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face-up racks: sterling, argosy or custom? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 17th June 2009
Lives for gear
JES's Avatar

Thread Starter
face-up racks: sterling, argosy or custom?

Hi All,

I'm looking at the Argosy rack n roll h10 or one of the Sterling ones: gear pod or maybe the faceup (but $500 for MDF? really?) I've read a few threads but I thought I'd ask.

But I'm wondering if anyone has had something like this custom made out of real wood and if so what is cost. I'd do it myself but I'm not handy at all.

I need something that works in a sitting position and that will look good since it's for a home studio and my wife (who is otherwise supportive of the hobby) dislikes the appearance of cables and my currently underpopulated Middle Atlantic 20 space rack (which she outright hates, and I don't actually need all the spaces).



PS -- I'm in Montreal, so if someone can do a decent custom job for less than the Sterling faceup, feel free to PM me.
Old 17th June 2009
Gear nut
Nate Scott's Avatar

Sterling Face Up Feedback

No experience with Argosy, but...

I have the Sterling face-up rack, and like you, I was skeptical of price vs. build. To put this into perspective, I have a Middle Atlantic 12-space as well as 2 x 24+ space custom shockmount racks (like Anvil) - so I understand price vs. durability and units designed for travel vs. permanent install.

The Sterling is rock solid...much more robust than I expected. The wood panel options help add to the strength on the sides (even when using stock black like I did).

The unit is fairly heavy as well. The wheels are amazing on wood floors, they have a rubber quality to them that tracks well and rolls with ease (but heavy). It was easy to assemble. Good experience here.

No I do not work for them

Bought through Vintageking, it was less than $500 at the time.

There are a lot of companies in Los Angeles / North Hollywood that build custom stuff, but I don't think it would be that much cheaper than the Sterling. I'd have to cull through some 4 yr old notes to find the company I'm thinking about at the moment.

Old 17th June 2009
Gear nut
Nate Scott's Avatar

Although now that I think about it, I guess solid wood would ultimately win, wouldn't it?
Old 17th June 2009
Gear Addict
Klauth's Avatar
I got, 2 of the Argosy face up racks and was(still am) severely disappointed in them. actually had to send pieces of them back because they didn't fit together right... TOTAL pain in the a$$. WAAAAAAAY to much money for what I ultimately ended up with.... $700 dollars, down the drain! definitely would NOT recommend ARGOSY to anyone!!! -klauth.
Old 17th June 2009
Lives for gear
macr0w's Avatar

I bet you can build a carbon copy of either of those boxes for about $100.00.

Out of real wood no doubt.

A 4x8 sheet of cabinet grade 5/8 or 3/4 oak will cost $50.00 or less.

Rack rails, casters, a little time and tools and your done.
Old 17th June 2009
Gear maniac
Black Dirt's Avatar

just got 3 sterling gear pods

first of all - these are some of the best packed pieces of anything i've ever purchased with "some assembly required" (remember how dreaded those words were when you were a kid - meant you couldn't play with your new toy immediately!)

easy as pie to assemble - there is a consistency in the feel from one to the next - once i assembled 1, the others took a fraction of the time

they are solid - and heavy - and solid... did i mention solid?

and heavy?

and they seem like they'll stay that way for a long time... recommended!
Old 17th June 2009
Having these built custom by a local wood worker or cabinet maker might cost you a couple hundred at most (parts and labor) hard wood, rails, and caster's. Have him do some drawings first.

Argosy's consoles are good but their rack and rolls can be a little cheap looking.
I used to custom build my own stuff and you can definitely save some dough.
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