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Old March 4th, 2010, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Who owns Digidesign's Rack Eleven?

I hear they are completely amazing. The demo I saw blew me away. Street price is around $850 I think - if someone here has one, is it worth the money? Can you really just "leave the amp at home" or not have to use the amp at all for recording?

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Old May 29th, 2010, 01:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow! No response to your post after more than 2 months? I am a point to point tube amp guy, but I am very interested in the Rack Eleven. Don't own it, but am keeping my eye on it. I think the Fractal of similar design is the market darling in that regard, but the Rack Eleven seems more intuitive to these older eyes.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 11:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's possible that nobody around here owns it due to the price tag! Pro Tools LE gives you one free Rack Eleven plug-in, but it's the Marshall sound and not that useful for my needs. Quality seems good, though ... plenty good enough to bypass the amp for project or demo recording, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if folks were using it on "real" records.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry, missed this thread.

I tried it in the studio for a couple of days.
It is a good, solid device but it is somewhat dwarfed by the towering mountain that is Axe FX.

For a lot of people the Eleven Rack is a step up from things like Pod Pro XT and similar 2 space or 1 space rack processors.
I did a fair bit of A/B testing between my existing converters & Amplitube 3 compared to the Eleven Rack.

In the end I took Eleven Rack back and kept using Amplitube 3.
I have ordered an Axe FX though- I have high hopes for it.
So far I've only spent a few hours with a friends Axe FX Ultra and it is absolutely astounding.

It costs more than twice what the Eleven does but it is a huge step up in terms of modelling.
Nothing comes close to it at this stage.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've had my Eleven Rack for just over a week. I bought it mainly for use as a performance tool, assuming that I'd ignore the bundled Pro Tools software. Any recording I do with the 11R will use my existing recording rig via an analog connection.

I very briefly flirted with the idea of trying to install Digidesign's Core Audio drivers in order to use the 11R as an interface for other audio applications on my Mac. After three frustrating (and ultimately unfruitful) hours of trying, I unravelled all of the mayhem that the Digidesign software installer had visited upon my system. It will be a cold day in hell before I next attempt to run *any* Digidesign software on my computer.

On a more positive note, the 11R seems deliberately designed to appeal to players of "my vintage". The amps and effects, though few in number, cover the classic sounds very nicely. The Tweed Deluxe model alone sold me on the 11R. I also found the tape echo, Leslie and reverbs very appealing.

The 11R has a shallow learning curve and yields impressive results with very little effort. I had a performance-ready patch set up within fifteen minutes of sitting in front of an 11R for the very first time. That's not something I was able to achieve in several hours spent with the big-$$$ modeler with which everyone is so enamored. Sometimes getting a great sound by adjusting a few really simple controls is more useful than being overwhelmed by options.

Like all good modelers, the 11R performs best when paired with excellent amplification. You'll be disappointed with the amp models if you try to run a good modeler into a guitar amp and cab. At home I play through a PA built from QSC K-series powered speakers. When I play out (which I haven't done yet with the 11R, but have been doing with other modelers since January 2007) I simply run the modeler into the stage snake and let the venue's sound guy take care of the rest.

I've collected some other thoughts and observations regarding the 11R here.
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Old August 26th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Listen to demo of Eleven Rack first on the Sweetwater site, then listen to Amplitube 3 or fender Amplitube. Amplitube simply blows it out of the water in my opinion. The Eleven Rack just don't have near the presence or the sound of speakers moving. Very digital. YMMV
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Old August 26th, 2010, 01:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by leewhit View Post
Listen to demo of Eleven Rack first on the Sweetwater site, then listen to Amplitube 3 or fender Amplitube. Amplitube simply blows it out of the water in my opinion. The Eleven Rack just don't have near the presence or the sound of speakers moving. Very digital. YMMV
I think that is very true. I think certain modelers have their sound though. Like the Line 6 POD has a great Blackface model but that's it. I switched from Amplitube to a Vox Tonelab desk top model. That thing is amazing. Amplitube seems pretty CPU hungry so I wanted hardware instead. Amp 3 is really impressive though and I have played most of those amps it models.
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Old August 12th, 2013, 09:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just stumbled onto this thread. I just purchased an Eleven rack with expansion pack and protools LE. Having played through a lot of FX modellers, (Boss, Digitech, Line 6), I found myself tweaking those devices and never being too satisfied with the tone. They sounded good, but not that good. All the tweaking was causing me to also loose valuable practice time. I found the user interface screen of the 11R very simplified and "menu-less" -very easy to use and dial in a tone I was actually satisfied with. The graphical interface on the computer is eye candy and very intuitive. You do need to load protools and use the interface inside the program. It is not a standalone separate program. If you can live with that, the eleven rack is a very good bang for the buck. I will primarily use it live running it into a tech 21 power engine 60.
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