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Is an 8 space rack too much??

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mario Lewis, Jan 26, 2003.


  1. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    I'm on my way to acquiring all of the "dream components" of my rig. They are:

    Furman PL Tuner
    X wire
    Alembic F1X
    Alembic SF 2
    QSC PLX 3402

    These 5 componenets will take up 7 spaces, and I have yet to find a 7 space rack. So I may opt to go with a Furman PL Plus Power strip with a Sabine rack tuner so that I don't have a blank panel.

    But this will be a full 8 space rack!! On top of either my Epi 212 or two epi 112's or (God forbid) the two 112's on top of the 212!!

    Is this too much?? The only thing that makes me sorta want to trim it down is the fact that it might be kinda heavy. But the QSC and two Alembics are pretty heavy already in a 4 space rack bag!! So I figure adding the other components will most significantly add to the bulk more than the weight.

    Another option is to forgo the SF2, but it adds such a sweet extra touch to the already fat F1X that I really want it in my signal chain. Without it, the PL Tuner, F1X, X-Wire and PLX will all fit nicely into a 6 space. And at high volumes, the added benefit of the SF2 would probably be negligible. I'll just miss it a lot. And I hate to have having gear around that I'm not using, so I might as well sell it. (NEVER!!)

    Any of you guys out there got an 8 space rack? I always said that a 6 was a big as I ever wanted. I have a 6 space rack that the Alembics, the X Wire and the PLX could go into, but then I'd plug everything into a power strip that will be velcro'ed to the top of the plx in the rear of the rack. And tuning will be via a velcro'ed Korg CA-20 onto the front of the X wire. Kinda don't want that.

    I'll probably try it all wihtout the SF2 for a while to see just how bad I'll miss it.

    Any ideas?

    P.S. All this, and NO PLACE TO PLAY with NO REGULAR GIG, and NO BAND. I'm a sad case!!
     
  2. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    Blank panels aren't necessarily a bad thing. Leave some space around either your pre or power amp to allow heat to dissipate more easily.
     
  3. Some rack cases have mounting rails on the back. If you put a power conditioner in the back or something else back there you might be able to go to a six space case. Just be sure you leave room in the rack for the amp fan to get plenty of air.
     
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Eight sounds just right. Put a slotted panel above your power amp to give it some breathing room.
     
  5. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    I was thinking that I might try to find a one space FX uit. The only effect I really like is a chorus. They mostly come as pedals, and I'm not really a pedal kinda guy. What kind of 1 space FX units are there? Can't say that I know too much about them. Is the a rack mount Chorus unit?
     
  6. I am using an 8 space ATA flight rack. I have an SVT-2PRO and a 4 space drawer loaded with stuff. I can't hardley lift it into the van and two of us can't lift it above our chests much less an 810. (It weighs about 140lbs.)

    I would go with two racks if possible or spend 40 bucks on those good blue casters like I did and you can ride it through the clubs up a ramp and onto the stage!!
     
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Then you don't need a rack at all!

    Personally I go with a gear attitude that is consistent with more "Audiophile" thinking. Basically the idea is that "less is more". The less gear you have the better things will sound. Shorten the signal path as much as you can. My "big" rig is a 1966 blackface Fender Bassman amp (grounded, biased) plugged directly into my Eden D210T Cabinet. Two wires and tubes. Hmmmm.... No compression, I do that with my fingers (well, I've been working on it for about 5 years or so, and I'm getting better...;))

    Though I understand the practical needs of a working pro, personally I can't stand racks of gear. So yeah, an 8 space rack is too much. A 2 space rack is too much for me. :)
     
  8. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    Philbiker,

    Trust me, I've been there. But I offer to the discussion that while I'm more of a giging enthusiast that rarely gets paid and still LOVES it as opposed to a studio pro, no combo head out there that I've found has both the tone or the power for my preferences and playing situations. The rack essentials (F1x & QSC) is at least three spaces (preferably 4 with the SF2) and the extra's make live gigging on crowded stages much easier. I can see the tuner from afar and with the wireless, I'm free to go change my oil two blocks away if I want and still be in the groove with crystal clear clarity. And finally the power strip for one convienent place to plug it all in and turn it all on and off. I show up, plug in the power, plug in the speaker, tune on and go. I really like that.

    So while I can understand your simplistic approach, I just wouldn't be able to do it that way.

    I think I've found a compromise, and that is I'll go with a 6 space, and forgo the SF2. That'll leave me with the Furman PL Tuner (1 sp) the X Wire (2 sp) the F1X (1 Sp) and the QSC (2sp). Another configuration might be removing the tuner/power strip and inserting the SF2 if my tone isn't what I want and using a velcro'ed power strip on in the rear of the rack on top of the power amp (if it doesn't get too hot to melt the glue) or in the roof of the rack (but then the power warts will be subject to gravity and in mid gig, fall out..... Hey, where's my signal go??) I think the SF2 will be the sacrificial lamb in the big picture though. 6 spaces will suffice.

    Now all I need is one of those guitar holder thingy's that attach at the rack screws and fold in when not in use, and I'll be SET!!!
     
  9. I think the 2 four-space racks is a great idea...
     
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    So, if you're gonna sell that SF-2 I might be interested.... ;)

    Seriously, though: if you really want to use all that stuff, just get the 8 space and leave vent room: as mentioned above it's a very good idea, and you can get an attractive screen panel if you find the open space to be unattractive! However it can sometimes be useful to have space for cables to come in and out thru the front rather than the rear of the rack.

    My six space is one short as well, because I often change my mind on which 2 out of 3 of the following units to use: Aphex 204, Alembic F2B, TC 1140 parametric (my other components are Furman PL+, Rane DC-24, and Stewart 2.1).
     
  11. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    Didn't know they made them, but it looks like they do. Perfect solution. The open space thing isn't a bad idea either, so I may consider that as well. Thanks for all of the input!!
     
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Yeah, I understand that different situations demand different solutions. I could never do hard day in day out gigging or even weekend rock gigging with my current rig. It's good for quieter stuff, but that's it.

    Even in my rock gigging days I avoided racks though, I was a disciple of the combo amp. The Eden Nemesis 210 put a smile on my face back in the day. Between the Nemesis 210 pointed at the drummer and my D210 (which sounded considerably better) pointed at me/the crowd, it was sufficient. However, I understand the needs of others.
     
  13. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    You have e-mail.
     
  14. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    My 2 cents. I'm 43 and have to haul my rig sometimes blocks to get to the gig. It can be difficult to find parking in New Orleans. I'm finding the older I get, the more I have to make choices about how I set up my rig. I'm racking in order of importance. Say the QSC and Demeter(1 space) in a four space, and the rest in another. That way the smaller gigs you could get away with just the basics, and when you want to pull out the big guns its worth hauling the other rack (in my case Power strip, Parametric EQ, and RNC compressor). I hate to admit it, but the weight of my lighter QSC/Demeter will most often get the call. On a standard $50 night, a big rig is too much. I have practice amps and combos, but at some point I decided I needed "the rig" for everthing and sold the other stuff to pay for it. So now I have a 4 piece rig (two 2x10s and two 4-SPACE RACKS) that covers everything and sounds consistantly good. Another consideration is the load into my car. I'm driving a Toyoto and the 2 smaller racks is easier to load. My legs like the load better than my upper body. I would rather make two easy light loads than one heavy one that can be taxing. Ever hauled a 2x10 4 blocks without a hand truck? Or struggled with three pieces of gear at once, bass, amp,speaker. Late at night when your tired and weaker is when your more likely to hurt yourself. Also consider rehearsels. If you have to haul your rig back and forth to rehearsels it can be a drag if your rig is bulky. Its all good now. Hope this helps.
     
  15. Or you could go with the 6 space and just sit your wireless unit on top of the rack, I've seen this at many gigs.
     
  16. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    In my bass travels, I've struggled with the large heavy racks. Spent 9 months paralyzed due to an illness and slowly came back to the upright standing position over a three month time period and recycling Physical Therapists. Becuase if that, I trimmed down my rig considerably. The lonliest time for me as a bass player is before and after the gig during set up and breakdown. Every one's got their own gear to haul, and I'm usually doing it alone. Hence the 4 space rack with the F1X and SF2 and Power amp. I'm willing to go to a 6 space, but probably no larger. I justify my choice of options with the X wire and integrated Power Strip/Tuner being essentials and the SF2 not being essential (just desireable). So I'll go with the 6 space. Combining that with speaker cabs, mine are two Epifani 112's. I take 1 for rehearsals, and both for most gigs. I can get both speakers and the 6 space on a collapsable luggage handtruck and sling the bass in its gigbag on my shoulder, and make the entire transit in one trip. But I don't see that being the case with the 8 space.

    You all have been great. Please keep the feedback coming.
     
  17. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Hauled an SVT with 8x10 for 20 years. I feel ya right back!

    I'm a LMT (muscle therapist) in my day gig, specializing in overuse injuries.

    Admittly I have an 8 space SKB on skates and retractable handle that is good. But it has more of a tendency to slide around when I place it on top of my Acme Low-bs and can be precarious.