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Flightcase rack

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bart De Decker, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. Bart De Decker

    Bart De Decker

    Apr 9, 2020
    Hi there fellow bass players,
    So, I'd like to buy or make a flightcase for my amp and pre amp.
    I own a Ampeg SVT-450 and a GED 2112 sansamp preamp. I'd like to combine them in a rack for gigging and rehearsing. So I don't need to move them separately and store them safe.
    What would you guys recommend me to do?
    I prefer to buy something instead of making one.

    Kind regards
  2. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Buy a flight case. It used to be that there were only a few case manufacturers and "ATA-style" flight cases were fairly pricey. Also, mostly pretty well built. Now there are a ton of manufacturers who mass produce ATA-type cases and the prices are plenty cheap. Those cases are generally not as good, but they have a pro 'look' and serve well enough for regular weekend warrior duty. Personally, I'd just get a 4-space rack because that's all you need to carry what you have and that's an easily handled package. I recommend resisting the temptation to get a bigger rack in order to put in a drawer or other gee-gaws, but that is an option that some folks find works well for them. Gator is one brand that's readily available and is good enough, but there are a lot of these things on-line and the quality is all about the same, I think. Nothing like the true ATA cases that are generally still hand-fabricated in small case plants here in the US, but, as I say, good enough.

    Plastic cases like SKB ones--Gator makes 'em too--are also kinda serviceable, and have gotten a little better with the advent of rotational molding, but they are still not durable enough for my taste. If you're always handling your gear your own self, and you take reasonable care, they can work OK, but the parts get damaged or bent too easily to stand up to rugged everyday use, IME. In my world, we derisively refer to any case like that as "Tupperware".
  3. Bart De Decker

    Bart De Decker

    Apr 9, 2020
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    When you say flight case are talking a Gator/SKB style rack or a legit wooden flight case with reinforced edges and corners?

    I've been using SKB or Gator racks for the better part of my playing career. No issues with them. I've also had a few flight cases for amps, and while they offer a lot of protection they come at the expense of being very heavy and difficult to move around for the average, busy weekend warrior. Since I move all of my gear myself the added protection wasn't necessary because I'm not throwing my equipment around. Amps, basses, effects, etc. aren't nearly as fragile as everyone makes them out to be.

    If I was traveling the world and had roadies I might feel different about it.
    Bart De Decker likes this.
  5. Bart De Decker

    Bart De Decker

    Apr 9, 2020
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    A 4-space rack case with recessed hardware, ball corner protectors, metal edge protection, etc. is not a light weight item, and when loaded with gear and connectors, becomes a seriously massive thing.

    Mine is 4 RU (4 Rack Unit spaces) and with a 48 lb power amp, a couple of preamps, and a few cables, weighs 74 lbs! Not too hard to move, though a hand truck is nice, but when in a vehicle, it becomes a seriously dangerous missile in a fast stop, or heaven forfend, a collision.

    You are much better off with a soft rack case from gator, assuming the gear you are installing is not too heavy for the rack rails inside. All in my humble opinion (IMHO). :thumbsup:

    Are you considering checking your rack for a flight on the airlines, or is it just going to travel by automobile/van/truck?

    @Bart De Decker Welcome to Talkbass
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
  7. Bart De Decker

    Bart De Decker

    Apr 9, 2020
    Thanks for the info! And thank you for welcoming me. I've been reading a lot here on talkbass so I've decided to become a member too. Loads of interesting content!

    The main purpose would be for travelling in a van.
    The most important thing for me, is to have a solid,safe rack.
    I'd hate to move my gear separately.
    Plug in and play, that's what I'm after ;)
  8. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I would recommend one of these:

    Gator GRB-4U 4U Rack Bag

    Which continent are you on? If you fill out your profile a little more, TB can be more helpful.
  9. Bart De Decker

    Bart De Decker

    Apr 9, 2020
    Europe, Belgium to be precise.
    Jim Carr likes this.
  10. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    I would consider whether that's everything you need for a gig then. It's already got 46lbs of stuff in it, so an easy carry is a non-issue. Do you plan on using a rack tuner? Wireless? Line Mixer? Need a 1 or 2U drawer full of supplies? A proper road rack with 8-12U and wheels is not out of the question. Solid and safe might also mean that a shock-mount rack is in order. A 1U power distributor with volt reading on the front may be just a glorified power strip, but also simplifies a few things, and can warn you when house provided current is above or below tolerable ranges (rare, but data is better than no data).

    I'd plan the rack layout and go from there. Buying ANOTHER new rack after you've already bought one, just to add a few more spaces is an avoidable PITA. Better to have one too many spaces than one too few. Also, if you are using a single cab, in many cases you can find a rack that will support the cab on top which is a nice side benefit.

    (edited to revise weight information)
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
    Bart De Decker likes this.
  11. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Wow. Really? 8-12 RU? He has a 2 RU ampeg head and a 1 RU pre. Who uses rack tuners? Power conditioners are a hoax, IMHO.

    Shock mount? Gee, let's get one that's in a Faraday cage and has a lead radiation shield, too. And don't forget the biohazard suit, LOL???? Gas mask!

    Sorry, to be snarky, but why? Just why do all that? Am I missing the smiley? ;););) :roflmao::roflmao::roflmao: :whistle::whistle::whistle:
    DrMole likes this.
  12. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Yeah, probably too snarky, but I was thinking the same thing. Sheeze.
    Jim Carr and Bart De Decker like this.
  13. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    My general rule is the light stuff can go soft rack. The medium stuff can go plastic molded rack. Anything very heavy gets a flight case or wooden sides rack.
    Remember to check the screws every season. They can loosen over time.
    I did once have a shock mounted rack for a Manley compressor but it wasn’t easy enough to take out of my studio so I gave that up.
  14. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    The only Ampeg 450 I have seen is a head, not a rack unit. That means to me that OP needs to go with a live-in case. This was the first pic I found. It is for 6-8 up and OP needs 1-2, so it would not be so tall.

    Probably change his mind when he sees what they can go for.

  15. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Heavy amps in a soft rack is nothing but a false sense of security. Pretty much the same for most plastic racks.

    I see the results of racks that do not deliver the protection that players assume without thinking it through. Most of this damage is quite costly to repair as well.
    bbh and DigitalMan like this.
  16. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Because OP said he would be touring by van and wants his gear to be safe.

    A heavy-duty shockmounted rack case that's sturdy enough to support an amp head and won't get crushed when the roadies drop it off the back of the stage is not for the faint of heart, either weight-wise or money-wise. But it is also a thing of beauty. Form follows function.

    For touring musicians who don't have their own crew of roadies and aren't accustomed to bench-pressing their own body weight to get the head up on top of the SVT 8x10 cab, I usually recommend a two-part solution: The lightest, smallest, non-shockmounted roto-molded rack case you can find that holds all your gear...and then a heavy duty road case lined with very thick shock-proof foam that the roto-molded rack can fit snuggly into when you're travelling. Get wheels on the road case. Roll it up to the stage ...or the stage door ...open it up, pull out your small lightweight rig, carry it on stage, badda-boom, badda-bing.
  17. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    My reply was based on the criteria set forth. A safe, singular, plug and play solution. My advice was to think through anything else that he might also want.

    He didn't say he was riding to gigs on a Vespa and needed to sling it over his shoulder.

    Did I say he *should* use anything else? Did I extoll rack mount power strips as anything more than a convenience? Having a switch on the front of the rack and one power cord out the back is the definition of plug and play. A heavy-ish 4U rack and then a separate gig bag might be more of a hassle than just a wheeled 8U or larger rack that also serves as a cabinet stand. (not knowing what size cabinet is in play. Obviously not a fit for an 8x10)

    From a logistics point, does it really matter if the bass amp is 4U high versus the same height as a typical cabinet? There are still a lot of big boxes to move around for any rehearsing and touring band. It is possible to be myopic when looking at the bass head alone. Moving gear is about both efficiency and mass.

    Your opinion is equally valid, but you are addressing your own values and priorities, and not the ones stated by the OP. My main point is measure twice, cut once. And if in thinking it through there are some new priorities, then that's the benefit of thinking out loud and being iterative.
    Bart De Decker likes this.
  18. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    Yeah I thought the SVT 450 was a head unit in a case too. I understand the desire to add protection, but is the unit under 19"?

    If not (I'd suspect more like 22" if indeed it is a head unit in an enclosure) then anything less than a monster box will be big enough. On top of that there's still the 1 RU for the other piece. Suddenly seems OP is in either custom order, DIY, or empty rack spaces in a big ol' rolling case territory.
  19. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I agree with @DigitalMan 's post regarding thinking ahead. I started with a softshell rack similar to what @Jim Carr linked to and then found I wanted more slots. I think 8-12 might be a little crazy, because the weight does add up quickly - suddenly my 6lb amp is part of a 40 lb rack case. But just layout a plan for yourself as to what you think you might add to your chain that could be rack mounted so you don't have to keep trading up. I have a 6U SKB rack (nice middle ground between the softshell and the full out flight case and may be a solution for you). I'd never fly with it, but suitable for keeping my stuff connected and protected during transport.

    Besides my head, I have a power conditioner, tuner, IEM transmitter and at one point had my wireless bass receiver mounted there too. Moved that back to my pedal board so I could easily take just that to a backline situation and not need the whole rack. If I could find the right rack compressor, I'd like to mount that there to, but really haven't been able to locate what I want at the price point I'm willing to pay.

    I could go back the 4U soft side at this point, but probably won't because I like this case better. I may just happen to know where you can find a used soft sided 4U case if you want to go that route...
  20. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    DSCN4438.JPG DSCN4436.JPG There' no such thing as overkill in rock and roll, as my ol' mammy used to say. :D I got rid of this bad boy on Craigslist just as my town was going into social distancing. I got $125 and could not have been happier. But seriously, the OP is transporting his 3 rack-spaces worth of stuff in a van his own self...a gig bag might be a bit too little, but what you guys are talking about is overkill IMHO. I stand by my original recommendation of a mid-range, "ATA-style" flight case, from Gator, or whomever.

    Attached Files:

    DrMole, agedhorse and Jim Carr like this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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