but I wouldn't think it was sacreligious to dismantle a plexi and rack the boards if thats what you mean. I wouldn't imagine the UK has access to more gear than the US, even though they are made here, you're such a bigger market than us I'd guess you have more. Old plexis aren't too hard to find though afaik.

    It would almost certainly be reversible, but I don't know anybody who does it - thats what I was looking for. There are tons of people who make Plexi re-issues - Retroking and Fulton-Webb and so forth, I've emailed a bunch of them so hopefully something will come of that. Rivera made a rack amp too a TMR or something, I'm going to speak to them. The more and more I look at that Mesa the more and more I like it as it doesn't look to be too heavy and its only one rack unit. Just missed one on the bay....
  6. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Mine is about 10 yrs old with a chrome front panel instead of black. I gigged it pretty solidly for the first 5 years or so, but apart from a slightly noisy cooling fan its still going strong with the original valves. I used to partner it with a combined valve pre-amp + FX unit (also chrome fronted!), so my live rack was only 2 units but sounded huge. That thing can go quite frighteningly loud despite the supposed 20 watt per channel rating (way louder than the 4 unit / 50 watt per channel Marshall it replaced.)
  7. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Spent 10 hours playing through the Fender today, and although I am getting frighteningly good tones from it, its just not quite as responsive in the way the pre and power section get pushed by gain pedals, i.e. its a great clean amp, but not the perfect dirty amp, much as you'd expect from a Twin.

    So I'm very interested in the Mesa, but I don't know much about rack stuff, and I've had very limited experience with Mesa - whats good preamp-wise? Any hidden gems? I'm presuming Art is rubbish and I'd kinda shy away from Marshall rack stuff as well. I'm guessing you'll come back and say Mesa as well, but I've only ever played through some kind of Rectifier combo, once, so I've never really got to grips with what they do bar metal sounds.

    I'm just looking for a very creamy, pushed, saggy power stage tone for my distortion; I use lots of different distortion pedals for flavours, so I just need a nice warm tube sounds. If I can get the Fender clean and the latter, in one box, I'd be such a happy man. Did Randall not make some kind of unit where you could drop different modules in?

    I have a Rivera S-120 which does both of the above but its a temperamental bitch and weighs a ton, so I tend not to gig with it.
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Ya said it all when you said that Plexi's were much more available there than here. Some would see that as the ultimate sacriledge....rack mounting a Plexi! How uncool! I say screw it down and wank away.......
  9. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    watch this space for a rackmounted marshall plexi head. i have a guy on it, its gonna be m'awesome. the tech i spoke to says they are less likely over there as the transformers were single rail. same reason my fender rack 60 has to run on 120v, but i will carry a transformer for tone, and it don't matter to me what box its in. if i can carry a Twin and a Plexi in a 10-unit rack with the rest of the band gear, thats got win written all over it. mxr1500 too. just need a 2290 and its happy days my friend.

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