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  #1  
Old 02-28-2012, 02:08 PM
AJ3000 AJ3000 is offline
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Default Designing a Rack help!!!!

Ok so I'm looking into expanding my Yamaha Rock Tour into a double bass drum kit. I love the sound it produces and feel that it might be the time to do it.

However, if I 'go large' on this badboy, I want to rackmount my entire kit, as I think it'll look better and be easier to setup consistently.

The issue I have is where to begin designing a rack? I love the look of the Yamaha Hexrack2 as it matches the hardware colour of my drums, and shouldn't slip at all. I know it'll need to accommodate 2 kicks, as well as 2 racks, a Legless hihat stand and snare stand, and about 10 cymbals. I'll probably RIMS mount the floor toms too.

Does anyone know of an online rack designer? It's going to be more than the standard off-the-shelf units available, but they're pretty pricey and I don't want to waste money buying bits I don't need.

As usual all advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:40 PM
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Netz Ausg Netz Ausg is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

My only contribution here isn't actually to do with racks (never used one, myself)...

Instead of sourcing a legless hat stand have you considered the Tama hi-hat clamp attachment? I have one for when I get out the second kick drum and it means you can fold in the legs and clamp it to your bass drum hoop.

Food for thought :)
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:49 PM
AJ3000 AJ3000 is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Netz Ausg View Post
My only contribution here isn't actually to do with racks (never used one, myself)...

Instead of sourcing a legless hat stand have you considered the Tama hi-hat clamp attachment? I have one for when I get out the second kick drum and it means you can fold in the legs and clamp it to your bass drum hoop.

Food for thought :)
I have, but I'm a bit of a pedal whore! I have cowbells and such on my left foot, and like my pedals REALLY close together, so the no-legged idea seems to work best. It's either that or cable methinks....
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:49 PM
AJ3000 AJ3000 is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

Oh and to add to this post, does anywhere in the UK stock hex rack 2 stuff? Can't find one anywhere!!!!
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:46 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

I've used a rack for 30 years, and since you stated that you find standard rack packages pricey, it sounds to me like a rack is going to be too much money for you, period, let alone the cost of paying someone to design one for you. If I misinterpreted your post, I apologize, and include some detailed info that might help you.

Rack pieces bought separately will end up costing you WAY more than buying packages. For example, a clamp, whether it be a clamp to connect the tubes together, or a clamp with which to attach cymbal arms and toms to the tubes, will easily costs $25 or more new. A good hinged memory lock for a clamp runs $9, so that's $35 right there. So, to mount 10 cymbals and 2 toms, you're looking at about $420 in clamps. Add tubes at $20 - $60 apiece and that's going to add up. But, when you buy packages, even small packages the price per tube can drop to $5!

While you can buy "standard" rack packages, there is no such thing as a standard rack. Even if you buy a packaged deal, you will undoubtedly configure and reconfigure it many times over, as well as add to it over time. Search for posts of mine and you'll find a post that includes several pics of several different configs my own rack, which might serve to help get your creative juices flowing. My opinion is that you sit down and draw out a main base configuration for how you would like your toms. Think "perfect world", too, because there is no limit to positioning when you buy a rack (in a round-tubed model, anyway), then buy a package that mostly closely matches your rack tube needs, and includes as many tom/cymbal mounts as possible. That will save you money to start. Add on pieces as you need.

Notice I mentioned a round tube rack, simply because there are more varieties of clamps and parts available from different manufacturers, which means more competitive pricing, more options, easier availability and infinite angle positioning options. And, the used market is over-flowing with stuff for round tubes. For example, when I bought my rack, Gibraltar wasn't even around, and Tama was the player in racks, which are round-tubed. Today, I have a combination of Tama, Gibraltar, DW, Peace and Roland clamps and locks on my rack. While Roland clamps are a hard nylon, opposed to metal, designed for electric drum racks, I like them for cymbal arms because they are much lighter, which makes a difference when you're transporting. While the nylon will slip with heavy items, since I gig a lot I have memory locks for ease of setup, like you mentioned, which eliminates the slippage problem with the Roland clamps. Roland clamps are also cheap.

Another reason I like round tubes is for ease of adjustment. Yes, I've seen some of the new clamps for hex and square tube racks, but there's still no comparison to adjustment options on round tubes.

Since you can often get clamps cheaper when tubes are part of the package, I've accumulated some Gibraltar chrome tubes over time, which is where I learned how low quality the Gibraltar tubes are. Not only is there slipping with chrome tubes, unlike their rock solid clamps Gibraltar tubes are cheap metal, so when you tighten clamps to compensate for slippage, the tubes become deformed. Of course, memory clamps stop the slipping, but you have to be carefuly tightening clamps on Gibraltar tubes.

The brushed steel tubes are much better (Tama and DW both make brushed metal tubes) in that clamps that would normally slip on chrome don't slip on brushed metal, which means you don't necessarily need to use memory clamps to stop slippage, except when mounting heavy items positioned in a manner in which leveraged weight puts exorbitant pressure in a manner conducive to slipping. Again, if you use memory locks for consistent setups there will be no slipping, so the point is moot.

Brushed steel also seems to be significantly stronger. Fortunately for me, I had gone back and bought more crossbars and extensions shortly after getting my Tama Power Tower because I wanted to run a 3-tiered rack, and now 30 years later, my three 48" curved crossbars, two 48" straight bars, two 30" straight bars and two 24" straight bars are all still in perfect shape, unlike the few chrome bars I used here and there over the years.

Finish on brushed steel is more durable, too. Chrome scratches and dents really easily, which often happens in transport, especially if you have clamps with right angle corners.

I will say that Gibraltar's new Stealth series chrome clamps grip significanly better than their other clamps, even though the others do great on brushed steel. The chrome on the new clamps seems to be more "sticky". In fact, a month ago I added 3 of these clamps, and even though I also bought memory locks, I found them to completely unnecessary for these new chrome Stealth clamps. In fact, I had 18" heavy long booms with heavy rides and sizzles cymbals on a chrome bar, and no matter what I did I had to use memory clamps to keep them from slipping. When I went to swap them out for the new Stealth style chrome clamps, I was surpised to find they really stick, and I didn't have to tighten them very much at all. I can't even budge them.

The Stealth clamps are also round-edged and lighter, so less chances of the corners marring something in transport, and another weight savings! :-)

If money is no issue, buy everything separately. If I had to do it all again, and money was no issue, I would buy DW brushed steel tubes, (because I can't seem to find Tama tubes separately in the U.S.), and Gibraltar Stealth series chrome clamps. In fact, I will be swapping out all my clamps for the new Stealth ones as they become more available. It might take me a while because I have over $800 in clamps right now (not including the new Stealth ones I just bought). Since you're in the UK, you should have no problem finding Tama tubes, you lucky.....!

As far as hi-hat and snare stands go, I am leg-less. I simply removed the legs on both stands and connected them to the rack. So nice not to have ANY legs on the floor, except mine! Since you have several pedals, you will ineed appreciate that! ;-)

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:32 PM
AJ3000 AJ3000 is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

Thanks for such a detailed response. The money is not an issue as such, however I am aware of the cost and don't want to blow even more on bits I don't need. I guess the best way is the find a 3 sided rack and then add on from there?

Also found out about the hex rack 2 (for anyone other than me that cares!) - it'll be released in the UK mid April and of course will be outrageously priced! Still tempting though!

I will look into Tama racks - I have never even seen one before!
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:05 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

FWIW, I noticed that these days the Tama Power Towers have square bars for the "legs". Mine came with a fold-out legs, which were round like the rest of the tubes. I've since moved to the Gibraltar t-legs, which also uses round tubes. Yes, the legs are chrome, while the rest of my tubes are brushed stainless steel, but no one can really tell. But, more importantly, I don't clamp anything to the legs, so no chance of them getting squished.

Is DW easily available where you are? I think the bars are the same as the Tama bars (not exactly sure, though), so that might give you more options in stainless tubes. ;-)
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:34 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

I agree with everything MLF said (or everything I read). And for reasons he mentioned, I put my money into a Pearl DR-100 (back around 1992). Currently, I run a Yamaha hex rack (two). I've just seen to many "failures" with round tube racks .... and MLF pointed out those weaknesses ... and strengths. If I was to buy a round tube rack, it would be a Gibraltar Stealth. Why no one thought of that design 20 years ago .... who knows. Maybe we're just obsessed with "monkey bars"! But I put my latest money in the Yamaha hex. When they "first" came out .... they were expensive. $600-$700, if I remember correct. I bought my first one, when Guitar Center started their big Yamaha rack "blow out". About $300. The second one I bought was even less, and it was one of the last new ones, in the North American continent.
If you have the "luxury" of time I'd buy, new and/or, Yamaha. Both Yamaha and Gibraltar/Stealth will give you legless snare stand and hi-hat options. (I'm a guy who likes floor space, also. Sometimes, I run a loop station and volume pedal on the floor). If you need a rack "now", I'd say go Stealth Rack. They look cool, with the not-so-in-your-face attitude. Minimalist rack design.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

ray has a great rack and round the left and right hand sides he uses a stealth rack and they look convenient and wont take up allot of space i put an image on of it from the front may not be his newest desighn of rack but better than nothing
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:09 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

Stealth racks aren't very practical, IMHO. I use a rack to optimize positioning of items, and to ease setup and breakdown. This includes ridding myself of unnecessary pieces, like stand bases, stand legs, and in many cases even cymbal booms and extensions. For example, I "fly" two crashes directly off my uprights via simple single cymbal stand top pieces (from Gibraltar 5610s to be exact); no boom, no ratchet piece, no extension. My ride is also on a single cymbal arm. 3 cymbals on 3 straight arms.

With the Stealth setup, all the crossbars are low to the ground. That means you need at least extensions for all your cymbals, if not complete boom arm assemblies. Almost defeats the purpose of having a rack. The typical Stealth setup also requires at least 4 feet, and those feet have to lay sideways, which defeats a rack's benefit for reducing floor clutter. And the Stealth requires 4 uprights. Take a look at the pic below. And, keep in mind if you have more than two rack toms, you need yet ANOTHER piece!


Conversely, my current setup has only two legs running perpendicular to the front edge of my carpet, and two uprights. Out of 5 cymbals, I have only two cymbal booms, and one is only because I have a China. I have 3 rack toms and two floor toms. In addition to the two crashes mentioned above, I fly two overhead mic booms directly off my uprights, as well as a vocal mic. That's a total of 5 items on 2 uprights! All told 7 drums, 5 cymbals, hi-hat, and 3 mic booms all sit in a 4.5'x5' footprint.

While the Stealth setup does indeed have shorter uprights, BECAUSE of that low hieght, you end up needing MORE pieces than a standard rack setup, just to get your cymbals up to a practical playing level, particularly crashes and chinas. Look at all the pics of Stealth setups and you'll see what I mean. In fact, I saw a post on this forum where a member couldn't find a cymbal extension long enough to suit his preferred symbal height. Believe me, I was excited to see the new Stealth setup when it first came out, too. I have plenty of extra rack pieces lying around, so I designed a mock version of my own to see if I would like a setup like that, but once I totalled up all the pieces I had to add to make it usable for me, including all the little "extras" I had to put into play to make it practical, that idea went completely out the window. To illustrate, compare the hardware pieces required for both setups below.

My Current Setup
2 uprights, 2 feet, 1 crossbar, 2 wings, leg-less hi-hat affixed to a wing, and snare on 1 short crossbar. Total tubes: 8.
2 overhead mic booms and vocal mic boom "flown on uprights. Legs on the floor: Throne and floor toms.
Cymbal boom arms used on 5 cymbals: 2

Stealth (for the same items)
4 uprights, 4 feet, 2 crossbars. Total tubes: 10.
2 overhead mic stands and vocal mic stand. Legs on the floor: hi-hat (still needs legs), 3 mic stands, throne, floor toms.
Cymbal boom arms required for 5 cymbals: 5
Not to mention that I need to add yet another piece to accommodate for my THREE total rack toms!

I don't know about anyone else, but having less pieces to carry and setup, as well as more mounting flexibility, my so-called "traditional" rack setup is the clear winner! ;-)
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Last edited by MrLeadFoot; 03-07-2012 at 02:47 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2012, 09:47 PM
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MusiQmaN MusiQmaN is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

Just take longer boom arms (for instance the Yamaha CH755 is long enough) and your problems are solved.

Stealth is the way if you want to have more reach (you can use longer horizontal bars as well) then the average rack setup with 2 side wings (especially with 2 floors a bunch of crashes/ride and at the other side side snare, percussion, sampler etc)

Especially for that purpose a stealth is much more easier to use and less visible. Both Yamaha and Gibraltar and even Pearl.

If you are a bit handy and creative you can do it wit less then the bars you mentioned.

(I've build a dozen of rack setups both Pearl, Gibby and Yamaha)
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:03 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

The bars I mentioned are the minimum Stealth setup... look at the pic I posted. Not even including the cymbal arms they show, that's already more pieces than my standard setup with two wings.

And, long booms aren't the issue with Stealths. Height is, therefore you need longer posts AND long boom arms. Like I said above, with my standard rack setup I don't even need the posts or ratchet pieces for some cymbals, just an arm.

So that's two places I already have less pieces than with a Stealth.

And, I do have two floor toms. Over 30 years I've re-configured my rack in more different ways than you can imagine. In addition to the 5 cymbals, hi-hat, snare, 3 rack toms, and 3 mic booms I have attached to my rack, I currently also have an electric trigger pad, music stand and oscillating fan attached. That's something else you can't do that with a Stealth unless you add even MORE tubes. In fact, you can't even mount the cymbals I have and a hi-hat to a Stealth rack without adding on to it, which means you have to have even MORE tubes. ;-)

While Stealth might be good for a single rack tom, 3 cymbal setup, but you still have a hi-hat on the floor, and still have more tubes than a standard rack in a small kit setup, especially since with a small setup you don't need side wings. ;-)
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

If you ony knew what I could do with rack pipes... ;)

You missing my point but its ok. If youre rack works for you then it does. I just gave my view over the mather based in the experience I had.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:59 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Designing a Rack help!!!!

Sorry if I came off argumentative. I didn't mean to.
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