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Simple rack question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JP_1337, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Hey, this might be a stupid question, but how do amps and such fix into rackmount systems? I mean, I know the ears screw into the rails at the front, but is that the only thing holding them up? It just doesn't seem right having a 20lb amp held by some screws in the front face, can anyone shed some light on this, as I can't seem to get google to cooperate with me on this.

    I'm looking at buying my first proper amp setup (Been using my PC for all my playing, time for a real setup)
    I'm looking at the GK 700RB-II or 1001RB-II, I really love the GK growl and even though that amp is way overkill for me, I am pretty set on it. (I was going to go combo, but nah)
    Anyway, since I only play at home, I was thinking of getting a studio rack setup like http://www.gatorcases.com/p/313125-1347/gr-studio-4u
    I don't have to take it anywhere and if ever in the future I will, I'll work out what I need then, but for now I think a cab like that would really help keep everything neat and presentable.

    I'm looking around for a similar one in a 6u size, if not I will get the 8u one. That way I could put a couple drawers in there to keep all my accessories and whatnot together, the amp is 2u, I also want the korg pitchblack pro rackmount tuner (I can't tune by ear and I love the look of that one). A rackmount powerstrip to neaten up the power cords on the floor and any left over slots will have a vented faceplate.

    That to me is a neat home setup.
    I still haven't decided on what cab I want, so many to choose from. I'm thinking I want a 2x10, but could be fine with a 1x15. dunno. Lots to look at, almost all are overkill for my needs, but in this case, its my wants that have the stage.

    So basically, how do the devices you put in a rackmount setup go together? do they literally sit on top of one another?

    Also, if anyone has any comments at all about my home rig idea (positive or negative, advice or observation) let me know. I love to hear different perspective on things
  2. Systolic

    Systolic Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    Nah. They don't sit on top of each other. There is a bit of space there. Generally the 4 screws on the face is enough to hold it level with no issues at all. For the most part, if the unit is heavy enough where face screws aren't enough, then that unit itself is normally gonna have the length and the ears to put screws into the rear.

    As a suggestion, I very much like having a compressor in my rack.
  3. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    IT/comm guyhere. Rackmount with decent screws installed correctly (quantity/placement) will hold a surprising amount of weight.

    That's all I have to say. I don't have any rack equipment.
    MrRubi04 likes this.
  4. synterx


    Jan 24, 2005
    yes, the screws hold the amp in place, that's all. The gear is designed to handle the stresses that rack ears put on the unit. Now, you start getting into 3 rack space 50+ pound power amps for p.a. systems, and they do make racks with rear rack rails too, and you should bolt the back in as well, but I've never had a bass amp rack mount that wasn't just fine with nothing but the front screws. Just be aware an 8 space rack with amp, drawers, etc. can become very, very heavy, quickly. If you don't care, go for it. I at one point back in the day had a 16-space rack on wheels for my bass amp! I thought that was what the pro's did, so why not me? By the time I was loaded up, I physically could not lift it into the back of my honda civic by myself. And I was still pretty young, late 20's, early 30's.

    So you might want to think smaller, not bigger. The GK amp, plus tuner in a 3 space, and you'd be golden.

    Instead of rack power strips, I've discovered the handy IEC plug splitter thing, where you plug one power cord in to the amp, and it has an extra power tap, and you get a short, 1' or less cord that daisy chains over to the tuner. One cord to plug in, less weight, no rack unit needed. Hosa makes them I believe.

    Just some thoughts.
  5. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    I currently have a 6U and my 1001RB-II. That goes in the bottom, with a 1U space above, and my audio interface above that. Then 2 other rack space ready for an eventual tuner and wireless or compressor... Probably compressor. In the back, I'll end up putting in a power strip, to make for some tidy cables, and less sockets taken up on the wall. But with only the two things currently in the rack, the two sockets they take up is fine.

    I'd also look at effects racks, btw. I have a full rack, and it seems really large for what I need. Nice to have for expansion. But a more shallow rack could have worked just as well for me.
  6. masterkey_bass


    Aug 22, 2013
    I've recently gone to a rack setup. Imo go for a molded heavy duty case. I've got an skb 4u and it's plenty. I've got the 700rb mounted center of the front which leaves a space on top and bottom. 1u rack drawer in the bottom. Also have a Furman X2 power conditioner (very cheap, money wellllllllllllll spent) which has 8 power plugs and 1 on the front which I plug my pedal chain into. It's mounted in the rear do its neat and hidden. Go asks that you leave 1u space for venting above the amp but!! Rack mount tuners are so shallow that they work perfect right on top of them with enough space to vent. Gotta ask you something thougg...where have you found the pitch black pro for sale????
  7. Cheers for the tip. I want to put draws in to neaten up my setup (I have a few cables and accessories that I would like to keep with my rig rather than in my cupboards. I figured it would get heavy, but as it will sit in place at home almost permanently I'm not concerned. Like any piece of furniture in my home, if I need help moving it I will ask someone.
    As for the power strip thing, I looked at those cords you mentioned, but I think I prefer having a mounted power strip, easier to add things, swap them out and so on.

    @Systolic; Not sure if a compressor is really necessary for me just yet. I use one on my virtual setup in Guitar Rig 5, but mostly because it gives me a beefier sound with a bit of growl. It's not a priority yet but it is something I'm looking into for later.

    I don't really use many effects. If I do I think I'd get individual pedals, make a short pedalboard. (octave and overdrive are on the list next for pedals) so no need for a multi effects unit in the rack.

    The idea right now is to have a 2u drawer on bottom, 2u amp head above that, a vent panel next, then the 1u tuner, then either 2 more vent panels (allowing room for future items like compressor or wireless) or I might put a vent and a 1u drawer for small items in. The power strip would be mounted on the read of the unit, for convenience and aesthetics.

    btw http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PitchBlkRack/
    Although it mentions longer than usual shipping delays, I have read that shipments are expected to arrive at a few stores around the 20th of March, I'm not buying before then so no issue for me
  8. OP,
    For my heavy amps (not Class-D), I use racks with "rear rails".
    My QSC PLX amps weigh 21 pounds with a rackable depth of 13.25"
    This is a long amount of 'moment' with front-only mounting and comprises a Class 2 lever.

    Yes, the rack ears will handle this weight.
    No, they won't like it if/when the rack is dropped and the force is magnified by momentum and the abrupt stop immediately following.

    QSC provided rear-ears for rear support of their amps.
    I fabricated wood blocks that screw to the rear ears, and the rear rails.
    My 700RB-II head does not have these rear ears, so I installed a generous wood shim under the amp.
    This keeps the head from flopping "down", but not "up.
  9. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    You will be fine with the rack ears. If rack ears are available, the manufacturer has designed them the mount so that they can properly support the equipment.

    For really heavy stuff, in addition to the rear rack mounts that were mentioned, I've used rack shelves. There are also slides that allow you to pull out the gear like a drawer to gain access to it.

    A very important consideration is ventilation. Don't block side or top vents. Leave enough air space around units that need them. Sometimes fans are necessary. They even have rack mounted fans or fans built into the top or bottom of the rack. Look in your manuals and see if they have any special instructions to follow when rack mounting.
  10. yeah they are just held by the screws. The ears on rackmount amps are pretty darn strong some of the amps Ive owned had 1/4 thick solid steel or aluminum ears. I've used 3 different racks over the years and almost always put the amp in the bottum of the rack, the only exception was when I was using a huge 14 space rack and had a 4 space rack drawer below the amp. but yeah in some racks if the amps on the bottom itll sit there flat and the screws really only keep it from sliding out.
  11. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    I put together my first rack recently with the help of TBer's. I used a Pearson 4U case and mounted a Korg Tuner on top which is very shallow. In the rear, I added rails and mounted a TripLite power bar directly behind the Korg as it is also shallow. This gave me plenty of power outlets with which to work. Below the Korg is my ShuttleMax 9.2 (2U) and I added a shelf in the bottom space with a vent spacer riveted to the back of it to make sort of a shallow fixed-drawer. I keep my instrument cable and a spare in that spot with a spare Speak-on and my Zoom recorder. There is enough space in the rear and on either side of the narrow head that I can leave everything plugged in - power, XLR in the DI, and Speakon.
    Deploying at a gig is a non-event. Pull the lids and plug in the Trip Lite. Connect the Speakon to the cab. Turn on the power-bar. Done. The rack has really simplified my load-in/out.

    A recent issue with a low-voltage practice space that shut down my class D amps has me building a second rack with a Furman on the front that has a built-in volt meter.

    The racks are much heavier than carrying all these bits into a gig in various bags and boxes but so much simpler & neater, which was the goal from the beginning.
  12. BassyBass81


    Feb 26, 2013
    I have a molded skb 8u with a svt pro3 and all the other usual stuff. i have had zero issues with it holding the weight, even falling out of the back of my buddies pickem' up truck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(at about7mph though):( Still its been 15 yrs of gigging and held up fine!
  13. 20 pounds isn't a "heavy amp". Rack ears support them just fine.

    I've still got more Crown Macrotechs than you can shake a stick at. Crown MA's are 40 and 50 pound amps and need rear rack support, every other one, because Macrotechs should be stacked without gaps, per the factory cooling recommendation.
  14. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    If no one mentioned it, be sure to get a shallow rack. They are not as deep and work great for what you want. I used a 6u roadrunner with gk 1001rbii, sansamp RBI, pitchblack and a Furman with a blank space plate. One of those stick on led lights is a great ideas in back on the underside of the top
  15. BazzTard

    BazzTard Banned

    What? am I missing something here? do you plan on holding CONCERTS at home? :)
    i say go for it! eventually you will want to gig with it, if only to justify having such a rig hehe
  16. MrRubi04

    MrRubi04 Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    Here it is : my upgraded gig case : simple = better! IMG_0735.