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  #1  
Old 06-23-2012, 02:03 AM
gretschdrummeradam gretschdrummeradam is offline
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Default Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I've never seen a one in person and was considering one.
What are the advantages of using a drum rack and which brand make the cheapest?
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2012, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

About 20 years ago when I played a bigger set I tried one since I got it fairly cheap (Gibraltar) and ended up selling it. I found it to be heavier and more clunky to get set up than just using stands. The clamps at that time were not cheap nor were the memory locks for them.

I'm obviously only one person and since many people use them, I'm not the only or best opinion on the topic.
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  #3  
Old 06-23-2012, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

My advice is read through these threads:


http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...highlight=rack

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...highlight=rack

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...highlight=rack

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...highlight=rack

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...highlight=rack

Racks are helpful if you prefer a large set up. I stopped using my rack many, many years ago because too many clubs had un-even drum risers, and it would throw the rack off. While stands are more forgiving.
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

A good rule of thumb is, use a rack where using the comparable amount of stands is heavier, and/or more complicated and time-consuming to set-up & tear down, and/or prohibitive because of the amount of stands that must touch the floor in a small space.

For example, on my touring kit my rack holds 3 toms, 5 cymbals, 5 mics, and my electronics pad. Even if the floor tom was on its legs and the 2 rack toms were on the kick, imagine trying to configure a total of 11 stands around the kit! I don't have to imagine, because when playing overseas with a backline kit and stands, that's exactly what has to be done, and it's a real pain. A rack is absolutely essential from a logistical standpoint, not to mention the advantages of consistent positioning every night.

But on my local gigs where I use 2 toms and 2 cymbals, no electronics and typically no mics on stands, a rack would be a detriment space-wise, and weight-wise.

As for a "cheap" rack (I assume you mean inexpensive?), just shop around. But buy quality, don't just get the least-expensive no-name rack. I've had the same Pearl rack (with square tubing) since 1993, and it's never failed me and no components have ever slipped or rotated from where they're set. Over 875 shows with set-up and tear-down, and no problems.

Bermuda
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:56 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

Tried the racks in the past but went back to stands, I find it faster and easier plus it was cheaper. I have a 4 hanging toms and 1 floor tom, 2 snares, 8 cymbals, hats, cow bell, jam block, tambourine and 1 roto tom, it all goes on 4 stands plus the high hat stand and 1 snare stand and I dont break anything down only fold in the legs.
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:01 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I was in bands that played one hour slots in L.A. clubs, so a rack got me up in just a few minutes .... and down even quicker. And, like Bermuda mentioned, if you have a large kit, it can actually reduce your kits footprint. And, consistent set up placement. But certainly, racks don't work in all venues. So, I have both racks (two Yamaha hex) and stands. Keep all the bases covered.
Before my Yamaha racks, I had a Pearl DR-100. Awesome workhorse of a rack. Bought it for $100 used. Added a few clamps to it. Gigged with it for 10 years.
As far as buying new, most affordable rack is probably Gibraltar. But I'm not a fan of round tube .... lots of people love 'em .... not me. If you delve into those other threads, you'll probably find at least "one" round tube vs. non-round tube debate.
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  #7  
Old 06-23-2012, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

Ive used a Pearl rack for nearly 10 years now.

All I have are Pros, no cons.


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  #8  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I gig frequently. Used a Gibraltar rack for about 15 years. I have two herniated discs. Now I use stands. Nuff said.
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:02 AM
jornthedrummer jornthedrummer is offline
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
I've had the same Pearl rack (with square tubing) since 1993, and it's never failed me and no components have ever slipped or rotated from where they're set. Over 875 shows with set-up and tear-down, and no problems.

Bermuda
+1

350 gigs on mine in the 80's w/o problems.
The pearl rack also folds which reduces setup/tear down and the chances of forgetting something.
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2012, 08:43 AM
cutaway79 cutaway79 is offline
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I've used many different rack setups over the years from Tama, Gibraltar, and Pearl. Playing a minimum of 2 shows a week (usually more), the rack, while providing a smaller footprint (though not much if you position your stands creatively), was more of a hassle than it was worth.

First off, for it to be quicker to set up and tear down, you need to leave all cymbal and tom arms attached, and just separate the vertical rack bars from the horizontal rack bars. Now you have three big, long, heavy, awkward pieces of metal (with all the arms coming off of them at various angles) that won't fit into any regular hardware case. Next, you have the issue of the rigidity of the rack. Yeah, it's nice and stable IF the floor/stage/riser is level and even. However, if you're playing on some janky stage that flexes when you walk on it (as some smaller venues tend to have), or you're forced to set up on a multi-piece stage or riser and end up on an uneven seam, your rack will undoubtedly wobble, and you'll have to adjust the legs to accommodate, eating up any time you MAY have saved by using it instead of stands.

Depending on the size of your kit, stands will most likely be a better option in terms of transporting, weight, and set-up/tear-down. For reference, I've included a picture of my kit. Aside from my snare and hihat stands (which you would most likely be using with a rack too), I've got 3 toms and five cymbals all mounted on two stands, and I could probably fit more if I wanted to. To pack up, I remove the cymbal booms (just the booms, I leave all the vertical tubes in place), fold the tripods, and stick everything in an SKB rolling golf club case (usually cheaper than their dedicated drum hardware cases).

However, if you have a drum tech to set it up and tear it down for you, go nuts, man. haha
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2012, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I've had both rack & just stands through the years & I'm much happier with racks.

here is my old Pearl world series on a Pearl rack back in 1992

And my current set on a Gibraltar rack
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  #12  
Old 06-29-2012, 12:24 AM
LeftyDoug LeftyDoug is offline
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I think it depends on where you play and the size of your kit. A rack can as Gavin Harrison states, "get rid if the forest of cymbal stand bases" if you have a lot of stands. I have a Pearl rack and I love it but I find that if I need to size my kit down for a smaller club where I'm stuck back in the corner, stands do the job much better. If you are constantly playing clubs where you have plenty of room and you want everything in the same place every time, a rack is the answer. I also found that when I carried my rack I had two hardware bags. One for the rack itself and another for the cymbal and tom arms. With stands I only carry one hardware bag. The "bag of death" I call it. Thank god it has wheels. Heavy SOB.
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  #13  
Old 06-30-2012, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by kissarmyfreak View Post
I've had both rack & just stands through the years & I'm much happier with racks.

here is my old Pearl world series on a Pearl rack back in 1992

And my current set on a Gibraltar rack
Bahaha that is ridiculous, I want to play it.

Is it an illusion or is your snare really as deep as your floor tom?

To OP: I've got a pearl icon rack, my kit is pretty small but It allows me to setup my cymbals more easily.
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  #14  
Old 06-30-2012, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
A good rule of thumb is, use a rack where using the comparable amount of stands is heavier, and/or more complicated and time-consuming to set-up & tear down, and/or prohibitive because of the amount of stands that must touch the floor in a small space.
Bermuda
This. ^

I play a standard 4 piece kit; rack tom mounted on kick, but I use a Gibraltar Stealth Rack on my right to hold 2 ride cymbals, a crash (I could easily mount another) and cowbell.
http://www.gibraltarhardware.com/?fa...sid=616&cid=31
It's sort of the rack for people that don't like racks.

It takes up very little room and is quicker to set up than 3 or 4 separate stands.
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  #15  
Old 10-26-2012, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I used to have 2-3 boom stands on the right side to hold my 16" rack tom and china and then I had two booms carrying my ride and 2nd crash. I decided to set something up similar to the gibraltar stealth rack system with my current rack and I haven't gone back to tripod stands since...plus it kinda makes the shells stand out a bit.

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  #16  
Old 10-26-2012, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I also think it depends on your kit. I play 2up and 1 down. I use 2 crashes, one splash, and one ride. THe splash is mounted on my tom mount. So i only use 3 cymbal stands and one hi hat stand. I see no need for a rack system. Maybe I will get enough money to buy enough drums to need a rack..........one day :)
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  #17  
Old 11-05-2012, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

1) – I’m using a 3 sided Gibraltar rack holding 4 rack toms, 2 ride, 4 crash, 1 splash, 2 timbalitos(8 and 10”), tambourine and cowbell.
It’s a pretty big kit but I’m always thinking that I could be more efficient in set-up and pack up if I used floor stands, particularly because I have a twin tom stand that I can use into the bass drum.
What always spoils a gig night is the thought that I’m under pressure after the last set to be away from the club before the staff get impatient and want to go home. Best time from end of last set to ‘down the road’ is one hour.
I’d really appreciate any advice re. the efficient use of floor stands combined with ancillary ‘offshoot boom stands’.

2) I also have a Tama performer birch. Toms are 10,12,14,16, (all rack), + 22 x 16 bass drum.

I’m really interested to know what heads LeftyDoug has found best. I presently use,for the toms, G2 batters coated and G1 resos clear,plus EQ4 batter and EQ1 reso for bass drum.
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  #18  
Old 11-11-2012, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I just ordered one and am using it to reduce the footprint of my kit and because I want more mounting options for my kit and I still play a small kit. But I am not alone in small kits using racks:
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dre25 View Post
Bahaha that is ridiculous, I want to play it.

Is it an illusion or is your snare really as deep as your floor tom?

To OP: I've got a pearl icon rack, my kit is pretty small but It allows me to setup my cymbals more easily.
No illusion, That was actually a marching band snare it was 12" deep
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I have never used a rack, but I do have a large kit: 4 rack toms, 8 cymbals plus a set if hats, cowbell, tambourine, etc.
I'm certainly considering purchasing one though for one main reason....
When micing my kick drum, I have a hard time getting my ringing toms from resonating through my kick drum. My 10" and 12" toms are mounted directly on my kick drum. I could mount them on stands but the amount of stands and hardware I'm using is getting out of hand. That's where I think a rack system would benefit me personally.
So there's a Pro for ya. If you're using a smaller kit tho, like others said, a rack system probably wouldn't benefit you as much at all.
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  #21  
Old 11-12-2012, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

You can say, "Want to check out my rack?"
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  #22  
Old 11-13-2012, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I use the rack to route mic cables, and minimize the number of things I have on the floor. My next step will be to add my overhead mics into the rack setup. I think it just looks really clean, everything goes back where I want it. I have the memory clamps that enable me to break this down and set it back up in a matter of minutes.

Also, I can get the tolerances between pieces really tight. which really plays into the little splashes and whatnot I like to have in there.

A rack is an investment...it's more than the rack, a few clamps, and a few booms...you have to account for all of the memory locks that will really make the rack a complete investment. (6x tube memory locks, about 10 boom memory locks) That's about $100 of 'un-programmed' expense when rack shopping.

I'm going to use very long tubes (plus a couple of new clamps and boom mic arms)...it'll be cool. I just have to get the motivation to figure out who will ship them to Alaska without making me poor.
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  #23  
Old 11-14-2012, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I use a Pearl Icon rack with my Mapex Saturn (and previously with my old Tama Rockstar custom) for one reason. We play some pretty small venues and the footprint of the kit with the rack is about half what it was with stands. The stand bases, as bermuda said earlier, take up lots of room and are difficult to position if you have more than 3 to get the cymbals where I want them. The rack has compromises too, but they are minimal in comparison.

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  #24  
Old 02-05-2013, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I also use Gibraltar racks. As others have mentioned, racks free floor space, can be quicker to set up, allow more consistancy (very important!), etc. For me, the greatest benefit is that I can position the mounted toms off-center and much closer to me than a bass mounted arm will allow.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I'm back and fourth on this subject. I'm only playing a 4 piece kit but I also use 5 cymbals and a trigger pad. Setting up the stands is a bit time consuming but all my stands fit into my rolling gator bag. If I bring out the rack, my setup is quicker but now I'm dragging a larger bag around in addition to the gator bag to carry the cymbal (rack) stands.

What to do????
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  #26  
Old 02-05-2013, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

Yamaha Recording Customs (8,10, 12, 14), ride, three crashes, splash and a china. I have a Yamaha Hexrack II, which I absolutely love. Like everyone has said, it reduces the footprint, which was my main reason for getting a rack. Other pros - it allows me to put my toms in better locations over the bass drum. Stupid pro - it's easier to vacuum around my stuff. Regarding weight, the rack is lighter than two Yamaha 900 stands. I think a rack for a "home set" is a super idea. Did I mention it looks super-cool?

That being said, I'd never gig with a rack as it doesn't fit with my equipment requirements. I'm a gigging minimalist. I stopped humping equipment to impress the crowd a long time ago. In addition, I have a gigging set that at its largest (5 pc), has a very small footprint.
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  #27  
Old 02-05-2013, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

As practical as racks are, I really detest the look of them. It's too much. They are too serious and not enough fun.
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  #28  
Old 02-05-2013, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

Rack all the way, for me anyway. The small footprint and repeatability of setup is a huge win, and the ability to simply grab the rack and walk on- or offstage with it for quick set changes is also worth a lot to me. The snare and throne walk, the kick and pedal walk, the rack with everything else attached walks, and then the carpet walks: done. It really pisses off guitarists when the drummer can get on and off before they can even get their pedalboards figured out... (;-)

One knock on racks is that they can be heavy, but that can be mitigated significantly with a tubing cutter, a Sawzall, and some good intentions. I took about 20lb out of my rack setup when I cut down all the stand hardware to the absolute minimum needed to actually put things where I wanted them. My aging carcass just isn't up for dragging a 75lb trap case up and down flights of stairs any more...

An example of a place to save weight is to eliminate boom stands: with a round tube rack, swapping out a current-production Gibraltar boom cymbal holder (with that damned heavy 12.5mm solid top rod and middle clutch tilter) for a simple straight old Ludwig Atlas 5/8" top joint saves a little over a pound: just move the rack clamp and arbitrarily twist it to where you need it, and then lop off the useless dead weight dangling under the clamp for good measure. I hit things as hard as the next guy, but I can't see any reason to have my 6" splash held up by a 3lb 7/8" monster-duty triple-jointed boom thing when a simple old-school straight tube will work just fine.

I haven't moved anything more than a few millimeters since adopting the center-hat setup quite some time back, so this surgery made sense to me. It makes no sense to me having tail ends of tubes or rods dangling on the non-working side of tilters or clamps, or telescoped out of sight down inside another tube. Stuff is already where it is going to be for the foreseeable future, so the dead weight has to go.

Obviously, this approach applies to a stand-based setup as well. It always makes me a little sad when I see guys wearily lugging a bunch of stands that are all still at the factory length, just as they were they day they bought 'em... IMNSHO, any kit can probably be improved for roadability by putting it on the Sawzall diet, once you have it dialed in.

Your mileage may vary, but I'm a lazy sod, and my back is *way* out of warranty- so every little cheat helps...
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

i detest having legs on the floor (i.e. boom stands etc). a rack has less metal to trip over, less things to get xlr leads caught on, etc.
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  #30  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

One other efficiency thing for rack speed-of-teardown, that is somewhat difficult to apply to an individual-stand setup: consider removing all the wingnuts for each and every adjustment that is not essential for teardown/setup, and replacing them with Nylock hex nuts. All of 'em: tilters, non-breakdown rack adjustments, and so on. Then, when you have untrained "help" at a show, you can tell them "everything with a wingnut comes apart- and nothing else does", and know that it will still go back together properly next time. There's nothing like having someone loosen up all the tilters and tom holder joints, and generally screw with everything in sight when trying to help you out at the end of a night. Nylock nuts are fingerproof, and also a damned sight lighter than those huge Gibraltar handwheel nuts on their rack clamps. There are several pounds of those on most racks, and more often than not they never get moved once they are initially set up. They are a curse, not a blessing. Carry the right size socket or two in your toolbox, and enjoy the lighter trap case...
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  #31  
Old 02-06-2013, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by brady View Post
This. ^

I play a standard 4 piece kit; rack tom mounted on kick, but I use a Gibraltar Stealth Rack on my right to hold 2 ride cymbals, a crash (I could easily mount another) and cowbell.
http://www.gibraltarhardware.com/?fa...sid=616&cid=31
It's sort of the rack for people that don't like racks.

It takes up very little room and is quicker to set up than 3 or 4 separate stands.
Well said, I have the same setup on the right but I went one step further and added a stealth rack to my left as well for my snare, mounted (snare basket, GMS RIMS) tom and crash. They tear down and go up quickly and transport well.
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  #32  
Old 02-09-2013, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I'm assuming a rack would help my footprint. Correct?
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  #33  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:24 AM
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

I have a Yamaha Hex Rack on my Oak Customs and a Pearl Icon on my Beech Customs. I love them both. When I play live I just slide the rack toms off....fold the rack together....and carry the whole thing off the stage at once.
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