When it comes to my acoustic live sound I have a rack that goes with me to every acoustic gig, (except studio sessions – of course).
I’ve gone through a number of pieces of gear in this rack set-up over the years, finally settling on the following equipment:
• TC Electronics G-Sharp Effects
• DBX 266 Compressor/Gate
• BBE 462 Sonic Maximizer
• Alesis RA-100 Stereo Amp
TC Electronics G-Sharp:
The G-Sharp is a dual engine guitar processor that combines a really nice reverb effect with an easy-to-use interface. If you’ve played guitar for awhile you already know how valuable reverb and delay can be to your sound, and the G-Sharp has what it takes to create excellent delay and reverb.
DBX 266 Compressor /Gate:
I purchased this compressor /gate mainly for use as a noise-gate (for stopping acoustic feedback at live acoustic gigs).
Then, after using the 266 in a number of different playing situations, what I quickly discovered was how present and how articulate the compressor treated my acoustic guitar in the mix. What a pleasant surprise!
While the noise-gate obviously remains the most vital feature of this unit, I’m happy that the compressor also provides a bonus factor to my sound.
BBE 462 Sonic Maximizer:
First of all, wow – this unit is absolutely awesome. I first heard a Sonic Maximizer in action at a live concert while at the board talking with the sound engineer. He turned it off for about 5 sec. and I was shocked at the difference.
The Sonic Maximizer has a way of really opening everything up in your music. Imagine having a powerful graphic equalizer, just way easier to dial in.
If you’ve ever worked with one, I’m sure you know that Graphic EQ’s can be difficult to deal with and adjust. But, the Maximizer makes the music sound much brighter and clearer with only a few dials to contend with.
Alesis RA-100 Stereo Amp:
My Alesis RA-100 is a powerful Reference Power Amplifier that delivers the smoothest cleanest power you’d ever hope for. I’ve had it for a very long time and it’s always worked like a champ!
I purchased this unit used and have had it in my rack for over a decade. The reliability and performance from it has been top of the line.
One of my favorite aspects of the RA-100 is that it is so quiet due to its large heat-sinks (allowing it to cool by natural convection). The result is no added noise through integrated mechanical ventilation.
While in operation, the RA-100 produces a power supply that is very clean and offers well-rounded curve peaks, (great for protecting your speakers).
The Alesis RA-100 is sadly discontinued, but while it still works for me I will keep using this excellent power stereo source for all of my live acoustic gigs. The RA-100 provides perfect power when coupled with a good pair of non-powered stereo PA speakers, or even with a pair of floor monitors.
If this power source were to ever fail, I’d likely replace it with the Samson Servo 120a, or the Samson Servo 300 Power Amplifier.