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Clamping rack shelf - anyone racking their small Class D heads this way?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dave64o, Mar 18, 2023 at 11:53 AM.

  1. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Some background first. The TL/DR point is below...

    I had a weather-related mishap at a festival gig last summer where our tents got picked up by a strong wind gust and the legs knocked over my cabs and amp. Since then I've been thinking about what to do about better protecting my gear and considered racking my heads. One amp, my G-K MB-800, can take rack ears and I had trouble finding them but I finally did. It's now in a shallow rack that accomplished exactly what I was hoping for. However, my favorite amp, my Mesa D-800+, was not designed to take rack ears. I get Mesa's rationalee so I don't fault them, but I'd still like to find a solution that works for me.

    I've been looking at clamping shelves and that seems like the only solution, but I haven't seen one that seems like it would properly secure the amp for my use case. Yes, they all seem to clamp down securely top to bottom, which would work very well for gear that lives in a studio and never gets taken out. I've seen a few that also have small clips that would stop the amp from moving front to back, which is better still. However, I haven't seen any that would also secure it side to side. It seems like you'd need to somehow prevent movement along all three axes to properly secure an amp that gets carried to gigs.

    I've found a few posts here on TB that mentioned mentioned clamping shelves, but I haven't seen any with pictures that show an amp being secured well enough to prevent it from moving in any direction. I also haven't yet found pictures on a manufacturer web site that show that, either.

    So, to those who've successfully used a clamping rack shelf to do what I'm describing, I have a few questions:

    - Which shelves did you use? It seems like Middle Atlantic make the best or sturdiest (and they seem to be the most expensive) and I've also looked at Penn Elcon and SnapAV. But none of them seem to show that they secure gear along all three axes.

    - Have you found your solution to secure your gear well enough to protect it as the rack case gets moved/carried/bumped?

    - Is your clamping shelf shallow depth? Since I'm trying to find a solution for a D-800+, I'd prefer not to have a full depth rack but would consider it if that's my only choice.

  2. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    I use a perforated rack shelf and tie wraps to hold the gear down.
    Plastic tie wraps are very strong and several can be put on and put on with reasonable tension, they don't do any harm to the gear.
    Ulf Buck and secretsound5 like this.
  3. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Not quite what you're asking, but just to open up the options, I strap my GK MB200 head to my cab using a bungee made from an old bike innertube, cut to the required length and tied off. Since the footprint of the head is smaller than the top of the cab, it would take quite a freak "act of god" type of accident for anything to crash into my rig and damage the head. I also have a strap handle for the cab, made from a piece of nylon webbing, so I can carry the head and cab together like a combo.

    The beauty of the tiny heads is that it takes practically nothing to protect them, such as just tossing the head in my gear bag.
  4. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS

    (Except when I’m fighting the temptation to respond to another post about “me and wimpy Class D heads….:banghead: )
  5. biggredd

    biggredd Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2011
    You can also remove the rubber feet from the bottom of the amp and screw them back in from underneath the rack shelf. If the shelf is perforated you might just need washers. Or drill holes in the rack shelf if needed.
    20201213_121941.jpg 20201213_122031.jpg 20201213_122406.jpg 20201213_130016.jpg
    DaveDeVille, Marko 1, kobass and 9 others like this.
  6. Jackass76

    Jackass76 Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    I racked my D800+ with a 1U rack tray to the bottom of a 4U rack case. I used the “extreme” Velcro (think EZPass tags) on the top of the amp between the shelf and the amp and it’s held it in place for years now. I wanted to rack mine up so it and my wireless were in the same box and set up at gigs would be fast.

    I used an Odyssey 4U, 13.25-inch rail-to-rail rack; and a NavePoint universal 1U, 10-inch deep vented rack shelf. Both I got from Amazon at the time because I was ‘on a budget’. It has been solid since 2019 and played many gigs around NY and as far as Cincinnati.

    I added a small power strip in the back and a short IEC power cable to the amp and a small power supply to the Shure and it’s now one power cable at the venue and holds all cables in back and in total weighs 38-pounds (17.5 kgs). I will get better photos of the front and back of the rack and also of the installation later today (I don’t have them on my phone now).

    I play Hard Rock and Metal so volume and thump is very present (loud, haha) - and this set up never moves during a gig, and doesn’t break your back either.

    Here’s a couple photos of it from a shoot a few weeks ago, I’ll get install photos later…

    7D601754-4AF1-4DE8-877F-40639EF25697.jpeg 30030136-34B2-4A38-918B-2052BC2A4ACA.jpeg
    Marko 1, MaxSpinrun and mikewalker like this.
  7. DaveDeVille and biggredd like this.
  8. Jackass76

    Jackass76 Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    Sorry it took me a while to post these...I got called to a job site for a few days....anyway...

    Here are photos of the front and back of the way I racked my D800+. It's a little taller than 1.5U, so the rack tray bends slightly, but with the Velcro in there, the tray 'clamps' the head to the bottom. Note: keep the feet on the amp or it won't contact the bottom of the rack and may not stay in-place. The rack tray does offer an excellent location to affix the power strip to also.

    Front view: IMG_E2737.JPG Rear View: IMG_E2733.JPG

    Taking these photos reminded me that I have to clean up that birds nest back there...also, the LEDs looked cool at first, but the power supply and all became a hassle so I pulled it (and I actually forgot the strip was still there).
    (edit for sizing)
    DaveDeVille and Marko 1 like this.
  9. When I mount gear on a rack tray, I would remove the feet, carefully plot out the holes that the feet screws previously occupied on the tray, the drill and countersink the tray.

    Then, select some shorter flat head screws that will thread into the holes in the bottom of the amp. Selecting these screws is important because if they are too long, they may contact a PC board, or other devices inside the amp and destroy it. I would usually apply some blue strength loctite to prevent them from loosening up from transport.
    DaveDeVille, Marko 1 and Passinwind like this.