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Rack Question¿¿

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tucker, Dec 30, 2001.

  1. tucker

    tucker Guest

    Jan 21, 2001
    North Carolina
    This may sound dumb but I'm gonna ask anyways. Well I'm thinking of getting a rack and racking some gear, such a head and a a tuner and maybe an efects processor (if i feel the urge to). I also want to get a rack because i htink it looks really cool and also protects your stuff. Well anyways, I'v been looking around at some stores and magazines. I still haven' found what I'm looking for(<-U2 fans), but anyways can some of you suggest what kind of rack would you rack users out there suggest. And should I buy it new or used. I dont care if its used. but also I'm looking for something inexpensive, and about 4U or 6U, preferably 4U, I dont think I need the open space, or do I. What would you suggest I do as of following through with this idea.
  2. hammong


    Apr 11, 2001
    Sparks, Maryland
    If you move your gear around, a rack can save you lots of time and money by keeping all of your electronics organized and protected from damage. Personally, I don't like carrying more than I have to - and I would recommend a rack that holds the bare essentials. Generally:

    2U for amp
    1U for tuner
    1 or 2U for effects processor(s)
    1U for rack-mount surge surpressor/power strip

    That leaves 1U of expansion space if you use a 1U effects procssor, or a full 6U rack if you have a 2U processor or two 1U processors.

    To complicate matters, there are DEEP racks and SHALLOW racks. The deep ones are necessary for some high-power amps, but almost everything fits in a shallow rack these days. Make sure whatever rack you get leaves ample cooling space either above and/or behind the amplifier as required by the amp manufacturer.

  3. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Sounds like you're trying to mitigate price with durability.

    I'd recommend you go with SKB cases, in that situation -- they'll probably suit your needs and your budget. The lower-line Rotorack cases are very affordable, but personally I spent a few more bucks and went with the standard line -- a little more durable in my opinion.

    They're available in many stores and through most catalogs and online dealers. I got my 4U case a couple years ago from the Web site ZZounds for $100 shipped! But that was an incredible deal.

    Good luck and have fun.
  4. I've been rack-mounting my bass rig for years -- everything from an old Ampeg tube preamp with a Peavey power amp thru SWR, Eden, and now, Kern and QSC. And I've always used either Anvil Forge Series or Hybrid Cases. I've had ZERO trouble out of these brands. And they are bassically identical. Both are 1/4" plywood with laminate tops, some with recessed latches, some with exposed.

    I've always seemed to prefer this style over the SKB. A couple ofl local guitar players that I sometimes jam with have both replaced latches on their SKBs racks (and guitar cases), but I never have with my Anvils. And I move around a lot more than they do. Now granted, they got excellent repair service from SKB, but still they were without cases until theirs got fixed.

    I think the Anvil Forge/Hybrid cases cost a bit more than comparable SKB, but not more than 10-20%. Try Discount Distributors for pricing. Usually pretty good deals.

    I'm even using an 8-space Anvil Forge case that must be nearly 20 years old for my Monitor/FX rack. Still sturdy as the one I just got in last week.

    Hope this helps. Just my $.02
  5. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    one thing worth bearing in mind is that you could get a combined FX unit and Preamp, and then the amp part could be a 1U PA power amp - my Lexicon MPX-G2 has a preamp built in, as does the ART Nightbass (no longer made, but still around second hand, although that's a 2U unit), and the ADA Bass programmable preamp thingie... there are others - if you're looking at 'quality' effects, don't worry about whether it says 'bass' on the front or not - with anything that is studio-spec, it'll work as well for bass as anything else.

    Power amps in general are very heavy, so it might be worth having an FX/Preamp rack and keeping the power amp separate. For the record, I have a 4U rack that has a Lexicon MPX-G2 in it, and a Lexicon JamMan, and am hoping to soon fill in the extra slots with Line 6 Echo Pros (two of 'em), or an Echo pro and an Oberheim Echoplex Digital Pro... I used to have an SWR Interstellar Overdrive, but it was just to heavy for me to have in the rack.

    That lot all runs in the FX loop on my Ashdown C110-300 combo...


  6. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I have the regular series SKB (both sides have the gasketed cover.) the roto back panel seems really flimsy IMO and the locks that hold it in place dont seem all to sturdy. I like the weight and ease of use with the regular SKB though. I have a four space with a power amp (2), a compressor (1) and a spot for a pre-amp.
  7. progplayer


    Nov 7, 2001
    I use to use a 6 space SKB standard series but those damn covers warp and a latch broke. I gigged extensively for two years non stop every weekend all over the place and my SKB only lasted a year. The covers warped and would not fit the case anymore then at one gig the left latch broke off because it fell out of the van (ouch). I used duck tape for the next 2 weeks until I got back home and bought....a 2 space Anvil rack case. It has been hard as nails!!!! Nothing has ever gone wrong with it. Granted right now I do not gig (not yet anyway) so its empty.... It did cost a lot more than an SKB but the $$$ was worth it. It served me only a year and a half but the thing still closes right, its tough, and still looks brand new (except for the bottom). Once my band starts booking shows again I'll drop my Eden WT-600 in it. I've seen Anvil racks used at Daddy's for real cheap (that's if you haggle the salesman) so....something to consider.
  8. If you are rough on your stuff go with Anvil or another product that uses wood and metal.
    If it takes a little abuse go with SKB or a plastic type case.
    If you are like me and still baby your stuff Rac makes a cloth rack case with an alum frame that has a shoulder strap.
    I'm very very happy with mine but I carry all my stuff by hand, by myself, in my van, to my house.
    I f you have other people moving your stuff I would not advise one of these. Good luck with your decision
  9. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I use a six space SKB standard rack. I really don't care for the Roto Racks, either.

    I am the only one who ever really handles or transports my own gear, so it doesn't take too much abuse. But it has worked flawlessly for quite some time now. I also have a 2 space standard SKB rack that I got for free from GC when I bought my wireless unit from them. I think I am gonna use that one for an effects processor or something of the sort. My 6 space is full now ((3) spaces for amp, (1) space for wireless, (1) space for tuner, and (1) space for power conditioner.)

    Rack mounting is definitely the way to go, for me anyway. Right now, all I have to do is plug in the speaker cable, plug in the power cord, and I am ready to play. Setting up doesn't get any slicker than that.;)
  10. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    I have 5 spaces woth of gear in an 8 space rack... the top 3 are power strip, tuner, and preamp, and the bottom 2 are the Poweramp. i like it a whole lot because this leaves a nice 3 space hole to put a box full of cables, picks, a pedal, strings, tools, prety much anything i could concievably need at a gig, all in one box.

    I like this, because when we gig.. i have only 3 things to keep track of, rack, bass, cabinet.

    I have an SKB shock rack, because i used to have a normal one but i dropped it, so this time i decided to prepare. I'd rather have an anvil, or even better a mesa, but those are MUCH more expensive.

    Look on ebay for some good stuff. I've always been scared of things on Ebay... but with a rack case it's hard to go wrong. I got my skb shockmount for $220 delivered, and i'm just as pleased with it as i would be with one i'd spend $450 on new.
  11. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Something else to consider are shockmounted racks. I recently purchased one, a Gator 8 space shockmount rack. I am returning it soon because it was 200 bucks and it didn't hold up to the weight of my Carvin DCM2000 poweramp. 40 pounds. I am considering purchasing an Anvil 8 space or custom 3 and custom 5, all being shockmount. It'll cost a bit more, but atleast I'll have the satisfaction that I did as much as I could for my multi-thousand dollar rig while its in flight or in a car. My 2 cents. :)
  12. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    My post, too, is removed.

    I would have deleted your post, but I can't touch posts outside my own forum. I only dealt with it because I got here before the perfectly capable hunter and yawnsie, and I figured you'd understand and could handle it just fine. After all, it wasn't like you did anything terrible. :)

    No big deal, and all is cool. Thank you, especially, for being an adult about it! I appreciate it. Happy new year!:D
  13. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I find the regular SKB line sufficient for my needs. I have 4 and 6 space boxes.

    If you are carrying your own stuff, or somebody close to the band is, they seem to hold up just fine, and don't add much weight to the mix in spite of their reasonable ability to protect your gear. If other folks are doing your cartage, for hire, you may want something more robust.

    Also, the band I joined a couple years ago had a well-worn four space SKB with a broken latch. I contacted SKB and they mailed me four new ones, free. A few minutes with a drill and a pop rivet gun (SKB also supplies the pop rivets) and it was as good as new.
  14. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    really... i broke one of those latches recently of my own stupidity... how did you contact them?

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