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  #1  
Old 09-13-2011, 03:21 AM
CCdrummer CCdrummer is offline
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Default Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I am sure this has been asked before but I was wondering what the overall preference is between those that have used both. I have never used a rack (drum cage) type set up, but I have used the cymbal stand tom holder style and I found it pretty annoying.

My bass player buddy (who is also a drummer) who has been gigging for 30 years says that any guy he knew that used a rack never stuck with it. When I discussed this with my friendly neighborhood drum store guy he pretty much said the same thing, that guys really love the rack at first, but don't stay with it for long.

I am asking because I am thinking of getting a set of tama's (either superstars or starclassics B/B, a topic for another discussion!) in the hyperdrive tom sizes, and bass drum mounted toms are not available for those kits.

Your thoughts?

Thanks
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

There are rack people and there are stand people.
Drummers with larger kits seem to swear by the rack.
I find that a five piece kit with two crashes, a ride and a splash does not need a rack.
Just individual choice.
I use a stand to mount my toms on the left of the bass drum with one cymbal mounted on the tom stand.
The kit in the pic is kind of like a Hyperdrive. The toms are ddrum and they are both 7inches deep.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I have kits up seven pieces and all I own are stands. I have played rack systems frequently in the past, but would never own one. In my thinking, the rack systems take up too much space, especially if you vary the amount of drums when playing different venues. I also believe they are much harder to transport than stands. A lot of stage areas vary from small to smaller and I can tuck things closer together with stands than what I ever could with a full rack. I also find if I have to readily move some of the components, stands are more cooperative.

Dennis
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I am a recent rack convert and can't figure out why I did not switch earlier. I purchased a curved gibraltar 3 piece rack for the same price as the double tom stand I was looking to buy. It also had 2 boom arms, 2 tama tom arms and several extra clamps and memory locks. I find it to be easier to set up and it takes up much less space than my kit when I used stands. I don't play a large kit either. One of my kits is a B/B hyperdrive (what you are looking to buy) with a 24 kick, 10x6 1/2 and 12x7 rack toms and a 16 floor. The toms fit perfectly over the kick and cymbals line up as well. The bars also make it easy to hide mic cables. The side bars can accomodate cymbals, effects, electronics or other drums or you can leave them at home. I think the rack is easier to transport as well. I use a rolling batters bag and it is very light compared to the flight case full of stands I used to haul around. Stability is also better on outdoor stages. No longer do I have to get the legs of a cymbal stand positioned just right so when the wind gusts everything won't fall over. Go for it. As far as the kit is concerned I have had both superstar hyper-drives (recently sold) and I have a couple of Starclassics (one B/B hyperdrive) and you can't go wrong with either.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:55 AM
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MusiQmaN MusiQmaN is offline
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

Im thinking more and more of getting a stealth combo. Its smaller and lighter and doesnt cover nice finishes. Yet it has a smaller footprint then stands (when you use more then a ride and 2 crashes)
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:06 AM
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Naigewron Naigewron is offline
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I started off with stands, but at a certain point I started getting really tempted by having a rack. Long story short: I bought one, used it for a while and found it too cumbersome. I'm back to stands, and I don't see myself getting a full rack again.

I do believe racks are great timesavers for large kits, but for a medium sized kit like mine (three toms, 3-4 crashes/chinas, etc) it didn't prove effective. The one thing I really liked about it was the small stage footprint dut to not having tripod legs sticking out in all directions. My rack was a front rack with side wings (Gibraltar GRS-350C), so it only had two feet on the floor; one on either side of my kick.

I am somewhat intrigued by the stealth rack systems, they seem to have the best of both worlds (the footprint of a rack and the flexibility and ease of setup of stands). I don't think I'll be getting one in the near future, but they do interest me.

My rack setup:


My current stand setup:
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2011, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I have had both and I loved the rack because it does save time when setting up and you always get your cymbals and toms in the same place every set up.
But if you have higher end stands they all have enough memory locks anyway.

I only stopped using it because my new kit is one up and two down so it would look pointless and just get in the way.

Plus I think stands look way classier :)
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2011, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

Some swear by racks and others swear at them... I have a three sided curved Gibraltar rack that I gigged with for a while. It was
a struggle to set up when other musicians were doing the same around me and even more so at the end of the night trying to
wrestle the curved pieces into a carry bag. I'm back to using stands when I play out. The rack is now in my drum room and
I have enough hardware that all I have to do is unpack the drums and cymbals between practice and gigs.

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Old 09-13-2011, 03:34 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I used to used a rack for my fairly large kit. Back injuries forced me to downsize a bit and so I went to stands. Additionally, stands are (for me) far easier to transport. With my old racks I had to remove the cymbal and tom arms to fit the rack in the car around the drums. Even with memory clamps it would take a while to set back up and adjust to where it felt right. Now I use three stands, and I essentially pop open the tripods, pull out the cymbal booms and set them, and add drums and cymbals.

You might be able to go to a stealth rack sort of deal and combine the best of both worlds, but in the end I have found that my stands are more flexible and portable, when dealing with gigs with differing requirements. Nobody has the time for you to rebuild your rack to fit on a smaller stage after you load in.
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Old 09-14-2011, 02:45 AM
CCdrummer CCdrummer is offline
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

Thanks for all the great replies everyone.

I don't think I will be doing much gigging in the near future, unless the live music scene around here undergoes a dramatic change so set up/tear down issues probably won't be a huge consideration.
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:16 AM
t.foger t.foger is offline
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I have a 7 piece 3 up, 2 down, with a virgin kick. Setting the 3 ride tom elevations and the cymbal stand elevations is time consuming. I am interested in the gibralter super spanner. Does anyone have any experience with it? With three ride toms, a crash, and a splash on it, sure seems like it would save a lot of time.
Please chime in.
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  #12  
Old 09-14-2011, 03:18 AM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I like a rack for my touring rig, and a traditional tom mount on the kick for a small tom or two.

I don't use cymbal stand tom holders for a few reasons:

Mounting a tom requires a somewhat heavy-duty stand, and I use lightweight stands for my local gigs. Bringing a heavier stand and a mount adds weight and takes up more space than an existing light stand and a kick mount holder or rail consolette (on my older kits.)

Positioning the tom when it's 'married' to a cymbal stand is more difficult, at least for me. A stand with a boom can help place the cymbal in a better position relative to the center of stand here it would normally sit, but that adds size, can add weight, and takes longer to set-up & tear-down.

But I'm all about ease and efficiency with my gear. When I'm playing locally and moving my own gear, a rack of any kind is prohibitive. On tour, using stands for 5 cymbals, 5 mics, and a Kat all tucked in around the kit is cumbersome, time-consuming and makes cymbal placement difficult.

Bermuda
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2011, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCdrummer View Post
Thanks for all the great replies everyone.

I don't think I will be doing much gigging in the near future, unless the live music scene around here undergoes a dramatic change so set up/tear down issues probably won't be a huge consideration.
If you are not moving your set, then the differences are almost academic. As you've seen here, the differences really only come into play when you are gigging and therefore moving the set a lot. Depending on what stands you buy, you might experience slightly more wobble than you would using a rack. Other than that, cost will probably be your only deciding factor.
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  #14  
Old 09-14-2011, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I wrote this topic about a year ago on my site.

For the last 20 years I had been playing electronic drums exclusively. Of coarse their kits always come with some kind of rack. Lets just say I am very comfortable with this system of set up. Every time I had to play somewhere, my kit would set back up for me the exact same way. This was extremely important for me because I am very,very, fussy. Did I mention I am fussy :).

When It came time for me to order this Saturn kit, I knew there was only one option for me. Can you imagine the amount of legs my kit would have if I used stands. It would probably take me twice as long to set it up. The floor would be covered in black feet. You would not even see my shells for all the chrome tentacles everywhere.

For a smaller kit it even makes sense. You can add all sorts of stuff on it. Stick holders, music stands, remote hats, percussive toys. Heck you could even mount a drink holder. It will all look like it belongs.

Another big reason I wanted a rack for my new kit was for resonance. Mapex went through all that trouble with isolated mounts on everything. They must of did this for a reason. The less things you have holding on to your toms the better. Why have three floor tom legs when you can have one isolated mount. Plus you can mount the floor toms anywhere you like. I like mine high and on an angle. The legs would be too short. If you do lean your floor tom too much, they tend to want to tip over.

When and if you do get a rack, make sure you spend some time thinking the set up out. Try and place your drums so that the rack is neither if front of your shells or under your bottom heads. Not in front so the you can see those beautiful shells you paid all that money for, and not underneath the reso heads, because round tubs will carry sounds through them to places that you don't want them to. Like your cymbals. The tubes should run lower than the toms, just not under them. Hope that makes sense. I even went one step further, and made sure all my badges where facing out, with the mounts off to the side as far as possible.

I guess you can tell which way I lean. I have had lots of experience both ways. Only one way makes sense to me.

P.S. They are a lot of fun to design. Very individual.
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  #15  
Old 09-14-2011, 05:04 PM
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Hissig Gompen Hissig Gompen is offline
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

Huge rack cages with tons of cymbals look pretty awesome but for a more modest kit I'll stick with my stands and clamps.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

If you have a larger set up (3+ rack toms), I could see the use of a rack system. Or, if you're on a sponsored tour and you have roadies setting up for you, a rack system would help speed things along for them, as they haul all of the band's gear out of the 18 wheeler. Other than that, I see no reason for a rack, unless you want one at home to set your kit up on quickly after your bring your kit home from gigging. Or, if you're playing gigs that require quick changeovers between bands, like festivals or the local dive-bar shows.

I use Yamaha 600 series (somewhat lightweight) hardware to mount my tom and cymbals on. The only reason I use those is because they fit decently in a suitcase I use to pack my hardware in (see the thread on my kit in my signature for pics/details). You don't need a beefy stand to hold a tom...I've used vintage flat-based stands before, and they work just fine (with those you have to position the tom over the legs, though...kind of a pain, but if you want "that look"...). And, you have a LOT of positioning options when mounting to a stand, more so than using the tom-mounting hardware that comes on some bass drums. They're super-easy to use and setup/tear down, and also lighter than hauling a rack or unnecessary bulky heavy-duty hardware.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:53 PM
jorn
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I have 500 gigs with a rack behind me back in the 80's.
I used the Pearl Porcaro rack. Nowadays its called DR-80.
The reason for using a rack was repeatability, weight reduction and speed of setup.
The DR-80 can be folded so that it is reasonably compact to transport. I never took off the legs.
For me this is essential.

I see people coming with a bucketload of Yamaha Hex rack components in a carton and must take time to put together.
I think the Gibraltar have the same problem.

So my recommandation for the gigging drummer is to check if the rack can be folded.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:48 PM
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MusiQmaN MusiQmaN is offline
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

Stil the time to put it together (especially if done good) is quicker and always the same then with stands.

And it looks a lot better too then the handy but also (im sorry) butt ugly Porcaro racks.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusiQmaN View Post
Stil the time to put it together (especially if done good) is quicker and always the same then with stands.

And it looks a lot better too then the handy but also (im sorry) butt ugly Porcaro racks.
Ouch! Glad you said that and not me.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:03 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

Went to a rack in the late 70s and never looked back. As others have said, a rack is the ONLY way to get same exact setup at EVERY gig. Yes, I did the painting of the carpet for stand legs, marking positons and heights of all stand tubes, and whatnot, but it was still a never-ending battle to get a consistent setup every time.

Another benefit of a rack is that you can get rid of the unweildly clutter of all the stand legs on the floor, which subsequently gives you a much smaller footprint, which can be quite handy if you gig regularly, because sometimes you never know what kind of stage, or non-stage for that matter, you're going to get! I once had to be on a 6x6 platform raised 5 feet off the ground, and my 4.5' x 4.5' footprint made it no problem, aside from climbing up and down off that thing between sets!

Yet, another benefit is that you're unlimited in what you can put on a rack. You are literally limited only by your imagination Look not only at what is all on this rack, the riser this is sitting on is only 5x5:

Front View


From Behind


Day Rehearsal Before Night Concert - Mics not installed yet


Summer Show on the River - no second tier, looks big but still in a 5x5 footprint


Closer look with no second tier. Here you can see that in addition to 3 cymbals, I have two overhead mic booms AND a vocal mic boom all on the top tier. On, and the rack is great for holding props and costume pieces, too. :-)


Here's a variation of the same rack in a different configuration. I actually like the one above best, because nothing blocks me from the audience. Problem is with night shows the cymbals cast a shadow from overhead stage lights (look again at the pic above and you can easily see why even though it's a day gig), and people have complained they can't see the drummer, which is important because at some of our "bigger" gigs part of our act is to wear props and interact with the audience with games, requiring people to see me. So, for this particular band, the two upper tiers have been removed, and the 4 cymbals are now "flown" off the uprights with only one straight arm each. In other words, I don't even need boom arms, which means less pieces to carry and eliminates any adjustments for cymbal setup. There's a 30 inch side wing to my left, to which is mounted an electric snare trigger, an oscillating fan on its own mount, a vocal mic stand, and even a music stand when I need it. Even with all that weight there is no need for a supporting upright, because a leg-less hi-hat stand is connected to it, which bears the weight. My right side has no wing at all; the ride simply flies off the upright. As with the config above, the snare basket is leg-less, too, as it is connected to a 30 inch bar coming low off my left upright, which allows unencumbered routing for the connecting rod to my slave pedal of the double bass pedal. And, if that's not enough, note there are two mic booms for overheard mics flying off each upright. The only things on the floor independent of the rack are the floor tom and the throne.

Look close - that riser is 5x5 and the setup doesn't even fill all of it


Small Club with Small Stage - Note how small the small footprint is


As you can see, with a rack the setup is exactly the same everytime, which makes setup faster. And, if you're creative you can mount just about anything you want, and believe it or not, there are actually less pieces to carry than a traditional setup.

One thing I would highly recommend is that you try NOT to buy the cheapest setup with the minimal pieces you can find. That might not make sense to you right now, but once you start buying clamps, you'll know why I said that. In fact, I have over $800 in my 3-tier setup in clamps alone! To be conservative, think of each tom and cymbal clamp as costing about $30. Some are more, some are less, but that's a safe average. I have 15 just on the 3 tiers alone. That does not include the 4 on the side wing and the 2 on the low wing. Nor does it include the the memory locks I have for most of the clamps, and you can see how that adds up. Of course, I've had 30 years to accumulate them, but if you buy combo packages, those clamps become dirt cheap. For example, I've seen deals on bars that come with clamps and memory locks, but buy them separately, and they're easily twice the money. So, I would suggest you also try to think ahead as far as you can so you know what combos to buy.
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Last edited by MrLeadFoot; 09-20-2011 at 11:43 AM.
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  #21  
Old 09-20-2011, 12:23 PM
jorn
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

I totally agree that the Yamaha rack is the best looking out there, but I am no sure about the functionality.
These days I play at some wedding functions and do not need to bing 10 cymbals.
Therefore, for this purpose, I also have 4 normal boom stands.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:36 PM
sticks4drums
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jorn View Post
I totally agree that the Yamaha rack is the best looking out there.
Well I wouldn't go that far. Maybe second best looking rack. :)
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  #23  
Old 09-21-2011, 04:35 AM
CCdrummer CCdrummer is offline
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Default Re: Rack set up vs cymbal stand tom holders?

Thanks again everyone for all the ime and effort you put into your replies.
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