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Rack size - small or large?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Norwegianwood, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. Ok, so I've finally settled for a new rig: Thunderfunk and Schroeder 1210. This is a pretty lightweight solution, wich also is one of the reason why I bought it.

    I really need a rack for my thunderfunk, though. So the easiest thing would probably be buying a two - space one that the amp just fits into. I also have a Sansamp RBI, and I guess having that one into the rack would also be a good idea. (Not sure how much I'll use it, though....) So that's tree spaces. But while I'm at it, I might also add a rack - tuner. (Very unpractical - a stagetuner is way more useful, but hey - it looks cool...!) And a rack-drawer would be very useful for me. A place to keep all my cables!

    The list goes on and on. What do you think, should I get a bigger rack, or go for two/three units and stomp boxes? I guess it's the "boy" in me who wanna have a big rack. It looks pretty damn cool. But is it useful? And how heavy is a 6-unit rack to lug around?
  2. Th9nker


    Mar 18, 2002
    Don't forget a power conditioner!!!

    Once you start building up a rack, it's hard to stop...
  3. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    My experience has been that if your rack gets too big it's like hauling around a dang combo amp. Except with the rack setup you have enough watts from a giant power amp to make it worth the trouble. :D
  4. Check out Grundorf's Mighty Light amp racks. I got a 4 space one and it probly doesnt even weigh 5 pounds.
  5. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Big racks are fun to stare at :cool:
    Anyhew, I'd go with the bigger rack, as its not too much harder to carry around (for me at least, I had an 8u), especially if you dont use the spaces. However, it does give you the flexability to use them if you want.
  6. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Yeah, I definitely know what that's like. I've carried around an SWR Super Redhead before, and it was lighter than my rack. :spit:
  7. The problem I found with a two space rack if you tear down and set up alot is it tends to get knocked over. It's just too narrow to stand up safely. I recommend getting at least a four space rack. I use my two space rack to store spare cords. I have a P/cond, wireless, tuner, preamp and amp in a six space case and it does seem heavy at the end of the night.
  8. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    I have a 4 space with a power conditioner, tuner and Hartke 5000 and it is heavy enough for me. I would rather get a 2nd one than get a larger one to lug around.
  9. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I've twiddled with the rack configuration for a while now. At the moment, I have a small, shallow 2 space briefcase style rack that I keep my wireless and tuner in. This way I can set it on top of one of my heads when I'm using that type of setup.

    Then I have my Mesa 12 space shock rack. This has my D-180 tube monster as well as a drawer and some PA gear (it's the practice space setup).

    Then I have a 4 space shock rack with my other D-180 in it which I basically use as a standalone head.

    Most of the time I use my Mesa M-2000 setup which just consists of the M-2000 head and a power conditioner in a 4 space SKB rack. Then I set my tuner/wireless rack on top of it for most gigs.

    Since I switch a lot between setups, I need many rack configurations. At the moment this works best for me.
  10. Thanks, guys, helpful as always!
    Sounds like perhaps a 4-space is the way to go for me - if they are not to large to lug around. Then I can have one drawer and my sansamp in there.

    Because a rack tuner - isn't that a silly idea? I would not like to go back there if I need to check my tunings...
  11. DON'T go bigger than 6 spaces and DON'T put a HEAVY amp in it no matter what you do!!! If the amp comes in at more than 20lbs or so you are better to have a separate amp rack...I am working on a JAN AL 6 space with:

    1.PL-PLUS Power conditioner
    2. Half space Shure ULX wireless/Half space Shure 600 IEM system
    4. Avalon U5
    5. Thunderfunk 550 AMP

    When complete it will weigh right at 65 pounds - the rack is a 2 inch foam lined TOURING (Ie HEAVY) rack as I will be doing a bit of touring pretty soon...at least 2 3 month stints out in the US, The Caribbean, and Eastern Europe, COMMERCIAL AIRLINES MOST OF THE TIME.........= all the rack you can afford to buy, in my opinion, JAN AL is the BEST you can get at any price.....not looking forward to hauling it but it will ride perfectly on my cabs road case..


  12. I'd say go bigger personally. I have 3 extra spaces in my rack, so instead of forking out money to get something with knobs, I'm going to buy a lite-brite off of eBay, build a case for it, throw on some ears and mount it. I can't wait to make a real pretty picture in it and impress everyone around me with its glowing presence. It'll be incredible... :smug:
  13. ErnieD


    Nov 25, 2004
    I took my GBE 600 amp, BBE maximizer & Furman power cond out of a 6 space flight case recently, hated lifting it up over 2 cabs, ugh. So I ordered a 2 space shallow SKB case to put the pwr cond & BBE into, Samash, free S&H, cool. I then put my GBE 600, which is aprox 14" deep, into a 2 space rack case I ordered from Rondomusic.com as suggested by some other TB'ers, about 20 bucks less than some name brand cases, again cool. I would say it is like a gator case exterior wise, it is 16" front rail to back rail, and yes it actually has back rails and the rails are threaded. Also came with mounting hardware, several brass screws. The main plus, I can now carrry my effects case seperate and place it atop of either my new GBE 600 case or on atop my GK1001RBI which is in a SKB shallow case of its own. Depending on what amp I decide to use that nite. Now my wrists are happier. Though as stated above that taller, slimmer 2 space rondo case does seem to want to tip over like a sleeping cow. So I now always make sure to lean or lay it flat all of my rack cases and my bass cases against the cabs or wall since any of them can easily be tipped over from all the movement on stage while setting up or tearing down, not cool. Works for me.
  14. Just remember, if you are wireless, you can check your tuning
    at any time while playing by running your wireless signal through
    the tuner before it goes to the amp. Also, if your rack tuner has a mute switch,
    you can leave all your "knobs" set the way you want while on break.

    I always check my tuning right at break time, and again, after
    break, just before we start playing again. The tuner still works
    while muted, very handy.
  15. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    What are your personal limits on how big and heavy a piece of gear are you willing to transport? How are you transporting it? How often are you carting it around?

    Personally I go for the smallest, lightest pieces of gear I can afford (and that's my limiting factor - I'm not able to spring for the smallest, lightest stuff yet). I haul the whole rig to practice once a week and gigs 2-4 times a month. I haul it in a mid-size sedan (Nissan Maxima). Even though I use 1 or 2 Avatar 1x12 cabs they end up having to go in the back seat of the car. For gigs I take a pair of vocal monitors and an extra power amp.

    I found that for me a 5-space molded rack with preamp, wireless & 25 lb power amp was too bulky. It took up too much room in the car and was too much of a hassle to carry around. I'm downsizing to a 3-space rack as the minimum size I can get away with (using a power strip instead of a power conditioner, the wireless will either be mounted in the back of the rack or I'll use velcro to put it on top of the rack when playing and inside the rack for transport).

    I had a Gibson GB-440 for a short time and I'll tell you. If I had a Thunderfunk I would tempted to not put it in a rack at all. I would find a good transport case for it (maybe an aluminum tool case like a small suitcase) and enjoy having such a small, light rig. If the RBI is an essential part of your sound then in the interest of lightness I'd probably dump it, get one of the new programmable BDDIs and put the Sansamp, a pedal tuner and maybe even the wireless receiver on a pedalboard.

    But to each his own. For my money it's the smallest size rack that will fit my stuff, and no extraneous stuff at all (no power conditioner, no rack tuner, wireless not even in a front rack space).
  16. CraigB....I knew we MUST be about the same age before I checked your profile...I agree...I typically would like to have the lightest POSSIBLE rig I can have...I have walked into a couple of gigs with my Sadowsky V4 and a Sadowsky outboard pre and used the pre Di to go direct to a splitter to the FOH and Monitor console and just used the stage wedges to hear myself...


  17. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I have a 10sp Gator and it is heavy! I guess I must be getting old because it kicks my arse! I'm going to get a 6sp and a 4sp to slpit it up. The one big rack does look cool on stage but is harmful to your back. No matter what a big rack is awkward to move and with the weight you will not be carrying the load properly. Go small and just stack'em.
  18. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I have a 6-space with an RMX amp and B2R head in the mix... and it's friggon ridiculous. It's like carrying a friggon cab, except you have to put it on TOP of your cabs... and I have a stack :meh:. It's a 2-man job, usually.

    However... You have a Thunderfunk and a Sansamp, instead... way lighter. I'd get a 4-space, and fill it with the Thunderfunk, RBI, and Power Conditioner. If you really want a rack tuner, you could get a bigger rack, but it'd be unecessary weight for something you can get in a pedal. :cool:
  19. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Heh...this is my main rig. It's about 90 pounds...and I'd love to add some more stuff to it--like maybe an Ampeg SVP-CL or a SansAmp RBI, or a...


    The "empty" spaces are all vent panels for cooling.
  20. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Go small.

    Iused to have a big rack, but with age comes wisdom and more concern over your long term health.

    I have my QSC PLX 1202 - a relatively light amp - in a 2 space rack.
    I plan to put my Avalon and Compressor in a 3 space rack.
    My cables, misc. effects, etc. go in a briefcase.
    I also use a Bergantino HT112 - small, light and loud.

    It's only slightly less efficient this way in terms of set up, but the ease of carrying a few small racks over 1 big one is ...priceless.

    It also allows me to bring only the "preamp/DI portion if that's all I need.