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My new rack...(SKB US Roto 12U)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by amper, Mar 9, 2004.


  1. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    Just picked up a new rack today. It's the new SKB US Roto series 12-space unit, the new kind with the two real lids. In the picture, it's sitting on top of an older 6U Roto (the old kind with a thin panel for a rear cover).

    [​IMG]

    Sorry about the flash, it's a little dark in my basement...

    I had my stuff in three separate racks (SKB Roll-X's, which you can see stacked up on the left edge of the picture), but although it was easier to move each individual piece, on the whole it was a pain--plus the Roll-X's don't sit flat on top of my cabs.

    Everything is racked from bottom to top in order of increasing heat generation, all separated by Raxxess vent panels. Surprisingly, it's not too top heavy.

    At ~$150, the US Roto 12U is about $90 cheaper than the standard SKB 12U racks and doesn't require those silly captive/sprung nuts.

    It's reasonably well made, comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty, and doesn't have all that shiny aluminum surrounding your gear (the black looks much better to me). The only problem that I had was that the rails seemed to bow inward in the middle, so fitting things into the rack was a little difficult--this also means that the rack screws are at the extreme inside of each slot in the gear. Possibly this makes the all-plastic rack shell a bit more rigid?

    Anyway, I'm thinking of adding another preamp just for the hell of it...possibly a SansAmp RBI or the new Ampeg SVP-CL. What do youz guys think?

    My normal setup is the 'Stella, XLR out into the JoeMeek VC1Qcs for compression, XLR out into the Power 750. When I feel like using the V-Type pre, I just go straight into the Power 750 with a unbalanced connection. I'm thinking of having a Jensen transformer added to the V-Type so I can keep in all nice and balanced. Then sometimes, I'll just use the JoeMeek as my preamp.

    Decisions, decisions...
     
  2. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    *butt-head voice on* huh, huh, huh, you said rack... huh, huh, huh*butt-head voice off*
     
  3. Nice rack ;).

    I prefer Gators myself, and my 4U with Hartke 5000, Behringer Ultrafex and Samson power conditioner is heavy enough!
     
  4. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    :eek: You are motivated my friend! Im trying to trim down the weight of my four space rack and its bigger than I care for! :D Nice Joe Meek. My friend has a preamp/compressor in his studio and we used it to record most of our cd. They are really nice units.
     
  5. arcellus

    arcellus

    Feb 28, 2004
    Portland, OR
    not familiar with some of that gear but shouldn't the heaviest stuff (the swr power amp) be on the bottom?
     
  6. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    Actually, it's not as heavy as it looks--and I really only use a 12U to get some good venting in there. The SWR Power 750 can throw off a good deal of heat when it's crankin', and the 'Stella has two EL84's in it that also get nice and hot. The V-Type pre doesn't have any venting in the case (which sort of worries me), but 12AX7's don't really get all that hot, anyway. The JoeMeek, of course, hardly throws off any heat, at all.

    The rack itself is all plastic except for the rails and latches, so it's *very* light (though bulky). It just barely fits into the back seat of my Passat. I'll weigh the thing when I get home, but I can pick the whole thing up without too much trouble, so it's probably in the range of 80 lbs. or so. The whole shebang is rather front-end heavy, though--I have to use only the front half of the handles to pick it up!

    Next thing to do is build a caster board for it. I'm not sure that SKB's board fits the new US Roto's, and in any case it's way too much money at $70. A piece of 3/4" ACX, some black paint, four 4" casters, and a couple of bars of wood to lock into the bottom of the rack, and I'll be done with it.
     
  7. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    hmmm... Are you going to install that yourself? Is it going to take the place of the front mounted DI or one of the 1.4 inch outputs in the back?

    I'm curious, c ause I have a V-type too.


    Here is a pic of my 6U roto with wheels:

    [​IMG]

    **The BBE crapped out on me, so that and the shelf that is under it is going to be taken out soon.**
     
  8. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    In an ideal world, the heavy stuff *would* be on the bottom, but I like doing it this way because heat rises, and electronics don't generally like heat. The rack is actually quite stable this way (though I did worry about that). So I rack from bottom to top in order of increasing heat, and always make sure to provide venting above and below any particularly hot units (like power amps, or anything with tubes).

    The Power 750 only weighs about 32 lbs--but can deliver 850 W into 2.7 ohms (though SWR told me that you're better off not asking the amp to drive 2.7 ohms--it's more efficient at 4 ohms/750 W).
     
  9. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    I want to replace the unbalanced 1/4" line out on the back with a Jensen transformer-isolated, balanced XLR output. The front mounted DI is always useful for the sound guy. I won't let them use a DI box on my rig because the 'Stella, the V-Type pre, and the JoeMeek all have balanced outputs that are post-eq (or *can* be post-eq, in the case of the V-Type).

    I'd rather that they get the sound of my amp rather than just the sound of my bass. My amps are as much instruments to me as my basses.

    And no, I'm definitely not going to do the mod myself. I'm not mucking about with a good piece of gear with my feeble soldering skills!
     
  10. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Very true! I feel the same way.

    Are you ordering the Jensen Transformer and submitting it to your local electronics guru to be installed? Or is it something that is common enough to just ask an electronic repair house to simply 'install' one (they'll pick it up)?

    If you are ordering it, where from?

    j
     
  11. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    Whoa...now you're getting ahead of me. I haven't actually decided to go ahead and do it. Jensen's are pretty easy to come by, and the installation should be straightforward (disconnect the leads from the output jack, punch a hole in the case for the new XLR, connect transformer system to the output leads and new jack).

    I'd do it myself, but I'd rather someone with better soldering skills does it.
     
  12. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Sorry man, sometimes I get :hyper: excited.

    Is there a way to have both the unbalanced and the new XLR jack in the back?
     
  13. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    That shouldn't be a problem. I think you can parallel the outputs, or at the very least, switch them.
     
  14. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!

    hmmm... Mod G.A.S.!?!