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To rack or not to rack!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by karrot-x, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    Ok, I have a Mesa Boogie M-Pulse 600 head and I want to protect it to the highest possibility that I can. One thing that came to my mind was getting a shock case to help support it, as well as my furman power conditioner *soon to come.* I'm worried that later on the road I may want to add an fx unit to the rig. I have yet to play a real gig ... so I don't know if it would be smart for me to get a rack at this point in time. I'm guessing racks help you but I don't know from experience.

    The M-Pulse is 2u, the furman is 1u ... should I get a 4u or 6u rack? Why do you choose?

    I've been looking at these:



    Is there another case company I should look at? I'm trying to keep everything under $90 including shipping.

  2. You should just think about what you possibly would want to add to it. Get the 6 space case, and fill in the empty spaces with those little panels that just kind of close it off so it looks good. What is the advantage of a RACK case over FLIGHT case? They look like they do the same thing, but the flight cases are cheaper and in my opinion look better.
  3. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    Thanks for the info, I'm not really a big fx guy...actually I don't have any :thumb:. I'm interested in wah and overdrive so I'm thinking I might want to add an fx unit later. I'm gonna go with a 6 space skb rack case, this one to be precise:


    Unless anyone here has any objections, the price seems to be decent, I might go with buy it now and ask if I can pay shipping through the place I work.

    Can't wait to start rackin!
  4. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA

    Good call. I went from a six to an 8 space. I had the 8 space filled until recently. Now I'm only using half of it. I will stay in the 8 space because it's deeper. I don't worry about the empty spaces. I leave 3 spaces open over the top of my amp to help keep it cool.
  5. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Yeah, you'll be happy with a 6-space. I'm sure you'll find ways to fill it somewhere down the road. Preamp or Poweramp if you ever decide to convert (although you probably wont, since Mesa is pretty good shiz).

    You can always put a KORG in there too.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    A flight case simply means it's approved for air travel by the ATA. Not all racks are ATA approved. Since you're not gigging yet it will probably be some time before you'll be traveling by bus and jet to your gigs and needing real flight cases :D

    As far as what size to get, I always go for the smallest rack that will do the job...why carry something that's bigger and heavier than it needs to be? I avoid racks completely whenever I can (most of the time...I only use them for PA gear these days).

    Racks are cheap enough that you can easily get a bigger one later if you need one. Consider that your $90 budget is a drop in the bucket compared to what you paid for your amp!
  7. I just realized, if you want to add wah and overdrive, you can always get those in pedal form instead of a rack. The rack mount effects look cooler and are more compact and you wont lose them anywhere, but if you run out of spaces and still want more effects, most effects come in the form of a pedal.
  8. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I hate carrying around even a four space. I would never consider a 6 or 8 space rack. They are big bulky and obnoxious. You mentioned that you have never played a gig. Portability becomes an issue when you carry your stuff around regularly. Skip the furman because they are just power strips and the FX crap because the MB 600 is a sweet amp with awesome tone. Its all you need. If I were you I would get a 2 space and then go out there and get some gigs! :bassist:
  9. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Amen to that^^^^

    I expect to run into problems with my setup in the future when gigs potentially roll around. I'll probably need help hoisting the 6U atop my cab(s). Not to mention that Ampeg's BXT cabs aren't exactly an easy load to move around.

    My next investment: An Ultralight model. I dont even care how the sound differs... I can only assume that it wont really be bad.

    So yeah.... portability has become a big issue for me.... and I'm friggon 17! oy...
  10. Can you mount your amps and whatever else into a Musician's Friend Flight Case, as if it were a SKB normal rack?
  11. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA

    As long as the flight case has rack rails and that what you put in it isn't too deep.
  12. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    A rack case is about half the weight.
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Maybe we should step back and discuss what a "rack" is.

    19" wide rack mounting started with the Bell telephone company decades ago (why 19" racks are sometimes called "telco racks") and it was adopted later for pro audio use. These cabinets were typically large refrigerator sized boxes meant for permanent installations.

    Flight cases started coming into use for touring musicians in the 1970s, Anvil was the first well known maker of them. They made custom flight cases for all sorts of gear, but offered 19" rack gear as catalog items. Anvil's early competitor Calzone eventually merged with them and the two brands still coexist today.

    Since Anvil style cases weigh a ton, other makers started offering lighter weight alternatives that offered less protection. The most common types are rack bags, molded cases (like SKB) and carpeted wood cases.

    The only type of rack case that is truly a "flight case" are those that are ATA approved.
  14. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Great history lesson! Thanks...

    Quick question regarding heavy duty flight cases and the lighter weight alternatives:

    I know that obviously the heavier wood and metal ones ultimately protect the exterior more than the plastic SKB types. But which one protects the stuff inside more in terms of bump/shock damage? Wood and metal doesn't give, but that isn't exactly a great thing when considering the equipment absorbing all the bumps/drops/collisions.

    Of course there are shockmounted or shockproof cases so that is in a class on it's own. But for me, I'm trying to decide between those super heavy flight cases and the SKB types. I do gigging throughout town, and occasionally have an out of state show in which we fly to. And believe me, those airline dudes treat your stuff like CRAP. I own a bunch of Anvil types and also SKB types but don't know which of them to trust with my new SVT 4 Pro. :help:

    Side question: Are the shockmounted cases really worth it? Do they offer that much more protection? Now THAT I'm curious about as well. Thanks!

  15. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I've got a gator 6 space roller rack that i bought off of a guy on here. Best investment i've ever made as it came with loads of speaker cables [all 1/4 to speakon, 12 & 14 gauge wire]. I definately like the "roller" aspect of it as it eases the back quite a bit when going from car to venue or within the venue. :) That being said-i don't have all that much in my rack at the moment-just a DCM2000 and a Sansamp RBI. Good luck and enjoy.
  16. rockindoc

    rockindoc Daily Lama

    Jan 26, 2002
    Bonham, Tx
    I agree. A 6 space rack is pretty bulky compared to a 4. The added weight of the 6 is negligible though. Another option is to get a 4 spacer that's got front AND rear rack rails, and is 16 or 17" deep. Then if your Furman, etc. is a shallow unit, you can rack additional shallow unit(s) in the back. I have racked 6 units in a 4 space rack. Tight fit, but it can be done.
  17. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    racks are just one of those pain in the ass facts of life when you are a bass player. I can't stand anything bigger than a 4 space, but i use a 6 space cause i have to :rolleyes:
    that said, i've never had anything damaged that was in a rack, but i'm not throwing my amp off of any buildings either
    the shock mount ones sound interesting if you want max protection, but they are much bigger than standard racks, which adds to the pita factor ;)
  18. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    "pita factor"? I need some explanation on that one hehe...

    I guess one reason why I've been protection crazed lately is the last flight I took, my preamp and compressor took a major beating. Upon opening my rack at my destination (the gig) and even more so when I got home, the faceplates were WAY tweaked out and stuff was just horrible. Really bugged me. But ehh, whaddya gonna do.

    Hmm, yeah, me thinks the 6 space SKB shockrack will do nicely. Yeah!

  19. tmu


    Mar 14, 2004
    make sure there is enough space on the side of your rack for ventilation! I blew the toroid on my M-pulse 360 by putting it in an SKB rack!
  20. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Has anyone seen or tried out any of SKB's newer U.S. series roto racks? I haven't seen any in stores around here, but they do look rather nice, and they appear to be deep enough for my rig.

    How are they in terms of stability and build-quality?