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Author Topic: Rack Head Cases for ADA  (Read 681 times)

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Harley Hexxe

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Rack Head Cases for ADA
« on: Time Format »

Okay gang,

     Let me know what you think of this idea.

     All this talk about head shell cases has got me thinking again about building a few for my ADA gear. So, I'm looking into materials to build cases specific to the Pre-amps and Power amps, so they can be placed on top of the speaker cabs like a traditional amp head.
     I've looked into the RMC rack heads that were built for Tom Scholz's Rockman gear which is a cool concept, but they are too shallow for ADA gear, the back of the pre-amp would stick out the back of the head. Plus, they don't have any kind of lids for the front and back, offering no protection for your gear. They also have a power section to the right side with a switch on the front panel, but when I asked about that, I found out that they are nothing more than a switch that is wired to 14 outlets in the back that are wired parallel to each other.

    So here is my idea: I'll build something similar to that design, but a 4U rack design. The Master power switch on the front panel would be a good idea, but it will need to have power conditioning and protection built -in, so there will be no need for an external power conditioner like a Furman. In fact, I'll buy a couple of Furmans, and take out all the guts and transplant it in the new case.
    I've located a supplier for the electrical boxes in Michigan, who can make these to the size and dimensions I'll need for a maximum of 8 conditioned outlets.
    I've also located a supplier for Gray Ozite covering for the cases, which I'll order in bulk.
    I can also get #2 Pine in 3/4" thickness, which will keep it lighter than plywood.
    Black Amp corners and rubber feet are available everywhere, no problem.
    As for handles, I'm undecided between a surface mounted handle, or recessed ABS handles in the sides, or maybe spring-loaded handles on the sides.
    The cases will be built with removable front and back covers, for transporting to gigs, and they will be just deep enough to accommodate standard ADA rack gear.

    Let me hear your thoughts on this project please.  I'd like to know if anyone besides myself thinks this would be a practical idea, especially if you have a rack case dedicated to your effects gear.

     Just for additional information, the reason I'm thinking of building a few of these is so I can load a preamp, power amp, and one or two effects processors in a head case and plug it into any type of speaker cab. This is why I decided on a 4U configuration. Pre-amps can be 1 or 2 rack spaces, and so can power amps, unless you go with a bigger one at 3U.

     Thoughts, and/or suggestions?

Harley 8)
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rnolan

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Re: Rack Head Cases for ADA
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, I have a 8 RU shallow SKB rack for my stage setup, 8 chan mixer velcoed to the bottom.  It works fine and I can balance it on top of a split stack, or across 2 split stacks.  I like your idea except it's a fair bit of effort to go to when you can buy ready to go racks fairly cheaply these days (although the SKBs are not cheap I spose).  One thing to watch out for is the depth required when cables are plugged in (or you can use right angle jacks).  Handles I suggest use recessed as they are less likely to be damaged and pack better.
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

Dante

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Re: Rack Head Cases for ADA
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

I use the shallow Roto Rack series from SKB. It's barely deep enough for ADA gear, gotta use right angle plugs, but it works fine. I use a 4u with a preamp, poweramp, and effects device, so I have one unused space, which houses my power strip, direct box, and switchblade ABY pedal to run direct and live at the same time. It is tight, but it fits.

So far, it has been able to sit upon each of my speaker cabs, no prob. Also, I have used it standing on it's side with the speaker cab leaning up against the back wall of the stage.

My point (if I have one) is that you're about to go down a big rabbit hole. I got the used SKB 4u rack for $100 on Craigslist
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ADA Gear: MP-1 Classic | MP-2 | MicroTube 200 | MicroFet | MXC w/Quad Switch
Current Live Rig (wait 10 min., it'll change): Peavey Classic 20mh head into the matching 1x12 speaker cab, using my Boss MS3 via 4CM.
Current Rack rig: Digitech 2120 > ADA MT-200 > 1x12 Thiele cab (EV Force speaker)

Harley Hexxe

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Re: Rack Head Cases for ADA
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, I have a 8 RU shallow SKB rack for my stage setup, 8 chan mixer velcoed to the bottom.  It works fine and I can balance it on top of a split stack, or across 2 split stacks.  I like your idea except it's a fair bit of effort to go to when you can buy ready to go racks fairly cheaply these days (although the SKBs are not cheap I spose).  One thing to watch out for is the depth required when cables are plugged in (or you can use right angle jacks).  Handles I suggest use recessed as they are less likely to be damaged and pack better.

Hey Richard,

         I have taken into account how deep the cases have to be to accommodate the ADA gear with straight plugs, and enough room so that you don't have to have a hard bend on the cables coming out of those jacks.
        The problem I have with the ready made cases is that I've been using shock-mount rack cases for the "Heads" and they are kind of hefty on their own. Add in the preamp, power amp, and a couple of ADA delays, and it's a lot heavier. The cases I was using live are 6U shock-mounted, so adding a MT 200, MP-2, and a couple of delays, and it's a bit of a lift to get it on top of the stack. Now that I've gone to all-tube power amps, it's going to be heavier.
         I do like the idea of recessed handles, but since I'm including the power supply into the case, it may force me to move the handle on the right side of the case further back than I'd want it to be, and upset the balance when you're handling it. I have to have the project boxes made deep enough to handle all circuitry without causing any issues. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I use the shallow Roto Rack series from SKB. It's barely deep enough for ADA gear, gotta use right angle plugs, but it works fine. I use a 4u with a preamp, poweramp, and effects device, so I have one unused space, which houses my power strip, direct box, and switchblade ABY pedal to run direct and live at the same time. It is tight, but it fits.

So far, it has been able to sit upon each of my speaker cabs, no prob. Also, I have used it standing on it's side with the speaker cab leaning up against the back wall of the stage.

My point (if I have one) is that you're about to go down a big rabbit hole. I got the used SKB 4u rack for $100 on Craigslist

Hey Dante,

        You do make a good point. Although, I don't consider this going down a rabbit hole because it's not something I intend to mass-produce. Honestly, I don't see any demand for this in the future. Simply, this is something that I think with a set up like mine, I could benefit from. With a 22U shock-mount rack case for the effects alone, (since I have that many, and then some), the idea of having heads separate from that is more appealing. For a while, having the whole system in one huge rack case was a good idea, but what if I didn't want to use the effects? If I just want to use the head and a half-stack, then I'm stuck with a rack I don't need to be hauling around. These days, I'd rather leave the big racks in the studio, and take a head and cab(s) to a gig, and use pedals.
        With a 4U rack head, I can just use a preamp and the power amp with vented rack panels, and any effects can be external. That will be a lot easier to handle.

       As for the cost, it will cost me a lot more time in elbow grease and not really that much in cash. My plan is to make cases for each of my preamps, except for the MP-1 and 3TM which with both be in the same case with a power amp, so I'm looking at a total of five cases. I'll probably have enough material to build twice that amount.  :lol:

       Thank you both for the replies, it does make me think about keeping myself in check when I get these wild ideas.

Harley 8)
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rnolan

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Re: Rack Head Cases for ADA
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, it's good you will be able to build them as you want them.  And building 5 will make it much more cost effective than just doing 1.  I've been thinking of downsizing from the 8RU to a 4RU, just can't seem to find an 8 chan 1 RU mixer with enough fx sends :-(  I find my current rack a bit on the heavy side even after swapping out the B200s for the 1RU Carvin DCM200
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

Harley Hexxe

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Re: Rack Head Cases for ADA
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, it's good you will be able to build them as you want them.  And building 5 will make it much more cost effective than just doing 1.  I've been thinking of downsizing from the 8RU to a 4RU, just can't seem to find an 8 chan 1 RU mixer with enough fx sends :-(  I find my current rack a bit on the heavy side even after swapping out the B200s for the 1RU Carvin DCM200

Hey Richard,

      How many effects busses are you looking for in a 1U rack mixer? I know the Rane SM-82 has an effects send on each of it's 8 channels, but I believe it's a common effects bus.

Harley 8)
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rnolan

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Re: Rack Head Cases for ADA
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, 4 buses/sends would be ideal, I currently have 3 on my Yamaha AM802 desk but I have to velcro it to the bottom of the rack and it takes up some space.  Originally I kept it in the rack lid and flipped the lid over onto the top of the rack so I could leave it all plugged in.  When my B200s had issues I pulled it out and put the desk on the bottom (it takes about 2 1/2 RU space) and bought the Carvin TS100 which I put in a separate 2 RU rack.  Later I got the Carvin DCM200L (1 RU and light) which is how I have it now.  I've seen some 1RU 8 chan mixers e.g. ART, Alesis etc.  The best I've come across fx send wise was a stereo send on each channel which I could make work I spose and also use the MP-2 stereo loop, so handle 2 rack fx, but this isn't optimal.  My racks fine for now but I'd like to shrink it.  Rack currently has (from top to bottom) MP-2, Alesis Quadverb (first model), MB-1, Alsis Midverb4, Carvin DCM 200L, AM802 mixer.  I feed the Quadverb with sends 1&2 and the Midverb4 with send 3, both fx return to mixer in stereo (2 x stereo returns). Channels 1&2 MP-2 main outs, 3&4 MP-2 cab sim outs, 5 is MB-1.  So I can use the Boogie P112 cabs (bass cabs with tweeter) for both MB-1 for bass or MP-2 using the cab sim outs.  My Alembic bass has stereo out (well it's really one PU per channel) so I can send the bridge PU to the MP-2 and neck PU to the MB-1.... :metal:
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Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

Richie_B

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Re: Rack Head Cases for ADA
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

Sounds like a great build. The cases out there now seem to be a bit on the shallow side or too deep. The case I currently have is too deep. My power amp is 300mm. What I am looking for will most likely not be moved around all that often. A recent back injury took care of that.
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ADA MP1, ENGL E530, ENGL 840/50 Power amp, Carvin X100B, 2X12 cab.

Harley Hexxe

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Re: Rack Head Cases for ADA
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

Hey Richard,

      That's quite a rig! Or, more appropriately, it's two rigs in one box. I can certainly understand why you'd want to shrink it, but it sounds like you are down to the bare necessities already.

       The Rane SM-82 does exactly that, it has a stereo effects send on each channel.

       For what your needs are with this rig, I can only make one recommendation, and that would be the Switchblade 16 from Sound Sculpture. I don't believe the Switchblade 8 would give you enough channels to connect the whole rig, but you will have to look at that and figure that one out.

       I know the Switchblade 16 will be able to handle everything you want it to do and more. Both of these are 1U rack machines and are fully programmable. I would suggest looking into that and if you need more insight into these machines, then ask SlimJim about it. He has the 16 in his rig.

Harley 8)
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: Rack Head Cases for ADA
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

Sounds like a great build. The cases out there now seem to be a bit on the shallow side or too deep. The case I currently have is too deep. My power amp is 300mm. What I am looking for will most likely not be moved around all that often. A recent back injury took care of that.

Hey Richie_B,

   I know what you mean. I've had that issue from time to time too. but the ones I'm looking at building, are going to have enough space in the enclosure to allow for the cables to remain plugged in without cramping them. However, because I'm going to also add front and back covers to the cases, I'm going to extend the front and back openings so that the covers will fit inside them. The covers will simply be a flat rectangle, covered in the same Ozite as the cases, and will fit into a shallow groove on the underside of the top part of the case, then you simply push the cover to a small strip of wood across the bottom of the case with a little velcro on the front of it. The cover will have a nylon loop at the bottom of it so you can open the case easily.

     Your power amp is just under a foot deep. The average depth for the ADA preamps and effects is 9 inches deep, or 229mm.

Harley 8)
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