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Rack advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by H3R3T1K, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Right now I've got my amp and pedals on top of my cab where the stuff gets dusty. I'm not gigging right now. I've got a small Kustom KXB500 class D amp that can be rack mounted. I'd like to purchase a rack tuner (Behringer BTR2000) and compressor (Alesis 3632) in the future. Right now I use pedals for that. The only pedal I will keep in the rig is gonna be my OD. So I just go and get a 3HE rack right? Does there need to be space in between the units?
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Class D amps don't get all that hot as long as they have an inch of space for any side vents and the back of the rack is open. With a rackmount kit, that amp would be no problem in a tight rack. Looks like it will take up 2 rack spaces when you do that, though, so check into a 4 space rack. Put it on bottom and make sure you support it from the bottom, since the chassis can flex and cause shorts (had that happen to me once with an SWR amp I used to have).
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. OK. What do you do with pedals when the rest of your gear is rack mounted? The Pros rigs often have kind of a drawer covered with velcro on which they sit.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't know...I went from rack to pedals and a non-racked amp.


    Not much else you can do but power your pedals with a power supply (or batteries if you're crazy and like to buy batteries all the time), then run to whatever power strip you use for the rack.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A power strip is just fine. Rack power supplies are nothing more than power strips in rack form. A little more convenient, but serves the same exact function. If you absolutely have to have one, get the cheapest one and forego paying an extra hundred or two for lights. Actually, that one looks pretty decent, and I assume that's an OK price for the European community.
  7. I really am interested what made you go back to non-rack amp and stompboxes? Maybe I can learn a thing or two.

    Think I'm gonna get one with 5 spaces in case I want a rack power supply, need some space for ventilation or use a power conditioner. Regarding the last one, is it a necessity?
  8. Jimmy went back to his roots with an SVT. You should get an SVT too, or get a micro, or a vintage Mesa, or, or....

    So many amps. You can only play one at a time.
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Given the component size, I'd go with something like a Gator GR-6S or GR-4S. Both are shallow units. That being said, I only house my preamps and power amps; the balance is in pedal form including tuner, comp, OD, & DI. Then again, I have two rack boxes and use the same pedalboard on both.

    I would look for something a little better than the Alesis 3632. The reviews (check bongonmania's website) are far less than spectacular.

  10. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    In addition to losing the 3632 I'd lose the rack mounted tuner too... if you are going to have an efx drawer, you can fit a pedal tuner there. I gig with various sized racks with different kit for various situations and gigs - 8U, 4U, 3U, and 2 U, and I have a tuner on a pedal board, if I don't take the pedalboard, I take a small Korg tuner and feed it a Bass guitar signal as you would a rack mount tuner, but I velcro it to the rack. It works fine.

    IMHO If you need to watch dancing lights on a rack tuner you are being distracted from making music.
  11. I disagree with Jimmy's assessment that power strips are adequate. If you plan to gig, you'll likely end up in venues with potentially hazardous AC wiring. Using a power strip under these conditions is a bit like a roll in the hay with a prostitute sans groin cloth. You might emerge unscathed. Or you could contract a nasty VD.

    Rack power conditioners will offer you noise filtration and, more importantly, will power down if they detect voltage irregularities or bogus wiring. Cheap power strips will not do that. It's far better for the power conditioner to take the brunt of renegade electrical currents and substandard wiring than have the rest of your equipment get fried. It's cost effective insurance against the unknown.

    Plus, a lot of them have pull out lights, which are incredibly helpful on dimly lit stages when you need to tweak controls on your gear.
  12. Actually I'd be happy to keep my compressor (Boss LMB-3 nothing spectacular) and tunter pedal (also a standard Korg Pitchblack) because there's no real reason to replace them. I was actually gonna get a small pedalboard some time. But a drawer ist tempting because I only use always-on effects. It's not available for Gator racks though and the one I can find is heavy as hell.

    So right now it looks like I'm only gonna put my amp in it and possibly the efx drawer. I'm not gonna upgrade ampwise in the near future (pre- and poweramp separate). I've got the Kustom (2U) and also a Warwick (2u, already rack format, not class D). So should I get a 2U or a 3U to leave some ventilation room at the top?

    Or should I plan in the room for power supply and conditioner and get 4U or 5U (depending on ventilation space for the amp)?
  13. I had one for years and never got used to the disco light party behind me. Years ago, it was nary impossible to get a good tuner in a small package, thus the need for a rack mount piece. These days that's no longer the case. I picked up a T.C. Electronic PolyTune pedal and couldn't be happier. Much better than the Boss TU series.
  14. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    I have a dollar store LED book light that I clip to the top of the rack. I plug it into the Geist power conditioner I salvaged from a gubmint satellite rack.

    If you are planning on upgrading your rig soon, no point in buying something. You should get the rack after you get the equipment, and be sure to give yourself a couple of extra spaces for expansion. I have 5U of gear, soon to be 6, in an 8U rack. I also like to leave a small gap between components for breathing. May not be necessary, but why tempt fate? There's really no need for a rack just to house an amp, unless you are touring or gigging heavily.
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Actually, you are thinking of the older 3630. Check the review of the 3632 on my website. ;) :D

    To the OP, you may find some of this useful:
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Many, perhaps even MOST, rack "power conditioners" don't actually have the advantages you are ascribing to them. Most are just a power strip in a rackable box, maybe with a resistor on each outlet to reduce certain types of noise. Their surge protection is usually the same exact type of MOV component found in a typical power strip (that has surge protection).

    Granted, SOME power conditioners have more of those MOVs, or better quality MOVs; and some have more or better noise filtration; but it is a big mistake to suggest that the whole class of "rack power conditioners" is like the better examples from that class.
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Ah, crap...I was off by "2"! All I could remember was the "dirty-six" reference. I stand corrected!

  18. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Eastern Wisconsin
    Do you even know what electricity is?
  19. Hell I'm confused. I don't know if I should buy a mount only for the stuff I got (amp) and leave my efx (all 3 of them :D) on my cab next to the amp or buy a big one for all the new rack-stuff I'm gonna get... Probably take Bongomania's advice and not buy one at all LOL! Because if I get one just to put my class D amp in it it makes the whole reason why I got one kind of a moot point :D

    Regarding power though: Am I good gigging with a power strip or do I need to buy something to be sure my amp isn't gonna be harmed (doesn't concern rack).
  20. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    You are in Germany - Propably the country with the most exentric electricians and laws about electricity and electric installations in the world (hi there VDI guys).

    You will be fine with a good power strip - make sure it is EARTH grounded and 99,8% of all venues in Germany will be fine for you.

    Power Conditioners are mostly not worth the name - I stepped into that myth, too - got that thomann equivalent of a power conditioner. I had to open it once because it blew our FI. It's just a power strip with two attached lights and a LED chain to meassure the voltage (which, in contrast to my expectations, was quite accurate).
    Of course, there are good power conditioners. But from my studies about burst/surge/emc at the University I can tell you that any protection of that kind is not to find in a 100$ device