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Wednesday 11 April 2018

An update on my progress with the 20U rack

I have my 20U rack mostly set up now, but I still have to do a lot of 1/4 cable making and then wiring. I also have to order some brackets for the 2nd pedal shelf, and the TC Electronic 1128 EQ won't be installed for some months still, as I need to get some work on it done before it's ready for this rack, and I don't have the funds to take care of that right now.

The preamps and EQs are not likely to be set up for MIDI switching through the GCX controller. I plan to manually connect or disconnect whichever I plan to use at a particular time. I might, at some point, look into a half-rack patch bay to go into the empty half-rack next to the BOSS GE-21 EQ.

I think that the 2nd pedal shelf is mainly going to be storage for pedals that aren't currently connected. I've made it 2 slots smaller than the first pedal shelf partly for that reason, and also because in the lower section of the rack rails ever other slot for the cage nuts is spaced too narrowly to be able to install any gear into, so I could either position the 2nd pedal shelf as it is, or two slots further down, which I think wastes too much space.

I think I'm going to have to figure out some way to make the unit less top-heavy, as, right now, the whole rack can tilt forward very easy when its wheels are turned a certain way. After I have everything installed, I'll check it again. Maybe I can just put some weight in the bottom space.

I spent a while yesterday swapping preamp tubes in my JMP-1 to find which combination of tubes I like the most.

The combo I was previously using, which was:

V2 Tung Sol

This was a generally decent-sounding combination, but it lacked definition in the cleans, sounding a bit muddy and non-defined in the upper mids and high ranges. The distortion with this combo gave a pretty good distortion sound, very consistent sounding

Some different tubes I tried include Ruby, JJ, EHX, Mullard (new production), Tung Sol. I only have one Ruby, JJ, and Mullard, so I tried them with different other tubes. This is what I found:

Very nice sounding, more midrange, sounds a bit brighter and more cheerful in its distortion:

V1 Groove Tube
V2 Tung Sol

The nicest, clearest cleans, with a great sense of snap on the bridge pickup of my strats, but not as cheery-sounding as the previous configuration:

V1 Mullard
V2 Tung Sol

The nicest distortion saturation, which sounds thicker-bodied, on the dark side of things, and maybe a bit more complex compared to the previous combinations. Cleans are nice, but a little less clear than the previous configuration:

V1 Mullard
V2 Groove Tube

Any of these three combos are good, though there is a trade off between any of them. I'm currently gravitating towards one of the latter two configurations, but I'm going to play around with them some more before I decide.

April 17th addition:

V2 Groove Tube

I was playing with this combo today, and kind of liked it. Not sure that it's my favourite, but I'll try it out some more.

C~ Soundscapes

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