Pros and Cons of a Drum rack

simmsdn

Silver Member
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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bigiainw

Gold Member
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.
Stirling-20120915-00229_zps29e68981.jpg

100_2676.jpg
 

barryabko

Senior Member
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.
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
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????
 

Bart Hodge

Senior Member
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.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
As practical as racks are, I really detest the look of them. It's too much. They are too serious and not enough fun.
 

skod

Senior Member
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...
 

toddy

Platinum Member
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.
 

skod

Senior Member
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...
 

gr82bagn

Pioneer Member
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.

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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soulfly28

Senior Member
I'm assuming a rack would help my footprint. Correct?
 

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Autopilot

Senior Member
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.
 

Piperious

New 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
Great setup. I might have to steal it ;>. Can’t tell from the pic … where are u hanging the tom closest to the flr tom?
 
Great setup. I might have to steal it ;>. Can’t tell from the pic … where are u hanging the tom closest to the flr tom?
FYI: this is an old thread and the poster you're asking that question of hasn't been here in well over a year. Although, hey, maybe this'll bring him back. :)
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
What are the advantages of using a drum rack and which brand make the cheapest?

Although I play a relatively small kit (5-pc) I use a rack to make mounting and positioning my cymbals easier. While I don't have a crazy number of them, there are enough that I don't want three or four cymbal stands turned into cymbal trees with my splashes and effects cymbals hanging off each one.
 
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