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Heat vent on top of rackmounted bass heads and space for ventilation:

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by O.j. Malm, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. O.j. Malm

    O.j. Malm

    Jul 1, 2014
    I'd like to get a Mesa M6 head, but it has a heat vent on top of the head. The M6 manual states that there should be 2 free rack spaces over the heat vent, I contacted Mesa Boogie on Facebook and they told me the same thing.
    Does anyone know if just 1 free rack space is enough for a rackmount head with a heat vent on top?
  2. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    It would probably be ok, but I'm just a random, anonymous dude on the Internet that doesn't even own an M6. You should probably go with the manufacturer's recommendation. ;-)
  3. I agree with the above post. A ventilated rack plate would probably be fine but if the manufacturer recommends two spaces.......
  4. Hi.

    Welcome to TalkBass O.j.Malm.

    And here's another random anonymous dude who doesn't own a M6 either, but I assume that the two RU's are when the amp is on the bottom and there's something else above it in the rack, and 1RU could be fine if there isn't.
    1RU rack fans aren't that expensive, put one there to be on the safe side if You have to have just 1RU above the head.
    Otherwise, do what the manufacturer recommends.

  5. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Gear designed to rack mount has pretty much gone front to back cooling. Even SVTs do. The Mesa will work with 0U clearnce over the top, just not for as long as if it were properly vented. So going 1U is the same tradeoff, just not as bad. Your choice. Venting the rack case and mounting at the top (where the hot stuff should go anyway so it doesn't cook everything else in the rack) will work too, since there's close to 1U above the upper position in a decent case.
  6. will33


    May 22, 2006
    1 rackspace has proven to be enough with other top vent amps (mainly GK's in personal experience), but if they say 2, it might void a warranty if they know you're running with less and have a problem.

    If it really does need that much clearance, I'd rather have it in a headcase/sleeve with a hole on top for the vent instead of a regular rack, carrying around a rack twice as big as the amp is just for a vent.

    If you have other rack gear in addition to the amp it could still work fine in a rack if the vent is rearward enough to have shallow depth rack gear sitting above it, like a tuner, rackmount powerstrip, compressor, or other that would sit in front of the vent. If it's exhaust you don't want it blowing heat into the gear above it. If it's intake, you don't want it blocked by gear above it.
  7. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I don't think that Mesas own head case for the Carbines has a full 2U worth of space above the amp.
  8. O.j. Malm

    O.j. Malm

    Jul 1, 2014
    I'll probably have some small wireless box above the head that's shallower, so 1 free rack space may be enough.
  9. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    go with two
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006

    I'd just get a 4-space then. They aren't too big and seem to be more common than 3. Gives the amp the room it says and leaves you room for another toy down the road if you want.
  11. O.j. Malm

    O.j. Malm

    Jul 1, 2014
    As there seems to be almost impossible to find a wireless system these days that have the antennas in front, those 2 extra rack spaces may make it easier to adjust the antennas. It's actually easy to get a 7-space rack (2 for the M6, 2 of extra space, 1 for the wireless and 2 for a drawer for strings and cables.
  12. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Line 6 relay G90 has antennas in the front. Love mine.
  13. I cannot agree with the drawer idea above. It seemed like a good idea so I bought a pair of 2U drawers. Each unit weighs more than my lead sled power amplifier. Both came out faster than they went in! Currently they are stored in my garage.
    T-Bird likes this.
  14. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Mesa recommends a U2 space above the amp to ensure enough ventilation. A U1 space with a vent on the top of the rack case opens a pretty big window to allow the air to circulate. This can be better than a 2U space. Of course, it depends on how big the ventilation port is on the top of the rack. If it is smaller and not positioned over the hottest area this will be a problem. I would want a rack that has a vent that occupies a large area on the top. A small ultra quiet fan blowing air into the back of the rack will make a difference.

    If you have access to an infrared temperature gun (they sell inexpensive ones at hardware stores and automotive shops, here is another from home depot Home Depot IR temperature ) you can use it to measure the temperature of the top of the chassis with the amp out of the case and compare it to the temperature of the amp in the case. This will tell you how effective your cooling and air circulation is.
  15. popgadget

    popgadget Commercial User

    Sep 4, 2005
    Eastern, PA USA
    Authorized Greenboy Designs Builder, Scabbey Road
    Cut a cooling grill into the top of your rack case, mount the amp at the top and you need 0 spaces as long as the grill in the case is aligned with and equal to or greater than the grill on top of the amp.

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