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Rolling Rack Cases: Gator vs. SKB Hands-on Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Armueller2001, Dec 30, 2006.


  1. Armueller2001

    Armueller2001

    Sep 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    This review is going to cover the Gator and SKB 6 space Rolling Rack cases. I have used both for about 2 weeks each and I will note the pros/cons of both. They're both the same price on Musicians Friend, $144.

    My setup consists of
    -Shure PGX14 Wireless system, mounted on tray
    -Furman Power Conditioner
    -BBE Maxcom Compressor
    -Ampeg SVP-Pro Preamp
    -QSC RMX1850HD Power Amp

    I ordered the SKB case from my friend at Guitar center because he said it had rear rack rails, which I strongly preferred due to the weight of the QSC Power amp. They got it in after a couple weeks, and alas it did not have rear rails. I mounted all my stuff in the SKB case and waited for the Gator one (with rack rails for sure) to arrive, at which point I exchanged them.

    SKB Pros -
    The plastic itself seemed very sturdy. Also, it sat flat on a flat surface, like the top of an amp. Other than that, none.

    SKB Cons -
    The case was unneccesarily big. Lots of unused room on the sides of my equipment, and the side handles stuck out pretty far from the edges (see photo.) I couldn't fit it in my trunk. The handle was strange, you had to wiggle it side to side to get it to come out from retracted position. There was no button to get the handle to unlatch. No rear rails. The rear cover is a small opening that doesn't allow you access to the whole back, only a small portion.

    Gator Pros -
    Locking rear/front covers that allow access to the complete unit. Rear rails. Very compact unit, just enough room to run cords around the sides of your equipment inside the rack. This one fits in my trunk, and is a lot easier/less awkward to carry. It also has about a 3/4 rackspace empty place on the bottom, where the handle retracts into. I like this because I can put my cell phone and wallet in there while I'm playing. Handle has a button to unlatch. Also, the locking notch in the back is perfect for using a wire tie to secure a gooseneck lamp that illuminates the rear of the rack (powered by my furman).

    Gator Cons -
    Doesn't sit level on my amp... the wheels cause it to be raised slightly on one side and it can rock back and forth. I just use a small rubber furniture foot under the non-wheel side and its fine. Plastic seems a little less sturdy than the SKB but thats fine.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'll try to get some pics of my Gator rack so you guys can see what I'm talking about.
     
  2. idoru

    idoru

    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Man, those look good. Carver PM 1.5 + RBI + power conditioner + Quadraverb + cables adds up to a fair bit of weight, and I've got one space left....
     
  3. Armueller2001

    Armueller2001

    Sep 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Bump for saturday traffic
     
  4. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I have a friend who had the 6 space SKB and he hated it. I didn't like the rear hatch idea because I like to store cables in my rack lids.
    I am about to pull the trigger on the Gator rack. I am a little concerned that the rubber feet on the bottom of my SWR 750 won't sit on the bottom of the rack. I might have to secure it to the back rack rails somehow or support it with some blocking. I am also a little concerned that there are no feet on the bottom of the rack. I might have to figure out something there.
    I have an 8 space SKB and a 6 space Anvil rack but I really want something that rolls because my back is killing me and I hate having to bring a hand truck with me.
     
  5. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Cool, I posted a thread with this question a few days ago, and it didn't get answered. I'll just ask the same question in this thread. :)

    Does the rack have 6 spaces that are actually usable? I ask this because I had bought a CNB rack about a year ago that has casters and a handle. The problem is the casters and handle go through the bottom rack space. It only really has 5 usable rackspaces, because I've never come across anything (not even my rack tuner) that would be shallow enough to fit in the bottom space with the casters and handle. Is the 3/4 space independent of the actual 6 spaces? I need to expand, and I'm really interested in Gator's 8 space roller rack. I don't want to get it and then find out that I only really have seven usable spaces, like I did with the CNB.

    Thank you.
     
  6. remo

    remo

    Jan 15, 2005
    those wheels look to hard, ie. transmit too much vibration through to the gear.. It would be fine if you are only wheeling it along a lino or another very smooth surface, but try rough gravel roads, gravelly car parks, bluestone paths, brick driveways.. it would shake your gear to bits...
     
  7. Armueller2001

    Armueller2001

    Sep 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Yes, my 6 sp gator has 6 spaces in addition to the 3/4 space on the bottom, which comes in VERY handy for earplugs, cell phone, wallet, keys, girlies phone numbers, etc.

    I make sure when I'm wheeling it is only on a very very smooth concrete, never on gravel or anything. Its carryable but its a BEEYOTCH.
     
  8. Armueller2001

    Armueller2001

    Sep 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Stuff all racked up
    CIMG0525.

    "3/4 Space" at the bottom of the rack, handy for keeping stuff in
    CIMG0517.

    I tied the Gooseneck lamp to the notch where the locking mechanism goes with a black twist-tie... i dont ever lock the lids
    CIMG0518.

    Just enough room on either side to run a couple cords
    CIMG0520.

    Rear of rack
    CIMG0521.

    Kind of hard to see... but this is the rear view of the AC adapter for my Wireless system... zip-tied to the shaft where the handle retracts into. Its in that "3/4" unused space in the bottom
    CIMG0538.

    QSC Poweramp, supported by Rear Rack Rails.
    CIMG0539.
     
  9. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I've been using a 4 space Gator rolling rack for about a year now and love it!
     
  10. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Thanks for the pics. They really give me an idea what I getting into. I think I will welcome the extra space at the bottom but I don't think my phone will fit there. I ordered from MF but they don't have it in stock so I must wait. Most of my gigs have a pretty smooth load in surface so I don't need to worry much about vibration. Besides, who knows what my amp is going through in the back of my truck on the way to the gig.
     
  11. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Banned

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    My SKB 3 space is a complete piece of crap, obviously designed by someone who knows exactly nothing about racks and gear. If you store it on end (where the feet are), there are no proper rivets to bear the lateral weight on the face, and it starts stretching out of shape.


    I'll say again: SKB rolling rack = poorly designed, bulky, flimsy, POS. It will be a LONG time before I try anything else from them, this box was apparently designed by monkeys.
     

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