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Rack-mounting a D-180...surprisingly hard?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by morgan138, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. morgan138


    Dec 10, 2007
    So I'm the new proud owner of a Mesa D-180 head (thanks Kurt!) and figured I might as well drop it into the 4-space SKB rack I've got lying around. But it looks like Mesa...uses some kind of non-standard rack hole spacing? The holes on the head line up exactly between the ones on the rack, and there's not even close to enough wiggle room to get them in line.

    This seems really weird (this is an SKB case, not a weirdo off-brand or homemade one)...am I overlooking something obvious?
  2. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I had a 400 and a 400+ and they both lined up just fine. Seeing as you have an SKB, you could just drill holes where you need them and clip the nuts on pretty easily.
  3. When I had my old D-180 it was in a SKB R6W, 6u, no problems, took up four spaces. Enjoy the tone! :bassist: :bassist:

    BC ;)
  4. jkav


    Dec 19, 2010
    Edmonton, AB
    I bought my D-180 used; it came mounted in a Grundorf case. Dimensionally, the case fits perfectly, and it provides great protection. Sadly, the Mesa mounting slots didn't match the spacing of the case's brackets, so whoever put the head in the case drilled additional holes in the aluminum front panel. :eyebrow:

    The setup works just fine, and so I've not investigated whether the hole spacing problem lies with the amp or with the case. But you're not the first to have this problem. And please don't drill holes in the amp.
  5. Hi.

    Yep, the obvious being that it's a SKB.

    It'd line up perfectly on a rack strip with the standard raster.

  6. SKB cases are a standard 19" rack mount case... I've got one with a 2 rack space amp and 2 blank panels (bought from a local electronics outlet) mounted in it. No drilling required.
  7. morgan138


    Dec 10, 2007
    Aha, does SKB use a non-standard spacing then? It worked fine when I had a mix of 1U and 2U stuff in there, but maybe I need to look at other manufacturers' cases?

    I thought of drilling out the case (would never touch the amp obviously!) but the holes would have to be right between two pre-existing ones and I don't think it'd be strong enough to hold this monster.
  8. Hi.

    In a narrow sense (the width), You're correct, but the "real" rack strips also allow 1/2 RU spacing. Pretty common in rack equipment when looking outside the MI/PA field. Most of the MI/PA equipment I've ran across have followed the "standard" 1RU hole pattern though, with the rare exceptions in equipment that requires ventilation space around the chassis.

    Here's the one I use in my builds. As You can see, the punching is done in a way to allow all sorts of combinations. It also leaves ample space on the sides for ventilation or cabling.


    AFAIK the SKB has only done the spacing in 1RU increments for some strange reason, that certainly was true with the only SKB case I've ever known back in the day. But my experience is limited, I haven't touched SKB stuff since.
    While the 1RU increments are considered a "standard" in 19" MI/PA equipment, it isn't so outside this minor field of 19" application.

  9. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Are there any rubber feet attached to the bottom of your amp? If so, removing them might solve the problem.
  10. pgk


    Aug 19, 2007
    the m180's/m190's have weird spacing yes. a friend has an m190 power amp and has the same issues. he has a 5 space rack and can't shoehorn his two one space pres into it because of the m190's hole spacing
  11. Good call! I totally forgot that this could be the problem. I'd also suggest checking this.
  12. hangman

    hangman Supporting Member

    I own the M-190 PGK mentions above. Morgan you're not missing anything.
    The vertical hole spacing on the amp doesn't follow the industry standards (EIA-310?) . Mine currently sits in a 6 space rack, with a 1RU Ampeg preamp, and I have no room for a 1RU Furman tuner.
  13. morgan138


    Dec 10, 2007
    Okay, sounds like this explains it then. I did have the feet off. Oh, Mesa.

    Thanks, everyone!

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