back in rack heaven

Q & A for building and interfacing your rack gear with Ground Control Pro and GCX-based systems.
andefeldt
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:59 am

Re: back in rack heaven

Post by andefeldt » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:25 am

Very cool.

I'm building a rack set that's a bit similar to yours, so I'll be looking into the thread from time to time ;)

My setup is (also Gilmour/Floyd fan here):

Guitar (mainly Strat with EMG DG-20) --> Wah (Cry-Baby) --> Buffer --> Rack

Rack: GCX with 8 pedals in loops: Whammy, Demeter Compulator, Tube Screamer, Chandler Tube Driver, BYOC Large Beaver (Muff clone), EHX Small Clone, Boss EQ7, Boss CE-5
From there into my G-Force unit and then out.
Power comes from Voodoo Pedal Plus 2 and Samson PowerBrite PB10.
Expression (volume and whammy and maybe more is done with 2 expression pedals - Ernie Ball)
So it's a lot like your system.

What pedals are you going to be using?

bettsaj
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:13 pm
Location: Darkest Suffolk UK
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Re: back in rack heaven

Post by bettsaj » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:46 am

I'm building my own pedals, I have exact trace copies of the circuit boards, i'm going to etch my own boards, and solder the components....

Colorsound power boost 18v version - For this I have copied exactly the circuit board from a version 1 power boost, and I've managed to source all the period correct components including the tropical fish caps. I just need to etch the board.

This is my pcb layout http://www.freestompboxes.org/download/ ... p?id=28564

Rams Head big muff - This is going to be copied from the circuit from this web site http://www.kitrae.net/music/Images_Secr ... ematic.jpg

Again i'm going to source as best I can vintage correct parts.


Silicon Fuzz Face - This is a direct copy as used by Gilmour at Pompeii.... Again vintage correct parts, so I'll be using carbon comp resistors, etc....


I'm undecided whether to buy an electric mistress or make one.... I have the circuit diagram for a 18v mistress, so may use that. but sourcing the parts is not easy, especially the SAD1024 chip. So I may just buy a clone kit.

My wah already has the reverse wah mod for the seagull effect for echoes.

I may also at some time buy a catlinbread Echorec pedal..... they are brilliant, and a great alternative for a vintage sound delay. Especially for early floyd stuff
"My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, I suppose, which creeps around. I'll never be a very fast guitar player."

David Gilmour

andefeldt
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:59 am

Re: back in rack heaven

Post by andefeldt » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:11 am

Wow!!!

Very very cool indeed.

Looking forward to updates in your thread

bettsaj
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:13 pm
Location: Darkest Suffolk UK
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Re: back in rack heaven

Post by bettsaj » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:12 am

Update 27/03/2017

Wiring this has been like pulling teeth. I purchased 25 straight Neutrik jacks and 10 angled Neutrik jacks, I also ordered 60ft of Tour Grade Van Damme instrument cable, and 30ft of Tour Grade Van Damme speaker cable. Following the issues I had with my last rack as regards * wiring, bad cable, and even worse jack plugs i'm sparing no expense with this one.

I have 2 racks cases. 1 has the power amp, and the other has all the other goodies... The large rack will sit on top of the amp case, so all will be nice and tidy. The power conditioner will supply power to both the main rack and the power amp, therefor the patch panels in both cases have been designed with all this in mind.

Both patch panels have been terminated with Neutrik Powercon and Speakon sockets, and therefore all power and speaker cables have been terminated with the respective Powercon and Speakon plugs. All jack sockets in both patch panels are locking sockets, the only socket that isn't is the midi socket.

In the main rack all power cables have been routed to the left hand side of the case looking from the back, and all the signal cables are now being routed to the right. All cables will be cable tied and secured with cable tie sticky pads. As a side note, my good friend Robbie Gladwell is going to be checking the system over for electrical safety, and will probably issue a PAT test cert to show it's been checked and tested as OK.

What have Learned so far in this build..... for one, patience is a bonus waiting for things to turn up.

The main thing is have a good soldering iron. I have been waiting nearly a week for a new soldering iron to be delivered, after I was struggling with a cheap £10 ($14) soldering iron I got off EBay.... Don't waste your money. I spent around £40 for a cheap digital soldering iron and the difference is night and day. You can set the temperature, (and in my case I bought a soldering iron thermometer so i could calibrate the iron.... Good job, as it was set to 350c but the thermometer read it as 410c). It gets to temperature in a not to bad, 30 seconds.

I now no longer have to wait 3 hours for my cheapo stick soldering iron to get warm enough to melt the solder....... And even when it was at it's maximum heat it wasn't enough, and I had to wait long enough for a beard to grow to melt the solder.....

Secondly test, test and test again. Get a multimeter... You can't solder without one, a cheap one will do. You only really want it for continuity and they all do that. I thought I'd been quite anal about testing after soldering, but had forgotten to test a particular cable... It was only my son jokingly saying "have you tested them.... to make sure they work" so I thought, I'll just test it again.. I found a solder joint that failed on the multimeter...

I'm thinking about spending the money and getting a cable tester to keep in my gig bag to make things a little easier,

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SoundLAB-Univ ... Sw9GhYdKyB

They're great and after i saw one working I wanted one.
"My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, I suppose, which creeps around. I'll never be a very fast guitar player."

David Gilmour

JohnClark
Posts: 7086
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: back in rack heaven

Post by JohnClark » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:44 am

Multimeter over a Cable Tester IMHO. Not to poo poo any particular brand, but in general cable testers are somewhat notorious for giving false positives. If you have a multimeter you can test any cable for end to end continuity as well as for any load across the cable rather than relying on a "red light/green light" test.

Just my $0.02. ;)

bettsaj
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:13 pm
Location: Darkest Suffolk UK
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Re: back in rack heaven

Post by bettsaj » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:46 am

Yeah, that's a very good point... But to be honest I never use my multi-meter for anything other than continuity, and also for checking how much juice I have left in 9v batteries.

Those cable testers do look very comprehensive though. Are they really that hit and miss and unreliable?
"My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, I suppose, which creeps around. I'll never be a very fast guitar player."

David Gilmour

bettsaj
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:13 pm
Location: Darkest Suffolk UK
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Re: back in rack heaven

Post by bettsaj » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:39 am

Ok, just a guidance on my wiring for this project.

Currently the rack draw is empty, so no stomp boxes as yet plugged into the GCX..... They will be added later. However, I have thought of this being a good place to start with wiring.

Wireless Rear Panel output -> korg tuner rear panel input
Korg Tuner Rear panel output -> GCX rear panel Feed thru
GCX rear panel loop 8 out -> Area 51 Wah input
Area 51 Wah output -> Triaxis rear panel input
Triaxis rear panel L & R outputs -> Randal power amp L & R Inputs

The G-Force will be wired directly into the Triaxis effect loop so not in the direct signal path.

Obviously there is some playing around to be done once I start adding stomp boxes, but can anyone see anything glaringly wrong with this as it stands currently?

I've placed the Wah after the GCX and before the pre-amp as I want the Wah after any fuzz and distortions i'll likely have in the GCX. Obviously if there's any modulation effects placed in the GCX I'll probably move the Wah to before them..... see how it all goes. The Wah will be the only effect that won't be in a GCX loop, and will have cables running from the rack to the pedalboard and back to the rack.

I'm going to hard wire a switch into the rack and a second jack plug socket so that I can have a cable ready if the wireless goes down. I just plug in the guitar cable and the switch will select between the wireless and the cable........ Simple really
"My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, I suppose, which creeps around. I'll never be a very fast guitar player."

David Gilmour

bettsaj
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:13 pm
Location: Darkest Suffolk UK
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Re: back in rack heaven

Post by bettsaj » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:01 am

Ok guys, I have a dilemma.

I've finished wiring the rack, and here is the finished result

Image

It's not finished yet, as I'm going to wire a jack into the plate next to the wireless receiver for a guitar cable... Contingency if the wireless goes down. The socket will simply be wired to a jack plug and plugged directly into input 2 of the korg in the back. That way I just select between input 1, for wireless or input 2 for hard wire.

The rack is super quiet, with only the hum from the power amp.... I'm really pleased with this. i wired it totally without testing until the end, obviously I tested all the cables as I made them, but wasn't 100% sure where the signal path was any good etc. I worked first time, with zero issues apart from the one below which isn't anything to do with the wiring.

My dilemma is this, and although not directly regarding a Voodoo lab product, i'm hoping someone here will be able to give some good advice.

I've currently got the G-Force going through the TriAxis FX loop, and currently either I'm not understanding the FX loop properly, or it's just not very good. I understand that the master volume on the triaxis also adjusts the FX loop level, but in all honesty i don't understand how this works. I adjust it, and it just alters the volume, or appears to only alter the volume. Some of the G-Force patches seem to be really good through the TriAxis others seem to be so quiet you cab hardly hear them (Stereo dynamic delay for example). i've checked the effect levels in the G-Force and for example the daly is 100% in both channels, but isn't very high in the Triaxis so i'm assuming it might be something to do with the Triaxis effect loop level. Are there any marked differences in using the loop as opposed to in series after the pre-amp. i'm seriously considering rewiring it in series.

If I wire it in series, at least i'll get both channel lights light up on the G-Force, as currently because i'm only using the left (mono) input of the G-Force i'm only getting one input signal on the G-Force and not both.

Basically what's better.... Effects loop or in series?
"My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, I suppose, which creeps around. I'll never be a very fast guitar player."

David Gilmour

PJD
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:54 am

Re: back in rack heaven

Post by PJD » Sun May 21, 2017 12:30 pm

bettsaj wrote:
I may also at some time buy a catlinbread Echorec pedal..... they are brilliant, and a great alternative for a vintage sound delay. Especially for early floyd stuff
If you haven't already, check out the Dawner Prince Boonar. Pricey but real cool echorec pedal
https://dawnerprince.com/products/boonar

bettsaj
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:13 pm
Location: Darkest Suffolk UK
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Re: back in rack heaven

Post by bettsaj » Mon May 22, 2017 12:46 am

I've seen that pedal..... It is very good. I have a dilemma :lol: in so far as i now don't know what to get :lol:

It will probably depend on what effects i'll be having in the draw, and their footprint. The Catlinbread is smaller than the Boonar, I'm making a colorsound powerboost clone which is going to be utilising a Hammond 1590XX enclosure which is 145mm x 121mm in size. The big muff will be made using the same size circuit board as the real deal, so it'll have to be put in an enclosure to suit, probably the same as the powerboost. Basically 2 fairly large pedals. Add to that I'll be using a flanger, and a i'm seriously considering getting a Boss RT-20 Rotary Ensemble i'll be losing real estate in the pedal draw. The only other option is to put a second draw in the rack, but then i'll no longer have space for any other rack effects.
"My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, I suppose, which creeps around. I'll never be a very fast guitar player."

David Gilmour

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