7 Best Studio Rack Mounts Reviewed
When you first get involved in the weird and wonderful world of studio gear, you probably don’t have much kit. But very soon, this hobby can become addictive.
Before you know it, you can have interfaces, pre-amps and controllers littered all over the room, and your makeshift studio can soon begin to resemble what an electronic store would like if it was hit by a bomb.
Is there a way to bring some order to madness? Well, the short answer is yes. Studio rack mounts can help bring some order and structure to this world of chaos and clutter.
By introducing a very strict racking structure, you will be amazed at how quickly you can take back control of your space, and how easy it becomes to find different pieces of kit.
The basic premise of the rack mount is very simple. Almost all commercially produced gear such as pre-amps, distressors, controllers, interfaces etc. are designed to be able to be easily screwed into standard rack mounts.
This allows you to effectively stack them on top of each order. This keeps them all in one place, makes adjustments quick and easy, and will instantly help clean up your recording environment.
You will be surprised at what a major difference this simple piece of kit can make to your musical life, especially if you get one of the best studio rack mounts featured in this article.Table could not be displayed.
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Samson SRK Universal Rack Stand (8U, 12U, 16U, 21U)
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Portability is one of the most important factors that some people look for. In that respect, this is one of the best studio rack mounts anywhere on the market.
Like the best studio rack mounts, it has a lot of universal appeal. For example, this can be attached to various bits of equipment by either metric or US screw threads. Also, it is compatible with all the standard, 19” AV equipment, which is a worldwide standard.
So, if you buy this product, you don’t need to worry about your interface or controller potentially not matching. In all but the rarest cases, it will be compatible.
This has a decent weight capacity, so you also don’t need to worry about your equipment being too heavy.
For example with the wheels attached, the 16U version has 300 lb of weight capacity, and if you take the casters off and place it in stationary mode, then it is rated up to 450 lb of weight capacity.
The wheels on this model make it a real breeze to move around. This can be a blessing if you have a tight space, or you regularly rearrange or transport your equipment. Also, unlike a lot of products, it includes front and rear rack rails, for added support.
Video: “Samson SRK-12U REVIEW plus hardware overview”
On-Stage WSR7500B Series Workstation Rack Cabinet (12U)
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This is a very solid studio rack mount that fulfils all the basic functions that you would expect. It is made from a sturdy, steel tubular construction, with 1×1 inch painted steel struts to join the sides and upper surfaces.
It is a 12-space rack, which means there should be more than enough room for all your technology and vital studio gear. If you are a very serious recording artist, with more equipment than this, then it can easily be combined with the matching WS7500 workspace or the WSC7500 corner accessory.
This allows you to mix and match to build up a racking setup that matches your needs exactly.
The finish is a simple laminate surface. However, this does mean that it will be protected from any scratches or unwanted dents, under most circumstances. It is also available in a few different finishes, to suit your intended style.
For example, the black finish probably has the most universal appeal, but there is also a light wood and a dark wood version available.
The dimensions of this product are 30” high by 23” wide. This should be suitable for most home studio spaces, and the handy casters lock in to secure it in place.
StarTech Open Frame Network Rack (8U, 12U, 16U)
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This product is marketed not just at music recording enthusiasts, but at anybody who works in the IT/AV/Media world, and therefore has need of large capacity free standing rack storage.
However, it should definitely not be overlooked by people aspiring to build home studios.
This rack is open frame, unlike the previous model. This means that it does not have a cover on top or on the sides. This has some advantages and some disadvantages. As a general rule, there is less protection in case something hits against your precious equipment.
There is also no counterspace on top, which can be a bit inconvenient. On the other hand, this type of design is much easier to transport around from place to place.
It also allows better cooling of your hard-working equipment, which reduces the chance of over-heating and burnout.
The manufacturers of this equipment are so confident that it will fit your needs, that they offer a lifetime warranty as standard when you buy it. It is available as 8u, 12u, and 16u storage space version.
Because of the strong, cold rolled steel construction, it is rated to carry up to 158 kg of electronics weight (16u version).
Video: “StarTech RK8OD 8U Open Frame Rack Review”
On-Stage RS7030 Rack Stand (12U)
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If you just want a basic rack mount that fulfils the basic functions, without any frills or fuss, then this might be one of the best studio rack mounts for you. It has the simplest possible design, no extraneous features, and is available for a very affordable price.
This is therefore a great entry level piece of kit, but if you have very expensive electronic gear to protect, it might be worthwhile investing in a more premium rack mount stand.
This is an open frame design, with a simple tubular base and two upward struts with front facing rails, and a top horizontal brace for extra support. It can hold a maximum of 12 racks, but this should be sufficient for the beginner market for which it is intended.
You do need to be careful not to lean too heavily on this structure, or add any extra weight on top, because it is rated for a maximum of 75 lb of weight. On the plus side, the black powder coat finish is exceptionally durable, meaning that this equipment should give you many years of service, if you treat it well.
Video: “On Stage RS7030 Rack Stand + NavePoint Server Shelf”
Rack Mount Stand by Griffin (10u)
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This is one of the best studio rack mounts on the market, and you can have faith in this product because it is produced by one of the most trusted manufactures of music equipment in the world.
This means they make their products to the highest standards, stress test every design, and even load up these racks with their own equipment to put them to the test. This should give you confidence in the strength and reliability of this product.
In terms of design, this is a pretty standard open frame rack mount. It is free standing. It has a lower strut, two uprights with front rails and nothing else! It is a 10-space rack, and although it may seem basic, it can actually hold up to 20 times its own weight in electronic (125 lb) equipment.
This is testament to the ingenuity of the engineering, and the quality of the materials. The rubber tips on the feet of this mounting rack are another nice feature; they prevent it from sliding on floors and prevent it from scratching your precious studio floor.
What’s more, because of its simplicity this mounting frame is very easy to assemble. It can be assembled in less than 10 minutes, and because of the quality of the design and materials, that 10 minutes work could last you a lifetime.
Video: “Griffin Rack Mount Studio Equipment Stand Product Review and Demonstration Model RS657”
Rack Mount Rolling Stand and Adjustable Top Mixer Platform Mount by Griffin (19U)
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This is another top-quality product from one of the market leaders. It has the same simple style and durable engineering that you expect from a Griffin product, but it also has some nice add-ons. This is et on 4 steel wheels, which makes it easy to adjust and transport from place to place.
The casters can be conveniently locked in position once you have all your kit set up. In fact, this whole product is designed with flexibility and versatility in mind.
Large capacity is another one of the selling points which makes this one of the best studio rack mounts that money can buy. This has a total of 19 spaces for rack mounting equipment. The lower section features 9 rack mount spaces, while the upper space has 10 free spaces.
The upper platform is really what sets this product apart from its competitors. It is inclined for ease of use. This is really ergonomic, especially if you are going to be spending a lot of time hunched over the dials and controls. You should be comfortable.
The angle of the upper platform can be adjusted to suit your needs. It can be set at any angle between totally horizontal and fully vertical. This gives you the freedom to create your own perfect set up.
This is a lightweight and durable design that really packs a punch. The total weight capacity for this rack mount is 175 without casters, but with the casters in place you should not add more than 110 lbs.
Video: “Griffin Studio Rackmount Mixer Stand “
Odyssey CRS Series Carpeted studio rack (8U, 12U, 14U, 20U)
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This is a line of products from a very trusted name in the music accessories business. The odyssey CRS series is a set of enclosed studio racks that are perfect for someone who wants their expensive recording equipment to have a bit more protection.
The racks are fully enclosed on the sides, as well as the top and bottom, but the back is left open for easy access and extra ventilation.
The box like design is elegant and simplistic. All the models in this line have a carpeted outer finish.
The carpeted finish adds some sound deadening and allows it to blend in very well with the neutral, grey colors and textures that is usually found in recording studios.
The construction of this product is pretty standard. It is made from plywood sheets, so it is sturdy but not immune from damage. The best thing about this series is that there are a number of different sizes available.
For instance, the CRS08 has 8 spaces, the CRS12 has 12 spaces, the CRS14 has 14 spaces, and the CRS20 has 20 spaces. This makes it easy to expand your setup as you acquire more gear, whilst still keeping the same style.
Video: “Odyssey Carpeted Studio Rack Case Review”
How To Correctly Choose The Best Rack Mount For Your Studio
Studio racks can have an immediate positive effect on your recording space. When people first get introduced to the world of music recording, they often become addicted to spending money on fancy equipment.
This includes electronic boxes such as interfaces, controllers, pre-amps and much, much more. But very soon, this can become overwhelming, as your once bare studio starts to overflow in a flood of cables, dials and electronics.
This is where studio racks come into their own. They can immediately help to add a sense of purpose and order, cleaning up your cluttered studio.
There are a number of features you should look for in the best studio rack mounts. In fact, they can vary a huge amount in terms of price, from bargain, basic models, to fancier racks with all the bells and whistles.
However, when buying your studio rack, you shouldn’t overlook the fundamental reason for buying it; to hold racked gear. In this respect, capacity is probably the most important specification you should look at.
You need to know roughly how much gear you will need to hold. Remember not just to think about all the gear you currently have, but also consider the gear that you may potentially get in the future.
Ideally you should leave some room for expansion. Typically, studio rack mounts have between 8 and 20 spaces, and the price increases as the capacity increases. If you only plan on running a small home-studio setup, then you don’t need a huge professional level studio rack.
One good way to get around capacity issues is by buying modular racks that can slot together.
A number of the series featured in this article have the ability to combine with other products. This can boost the amount of space you have, without mixing styles or compromising the aesthetics of your setup.
Open-Frame Or Enclosed
Another important choice you have to make is whether to go for an open-frame or enclosed style. Both these routes have various advantages and disadvantages. For example, open-framed racks are generally cheaper, and they also offer more cooling to the equipment, because of the greater airflow.
They are also generally lighter and easier to assemble, which might be a consideration if you plan on transporting your rack regularly.
On the other hand, enclosed rack mounts offer a greater degree of protection to your equipment. While sides might not protect your equipment from falls, it should offer some protection from slight knocks.
Make sure and choose models that still give you good airflow, to prevent your equipment from overheating, without the need for fans. It might be a bit more expensive, but if you have very expensive gear to be racked, then it could be a very wise investment.
This is why, as a general rule, you should upgrade the quality of your studio rack as you upgrade the quality of the equipment that you need to rack.
There are some other miscellaneous things that you need to look out for as well. As with any other purchase, you should consider the reputation of the manufacturer. This might dictate the quality and durability of the materials.
In general, coated steel racks are best for longevity and strength. Make sure to look at the overall weight capacity of the rack as well, because this could be an issue if you have some very heavy gear. Finally, consider how easy it will be to assemble and transport the rack.
Does it have wheels or casters, and do they lock in position?
Practicalities like this can help decided whether this is the best studio rack mount for you.Table could not be displayed.
Studio rack mounts become more and more necessary as you acquire more gear. They can instantly clean and declutter your recording studio, which can actually lead to new spurts of artistic creativity, and just generally improve your life.
In this comprehensive article we have outlined some of the best studio rack mounts that you can find anywhere in the world. Make sure to consider your own situation and personal requirements before you make any decisions.
This means you should consider how much capacity you need (allowing for future expansion of your kit), as well as how much protection, portability and ventilation you need. All these considerations will dictate which is the best option for you.
Of course, you probably need to take the cost into account as well! But if you follow the tips and tricks outlined in this article, then you can’t go wrong when making your next purchase!