Tube Amps and Shockmount Racks

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by StingrayKid21, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hey everyone!

    I am looking into getting an all-tube amp in the somewhat near-future (most likely an Ampeg SVT2-Pro or Mesa 400+), and I was curious if having a shockmount rack is really necessary for these amps? I use a Road Ready rack for my current amp rig and it has kept all my gear in great shape so it would be nice to be able to use that since it is smaller and lighter than its shockmount counterpart. I am always pretty careful when moving my amp around but I've heard some people say that it's a good idea to have a shockmount for tube amps, especially if it is going to be sitting on top of a large cab (i.e. 8x10). Is this true?

    Also, I read here on Talkbass yesterday while doing research that the shockmount racks with the foam padding (as opposed to the "floating rack" style) are not good for tube amps because the foam doesn't allow for proper ventalation around the amp. Any opinions on this?

    Thanks a bunch gang!
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I personally would never again put ANY bass head on top of a bass speaker cabinet, the vibrations cause too much damage over time. I lost a tube TWICE in my preamp in less than three months because of this. Now, I keep a dense foam pad between my rack and my cabs.

    So long as you use such a pad, your tube head should be OK. Of course, a shcok mount rack would be best in ANY case, its just a question whether its worth it to you. If I was roadying my own gear in my own vehicle, I wouldn't worry about it. But if I used an equipment truck or trailer, and if someone else was schlepping my gear around, I'd definitely get a shock rack.
  3. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    As long as you don't move the amp around while it's hot, the tubes should be OK. A shock mount will, however, give you even more protection. I play with my tube head right on top of my cabs, and I 've never lost a tube, so I don't worry about that. I ,*do*, however, bring extras...never hurts to have insurance.
  4. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Thanks for the input! I've never had any problems with having my amp directly on top of my cab, but that's definately something to think about... my current rack has big rubber "feet" on it so maybe those help reduce the actual vibration that the amp feels.

    I wouldn't mind getting a shockmount rack, but like I said, I've heard the foam blocks ventelation for the amp, so I don't know if it would be a good idea. Anyway, thank you again!

  5. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    I've been looking into shock-mount racks, also, but am starting to decide that it's just not worth the extra weight or cash in my case. I'm very careful with my own gear, transport it all myself, in my own vehicle, and already have a pair of 6-space racks that fit exactly what I need.
    I don't know about the Ampeg, but for the 400+, you probably wouldn't want to use one of the foam-mounted shockmounts. The cooling fan is on the side, so it wouldn't really have anywhere to go. Someone around these parts posted pics of his modified SKB case with ventilation for his 400+. My all-tube power amp (Mesa Strategy 500) has a pair or fans moving front to back, so the foam-mounted racks wouldn't be that big of a problem for me. With the 400+, your amp wouldn't be able to breathe.