Mesa Boogie Triaxis Preamp in Use

Mesa Boogie Triaxis in use

Triaxis preamp in use: newer solutions

Most of the Petrucci rack is now relegated to the scrap heap (anyone know where he threw it all?) But seriously there is still info to be gleaned from his older setups and that's why it is still included on this site. I have other newer stuff for the ordinary users like you and me - check all the sections on this site to get a good understanding of how to setup your Triaxis.
The Triaxis preamp can be used in a simple set-up with just the Triaxis, a power amp ( either Boogie, Marshall or a host of other great amps ) depending on your style of music and the desired effect to huge rack solutions for world class players like James Hetfield, Reeves Gabriels, John Petrucci, Adrian Belew and many other pro's.

Just a short note: I bet if you set the mid control to 4 on any driven channel that the preamp goes in to a very bad overdrive - check it yourself - its undocumented - likely a bug in the software - and its a real pain in the ass; I would tell mesa but what do they care?

Examination of the John Petrucci touring rack system gives us a small insight of the possibilities of this equipment even though it was some time ago - assuming that you have a similar bank balance to John, then you could follow in his footsteps (if you insist !). The diagram is actually now in my view well out of date, for example I spoke to Boogie directly on 25th Feb 99 and they confirmed that the Mesa Midi Matrix was now obsolete by some time and I have nagging doubts about some of the other gear in this mesa provided diagram. The Mesa Midi Matrix was a key component of that particular live rig layout. However, it does show you the layout to what was a world class rig and from this it is possible to achieve similar results at much lower cost than John Petrucci by utilizing other manufacturers units.

The list of equipment in the Petrucci touring rack is as follows and below this I have made some suggestions for replacement equipment that does basically the same thing without affecting the sound or flexibility dramatically so it will not actually cost you a John Petrucci price either - here goes:

  • Triaxis preamp x 1
  • Mesa Simul 2:90 x 2
  • DBX Noise Suppresser x 1
  • Rocktron DVC VCA Volume Rack x 1
  • Mesa Amp Switcher x 1
  • Custom Boss Noise Gate x 1
  • Dunlop Rack Wah x 1
  • Sony WRR-840 Wireless Radio Unit x 1
  • Heartbreaker Head x 1
  • TC Electronics 2290 x 1
  • Lexicon PCM70 x 1
  • Lexicon PCM80 x 1
  • DBX 166 Noise Reduction x 1
  • Abacus Midi Pedal x 1

Well, that's impressive and I didn't even include the rack itself or the speakers (there were 3x4x12 and 2x2x12 involved there). A world Class rack, BUT - if we do away with the hi fi quality effects, the all encompassing noise reductions, the rack wah, the radio unit and one or two other bits and pieces I would bet that we could have a similar solution and still be able to buy a Corvette with the change, so here's my solution:

  • Triaxis preamp x 1 ( really a must ! you can not have a Triaxis rack without one)
  • Mesa Simul 2:90 x 1
  • Rocktron Hush ( stereo Linked ) x 1 or any decent noise reducer
  • DMC's GCX Guitar Audio Switcher x 1 * Available Now
  • DMC's Guitar Audio Mixer x 1 * (System Mix Plus) if you can find one
  • DMC's Ground Control x 1 * Available Now
  • External Cry Baby Wah ( preferably old ) x 1
  • Sony WRR-840 Wireless Radio Unit x 1 or ANY quality radio kit
  • Heartbreaker Head x 1 (if you must)
  • Eventide Eclipse or Eventide H7600
  • DBX 166 Noise Reduction x 1 or any other

Equipment Marked with a * is made by Digital Music Corp. and they reside across the road from Mesa Boogie. I've spoken to Mesa & Digital Music Corp. and it seems to me that these guys work quite close together these days - i.e. lots of the guys from Mesa use Digital Music Corp. equipment with Triaxis preamps;  ( this in itself is probably enough recommendation to buy the gear anyway ). Phew, well that little lot saved a dollar or two right ? You Betcha, I estimate the cost ( even at the extortionate UK pricing structures that we have here ) not to be in excess of US$6800 (£4400.00). Those prices are much reduced these days (2015). The cost of the John Petrucci rack I am sure would easily triple this even if purchased in the USA. My pricing does not include the rack or outboard speakers as listed above for either rack estimates.

Even if you cut back further from my recommended system, I am sure that you will in most cases still end up with an awesome and totally professional sound by utilizing the Triaxis as the basis for your rig. None of this equipment is cheap ( even with my rack solution ) but everything I have mentioned in the specs is pro gear and you will, unless very unlucky indeed with mismatches, in most cases end up with a superb sounding rig that most could kill for; If you have any actual rack layouts built around the Triaxis preamp, if you have a negative or a scanned pic of your rig, I will be pleased to feature it on these web pages any time. Just drop me an email and I will confirm when the rig will be featured. Amateurs or Pro's alike are welcome and I look forward to talking with you.

I do in fact get many emails about configuring the Triaxis with various bits of rack gear - and the single thing that stands out the most is the lack of product the user has to actually control all the kit! Remember the Triaxis IS hard to control; but not if you have the necessary products to redirect that lovely sound to the right input or output; take note that there is much more gear around today (2015)  so its not imperative to buy exactly what's on the list as long as what you buy will replace what is on the list.

For example Rocktron reintroduced the Patchmate 8 and Midi Raider pedal so you can use that instead of the DMC stuff if you want. Indeed I have a setup right now with that gear too. It works basically the same as the DMC ground control stuff and I like the midi raider too; its not quite as nice as the ground control pro for sure, but it does take up less real estate on the pedal board.. and last time I checked it cost less too.

Clearly, building this rack and getting everything really hunky dory for you is different than getting it all good for me. I really hope that these pages give you a way of finding out the right direction to go in because I know myself how hard it all is to get a rack going well with the Triaxis in it with effects and the 2:90 all working as it should.

No switching gear? Remember I told you that you need it all and without this sort of gear you will be running around in circles forever!

Take my advice and get some really good switching gear because even if you sell the Triaxis etc. later the switcher and pedals will be with you for good once you try them.


Loud!; click for larger image

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