Mesa Boogie Triaxis: which modules to build the rack with
Triaxis Rack Modules Used in the Build
This rack over the associated web section here is taken apart from top to bottom - quite literally, to show you how to achieve a great setup with your TriAxis preamp. Here's a complete rundown of my LAST setup and why I used it at that time. This was my very last setup; I sold the triaxis a while ago so this specification reflects what I did and indeed what you could use now all that gear is still available out there generally.
• Samson Power Brite. This little ditty will stop all those nasty power problems that seem to follow us wherever we plug the rig in. It's also got a stage light that is really useful. It's fused - so we're not going to get killed on stage; one of those press to reset fuses; so you don't have to find any on the night! Lastly you can turn everything on and off with one switch; say no more.
• Mesa Triaxis. Most rock guys have heard of this preamplifier from mesa boogie; and if not most people have heard this one, Metallica, Petrucci, and thousands of bands use this preamplifier. I won't harp on here; the site is riddled with info as to why you should own one of these. Definitely one of the best pre amps in the world even today (2015).
• Eventide Eclipse V4. I use this firstly for the sounds (and I still use this now). This effects unit has the lot; its controlled in real time by the Ground Control from DMC with an expression pedal. You are able to turn up (or down) the reverb or effect you have patched in. This sounds much better than it reads here; there really is no reason to upgrade this.
• TC Electronics G Major. The TC G Major is a really powerful
unit which is in fact world class. These are used professionally
everyday by some of the best guitarists there is! If you want a
great sounding effects unit then this is it. There is now a version
two, but from what I see there is not too much difference so if you
find the older version one (like I have) grab it! I link it in to
the rig with a parallel switch from the GCX switcher. I have full
control over this with midi (as I do with every unit except the 2:90
• DMC System Mix Plus. This unit is now obsolete and you can use a number of different rack units that will give you emulated speaker outs - easy to replace if you're building a rack and I would certainly include something like this if you can't find one of these anywhere second user; the system mix plus has got to be one of the finest rack enhancements that you can use. The System Mix Plus combines a dual stereo line mixer with the most needed functions for guitar racks. The dual stereo line mixer allows your effects to be combined in parallel instead of series. With series connection of effects, your preamp (or amp effect loop) output is passed through every effect. Each effect degrades the tone and adds noise. In a parallel system, your preamp output passes only through our super quiet and transparent mixer. Your preamp's tone is not altered and no noise is added. Two studio grade VCA's are included which can be used for stereo volume, panning, or as two separate mono volume controls. They can be controlled by the Ground Control or via MIDI. This eliminates running extra audio cables from your rack to volume pedals. Balanced XLR outputs, a stereo version of our Cab-Tone cabinet simulator, and a headphone amp with separate monitor and direct level controls are provided for direct recording. Also included are 1/4" mono and MIDI feed through, plus ground lift and phase invert switches. The best you can buy, like I said. Sadly, it seems these are no longer on the DMC site (the GCX and ground control are) so you might need to look around - very rare pro gear these days.
• DMC GCX Switcher. These are essential for your rack - although you could substitute the GCX with a Patchmate 8 from Rocktron its very similar; this unit allows up to 8 loops for effects units (that's 8 effects units separately switch able in or out of the mix); the loops can be parallel or series in ANY order. Combining the Ground Control with the GCX Guitar Audio Switcher (or the Rocktron Midi Raider and the Patchmate 8) forms a complete switching system. You can use each of the eight loops for in/out effect switching, A/B switching to select amps and preamps, or to control any type of foot-switch function such as amp channel switching. Add a mixer (like our System Mix Plus) to create a parallel effects system and use GCX loops to mute the inputs to your rack effects. This allows effects like delay and reverb to trail off naturally. GCX loops use no active circuitry, only the finest gold contact relays sealed in pure nitrogen. This gives the best possible reliability and tone.
And GCX loops will add true bypass to any pedal effect to greatly improve tone when the effect is not being used. Also included are two front-to-back feed-through's, one with a very transparent, inline buffer. This buffer allows splitting to multiple amps and preamps, as well as reducing noise and loss of high frequencies from cabling. The GCX provides phantom power to the Ground Control over a standard 5-pin MIDI cable.
For a switcher this is right up there with the best - and the cost is peanuts in comparison to some gear - but dont forget that Rocktron stuff its pretty similar at lower cost.
• Blanking Plate x 2. Yes, build in some room for the air
to circulate, particularly just above the power amp; if you 'forget'
to do this what usually happens is that the unit above the power amp
will either overheat and hang or just give up the ghost completely;
if you want to try it go ahead, I have been there and done that!
Please note that I no longer have the Triaxis preamp or the 2:90 power amp. For this reason the Triaxis pages will not be updated particularly. I do however still use the DMC and the Ground Control units with other rack equipment; I also use the Rocktron Midi Raider and the Patchmate 8 these days too so don't think that these Triaxis pages are useless, far from it, they go some way to showing what I use in my rack today and indeed how I control it all with just one button press! Here's a link to the Triaxis Presets page.
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