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Author Topic: Tour Amp Racks designs  (Read 4191 times)

Aaron Talley

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Tour Amp Racks designs
« on: February 28, 2017, 10:45:27 am »

Hey all,

We will be building new amp racks over the next few months. I wanted to see what some of the regional and national houses are doing with amp racks. I would like to see how places are making their system packaging faster and more simple.
Distros, connectivity, ease of use, speed.

What are the things you've seen and thought, "that is a great idea."

It would be great to see some pictures.

Thanks,
Talley
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Tour Amp Racks designs
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 11:36:27 am »

The usual questions:  i/o and power - on top, on bottom, in front or in back;  how many fans (if any); include data hardware (switches & i/o);  lid-over, conventional lids or "hidden lids".

Or is there something else you're looking for?
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Aaron Talley

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Re: Tour Amp Racks designs
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2017, 11:56:39 am »

We have had a couple people suggest a few different things.
One of the things suggested was to have all of the small distros in the racks have cams power in and through.

And yes. what are the most useful and user friendly setups you have for i/o and power and front or back and things?

Thanks
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Doug Fowler

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Re: Tour Amp Racks designs
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 12:30:33 pm »

We have had a couple people suggest a few different things.
One of the things suggested was to have all of the small distros in the racks have cams power in and through.

And yes. what are the most useful and user friendly setups you have for i/o and power and front or back and things?

Thanks

You don't need cam in/through in each rack.  Use a central distro with cam in/through, then run twist locks to your racks.  Keep it all on one side for cabling.

This is pretty simple, don't overthink it. I will say if you're starting from scratch you have an opportunity to run your amps at higher voltage.  Higher voltage = less current, and possibly (probably) better subwoofer performance.

You can also get away with smaller feeder, and that's a very good thing.

Are you doing single or three phase, and what are your amplifiers?
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Steven Eudaly

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Re: Tour Amp Racks designs
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2017, 07:48:40 pm »

Our racks have 3 amps each with an L21-30 rack distro. Very nice having each amp on its own circuit with one cable run.

I'm also a big fan of "slam latch" racks where the lid hinges open and slides back into the case. Requires the rack be a little larger, but you can get ones that fit in a truck pack well. I can't stand spending time during load-in looking for places to store lids or searching for them during load-out when somebody stashed them somewhere a little too clever.

I also prefer all my I/O in the front of the rack so I can easily see/access everything easily. Too many times where I've had to park the back of the rack against a wall or stage and it's a pain to get to the patch panels as the area fills up. But everyone you ask will have a different opinion on this.

Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Tour Amp Racks designs
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 06:01:06 am »

My favourite racks to work with always had the following features:
Wheels
Connectors all on the front at the bottom.
Power in and out, usually 32A @240v.
XLR in and out.
NL8 main outputs (this was usually driving Nexo Alpha, which had NL8 ins and split out to NL4 for the kick and sub sections), but also a couple of NL4 outputs that in our case could be used for direct connections to the subwoofers.

That was pretty flexible. You could run the whole PA off a single 32A feed if needed, but usually we'd grab a 125A 3-phase distro and power it properly.
XLR ins and outs means you can send a signal down the return of an analogue snake with a gender bender at FOH (if needed), and also parallel racks with minimal fuss.
Having the LF output of the rack available seperately was useful for centre-clustered subs.

Cables next to the floor means they're more likely to be kicked, but it was much tidier and cable management was much easier - no cables draping over the processor/amp controls.
All connections on the front means troubleshooting gets easier - I don't want to mess with a connector on the back while looking at the processor on the front for signal lights or whatever.

Chris
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: Tour Amp Racks designs
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 08:20:42 am »

Distros, connectivity, ease of use, speed.

Continue to use what you have until the inevitable upgrade to self-powered. Unless you are making a "+3db leap" in overall efficiency or payback, store your acorns.

What soundworld needs now is a rugged, tour quality, single cable, high capacity, field repairable, power+data connector. (Perhaps it already exists in MIL world?)

...and a pay raise.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 08:46:08 am by Jim McKeveny »
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Steven Eudaly

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Re: Tour Amp Racks designs
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2017, 11:02:21 am »

........
XLR in and out.
NL8 main outputs (this was usually driving Nexo Alpha, which had NL8 ins and split out to NL4 for the kick and sub sections), but also a couple of NL4 outputs that in our case could be used for direct connections to the subwoofers.
........
Cables next to the floor means they're more likely to be kicked, but it was much tidier and cable management was much easier - no cables draping over the processor/amp controls.
All connections on the front means troubleshooting gets easier - I don't want to mess with a connector on the back while looking at the processor on the front for signal lights or whatever.

Chris

Agreed on all of the above. Our amps are all four channel units, so each gets an NL8 and four NL4s on the patch panel. Also nice to be able to loop signal to an adjacent rack using the XLR outs.

Rick Earl

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Re: Tour Amp Racks designs
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2017, 12:13:38 pm »


What soundworld needs now is a rugged, tour quality, single cable, high capacity, field repairable, power+data connector. (Perhaps it already exists in MIL world?)

...and a pay raise.

Similar to the opticalCON from Neutrik,   Higher contact rating and Cat6 or 7all in one, would be great for lighting too, power and DMX in one cable.
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Daniel Levi

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Re: Tour Amp Racks designs
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2017, 12:17:39 pm »

There was an option from Sommercable that combined data, audio and power in one connector but for some reason they don't sell it anymore.
They do still sell Siamese cables with power and data/audio.
Sent from my Lumia 625 using Tapatalk
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