Pedalboards versus rack-setups part 2

This blogpost is the second in a series of three about pedalboards versus rack-setups

This blogpost details my pro’s concerning pedalboards versus rack-setups. The other day I wrote about the equipment I started out with and why I moved from amps and a pedalboard to a rack-setup.

The rack setup I ended up using for years live and on tv – and still often use in the studio, was built around a Mesa Boogie preamp, Mesa Boogie poweramp and a TC2290.

At first I used the Quad preamp, but after a year or so Boogie introduced the Triaxis preamp – a programmable tube preamp with 99 presets – it was made for my kind of work.

For years I had rack-comp’s, noise suppressors, phasers and other fun stuff in the loops of the 2290. I also had a Lexicon reverb, 2 TC M5000 reverbs and an Intellefex chorus, delay and reverb unit – all hooked up as auxillary fx’s in a programmable Akai line mixer.

First I had the four unit 2:90, but also swapped to a new model 295 that takes up less space in the rack. I had changed speakers to 2 2×12 Meas Boogie cabinets with Celestion and EV speakers in both.

Soren Reiff rack - in studio in the mid nineties
Soren Reiff’s racks – in a studio in the mid nineties. A Mesa Boogie Triaxis, TC M5000, TC 2290, Akai line mixes, with some comp’s and denoisers. In rack 2 a wireless system and poweramp.

This setup sounded great … I had enough power to get a crystal clean rythym sound no matter how loud I played. I could swap from a warm, round jazz sound, to a super stereo pop-sound with tons of chorus and delay, within seconds – I could go from a bluesy sound with a little crunch to a modern hi-gain distortion sound, and the levels would be spot on. All this was perfect for my work on TV, where I performed with artists like Robert Palmer, Randy Crawford and Thoots Thielemans.

After I’d used this setup for years, TC invited me to come to their factory. I had been doing clinics for them for several years , and of course they would love if I hadn’t placed anything but TC products in my rig. I told them what I used for the different sounds I had, and what I missed or had to work hard to make possible with my setup and routing. Their developer asked me about my dream setup and took tons of notes.

Some time after this they introduced all my dreams in one single unit: the The TC G-force.

This meant that my two 10-unit racks that I started with, ended up being reduced to about 6 units. I also got an alternative set of speakers – 2 road-ready Mesa cabinets with 1×12” EV in each.

Soren Reiff's reduced stereo rack
My reduced stereo rack. The triaxis, the G-force, a wireless system and a poweramp in a seperate rack.

Suddenly my setup was a 4 unit rack with preamp and fx’s that I could bring together with a controller board and my guitar, if I was doing sessions. Normally I wouldn’t bring my power amp and speakers because I would record thru the ”recording out” output in my preamp. If I was playing live I would bring the 2 units powerrack, and the two small cabs for clubgigs, and the bigger cabs for bigger venues. This worked fine for me for years … so why consider changing??

I’ll write about that next time – till then enjoy your rig and keep nerding around 🙂


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