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Rack Mounting a pair of Bricks anyone, Kev?

I was wondering if anyone else was considering racking a pair (or more) of GT Bricks. I think the layout could be improved by doing this as well as the looks of the unit. Moving the XLR's to the rear with the power and keeping the trim, DI and power switch up front. The A/C could be rewired so that only 1 power cord is needed to power the units. I figure you could get up to 4 bricks in a 2U chasis (although I haven't tested it) . If anyone else is interested in this type of project maybe we can all work together, group buys on parts or whatever.

Kev, if your interested or if you would like to just provide guidance for some novice DIYers it would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

bluesman714 Wed, 06/01/2005 - 06:36

I bought a rack shelf @ GC. I used a longer screw to attach a Brick & a Ditto to the rack shelf using the same screw holes that are used for the units' rubber feet. Keeping the rubber feet on allows room to breathe & cool & adds a little bit of a shock mount, but the feets make the racked unit a little taller. With both units installed, with the rubber feet left on, Its a little taller than 2u, but, I think that this is a good thing! This forces me to leave a little space in my rack for cooling. The shelf has an open top, back & front. ...plenty 0 room to cool here. Right now I have The Brick & a Ditto on the shelf....Im sure I would have room for at least one more Brick or maby two & still allow plenty of room for heat dissapation. The rack shelf cost me about $20.00... Low Tech & Affordable!!!

frob Wed, 06/01/2005 - 10:21

i did that with an old zoom guitar modler, though i didnt think i even used it after the mod.

somthing else you should do as i would probably be real simple is add a phase switch. i think i will do that on mine just the way they are. am i the only one who likes the form factor of the brick?

Kev Wed, 06/01/2005 - 14:57

I'm here
sorry but I've had trouble getting on the forum over the past few days

Simple shelf mounting is a good idea and doesn't disturp the box.
.... so when you say racking, I think you might mean rebuilding.
It is all do-able but this will probably void the warranty.
... obviously
Yes a PHASE and PAD could be added.
and any other ideas yu may have.

these added things may make it worth the effort ... could be a cool entry into DIY in general.

If the construction is modular then it could be easy.
Power supplies ... unless you make a new power supply it is likely you will have 4 PS's in the box ....
:roll:
two units per single rack box ... ??
this will depend on the size of some of the internals like transfomers etc.

I'd like to see the inside of a brick before I give a definative answer.

JBsound Wed, 06/01/2005 - 19:03

I use them mainly on bass and also on acoustic guitar (mostly live use on the acoustic). I haven't had the chance to really test them a lot on keyboard but they aren't too shabby in that department.

I think it's most advantageous to have the non-rackmount feature in a live setting. Even when using it as a pre on vocals its nice to be able to drop it up there on stage by the mic stand or something and just tweak the level back at the board. A lot of live setups aren't using something as nice as the Brick on very many channels.

When I'm tracking a band, I'm usually using up all of my outboard pre's on other stuff, so I can send a brick out to where the bass player or a guitar player who is going direct is playing. No separate DI to preamp, etc. Also, the 'instrument thru' feature allows you to take a nice DI signal off of a guitar/bass and record a track that you can use later for reamping. This can be a good thing, especially when doing something live or with the whole band at once. I don't have to worry about getting the perfect amp sound b/c I can always reamp it and tweak the amp in a more isolated setup later.

Reggie Wed, 06/01/2005 - 20:53

It would be cool if someone could figure out how to add a pad to the brick. I dunno about racking four of them together. I think I would rather just get the four channel Sebatron for pretty much the same money minus the hassle.

But it would be pretty pimp to put a couple of them in a 2U chromed out case or something. You could make it look like your secret weapon.

Big_D Wed, 06/01/2005 - 21:38

Hey Guys, nice response so far. Maybe we can make a group project out of this and post our progress and photos. Gaff you okay with this?

Kev, glad you jumped in.

so when you say racking, I think you might mean rebuilding.

Yes exactly. I would like to move the XLR ins and outs and insturment thru to the back of the unit (well the rack case) since they a currently on the front. This just works better for cabling purposes ie. no cables dangling out of the front of the rack. I would like to keep the DI in front for quick access along with the gain knob and ground lift switch. The power and phantom power switch should be moved to the front as well adding a phase and pad that you mentioned. I have no issue with 2 power supplies in the same case but I would like to pare it down to 1 A/C cord feeding both. I would like to use a vented 2U case to house the units in since it should aid in cooling and I'm not pressed for rack space. Then maybe an anodized case front and some chicken head knobs to make it look cool too. Of course everyone could make it look the way they want.

these added things may make it worth the effort ... could be a cool entry into DIY in general.

I agree, a great DIY learning experience and fun too.

Power supplies ... unless you make a new power supply it is likely you will have 4 PS's in the box ....

I hope this doesn't become a stumbling block.

two units per single rack box ... ??
this will depend on the size of some of the internals like transfomers etc.

I'm thinking 2U but I'll get some dimensions on the brick and any other info I can to help you decide if it's feasible.

I'd like to see the inside of a brick before I give a definative answer.

Would photos help? If so maybe someone with a Brick could post them. If not I'll pick one up and post the pics.

For those of you that don't know, Kev ran the former DIY forum here at RO (until some !@#$%'s ruined it for us all) and has an excellent website on DIY projects with lot's of links to other great resources. He has many many years of DIY under his belt and has built some of the coolest gear I've ever seen. He is the one who can make this project painless for us all (well accept for solder burns) so the more info we can provide him the smoother this will go.

Kev, I'm sure I'll be saying this alot but thanks for your help and input.

Big_D Wed, 06/01/2005 - 21:59

am i the only one who likes the form factor of the brick?

Not at all, I like the looks of it. It's just that for me having them racked and all the controls in the right place is better for me.

think it's most advantageous to have the non-rackmount feature in a live setting

Good point, it's nice to be able to drop one wherever you need it but in a rack the control placement just doesn't work. That's something to think about though, hummm maybe a third one not racked of course.

But it would be pretty pimp to put a couple of them in a 2U chromed out case or something.

Yeah with black knobs and silkscreening maybe some red or blue lights, I like it.

Reggie Fri, 06/03/2005 - 13:39

Huh? Where you talking bout this guy?

That brick inerds picture looks pretty sexy. I'm still waiting for one of you brave DIY guys to screw around with different tubes and Transformers®™ in this thing. I'm afraid I don't have the resources to try different stuff in it. But if someone finds something that makes it sound like way cool, I would be willing to pull it open and order some parts.

Big_D Fri, 06/03/2005 - 14:24

Thanks Grooveteer, That's just what we needed.

This may be easier than I thought.

It looks to me like the PCB could be mounted on some standoffs, bolt the transformer to the chassis, wire the connectors and switches to the new locations, add the pad and phase switches, drill the new locations on the front and rear of the chasis and test.

So Kev, what do you think? Is this doable?

Kev Fri, 06/03/2005 - 17:20

Big_D wrote: This may be easier than I thought.

correct

:shock:
picure size fixed
Having a brick or two ... in original form is a fine thing.
BUT
if you do want a couple in a rack case permanently mounted so that front and rear panels suit you then do go for it.
It is a chance to have some DIY without too much first up pain.

It may give you the experience to appreciate the more expensive rack jobs of the Neve and API and Telefunken gear.
Knowledge is good

I suggest you get a couple of bricks and leave one original while you work on the second.

Disassemble in to the sections as you said above and then have a good think about your controls and connections ... front or back ... make the choice.
Can't see how the PCB is mounted but I hope it is 4 screws and this could be then mounted on the base of the new box. Use the existing Trafo mounts and try to place it in a similar position and distance.

now shuffle switches and controls from front to back as you want ... use similar types of wire as the original.

Don't work on unit two unless the first is opperational and you are happy with the method.

Second idea is mount the PCB in exactly the same way and use a vertical metal plate ... this will help to shield one module from the next.

Power can be one pre unit or you could strap all the primaries together and have one IEC inlet with a larger fuse.

8)
Big_D
I can expand on this more and make up a page and post it here at RO if you like ...
someone else will have to provide pictures as I don't have access to a couple of Bricks.
Any Australians out there want a pair of Bricks mounted ??

AudioGaff Fri, 06/03/2005 - 17:55

Gaff you okay with this?

Ya, ok with me. Let's just make sure we don't violate any RO rules or copyright for anything that gets posted.

You might even try to call Pitman at Groove Tubes ask for suggestions on how would do the mod. He has liklwet even already thoguht about it and may just tell you or offer to do it for you. That's something a real pro audio shop can do that a mass produced factory can not. Call him, You never know...