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  #1  
Old 01-13-2009, 12:55 AM
Bigwheel Bigwheel is offline
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Default Racks vs. Stands???

I play a 5 piece kit w/ anywhere from 4 to 8 cymbals depending on the gig and a few latin pieces. Right now I use stands for everything and man they are killing my back when I lug them around. For those of you that have used both stands & racks I would love your opinions on which you prefer and why. Thanks in advance for the input.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

Racks are large, heavy, and cumbersome.

You can greatly reduce your load weight by using clamp-on boom arms and attach them to your cymbal stands.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

You know what they say? Once you go RACK you never go back. All kidding aside, for me personally, once i go past having to set up more than 4 stands of any type, excluding the hi-hat, it's time for a rack. Yes they can be heavy, but they can also be time savers. Last Saturday night i had a gig and set up to play in about 7-8minutes flat. I had the entire rack assembled at the side of the stage and when the band before us got off, the rack was in place within seconds and it was just a matter of attaching 4 rack toms and 5 cybals to the tom holders and boom arms that were already perfectly in place with memory locks. I was ready before my band mates were. Also becuse of the "footprint", i've crammed my 8 pc kit (bass/snare/4rack/2floor) into spaces that a 4 pc kit with 4 tripod stands would fit. If you're only using a 5 pc kit though, i think you're right at the threshold of needing one, depending on how many cymblas you're using.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

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Originally Posted by diosdude View Post
You know what they say? Once you go RACK you never go back. All kidding aside, for me personally, once i go past having to set up more than 4 stands of any type, excluding the hi-hat, it's time for a rack. Yes they can be heavy, but they can also be time savers. Last Saturday night i had a gig and set up to play in about 7-8minutes flat. I had the entire rack assembled at the side of the stage and when the band before us got off, the rack was in place within seconds and it was just a matter of attaching 4 rack toms and 5 cybals to the tom holders and boom arms that were already perfectly in place with memory locks. I was ready before my band mates were. Also becuse of the "footprint", i've crammed my 8 pc kit (bass/snare/4rack/2floor) into spaces that a 4 pc kit with 4 tripod stands would fit. If you're only using a 5 pc kit though, i think you're right at the threshold of needing one, depending on how many cymblas you're using.
I second this. I only play a 5 piece plus aux snare, 2 crashes, 2 chinas, spash, & ride. I use the rack for three reasons- one, if I hung everything on stands, I'd have to get heavy stands and that would weigh as much as the rack. Two, the rack definitely saves time, if not weight, and reduces the footprint on stage. I've gone further than diosdude stated above- I've set up the rack WITH cymbals & toms all mounted. When it was my turn, I flopped my carpet down, throne/snare/hihat/bass drum, and then just set the rack right in position. 2 minutes. No micro-adjusting this stand that way, this stand forward a bit, blah blah. Third, I position my rack toms in such a place that they're impossible to do with a stand, so if I didn't use a full-on rack, I'd at least have to have one curved bar mounted between two cymbal stands.

One of these days I'll get around to posting a photo of my setup so you can all see what I mean. My only complaint is that, from the way I set up, which is like a double-bass setup without the left side BD, my right-side vertical post has to be in front of the right side of my bass drum, otherwise the whole rack is way off to my right side. But, this puts my rack toms a little further away than I'd like. I'm currently using the one in the first pic, but thinking adding the extension in the second so that my bass drum would sit under the right-side bar.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

I posted this on another forum just yesterday, so I'll repost it here:

-----------

I have a relatively small kit, but even before I bought it, I knew I was going for a rack setup. There were a few reasons for this:

1: Consistency. Every time I set up my kit, it will look exactly the same
2: Small footprint on stage. No stand legs poking out everywhere, so the floor space used is very small.
3: I think racks look awesome

I do like the idea of square tubing, so the Icon was tempting in that regard, but Pearl doesn't offer the front rack with side wings setup that I wanted, and the full three-sided setup would be way overkill for me. This meant the decision really made itself, and the multitude of options available for a Gibraltar setup didn't hurt either.

On the issue of slippage: I don't understand what people are doing wrong. I have no memory locks on my clamps, and I haven't had a single slippage incident, ever! That being said, I'm ordering memory clamps for my tom and ride clamps, just to be on the safe side, but so far, the setup has been 100% rock solid!

Pros and cons list! These don't really apply to the Gibraltar rack in particular, it's more of a rack vs stands thing. My previous kit was an almost identical configuration (the only difference was that it had a hanging floor tom, not one on legs), and was stand-based, so I feel I've got a basis for comparison:

Pros:
- Small floor footprint
- Consistent setup every time I assemble the kit
- Clean (and, in my opinion, awesome) look
- Nothing on the kit moves independently of other pieces. Everything is rock solid. This was a particular problem when using a stand-based setup on soft stage floors. Everything would sway back and forth, and usually not in unison. The rack's got such a broad base and much weight, it's not moving at all
- Adding a cymbal (or whatever else) doesn't require a new stand or trying to clamp a boom arm onto an existing stand (which almost always means a compromise on positioning). Add a multiclamp and a small boom arm, and you've got every positioning possibility you could want

Cons:
- Not as easy to move pieces (especially toms) closer or further away. You're bound to the rack bars, and although you can angle clamps and tom arms, the possibilities are not endless
- Experimenting with new setups is much more of a hassle than with stands. It's not just a matter of moving a stand to a completely different position anymore, you might have to move the whole rack into a new position, which in turn means that you have to move everything else on the rack to compensate.
- The whole setup is probably a little bit heavier than my old stand setup, but not so much that it's a problem.


So in closing: Once I've found a setup I'm happy with, I'm extremely happy with my rack. It took me about a week of experimenting before I settled on my setup, but as it stands, I don't see myself wanting to change it anytime soon. I've had variations of the same setup for years now, but after really taking the time and perfecting it, I'm utterly sold on the rack.

The kit and setup (more in my sig):




My old kit (for reference):

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Old 01-14-2009, 12:47 AM
Bigwheel Bigwheel is offline
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

Good stuff guys. Does anyone have, or know someone who has, the Gibralter V Rack? It looks good and I've heard that it's more versatile.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

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Originally Posted by Bigwheel View Post
Good stuff guys. Does anyone have, or know someone who has, the Gibralter V Rack? It looks good and I've heard that it's more versatile.
Funny you should mention that....

I *just* finished setting up my brand-new V-rack station. It's rock solid! The v-arms are worlds better for me than the standard. The ends reach for you, and it blows away my former standard rack.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
I posted this on another forum just yesterday, so I'll repost it here:

I do like the idea of square tubing, so the Icon was tempting in that regard, but Pearl doesn't offer the front rack with side wings setup that I wanted, and the full three-sided setup would be way overkill for me. This meant the decision really made itself, and the multitude of options available for a Gibraltar setup didn't hurt either.
Looks like you've got yours working fine for you- great looking setup! I'd suggest getting one of those adapters for the top of your ride-side vertical tube to hold a boom arm for that cymbal closest to it. Then you could use that clamp elsewhere in case you add something.

There's always a middle ground that I've been considering, for reasons I've stated in another thread, which is the two-sided rack, like double-bass users use, just without the left side BD. But, instead of the two curved bars forming one continuous curved line, I'll pull the sides in so that it looks more like a wide V with curved lines. I've sorta tried this with my existing setup pictured above in the 1st photo. I connected my "foot" tubes with a clamp and used it as the 3rd vertical post, and did the same thing with the two short curved arms for the other horizontal tube. It was a much better setup but I was sketchy about connecting short tubes like that, so I switched it back and aim to get that sidebar in the 2nd photo.

I figure, since I have another smaller kit, I can use the curved tubes that I'll no longer need on the rack as mini-systems on cymbal stands, rather than multiple clamps all attached to a single stand. Rack tom, cowbell, & tambourine on one crash stand, ride & floor flown off the other crash stand. Otherwise I'll have 4 short pieces of rack tubing sitting around useless! (Like me, haha!)
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:39 AM
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Naigewron Naigewron is offline
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmdrum View Post
Looks like you've got yours working fine for you- great looking setup! I'd suggest getting one of those adapters for the top of your ride-side vertical tube to hold a boom arm for that cymbal closest to it. Then you could use that clamp elsewhere in case you add something.
I do have one of those in that vertical tube, but using that meant the boom would have to point downwards, and the ride would hit the boom when it started moving. As you can see in the second pic, the ride is not very high above the vertical tube, and adding a cymbal arm there would extend the tube even higher up.

Last edited by Naigewron; 01-16-2009 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

I've been in both worlds. I started out with stands (in fact, one heavy duty Tama stand for each of the 6 or 7 cymbals that I had on my kit). Then I went to a rack system, and now I'm back to stands.

For me, a rack is impractical. I might play a jazz gig one night, then a small-ish rock gig, then a church gig, then a big-ish rock gig... Every time I take my set out, my needs change. I won't need to hang 6 crashes at every gig. I change the toms, the snare, the cymbals and positions... every single time I go out.

Back when I was using the rack, I was hanging every cymbal I owned (at the time is was only 2-3 crashes). Everything was the same every time, no matter what the gig. Now that I've made my set more adaptable and modular, I need hardware that can reflect this. Cymbal stands with clamps attached to them fit the bill. If I'm only using 2 crashes and a ride, I bring enough stands for that. If I'm using 3 crashes, a ride, and a china, I grab one more. If I'm hanging all 6 crashes, 2 chinas, 2 rides... well, you get the picture.

Also, the rack was cumbersome and heavy. It took a while to set up and tear down, and it locked me into some awkward setups due to its (mainly) linear design.

That's just my two cents. Adjust for inflation accordingly. :-)
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:44 PM
Bigwheel Bigwheel is offline
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

Here's why I asked. I'm tired of it taking me 30 minutes to set up, another 30 to tear down and not having everything consistent every time. I'm always the first there and the last to leave. In addition my hardware is so dang heavy that my 43 year old back can't take the stress anymore (already had surgery once). I'm trying to find a easier way to make all this work. It "looks" like the rack is easier but it appears to be just as heavy. I'm open to other tips for nightly set ups and tear downs.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:35 AM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

I feel your pain. I'm 55 and still carry lots of gear to most of my gigs, especially the outdoor gigs. I currently use the Gibraltar curved rack with the two side wings.

Two years ago after a gig I was very tired and thought that enough is enough. I sold my kit and rack to my brother and decided to start using a 4 piece kit with two crashes, a ride and hi-hats. It saved me about 5 minutes that's it and it was not much lighter. I also was not as happy with only using the smaller kit. I now have the Gibraltar rack again a 6 piece kit and 7 cymbals. Yes it takes me a bit more time but everything has memory locks so It's not too bad.

I guess your the only one who can decide what's best for your situation. My advice would be to keep the rack if you can and try using the stands for some gigs see if it makes that much of a difference.
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Old 01-15-2009, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
I do have one of those in that vertical tube, but using that meant the boom would have to point downwards, and the ride would hit the boom when it started moving. As yan see in the second pic, there ride is not very high above the vertical tube, and adding a cymbal arm there would extend the tube even higher up.
Ah, I see that now. Yeah, I guess your only option there is to cut some length off the vertical tube(s). I did that with mine, probably 6 to 8" shorter than stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkerwood View Post
For me, a rack is impractical. I might play a jazz gig one night, then a small-ish rock gig, then a church gig, then a big-ish rock gig... Every time I take my set out, my needs change. I won't need to hang 6 crashes at every gig. I change the toms, the snare, the cymbals and positions... every single time I go out.

Also, the rack was cumbersome and heavy. It took a while to set up and tear down, and it locked me into some awkward setups due to its (mainly) linear design.

That's just my two cents. Adjust for inflation accordingly. :-)
Yeah, I get it- I use my rack for my primary setup, which isn't much bigger than Naigewron's, and I still have some stands for smaller/quieter gigs. I take the same 5 drum cases (or 4 if I'm using a single rack tom) and a few stands with the clamps already in place, in a separate bag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigwheel View Post
Here's why I asked. I'm tired of it taking me 30 minutes to set up, another 30 to tear down and not having everything consistent every time. I'm always the first there and the last to leave. In addition my hardware is so dang heavy that my 43 year old back can't take the stress anymore (already had surgery once). I'm trying to find a easier way to make all this work. It "looks" like the rack is easier but it appears to be just as heavy. I'm open to other tips for nightly set ups and tear downs.
That's exactly why I use the rack, and it IS easier, a little faster, and MUCH more consistent, but, unless you're schlepping 5 or more stands, not any lighter. My advice is, keep the rack, & get a good rolling hardware back for your back's sake.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmdrum View Post
Ah, I see that now. Yeah, I guess your only option there is to cut some length off the vertical tube(s). I did that with mine, probably 6 to 8" shorter than stock.
I've thought about it, and I'll probably do that at some point, but since the setup works really well as it is, there's no rush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkerwood View Post
I've been in both worlds. I started out with stands (in fact, one heavy duty Tama stand for each of the 6 or 7 cymbals that I had on my kit). Then I went to a rack system, and now I'm back to stands.

For me, a rack is impractical. I might play a jazz gig one night, then a small-ish rock gig, then a church gig, then a big-ish rock gig... Every time I take my set out, my needs change. I won't need to hang 6 crashes at every gig. I change the toms, the snare, the cymbals and positions... every single time I go out.

Back when I was using the rack, I was hanging every cymbal I owned (at the time is was only 2-3 crashes). Everything was the same every time, no matter what the gig. Now that I've made my set more adaptable and modular, I need hardware that can reflect this. Cymbal stands with clamps attached to them fit the bill. If I'm only using 2 crashes and a ride, I bring enough stands for that. If I'm using 3 crashes, a ride, and a china, I grab one more. If I'm hanging all 6 crashes, 2 chinas, 2 rides... well, you get the picture.

Also, the rack was cumbersome and heavy. It took a while to set up and tear down, and it locked me into some awkward setups due to its (mainly) linear design.

That's just my two cents. Adjust for inflation accordingly. :-)
Yeah, a rack setup is not the way to go for guys who change their setup often. Like I said in my previous post, it's extremely nice once I've found a setup I'm happy with, but moving things around can be a real hassle, and is not something I'd want to have to do often. I don't do that though, I've used the same basic setup for many years and quite a few bands now. I'm more of a fan of finding a setup size and layout that will fit everything, rather than using different setups for different bands or styles.

That being said, I do have a separate hardware set (stands, no rack) that allows me to scale down my kit to a 4-piece with two crashes and a ride, but this has much more to do with sometimes having to play small stages or having to lug stuff long distances than playing different styles.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

For me it depends on a few things. I pretty much always use a rack because of the amount of cymbals i use. The pros is that with all the memory locks and everything that it can be set up almost perfect everytime in a matter of minutes. Also i sometimes use the bass drum that is supplied at the gig place and its easy cause i know my setup is for a 24 inch bass so everything is going to fit around any bass drum they throw my way. Plus people say the rack is heavy but compare it to lugging around a heavy bag full of stands. you get two guys to move the rack and your good. Sometimes hard to manuver but it is great especially when you have limited time to set up. The only time i wont use the rack is if i am usuing a very small setup for my other band. In my regular band i have two mounted sometimes three and two floors, and about 12 cymbals and thats my thrash metal slash prog metal band but when i play in my rock band i use one mounted one floor and 4 cymbals including the hi hat. So if you dont need it then dont get it but if you have alot of cymbals and limited time to setup then it is great.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

I prefer racks in theory. I like being able to mount my toms and cymbals without having to accommodate or think about bass drum mounts and the floor space of stands. It just makes getting a comfortable set up so much easier!

But in reality, they are tough to gig with. You always need help loading a rack on and off stage. And why I stopped using a rack live is too many stages are NOT flat, and if you set up your rack on an non-flat stage, it throws everything off, and it's tough to readjust everything back to where it's supposed to be. Individual stands don't have this problem, and are much more forgiving of odd stages.

Now that I don't gig as often as I used to, I have my rack set up at home, but I keep all my stands ready to go for live shows.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Racks vs. Stands???

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Now that I don't gig as often as I used to, I have my rack set up at home, but I keep all my stands ready to go for live shows.
That's probably the best option overall. Have both for versatility. What DOES annoy me is having both stands and a rack. I don't know why it bothers me; it just does.

FWIW, I always laugh when I see somebody using a rack when it's totally not necessary. Every once in a while, I'll see someone with a 4 piece kit, ride and crash setup still using a rack. I mean, THREE THINGS mounted to the rack... IMHO, that's a little overkill.

By the same token, 14 tripods touching the ground is a little much. I'm tempted to go ahead and set back up my Gibraltar rack at least for practice in my music room. My china/cowbell/flat ride cymbal stand has migrated a little too far to the right (for sake of balance and positioning), and I no longer have room to play my guitar.
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