Trey has for years hauled around a rack full of goodies in addition to the array of pedals he maintains on the floor. These rack effects are controlled by a switchboard built by Customer Audio Electronics (“CAE”) that sits at Trey’s feet and is one of the most recognizable staples of his unique pedal array. As of the Fare Thee Well run with the “Core 4” remaining members of the Grateful Dead, Trey starting placing several pedals on top of this rack, which are also controlled by the CAE switcher. See in-depth discussion of those pedals here. This page focuses on what fits inside the rack itself.
The following rack units have appeared in Trey’s Rack with some consistency over the years:
- Furman PL-PRO DMC E Power Conditioner
- Korg DTR-2 rackmount tuner
- Ibanez DM-2000
- CAE Tremolo
- CAE Black Cat Vibe
- Alesis Microverb
- Alesis Nanoverb
- CAE Channel Switchers
- Peavey Valverb Reverb/Tremolo
- CAE/Bradshaw 3 channel preamp
- TC Electronics D-Two delay effects rack
Below are additional details on the evolution of the rack in recent years.
The rack was wholly rebuilt in 2017 as part of a full-rig rebuild in conjunction with the folks at Bradshaw/CAE. See here for details. The rack looks like this:
For pre-2017 rack info, continue reading below.
The above photo was taken in Trey’s rehearsal space in New York as part of the Guitar World interview that appeared in the magazine’s January 2016 issue. In the top space is a Furman PL-PRO DMC E Power Conditioner. Below that is a Korg DTR-2 rackmount tuner. Next is the Ibanez DM-2000, which has held a place in the rack perhaps longer than any other unit. Below the Ibanez is a newer unit called the TC Electronics D-Two delay effects rack (this has since been removed). Below that are several CAE boxes that control the switching, including switching the pedals on top in and out of the effects loop. This is consistent with what we saw at Fare Thee Well and in Phish’s 2015 Summer Tour. The tweed unit on our left in the above photo is a Victoria Reverberato Tremolo, and I believe this is accurate. It may also explain the absence of the CAE Super Tremolo.
In the above photo from Summer 2016, you can see the CAE switcher above at Trey’s feet, labeled with the company name and “RS-10 Midi Foot Controller.”
The above photo, from the rig rundown that Phish published in early 2013, provides a look at the CAE switcher from Trey’s vantage, and in the close-up below, you can see individual buttons marked to associate them with items in the rack, eg, “2000” for the DM-2000, “MICRO” for the Microverb, and “UNIVIBE” for the Black Cat Vibe (since replaced by a Shin-Ei Univibe, also presumably controlled by this switch). Trey has explained that the DIJ/CRAP button gives him access to the looper and the TC Electronics delay:
Above is Trey’s 2015 Phish Summer Tour rack, which is consistent with the one described at the top of this page.
The image above is the rack on 12-31-14. The rack is in the process of evolving here; you have, from top, the Furman Power Conditioner, the Korg DTR-2 Tuner, then a space split between the Alesis Microverb and the CAE Super Tremolo (the CAE Black Cat Vibe has been replaced by the Shin-Ei), then the Ibanez DM-2000.
Above is the rack at Dick’s in 2014. We see, from top, the Furman Power Conditioner, the Korg DTR-2 Tuner, the Alesis Microverb, Ibanez DM-2000, and a space split between the CAE Black Cat Vibe and the CAE Super Tremolo. Interestingly, the Shin-Ei Univibe is also clearly in the rig for this show, so Trey is likely deciding whether he prefers the Black Cat Vibe or the Shin-Ei during this tour. The Shin-Ei would ultimately replace the Black Cat completely in the fall.
The photo above was taken by ProAudioStar for this helpful rundown of gear during the 2010 Summer tour. Clearly, the rack has changed a bit. The D-Two is not yet in place. The Furman Power Conditioner, Korg DTR-2 tuner, and Ibanez DM-2000 are present. However this rack also contains the CAE Super Tremolo (a half-space rack unit beneath the DM-2000 in the right half of the rack), the CAE Black Cat Vibe (a half space unit to the left of the Super Tremolo; replaced by the Shin-Ei Univibe), an Alesis Microverb II (a 1/3 space rack unit below the Vibe and Super Trem, center) and 2 Alesis Nanoverbs (1/3 space rack units on either side of the Microverb). The Microverb has appeared consistently over a long period of time, though most recently it has appeared on top of the rack behind the Tubescreamers supporting the Supa-Puss, as noted here.
The photo below, from the rig rundown that Phish published in early 2013, shows the rack was unchanged from Summer Tour 2010.
In the mid-90s, Trey had 2 racks on stage; one housed the Dual 75 amplifier, preamp, and reverb and tremolo units, and the second housed distortion, compression, chorus, delay, and a sampler. For more on these racks, see here. They’re captured in the photos below: