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  #1  
Old 01-03-2010, 02:27 AM
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Default Racks... are they worth it?

I'm wondering if I should start saving up to invest in a rack. Basically, I've got 4 cymbals (not including hats) but I am gonna add about 2 or 3 more soon, and I'm wondering if a rack would be worth it. Although they do seem really expensive...
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:50 AM
McShmoopy McShmoopy is offline
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

If you've got the cash, you can't go wrong with a Pearl Icon or a Gibraltar Rack (Better choice IMO). I'd suggest a rack only if you would like to mount 3 - 7 cymbals but its good for pretty much everything. The versatility of it is quite great when it comes to gigging also as its faster to setup.

Just a bit of caution, the Pearl Icon tend to be a bit pricey when it comes to clamps unlike the Gibraltar where Generic Clamps can be used on it. Plus its a alot cheaper.

BTW you can't go wrong with eBay, I bought a Pearl Icon Rack for 49 (Saving of about 70!) and the clamps for about 7.50 each (Saved almost 13 each on clamps) and its still in great condition!

Last edited by McShmoopy; 01-03-2010 at 02:52 AM. Reason: eBayyy
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I could have sworn we just barely had a thread on "Racks - are they worth it?" But anyways...

Pros: Setup stays very much the same every time
No "toppling over" issues
Get your toms off the bass drum
Great for large to very large setups

Cons: Heavy
Hard to transport
Can be more time consuming to set up than stands
Not as flexible for quick setup changes

Q: Do I gig a lot, at a lot of different places where the stage size varies wildly?
A: If yes, racks may not be a good option.

Q: Do I have six or fewer drums in my setup, or five or fewer cymbals?
A: If yes to both, you're really not gaining anything.

Also, I notice the previous poster didn't mention the Yamaha Hexrack. Somewhat pricey, but the general consensus is that Yamaha's really done something well.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:20 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

If you are going to have more than 3 cymbals & 3 toms in your kit, then a rack is the only way to go IMO....and I highly recommend the hex rack...best rack on the market!..:)
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2010, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by scorch whammin View Post
If you are going to have more than 3 cymbals & 3 toms in your kit, then a rack is the only way to go IMO....and I highly recommend the hex rack...best rack on the market!..:)
Not that I disagree with you, but I have that many or more in each of my kits and never saw the need for a rack. Actually in my 49 years behind kits, I never owned one. It's like everything else, just personal preference.

Most of my kits are in this configuration.



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  #6  
Old 01-03-2010, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by Dipschmidt View Post
I'm wondering if I should start saving up to invest in a rack. Basically, I've got 4 cymbals (not including hats) but I am gonna add about 2 or 3 more soon, and I'm wondering if a rack would be worth it. Although they do seem really expensive...
I have two rack toms, ten cymbals, and an electronic drum mounted on two Pearl ICON 501's with a JR-50 and a 501 extension. Using some clamps and a few Yamaha triple hole receivers, I've been able to mount two rack toms and eight cymbals on two stand bases and a hi hat stand. I would have mounted more if I wanted to use my chinas. When my kit is at it's largest a rack is worth it, but with a kit your size it's not necessary.

As long as you have some high quality heavy duty stand bases, you can mount quite a few cymbals on them. Racks are heavy and cumbersome, so if you're bringing the kit out, a few stands and clamps will be a lot easier. The only benefit of a rack for your kit would be that everything is already in place, but you can achieve the same setup time if you mark your stands and use memory locks.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I do use a rack, but not in the conventional sense - I have two side racks that can move around quite easily, and can come on and off the stage in easy trips once assembled. Since they're smaller, they also pack and transport more easily.

There are many "in-between" options that allow for some of the advantages of a rack without all that extra weight.

1) "Cymbal station". Essentially, you take a short length of rack tubing (maybe 18" - 24"0 and attach it to an existing cymbal stand using a rack clamp. Then you can add two or three cymbal booms, toms, what have you, to the stand using rack clamps. This option is even sturdy enough to fly two rack-style floor toms off one double-braced stand.

2) "Rack Bridge". Using two cymbal stands you already have, clamp a rack tube of whatever length between them using two rack clamps. Then use the tube as you would a normal rack. This is pretty sturdy so long as you make sure it's level; I've put three rack toms and four cymbals on such a contraption before.

3) "Stealth" rack. Gibraltar has started marketing the "stealth" rack kits, which are essentially mini-racks with extremely short legs, and the bars run close to the floor. You could actually use two short tubes with feet as the "T-legs", but no vertical bars. Just run the rack directly between the two foot tubes (basically an "H" lying on the floor). Then you can clamp stands or booms directly to the middle tube. These are great because they are flat (meaning low center of gravity) and can slide in and out of tight spots in cars. You can similarly use a floor-running tube to mount your snare without a tripod.

4) "Side Racks" - either stealth or regular two-leg racks, one on either side of the bass drum. See my profile and my photo gallery for examples of these.

The best thing about these solutions is that you can usually buy just the specific parts needed rather than a whole rack kit, and end up with a much cheaper solution than the full package.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I thought about maybe getting a rack just to go across the front of my drumset because I want to place some cymbals in front, but can't because if I use one of the boom clamps that clamp onto an existing stand, it won't go far enough (if that makes sense.) but if I just got one rack to go across the front of my set and not the sides, wouldn't that look somewhat mediocre?
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:20 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I wouldn't say mediocre. You're thinking in terms of "Well, if I have a rack, I need dozens of bars going this way and that, or people will diss my setup". If all you need is one bar going across the front, use a rack bridge with your two sturdiest stands and that'll do you fine. People will notice you've got one rack bar for about five seconds, then they will start playing attention to the music as a whole, not what your kit looks like.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:30 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

Here is a thread. http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ght=drum+racks
Here is another thread. http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ght=drum+racks
And another. http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ght=drum+racks
Still going http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ght=drum+racks
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2010, 09:44 PM
Ekim Ekim is offline
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I wish I had known about the Stealth racks before buying my full Gibraltar rack setup. They seem more flexible. Ingenious idea, actually.
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2010, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dipschmidt View Post
I'm wondering if I should start saving ...
Yes, drums and hardware are addictive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dipschmidt View Post
Basically, I've got 4 cymbals ...
And what do your cymbal stands cost? $50 each? So that's $200.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dipschmidt View Post
I am gonna add about 2 or 3 more soon
So add another $150 to that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dipschmidt View Post
and I'm wondering if a rack would be worth it.
Pearl Icon and Yamaha hex can be found for around $250, right now. Gibraltar starter pack, I just saw, was $299. Cost comes out to close to equal. Depending on what you want to do, racks can give you added versatility. And a rack can actually leave a smaller footprint than a tangle of stands. Currently, I'm running the Yamaha hex rack, with my acoustic kit. Best system I've ever owned, (had a Pearl square tube DR-100, that lasted me 15+ years), and probably the last I'll ever need. I've never been a fan of the round tube racks. Owned some, used some, gave 'em away. If you have a rack and have stands, best of both worlds. Then you'll probably always be able to do, what you want (design wise), with your kit.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I don't understand why people say that having a rack means you need more room, I find that statement exactly the latter. I have been to about 30 shows in 2010 so far (in the metal scene) and some of these places are real small, the drummers with racks always get their gear up faster, and take up less space...

You just have to learn how to use it properly and know how to set up your kit to take up less space...
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Cons: Heavy
Hard to transport
Can be more time consuming to set up than stands
Not as flexible for quick setup changes
I've NEVER heard this. Every single drummer I have ever known that used a rack told me it shaved at least a half hour off of their setup time and made things easier overall.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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I've NEVER heard this. Every single drummer I have ever known that used a rack told me it shaved at least a half hour off of their setup time and made things easier overall.
They must have some big a$$ kits because racks always take WAAAYYYYYY more time for me to set up.

Even when I was rocking three rack toms, four crashes, two splashes, two chinas, ride, and x-hat I used stands and kept the rack at home.

That being said, if you are practiced in setting something up it becomes fast and easy.
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  #16  
Old 03-22-2010, 03:55 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I've thought a couple times about getting a rack for home use so I don't have to set up my hardware at home. I really don't see the value in using them for live situations. They take up a lot of room in your car (yes, even broken down), they are heavy, hard to transport (especially if you set it up off stage and "simply" lug it onto the stage), and they take a longer time to set up than stands (that is, unless you're playing a 20+ piece kit, but who does THAT?!?!?!?)
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

That doesn't even make sense though. If you have a rack you can just leave it as is, stand it up, and then bam just throw the cymbals and toms into the spots. Leave all the clamps where you want them and there's no time spent trying to position everything right. I just don't even see HOW a rack could take more time. Stands are all over the place, a rack simplifies it.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

The setup time issue depends on how fully you tear down and what you have to transfer your gear.....case in point, Ive gigged w/ a rack and without. Whether I was using a rack or stands w/ multi-clamps upon multi-clamps (youd be amazed at what you can fit on one stand!) I always transported my gear in my own van, so I would only do basic tear down. That consisted in folding up the legs of the cymbal stands-and that was it. Any boom or tom arms coming off of that stand stayed setup exactly as they were, but having a full size van, I had the room to do that.

Same goes for the rack - I had a large double bass Gibraltar setup - I would take the 4 sections apart and stop. All the tom and cymbal arms stayed put. Again, I had the room, but Ive even known guys who also had vans or box trucks, but for some reason had this fascination with folding up every boom and tom arm. Some even put their racks in cases. I dont know about you, but Ive got better things to do with my time. Never understood that. The van also afforded me the luxury of having the most basic of drum cases - the cardboard boxes they came in.....vans are a beautiful thing. And when youre not gigging with em you can go to the shore for the weekend and sleep in em!

But back on topic - I recently bought 2 new kits, but one has a "vintage" look to it, and I just cant stomach the way it looks behind my rack, so for that kit Im going the stand route.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:21 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by MisterMixelpix View Post
That doesn't even make sense though. If you have a rack you can just leave it as is, stand it up, and then bam just throw the cymbals and toms into the spots. Leave all the clamps where you want them and there's no time spent trying to position everything right. I just don't even see HOW a rack could take more time. Stands are all over the place, a rack simplifies it.
You seem to be trying to push your point. Probably rightfully so. Either way, I have a few questions, because having a rack seems (to me) as though it would be more of a hassle than using stands:

1. Do YOU use a rack? (I'm assuming yes...)
2. Do you leave it set up when you put it in your car or do you take it apart?
3. How long does it take you to unload your car, load in your gear to the venue, set up and stash your cases?
4. How many total trips do you have to take from your vehicle?
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I do not at the moment. However, I'm saving up for one because I am really, really getting tired of stands and having seen the... elegance, I guess... of my friends' rack systems I'm just itching to get 'em.

I suppose my enthusiasm in this debate is because I'm tired of clunky stands and don't see how a rack is actually worse.
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

i couldn't live without a rack. they save floor space on stage (HUGE BONUS) and they're not even that heavy to transport (just get a long box with wheels).
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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i couldn't live without a rack. they save floor space on stage (HUGE BONUS) and they're not even that heavy to transport (just get a long box with wheels).
As Toddy said, the real trick to using racks is to never fully break them down. Keep it all hooked up (3 main legs and all the hardware/clamps still attached) and then fold the legs into each-other and put it in a box, this really will save you time.

I digress, it's still all in preference really. Stands will do the same job.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

When you have a pickup or van (i've got a truck with an 8' bed) and you can load your rack up fully assembled it is a tremendous time saver. Even if you don't, assembling your rack at the side of the stage and just carrying it up is also a big time saver. From the time the band before us gets off the stage to the time I'm ready to hit the first note on the first song is about 8-10 minutes. Half that time if i have 2 other people helping me and the drums and cybals are already mounted.

My rack'ed double bass kit also takes up the same floor space as a standard 5-6 piece single bass kit with conventional tripods all over the place. Any setup with 5 cymbals or more that i play gets the rack setup. If im going really small, 4 cymbals, single bass, i use tripods.

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Old 03-23-2010, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I think that racks are worth it if you have many drums and cymbals and want them set up perfectly every time, especially when you need to set up in a hurry.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

Mine was/is totally worth it:

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Old 03-23-2010, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

is that actually yours latz? /drool
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:38 PM
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Jessiah331 Jessiah331 is offline
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dipschmidt View Post
I'm wondering if I should start saving up to invest in a rack. Basically, I've got 4 cymbals (not including hats) but I am gonna add about 2 or 3 more soon, and I'm wondering if a rack would be worth it. Although they do seem really expensive...
This topic was pretty much how I joined the forum. I have three mounted toms, four crashes, two chinas, a ride, and three splashes. I posted my question about a rack and got mixed answers, so I sought out to buy one.

I've honestly never been happier. My setup time has been cut in half, and its not THAT much heavier (if any) to carry around than all of the stands that I had. Not to mention that my set just looked a little ridiculous with 1,000 clamps holding all of my crap on stands. All of my stuff (stands, holders, rack, etc) breaks down to fit inside two of my stand bags, when before I was using three to carry all of my stuff. It's also a LOT easier when someone else has to set up your kit for you, because everything is already in place.

The one issue that people constantly barrage is cost. A lot of people overlook the same wisdom that we all accept for cymbals: used. I found a guy that had a Pearl Icon rack, three sided, with about 10 clamps, that he had used once for a festival and didn't need again. I walked away with that rack for $200. I'd say that's worth every penny, no?

If you think a rack is for you, then I'd say keep your eyes peeled for a good used one. I've seen many on craigslist and Ebay that go for around 200, including all the clamps you could dream of!

I'll try to get some pics up this next weekend of it!
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

In reference to how a rack can not save time: the answer is in your response - can the rack be transported as is? If you own a truck or van, generally yes you can transport the rack as is. In my car, however, I usually have to tear the rack down to individual bars. Putting those bars back together takes some time. I also can't transport the cymbal holders or tom arms on it. More time taken reclamping all of those on there. So you don't necessarily take *more* time than stands to set up a rack, but possibly just as much if you have to break down and set back up to that level every time.
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
In reference to how a rack can not save time: the answer is in your response - can the rack be transported as is? If you own a truck or van, generally yes you can transport the rack as is. In my car, however, I usually have to tear the rack down to individual bars. Putting those bars back together takes some time. I also can't transport the cymbal holders or tom arms on it. More time taken reclamping all of those on there. So you don't necessarily take *more* time than stands to set up a rack, but possibly just as much if you have to break down and set back up to that level every time.
Very true. If you don't have a way to keep your rack at least partially set up during transport, its probably not worth it. I'm able to keep mine (holders and all) in a big box/case, so setting up literally means unfolding it and putting drums and cymbals on it. Take that for set up time! It takes me longer to get things out of the cases and those put away lol
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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is that actually yours latz? /drool
Yes, thanks..

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
In reference to how a rack can not save time: the answer is in your response - can the rack be transported as is? If you own a truck or van, generally yes you can transport the rack as is. In my car, however, I usually have to tear the rack down to individual bars. Putting those bars back together takes some time. I also can't transport the cymbal holders or tom arms on it. More time taken reclamping all of those on there. So you don't necessarily take *more* time than stands to set up a rack, but possibly just as much if you have to break down and set back up to that level every time.
al, I hope you are using memory locks, if not, you are in for a lot more time....

My kit posted above can be set up in 30 minutes, mics, electronics, cymbals, drums and all.. it usually takes me 45 though...
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
In reference to how a rack can not save time: the answer is in your response - can the rack be transported as is? If you own a truck or van, generally yes you can transport the rack as is. In my car, however, I usually have to tear the rack down to individual bars. Putting those bars back together takes some time. I also can't transport the cymbal holders or tom arms on it. More time taken reclamping all of those on there. So you don't necessarily take *more* time than stands to set up a rack, but possibly just as much if you have to break down and set back up to that level every time.
well yeah, but that's the same with most things. context changes how well various equipment stacks up. but if you have a van, then it's very good.
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
In reference to how a rack can not save time: the answer is in your response - can the rack be transported as is? If you own a truck or van, generally yes you can transport the rack as is. In my car, however, I usually have to tear the rack down to individual bars. Putting those bars back together takes some time. I also can't transport the cymbal holders or tom arms on it. More time taken reclamping all of those on there. So you don't necessarily take *more* time than stands to set up a rack, but possibly just as much if you have to break down and set back up to that level every time.
If you have memory-clamped everything, including the vertical legs, and you know which tom/cymbal arm has to go in which clamp, it wouldn't take so much time?
And you need time to put your stands on the right place, especially if you have many stands on a small piece of floor. I always have problems with that with my hi-hat stand, effectcymbal stand, and piccolo tom stand (look at the first pic in post 20 of the thread in my signature), so I'm considering buying a Gibraltar Stealth rack for that.

Bram
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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If you have memory-clamped everything, including the vertical legs, and you know which tom/cymbal arm has to go in which clamp, it wouldn't take so much time?
And you need time to put your stands on the right place, especially if you have many stands on a small piece of floor. I always have problems with that with my hi-hat stand, effectcymbal stand, and piccolo tom stand (look at the first pic in post 20 of the thread in my signature), so I'm considering buying a Gibraltar Stealth rack for that.

Bram
It still physically takes time to get the tom arm out of the case.... put it in the clamp.... close the clamp.... tighten the clamp... make sure the clamp is tight (this is an important step!)

It would also help to explain that I'm basing this off of my experiences setting up a nine-piece kit with 11 cymbals supported by two side racks (no center bar - that took even longer). When I have to mount the tom arms and cymbal holders onto that, plus assemble the rack, only a magic hourglass can make it go much faster. And I have done it with stands as well - it's really not much difference when the kit is that large.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:13 PM
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Dreaded Skull Dreaded Skull is offline
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I Luv my rack. I've done 100's of shows with it and it saves time geting on and off the stage. Been using it for years. But the Con's are when recording, when you hit a cymbal it makes the rack vibrate a little. And somtimes you can hear it in the tom mic.











Don't mind the kit it needs a cleaning.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
In reference to how a rack can not save time: the answer is in your response - can the rack be transported as is? If you own a truck or van, generally yes you can transport the rack as is. In my car, however, I usually have to tear the rack down to individual bars. Putting those bars back together takes some time. I also can't transport the cymbal holders or tom arms on it. More time taken reclamping all of those on there. So you don't necessarily take *more* time than stands to set up a rack, but possibly just as much if you have to break down and set back up to that level every time.
It sure does take time. Takes me about one minute to remove the main section from my hardware bag [foot tubes stay connected to the upright tubes], assemble it, and add the side arms, another three or so to put all the cymbal & tom holders in. [The clamps stay on the rack tubes, obviously, and all the holders have memory locks.] Then, other than throne, hh stand, & snare stand, which are all marked off with tape on my rug, I'm done. So setting it all up is definitely a lot faster than regular stands for me. I don't have a huge setup so I'm not saving any transport weight, but definitely a lot of time due to not fine-tweaking individual stands. [This one needs to go up a little, that one to the right some, the other one up some, now the 1st one needs to come back down a little now, that last one needs to have the feet rotated, etc.] If I could find a hard case long enough for the upright tubes & main crossbar and wide enough to leave all the holders in the clamps, it would take even less time. All total, if I get to the gig either before my bandmates arrive or after they're done so that either way they're out of my way, it takes me about 20 minutes from pulling up the car to completely finished if I hurry, 30-35 if I sorta meander & take my time. This includes mics & cables.

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Old 03-25-2010, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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I don't have a huge setup
Well, I do. In my case, because I do, I experience no noticeable difference in setup times between stands and a rack that I have to assemble from tubes every time I move it. My kit involves seven tom arms, fourteen cymbal arms, two snare stands, two hi hat stands, and a gong drum. Figuring five minutes to assemble the rack from tubes, and two minutes per attachment, by the time I attach the hardware alone, I'm up to 47 minutes. Then I still have to mount the drums and cymbals themselves.

Since neither of us appears able to back off of what we believe to be the case, let us agree to disagree and I'll stop defending my position, since it apparently can't be true, despite the fact that I've been gigging with my large setup and my rack for twenty years now, and know fairly well how long it takes me to set it up.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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Since neither of us appears able to back off of what we believe to be the case, let us agree to disagree and I'll stop defending my position, since it apparently can't be true, despite the fact that I've been gigging with my large setup and my rack for twenty years now, and know fairly well how long it takes me to set it up.
LOL. it can obviously be true, you're the one with the monster kit, not us! :-)
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:54 PM
jfsdrumboy jfsdrumboy is offline
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

I've been a "rack guy" for a very long time. Even now that I use a 4pc. kit for most of my gigs I can not live with out my rack, especially now that I have the Gibraltar Stealth rack. I break it down completely. The rack goes in one bag on wheels, the cymbal arms, HH stand, throne base, snare basket, all go in another bag on wheels. As for set-up time I set my rack up a little quicker than if I used free standing hardware, mainly because everything is memory locked and in the same place everytime, I don't have to mess around with the width of a cymbal stand making sure it's in the right spot, although tape or a sharpie could fix that. The second image is of a bigger set up on the right side.

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Old 03-28-2010, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Racks... are they worth it?

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two minutes per attachment
Of course your position can be true- that's probably why. I have all mine memory locked and they take about 20 seconds each.
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