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Rack cases: Room to breathe?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Adam Bomb, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Adam Bomb

    Adam Bomb

    Mar 26, 2008
    Bezerkely, CA

    I'm about to play two gigs in a single day, about 3 hours each. My primary amp, the one I'll be using, is an SWR WorkingPro 700. I never run it past halfway up but it still gets a little warm. I think that's normal for that amp.

    Right now I've got her by herself at the bottom of a 4-space Gator case:


    I figured it was good to let her have some room above for the heat to dissapate. But as I plan for a day of setting up, breaking down, moving etc. I have been thinking about moving my amp to a 2-space Kaces rack bag:


    This would help I think because the Kaces case is lighter, less bulky, has friendlier handles, and even has storage space for cables etc. But I do wonder whether a 2-space is too snug for an amp that gets a little warm.

    I have never had any *problems* with overheating. I just worry.

    Also, because I worry, I have a small fan that I will run on the back of the amp, whichever case I choose.

    Should I remove the soft bag part of the Kaces case when I actually play?

    The 2-space or the 4-space? Anyone have an opinion one way or the other?


    --Bomb :bassist:

    Mods: I chose the Amps forum over the Accessories forum b/c my question isn't which case to buy; it's which case is best for my amp. But feel free to move.
  2. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    The soft cover of the case will provide additional insulation that will hold heat in.

    But the wood case itself is a good enough insulator all by itself, so the cover is insignificant.

    If the amp has cooling slots in the top or bottom, you should allow space above and below. What does the manual say?
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Personally, I would leave it in the 4-space. Not just for cooling, but the increased durability of the hardshell case.

    The other thing to consider, I suppose, is the expected ambient temperature. If those gig are going to be outside in 50-degree weather (unpleasant, yet not unheard of this time of year in parts of the U.S.), cooling is probably not a major concern regardless. If you are going to be indoors, or outdoors at 75 degrees plus (which I would expect is more like Berkeley weather), it becomes a lot bigger deal.
  4. DanRJBrasil


    Jun 10, 2007
    for that amount of road you should a get a shockmount case ;) .
    about the heating you only need to worry about much clearence in the case if your head has side vents, if you have back vents you should be fine.
  5. Stromrider


    Feb 16, 2008
    CT, USA
    If the amp has forced air cooling, built in fan, then it won't matter as long as the intake/exhaust vents are open to outside air. If the amp uses convection cooling with a standard finned heat sink on the back or inside the case you need to make sure the amp has space above and below it so the air can circulate.
  6. Adam Bomb

    Adam Bomb

    Mar 26, 2008
    Bezerkely, CA
    Thank you all for the feedback!

    The manual does not say much. Only that the amp takes 2 spaces, and that it should be mounted as close to the bottom of the rack as possible, to keep the chassis from flexing.

    Yes, here in the Bay Area we are pushing 70 degrees.

    There are no vents on the top or bottom, or even on the back. Only the sides. In my 2-space rack bag, the side vents have about 1-1/2" of space. I see no heat sink. Always assumed that there was a fan, but I can't back that up.

    --Bomb :bassist:
  7. DanRJBrasil


    Jun 10, 2007
    if only have vents on the sides a skb gator type will ruin your head, get a regular wood like anvil etc type of case, in the skb type the handles obstruct the sides and will fry your amp
  8. Resko One

    Resko One

    Mar 12, 2009
    Ran into the same problem with my SWR 350. Intake is on the left side and forces the hot air out the back via a cooling fan. After running my amp at 3-4 hour gigs in a 2 rack SKB case I burnt the tips of my fingers when I touched the amp. (And that sucker kept going too. Kudos to SWR!) Well the next time out I took it out of the case and just let it sit on my cab and after 3 hours it was only warm to the touch. So, I made quick connecters to bolt in my amp. I use the case when i'm transporting but when I setup and gig I take it out.
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Get a clip fan, run it into the back of your Gator case to help the air circulation. You'll be fine. I used to do this with a racked Mesa 400+ for extra ventilation. It will cost you under 10 bucks and you should be able to find one at your local big box store (Target, etc.).
  10. I have my Mackie 1400s in four space SKB cases. They intake air from the front and blow it out both sides. With a vent panel above the amp I have never had any cooling problems even running at 2Ω per channel.


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