The BMG/KAT BM Mini-Rig is a compact version of Dr. Brian May’s stage rig controller, splitter, router and switcher, designed by British electronics guru Nigel Knight and constructed in the UK using the same circuits and top-end components as its big brother and providing the same basic functionality. Built into a robust, solid steel enclosure, the unit is well equipped for the rigours of live performance, although it will feel just as much at home in a studio, or even bedroom environment.
The Mini-Rig is perfect for controlling two or three amp set-ups in conjunction with additional effects such as wah-wah, phaser, chorus and delay. All outputs are set to unity gain, so whatever goes in comes out at the same level. The signal processing circuits are powered by 24VDC, so they have more than enough headroom to accommodate the most powerful treble boosters with no tonal degradation.
The BM Mini-Rig firstly offers the incoming signal a high impedance buffer circuit, allowing it to “breathe” without losing its dynamics. From there, it splits the signal two ways – to the TUNER output, and to the switching matrix. Like the three main LEFT CENTRE and RIGHT outputs, the tuner output is fully transformer isolated, however this channel is active constantly regardless of the status of any of the MUTE buttons.
The signal heading to the switching matrix does so via the on-board effects loop SEND and RETURN jacks, enabling a full-time effect to be placed in series. In Brian’s rig, this takes the form of the rack-wah, but this can be substituted for any other effects unit, such as a phaser or a chorus pedal (just remember that this is a live loop, so if you want to be able to switch the effect on and off, you will need to do so via the FX unit itself, rather than the Mini-Rig).
The effects RETURN jack then feeds another buffer before heading to the mute switching matrix/splitter/router circuits, culminating at a set of exceptional high quality audio transformers that fully isolate the signals from their respective grounds. This isolation is necessary when running multi-amp set-ups as it breaks the ground loops that always cause hum and noise in large rigs.
The Mini-Rig runs from an accompanying universal external AC power supply (100V - 240V) making it suitable for use in most territories worldwide.
It is imperative that this unit only be plugged into a three-conductor socket that features an earth pin in the plug-top, otherwise the unit itself will produce hum.
It is also strongly recommended that the Mini-Rig is powered solely by the included power supply and not by an alternative adapter or pedalboard supply system, as this may damage the unit beyond repair.
The BM Mini-Rig is a simple unit to connect, set-up and use, featuring just three switches.
Three LED lights indicate when the corresponding output channel mutes are engaged.
The Mini-Rig features 1/4" jack connections allowing for a wide range range of two or three amplifier set-ups (see the "Mini-Rig Configurations" tab above for examples).
The Mini-Rig is built into a 1.5mm folded, mild steel case, white powder coated to stand out on stage.
L x W : Approx 170mm x 125mm
The BM Mini-Rig is a recreation of Brian May’s splitter/router/Wah driver/Tuner driver/Amp isolator and Mute switcher in one compact unit that provides pro-players (and bedroom guitar heroes) the ability to drive three AC30s (or three VBM-1s/Pathfinder 15s etc.) from their guitar and treble booster, with sends and returns for a wah/phaser (or other effects unit) and a full-time tuner output.
It also features a main global MUTE ALL switch (for silence whilst tuning) as well as MUTE CENTRE and MUTE L/R controls allowing players to configure an ‘eighties style’ two-amp chorus set-up, a single centre AC30 on its own, or all three amps with classic chorus left/right and dry centre configuration.
The possible connections available are down to your own equipment, imagination, and requirements, but here are a few BM-inspired, two and three amp set-ups to get you started.
The KAT Groundbreaker is a fully transformer coupled, passive, isolating interface that eliminates unwanted hum and noise caused by system ground loops. It is perfect for both studio and live settings and is configured to accept both balanced and un-balanced signals.
Visit Knight Audio Technologies for full details.
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