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.
Here are a couple of my thoughts:
1. Pocket doors are a must. I hate searching for and sorting through a stack of lids to find the right one for a given box. The Olympic Fastpack racks are a fantastic implementation as they also feature a shock mounted internal rack for the gear. The attached image is an Olympic 16RU Fastpack, though Olympic will make them in any size you want.
2. Internal distro should keep power input cable attached and have a place to store it. It does not need to be a lot of cable, but just 25 feet would be enough to provide easy connection to the main distro. It seems silly to me to have to provide another case to tote power cabling for the rack along with the rack. Your Distro should generally be located near your amp racks. However, if you need an extension, you can always add one. The attached image has a 25' whip with a 50A 240V California Plug on it to jack into a distro.
3. Networking hardware should be built into the rack and be a part of your system solution. The attached image has two Cisco SG300-10 network switches rack mounted in the back of the rack on the same rails that support the rear of the amplifiers. This provides Dante primary and secondary connectivity. In this case, the primary Dante network also provides control connectivity for the amplifiers.
4. In the case of the attached image, the I/O panel is on the front. It can easily be moved to the back. People prefer them different ways based on the types of gigs that they do. I do such a wide variety of things, I'll use them either way and be happy about it. I will say, clearly labeled I/O panels are a must. It should be obvious what is supposed to connect to where. There should be no question when it comes time to hook it up.