Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

dmacc_2

Well-known member
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.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
My advice is read through these threads:


http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62373&highlight=rack

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54721&highlight=rack

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85152&highlight=rack

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79068&highlight=rack

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70397&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.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
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
 

tard

Gold Member
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.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
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.​
 

Florian

Gold Member
Ive used a Pearl rack for nearly 10 years now.

All I have are Pros, no cons.


F
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I gig frequently. Used a Gibraltar rack for about 15 years. I have two herniated discs. Now I use stands. Nuff said.
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
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.
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
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
 

Attachments

  • drum 026.jpg
    drum 026.jpg
    140.8 KB · Views: 5,797

kissarmyfreak

Senior Member
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
 

Attachments

  • 1-31-2012%208;41;44%20PM.jpg
    1-31-2012%208;41;44%20PM.jpg
    225.6 KB · Views: 10,376
  • IMAG0698.jpg
    IMAG0698.jpg
    105.7 KB · Views: 5,857

LeftyDoug

Senior Member
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.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
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.
 
Last edited:

brady

Platinum Member
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=detail&mid=2291&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.
 
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.

IMG_20120807_220812.jpg
 

BYUDOG

Member
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 :)
 

Drumquest2

Senior Member
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.
 

kissarmyfreak

Senior Member
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
 

Terrence R

Silver Member
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.
 
Top