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curved rack vs. straight rack

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  • curved rack vs. straight rack

    I plan on building my own rack, but I wanted to get the opinions from other drummers as to which type of rack they prefer. Do the curved bars really help?
    My e-kit

    My a-kit

  • #2
    I prefer curved by far. To me it keeps everything in a "fluid circle-like" motion and I love the way it has everything feel. I don't like having just all my rack toms "straight" if you will, I like having them curve in, hence the curved rack. Plus they look 10x better too in my opinion.

    But for playing out, I hate rack's, I think they're more of a hassle then they're worth with saving money over stands. Unless you have a drum tech which as of now I don't, maybe someday, or unless you are dead set on a rack, go with stands. Again, this is just all from my personal experience and my opinions.
    Check out my NEW eBay Store: V-Drum Emporium!

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    • #3
      I prefer the curved rack too. When I used my TD-10 V-pro kit I thought that particular rack to be very convenient. Lightweight, easy to store and haul and quick set up.

      Currently I have a Gibby V-rack. I've never had it out of the house and frankly wouldn't want to so I'd have to agree with Adam for that particular rack. I think it would be a pain to move. But a Roland rack just wouldn't be substantial enough for what I have now.

      You say you are building a rack. What drums are you using? Roland PD style or acoustic drums?
      Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.

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      • #4
        I've never had a curved rack (only the semi curved feel of the MDS-3C) but I agree about having toms in a curved arrangement. I must say, I am LOVING the vibe of a cage but it is going to be interesting come gig time!!
        Having said that, I am not planning on doing lots of smaller gigs. My aim is to do fewer but larger gigs. I'm still weighing up the best options for transporting my kit.

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        • #5
          I did the change in the past from a straight to a curved rack. Much easier positioning for my playing style - the pads are exactly at where I want them to be. Cannot get any better.

          Pim
          Roland TD50, Roland PM30 and KC 550 Studio Capture /Dell XPS I7 32GB RAM Reaper,Superior Drummer,BFD3 (all exp. packs),SSD5 Ezdrummer 2, XLN Addictive Drums

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          • #6
            Totally agree with Pim. I've used straight and curved racks and definitely prefer the curved rack.

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            • #7
              For me, the MDS-20BK curved rack has the ideal proportions for my kit, so yes, i prefer curved over straight.
              TD-20 brain, TDW-20 expanded! MDS-20BK, 3x PD125, 2x PD105, 3x CY-14C, CY-15R, CY-12R/C, Hart ECII-10B, VH-11, KD-120, Tama IronCobra Rolling Glides and pearl hardware.
              Loving it every second..

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              • #8
                I've been gigging with a Gibraltar curved rack for about 5 - 6 years now. I love the curved rack. It's practically bullet-proof, and I would never go back to the stands.

                With my setup, I could never get things where I wanted them using the stands. I have a 26" kick, and my 'front' toms are 8", 10", 12". The 12" just never got 'over' the kick far enough using a regular stand, and the distance from the 12" to the 14" rack tom in the regular floor tom position was too far to be comfortable. This is no longer an issue with a rack.

                For me, set up time was always faster with the rack. I'm using it for 4 rack toms, 4 cymbals and an X-hat (all A's). I'm ready to go in about half an hour, and yes, your mileage may vary. The big bonus for me is getting everything tucked into the exact same position first time, each time. Also, the entire footprint is much smaller. Weight-wise - I've never actually weighed the whole package, but I believe it's lighter now. I use a hockey equipment bag for the rack, and the rest of the cymbal & tom arms/hardware fits into a regular trap case. Done.

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                • #9
                  I've had both kinds.

                  When it comes to pad arrangement, unless you have more than two pads on a single rack section, a curved bar does not give you any advantages over a straight bar. If you plan to mount three or more pads on a single bar, though, it will be easier to get a nice curved mounting arrangement with a curved bar.

                  A agree with the previous comment about moving a rack. It's a pain regardless of straight or curved. It would be nice if there were some nice, sturdy quick-lock solutions that would make it easier to move the rack in sections.
                  Id rather be told the ugly truth than handed a pretty lie.

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                  • #10
                    go curved - if you think of how your body moves when you're seated and playing it is in a natural arc around your torso.....so the arrangement of your toms and cymbals should match that arc
                    - you should be able to strike the bell of your ride with the shaft of the stick and your arm at not quite full extension
                    - every arc within that requires a bit more acute angle of your elbow to the stage where you aren't cramped.....of course it's all a mechanical compromise....but it has to be comfortable to allow you to play to your best potential

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hercules View Post
                      go curved - if you think of how your body moves when you're seated and playing it is in a natural arc around your torso.....so the arrangement of your toms and cymbals should match that arc
                      - you should be able to strike the bell of your ride with the shaft of the stick and your arm at not quite full extension
                      - every arc within that requires a bit more acute angle of your elbow to the stage where you aren't cramped.....of course it's all a mechanical compromise....but it has to be comfortable to allow you to play to your best potential
                      That was very well said Hercules. Logical mathematic biomechanical thinking- I like it!!
                      "Today young men on acid realised that all matter is purely energy condensed to a slow vibration; That we are all of one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively; There's no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we're the imagination of ourselves.. Here's Tom with the weather"...

                      TD-20 + TMC-6 + VF-1 + Gen16's = Not enough inputs.
                      Watch me - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLqt6zaAYkY

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                      • #12
                        OK, don't get me wrong guys. I like my curved rack too, but I hasten to point out that with two pads on a single section, there is no arc formed. Elementary school plane geometry states that two points (i.e. two pads) describe a straight line. It makes no difference that they are mounted on a curved rack.

                        Hercules, you are completely right about the ergonomics of a properly arranged kit, but the way I have seen most people use the curved rack - as in the "standard" setup of the TD20s - the rack does nothing to either facilitate or hinder such a setup.

                        Unlike pad mounts, cymbal mounts have extension arms that allow you to position them well inside or outside the line of the rack, so in the case of cymbal mounting, you can position them pretty much wherever you want. The rack - curved or straight - does not limit you in this respect.

                        Again, I maintain that the only time a curved rack helps you maintain any kind of arc is if you have at least three pads mounted on it. This is because Roland has not created a mounting system that allows for decent back and forth positioning of the pads. This is probably just as well since mounting one of those heavy pads too far from the rack would make it very difficult to lock down properly given the lever arm distance.

                        If you are mounting three or more pads on the same section, a curved rack will make a tremendous difference in being able to create a nice arc. Otherwise, I steadfastly maintain there is no ergonomic advantage to a curved rack.
                        Id rather be told the ugly truth than handed a pretty lie.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by stickinthemud View Post
                          OK, don't get me wrong guys. I like my curved rack too, but I hasten to point out that with two pads on a single section, there is no arc formed. Elementary school plane geometry states that two points (i.e. two pads) describe a straight line. It makes no difference that they are mounted on a curved rack.

                          Hercules, you are completely right about the ergonomics of a properly arranged kit, but the way I have seen most people use the curved rack - as in the "standard" setup of the TD20s - the rack does nothing to either facilitate or hinder such a setup.

                          Unlike pad mounts, cymbal mounts have extension arms that allow you to position them well inside or outside the line of the rack, so in the case of cymbal mounting, you can position them pretty much wherever you want. The rack - curved or straight - does not limit you in this respect.

                          Again, I maintain that the only time a curved rack helps you maintain any kind of arc is if you have at least three pads mounted on it. This is because Roland has not created a mounting system that allows for decent back and forth positioning of the pads. This is probably just as well since mounting one of those heavy pads too far from the rack would make it very difficult to lock down properly given the lever arm distance.

                          If you are mounting three or more pads on the same section, a curved rack will make a tremendous difference in being able to create a nice arc. Otherwise, I steadfastly maintain there is no ergonomic advantage to a curved rack.
                          Hold on Sticky , you have to remember that unless you can have each part of the rack standing alone, the arms are fixed at one point i.e. at either the end of the front bar. So you need to consider the width of the front bar dictates the fixed point of the joint between the front upright and the arm. So if you have 2 pads on a side arm you actually have 3 points on your line, and one of those is a fixed pivot point. I find that the curved arms of the MDS-12 give me a more ergonomic setup compared to the MDS-6 for Tom 3 and 4 (on the right arm) because (a) the front bar is wider, and (b) when tom 4 is in the right position, tom 3 is not too close to me as it would be if I was using a straight armed rack.
                          Last edited by Swaledale; 05-19-08, 02:46 PM.

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                          • #14
                            +1 to curved...

                            ...but I like stands too. You just have to find stands that allow you a full range of movement options.

                            E
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                            • #15
                              Swaledale,

                              I gave your comments careful consideration, and I think the key is the width of the front bar. You can get toms 3 and 4 into the same positions on a straight bar as on a curved bar, you just have to shift the pivot point you mentioned a little further to the right. If the front bar is not long enough (as must be the case with the MD-6), you could run out of room on the left side of the front bar. This is not an inherent shortcoming of straight-bar racks, just of the MD6.

                              T henson is planning on building his own rack, so making curved sections could be a real pain without the right equipment. He can make the front section long enough to overcome the problem you described and greatly simplify his production process.

                              Now, I definitely agree a curved bar makes it easier to position the hi-hat inside the rack and still be able to reach the module, and having to make the front bar wider to overcome mounting issues on the side sections could lead to less rigidity and greater stress on the connecting hardware, so I would agree that curved is superior. I'm just not sure it's superior enough to warrant the hassle of fabricating your own curved bars.
                              Id rather be told the ugly truth than handed a pretty lie.

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