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Let’s talk about big cases
Old 7th December 2017
  #1
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Let’s talk about big cases

First off, let me say that I’ve been highly resistant to spending money on modular cases. The cost vs. reward never really made sense to me (tho I do get it in regards to craftsmanship/time/power), and I’m not that much into the idea of some huge piece of musical furniture that will require two people to move every time I want to rearrange my studio.

That said, after buying a few more modules and filling my Mantis case and putting my Mother 32 in the spare HEK and extra 3U I have (where I’m finding I’m using it more), I’m quickly going to be out of space once I get the last two modules on my list (an ER-301 and Disting MK4). And while a full 12U should be enough, there’s too much on my want list to stop there, so I’m starting to think about larger cases to grow with in the future.

So, what do you recommend? I’ve been looking at the Pittsburgh Structure 420 and Doepfer Monster cases, but even with those I can see them getting filled sooner than later. I’m still reticent to lay out a ton of money for an empty box, but I’m also not really a DIY person and kind of need options with enough space and power to grow. I feel like 18U at 104HP/row would probably get me there.
Old 7th December 2017
  #2
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void23's Avatar
I wish I’d never seen it, but the new MDLR 126hp / 14u looks pretty damn tempting.
Old 7th December 2017
  #3
My case thoughts/situation

I have pretty much ditched my plan for a smaller case for live use. The Doepfer monster 9u is barely enough to house my ideas. Next case will be a base case for it probably. No problems with power ever. Really tough and reliable. I move my case every week for band practice outside the house too. Doepfer is quality when it comes to cases and I’m not sure I’d trust my modules anywhere else honestly. You get used to how nice Doepfer Cases are very quickly. If I wasn’t leaving the house with it I’d drop money on one of those nice wooden studio cases from a boutique manufacturer and put Doepfer power in it no doubt. It’s a big decision. Good luck choosing.
Old 7th December 2017
  #4
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Derp's Avatar
I don't think anyone's really found that perfect match between large cases and cost effectiveness. I'm using TipTop rails and ears in Raxxess 20u studio racks. It ain't pretty in the least, but it's the most comfortable layout to use that I've found. Am I happy with this setup though? Nope. I'd love to have cases with a curve built in to bring the top and bottom rows closer together and to make it more ergonomic. I'm tempted to get all of my sequencing stuff into a single skiff or two to make them more comfortable to program, but as much as I buy, I'm afraid of being stuck in a configuration. The conclusion I've come to is that the only sensible option for large eurorack cases is DIY. I'd build some of my own, but I suck at using my hands for anything besides typing and twiddling knobs.
Old 9th December 2017
  #5
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Well, shoot. It’s probably best that I invest in something like the Doepfer Monster case or a Pittsburgh Structure and keep my Mantis and HEK (and additional 3U) around for when I inevitably fill the big case. I suppose that if I can fill all that I should just buy a bigger house

That said, I’ve not had a case with sliding nuts. Is it a pain to add more nuts to a Structure case?
Old 9th December 2017
  #6
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Accent View Post
That said, I’ve not had a case with sliding nuts. Is it a pain to add more nuts to a Structure case?
I got a structure-420 case, and unless you're going to fill some of the rows with a lot of passive low-hp modules you're more likely to run out power connectors in your bus-boards than nuts.

One thing I was not aware of before getting the 420 was that Pittsburgh is using 4/40 screws instead of the more common m3 or m2.5 screws. So if you plan to switch out the nuts you may have to get new rails also..
Old 9th December 2017
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Accent View Post
Well, shoot. It’s probably best that I invest in something like the Doepfer Monster case or a Pittsburgh Structure and keep my Mantis and HEK (and additional 3U) around for when I inevitably fill the big case. I suppose that if I can fill all that I should just buy a bigger house

That said, I’ve not had a case with sliding nuts. Is it a pain to add more nuts to a Structure case?
I’ve owned a case with sliding nuts. After getting one with nut strips instead I don’t think I’d get another sliding nut job, they are a pain in the ass by comparison.
Old 9th December 2017
  #8
Sliding nuts are a bit of a pain.
I also think Doepfer power has a better reputation than Pittsburgh.
I have a Doepfer 9U. Simple and straightforward. I would think a monster case would be good.
Old 10th December 2017
  #9
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After reading the replies here and wasting too much time on Modular Grid, I’m starting to think my best option is to just buy one more Mantis case and call it good between two Mantis’ and my HEK and extra row. That’s 580 HP, not including 4HP for a uZeus. Pretty much every large case with power doesn’t justify the increased cost to me when I’d have most of it full with just what I currently have, and I’m pretty sure I can fit any legit modular plans into that amount of HP (especially because much more and I’m out of space and will have to move!). That said, I’m still open to buying a good massive case that I could grow with for a while.
Old 10th December 2017
  #10
Gear Head
For what it's worth, I am very happy with my Pittsburgh Structure 420 case. I've actually come to prefer sliding nuts, and the complaints about the power supply seems to stem from the reputation of some of the older cases, not the the new(ish) Structure line. I read the whole muffwiggler thread about these cases when I ordered mine and just about all the misgivings were from people who did not have the case and never tried the cases. Most, if not all, actual owners were satisfied.

Only problem I had was that it took me all of 2.5 hours to completely fill the case.. so looking to buy a larger one again

So far the best hp-to-price ratio for a case that also look good is the Addac Monster Frame. 1 Meter wide - 21U - 1379HP:
ADDAC901M 21U Monster Frame | ADDAC System
or the new 15U - 985HP:
ADDAC901M 15U Monster Frame | ADDAC System
Old 11th December 2017
  #11
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Derp's Avatar
My understanding is that the problems with the Pittsburgh power supplies ended with the second revision of the Cell lineup.
Old 11th December 2017
  #12
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subdo's Avatar
I have two cell 90s and there's all kinds of problems with them. Too shallow, crappy grounding and they don't put out amps anywhere near advertised.

I have a structure 208 and my only complaint is that it could use a couple extra rows of power headers which may not be an issue for others. I have a lot of smaller modules. I think Pitts nailed it with the structure line.
Old 12th December 2017
  #13
DSC
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Two cell 90's was a great gateway to euro for me, and to expand!


Old 12th December 2017
  #14
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subdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSC View Post
Two cell 90's was a great gateway to euro for me, and to expand!


That was exactly how I started although without the fancy wood ends. This was a few years back when the only distributor for Deopfer cases in the US was analogue haven and getting a case shipped to the east coast made them extremely over priced. Pittsburgh on the other hand were easy to get. There also weren't as many power hungry digital and tiny 2-4hp modules to power. My cells worked fine when my only digital module was a Peaks. I think it was the combo of clouds, rings and BIA that finally brought them down. I'm still using one for my drum case which is mostly analogue and doesn't need to much power.
Old 12th December 2017
  #15
DSC
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I just added the ends to make it easier to transport to gigs. I think the move to digital has been great, but obviously you would have to upgrade your PSU's to fully enjoy it. You see where it is going, MORE current! My large portable PSU specs are +12V 8A / -12V 4A / +5V 15A!!!!! Yes, I have two 80mm brushless fans cooling it too. You have no choice!





Old 17th December 2017
  #16
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I'd recommend a Doepfer Monster case, then when you fill it get the base case.

I own Monster case, base case and 2x 9u doepfer cases and swear by them.

The advantage of the Doepfer monster over those wooden cases is the doepfer is easier to move or store away if needed.
Old 18th December 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
I'd recommend a Doepfer Monster case, then when you fill it get the base case.

I own Monster case, base case and 2x 9u doepfer cases and swear by them.

The advantage of the Doepfer monster over those wooden cases is the doepfer is easier to move or store away if needed.
Your comment got me thinking, since after my last post I’ve come to realize that I’m pretty much out of space and am about 6” shy of enough space for another Mantis (and not really willing to part with any gear not already on the chopping block...in fact, I’ve been thinking about adding some of that gear back into the mix). But, the Doepfer A-100P9 case should fit my space requirements and between that and my existing Mantis I could fit everything I have and the last couple modules in my current plans, plus the other modules on my list, and I’d still have a spare HEK + extra rails/ears for anything else. That would give me 5 rows at 84 HP and 2 rows of 104 HP, for 628 HP total. That’s no small amount of modular, plus my semi-modulars (Dreadbox Erebus and Hades, 0-Coast, MS-20 Mini), and other things like the BSP and Koma Kommander...certainly enough that I could get on with making music instead of feeding my GAS.
Old 18th December 2017
  #18
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Just as long as you remember any big case you buy in Eurorack is infact a very tiny case in "The scheme of things"

Old 18th December 2017
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
Just as long as you remember any big case you buy in Eurorack is infact a very tiny case in "The scheme of things"
Hopefully by the time I can fill these plans I’ll move into a place big enough to have one room just for modular. As it is my living room has already turned into a second studio. I’ve been thinking about putting an electronic drum kit in the bedroom. Hell, part of how I’m justifying modular at this point is how much use I can get out of limited space. It’s starting to feel like a studio with a bed and kitchen, not a house with a studio room.
Old 2nd January 2018
  #20
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Ok, so not really a big case question, but does anyone here have the Doepfer A-100P9? If so, how far in are the feet on the case? I’m about an inch short of desk space to fit one in, but if the feet on the Doepfer are as close enough in as they appear in the photos I think I could just make it all fit...
Old 2nd January 2018
  #21
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@ Accent it should fit, I'm not at home or I'd of posted a picture with a tape measure.
Old 2nd January 2018
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Accent View Post
Ok, so not really a big case question, but does anyone here have the Doepfer A-100P9? If so, how far in are the feet on the case? I’m about an inch short of desk space to fit one in, but if the feet on the Doepfer are as close enough in as they appear in the photos I think I could just make it all fit...
If it won't fit an idea that came to mind to put a piece of wood (shelf shaped) on the desk that hangs an inch or so over, you could use command strips to hold it there so as not to ruin the desk...
Old 2nd January 2018
  #23
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cane creek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Accent View Post
Ok, so not really a big case question, but does anyone here have the Doepfer A-100P9? If so, how far in are the feet on the case? I’m about an inch short of desk space to fit one in, but if the feet on the Doepfer are as close enough in as they appear in the photos I think I could just make it all fit...
My camera takes $hit pictures in low light but i hope this helps

Old 2nd January 2018
  #24
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
So your 'Slip' jack slipped, eh?
Old 3rd January 2018
  #25
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spiderman's Avatar
So... will confess I've been wrestling with this too. Currently housing a Shared System (7u 104hp) and a Pittsburgh 360 (9u). I think the Pittsburgh cases are really solid. The power has never been a problem for me, and the frame is strong. They seem a bit too heavy and bulky for travel though.

Right now I'm thinking ADDAC 15U (985hp) to house both systems, and keeping the 7U CV Bus case to load select modules out of the ADDAC for travel. Also considering a DIY of Goike 15u (700hp) and keeping the Shared System separate. The Goike would cost about $1000 in parts (power, rails, wood) and the time to build it. The ADDAC would be about $1800 shipped to my door, but an 8 week wait.

I had considered the Doepfer Monster, but per HP it doesn't seem to be the right value. I like the lid... but I don't think traveling with the big rig is necessary for me.
Old 4th January 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
My camera takes $hit pictures in low light but i hope this helps
That does help, cheers! Also ended up emailing my Sweetwater rep who checked it and said the foot is about 1.5” in, so I should be golden. Happy days, my modular journey doesn’t need to end quite yet!
Old 19th January 2018
  #27
Ok stupid question, but I really like to know.....
The power supply on the doepfer cases is situated on the back, so laying down the case on the back while playing is not possible?
Old 19th January 2018
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMT75 View Post
Ok stupid question, but I really like to know.....
The power supply on the doepfer cases is situated on the back, so laying down the case on the back while playing is not possible?
The PSU is inside the case but you will have trouble laying it on its back because you plug the kettle lead into the back.
Old 19th January 2018
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMT75 View Post
Ok stupid question, but I really like to know.....
The power supply on the doepfer cases is situated on the back, so laying down the case on the back while playing is not possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
The PSU is inside the case but you will have trouble laying it on its back because you plug the kettle lead into the back.
Yeah I have a right-angled plug on my cable and the little feet still aren't tall enough for it to lay on it's back. A design flaw IMO. You either need a couple 4x4 (2x4's would work with the right angled cable) "rails" to lay it on, or a keyboard stand which is my solution.

One thing I have considered is installing Fender Twin Reverb-style kickstands for angled tabletop use but I haven't gotten around to it yet. The case could be modified by installing the power port on the side of the case if you are handy too, it's only a few wires and a hole cut. Not a stupid question, but basically stupid answers.
Old 19th January 2018
  #30
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cane creek's Avatar
 

But if you put the power on the side it then prevents you putting another case next to it
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