4 Best Drum Racks / Mounting Systems for Acoustic Kits

Author: Brett Clur | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

If you want all your drums connected to a strong and steady structure, a drum rack is what you need. Racks give you a central and unified place to mount all your gear, making it very easy to maintain a uniform setup.

If you’re looking for some incredible sturdiness, there are some top-quality drum racks on the market that you need to check out. I’m going to show you 4 of my favorite ones and explain everything that makes them so good.

My Favorite Drum Racks

I’ll start the list off with the largest option. The Gibraltar GCS-450C is a 4-post rack that has 3 curved bars to mount everything onto. This is the type of rack that will make you wonder how you ever got by without using a drum rack. It’s incredibly good.

There seemed to be an endless number of possibilities when it came to adjustability. I found every component to be very adjustable and flexible, meaning this rack will cater to setups of all kinds and variations. I think it’s a great rack for small setups, but it shines when it comes to larger ones.

The large size of the rack means that you can place several toms and cymbals around it. I’ve seen plenty of metal drummers with up to 10 drums using the GCS-450C. They had even more cymbals around those drums. You can easily add extra beams to this structure if you need room for more parts.

I love the look of the chrome bars. They shine brightly and give your setup a bold appearance. While they look great, their strength comes in the sturdiness that they provide. Whether you have a large or small setup, your drums aren’t going to move at all if you tighten them to the rack hard enough.

I also found that this rack is surprisingly easy to set up. The large structure may chase some drummers away. However, it’s easier to set up than a few smaller racks that I’ve seen, so you shouldn’t worry about that.

The huge downside of the GCS-450C is the fact that you can’t adjust the heights of the bars separately. They can only be the same height. If you adjust one, the other two will raise or lower as well. This has the potential to stop a few drummers from getting the rack, so keep that in mind.

PROS

  • Stunning chrome appearance
  • 3 bars provide plenty of space for drums and cymbals
  • Easy to set up
  • Very adjustable

CONS

  • Can’t adjust heights of support bars individually

If you want the highest-quality rack money can buy, the DW 9000 Series is what you’re looking at. All of DW’s 9000 Series hardware is typically seen as luxury gear. The company gives you innovation and sturdiness in everything they offer. This 9000 Series rack is proof of that.

It’s arguably the sturdiest rack on this list, and it’s incredibly thick and heavy. This is the type of rack that I’d want to have in my studio, connected to a drum kit that I never want to move. I noticed that the sturdiness comes from the thick tubes. They’re thicker than tubes from any other rack I’ve seen.

Something that I appreciate from this rack is that DW includes two cymbal arms that connect to each end. This saves you from having to buy extra arms to place there. DW provides these with most of their racks which scores them big brownie points in my book.

The only issue with these cymbal stands is that they sit a bit high. It takes a bit of adjusting to get them to a comfortable position, especially if you like your cymbals to be beneath your shoulder height.

I noticed that the memory locks on the rack are vital. You can’t mount any drums without them. However, they’re incredibly useful and convenient to use. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to use them anyway.

Another thing that I love about this rack is the spikes at the bottom of the rubber feet. These could easily go unnoticed by many drummers, but they play a huge role in making the rack as sturdy as it is.

Since this is DW hardware, you’re going to be paying a lot for the rack. It’s the most expensive option on this list. However, I know a few drummers who have been using 9000 Series hardware for the longest time. You may never need to buy another rack again after getting this one, so it’s worth the money.

PROS

  • Incredibly strong and sturdy
  • Includes 2 cymbal arms
  • Memory locks are fantastic
  • Very durable

CONS

  • Expensive

PDP is a brand run by DW that provides similar gear for more affordable prices. This PDP rack is very similar to the DW 9000 one. However, it’s a bit cheaper and it has a few more bells and whistles. What you lose in quality, you gain in quantity.

This rack has 2 posts and 3 bars. It’s very similar to the GCS-450C rack but the side bars aren’t supported by their own posts at the end. At first glance, I assumed that would make the rack less sturdy. However, I was very surprised to see that the side bars comfortably hold large floor toms without any hassle.

The side bars can also be adjusted individually, allowing you to change their heights separately to the main bar. This is what the GCS-450C lacks, so I think the PDP rack is the better option when it comes to adjustability. It’s just not as sturdy having two fewer posts.

Similar to the 9000 Series rack, it comes with two cymbal arms. They also sit quite high, making them difficult to use for people who don’t want that classic 80s look from their drums. I found that you need to experiment quite a bit to get them to sit how you want them to.

You can fit quite a few components on this rack thanks to the extra sidebars. You’d just need to be careful not to overload them. The more you put on, the less sturdy the rack will become.

PROS

  • 3 bars to place drums and cymbals
  • Included cymbal stands
  • Side bars can be adjusted separately

CONS

  • Cymbal stands are difficult to position

The Gibraltar GRS300C is a slightly smaller and cheaper option than the other racks. This is a front rack that is intended to mount rack toms above a bass drum. While that’s how it’s advertised, I found that there were a few more ways of using a rack like this.

You could place it anywhere and mount anything on it. I could see myself putting it to the side of me to mount things like a laptop stand or an electronic drum pad. You could also mount cymbals. It’s an affordable rack that will give you sturdiness when you need it.

I love how adjustable it is. Wherever you place it, you’re going to be able to comfortably set your drums up around it. It can be raised fairly high, so taller drummers won’t have any issues.

The downside of this rack is that you may be limited on space. However, you can buy Gibraltar extensions for it if you need to somewhere down the road. It’s nice that the extension option is there, but I think this kind of rack is best suited for drummers who don’t need a huge expensive rack.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Highly adjustable
  • Good for drummers who only need a small rack

CONS

  • You may be limited for space

Drum Rack Buying Checklist

There are a few questions that you should ask yourself when looking to buy a drum rack. Racks are large pieces of hardware that have the potential to change your entire drum setup, so it’s always going to be a weighty purchase.

Do You Need a Drum Rack?

I know of a few drummers who bought racks thinking they were going to be the answer to their problems. They ended up not using them as they preferred the classic feel of stands and mounts. If you want to buy a drum rack, you should ask yourself why you need one.

The biggest reason for getting a rack is to have something to mount several drums onto. This is why you’ll mostly see metal drummers using drum racks with their 20 toms. If you play drums on a 4-piece kit, you most probably don’t need a drum rack.

However, a drum rack will provide you with the most stable setup you can get. So, you should get one if you’re looking for maximum stability.

Size

Drum racks come in different shapes and sizes. The main defining feature of most racks is how many support bars they have. If you have a large drum set, you’re going to need a rack that has 3 or more support bars.

Smaller drum sets can fit on a rack that only has 1. That’s unless you want to mount a floor tom to the rack as well.

Thankfully, all racks have the option of adding bars and posts. You can always increase the size of your rack if you need to. Just remember that the bigger it is, the more space it’s going to take up. The point of having a rack is often to save space, so you need to balance size and space.

Price

One of my favorite things about drum racks is that they’re competitively priced. Unlike drums and cymbals, drum racks don’t have a very large price range. You’re not going to find an incredibly cheap rack and you’re also not going to find an untouchably expensive one.

The price range for racks typically falls between $200 and $600. While that’s still quite a large range, it gives you more options to choose from. You can get the highest-quality rack possible if you just wait and save. It will always be reachable.

Drum racks will start getting expensive when you add on components. Buying extra side bars and cymbal stands will very quickly raise the price, so be prepared for that if you’re looking for more.

Weight and Transportability

The last thing that you need to consider is how heavy the rack you’re getting will be. Some drummers will argue that drum racks are for making traveling with your gear easier. Others will argue that racks are for keeping your drums in one place. I think it depends on how light or heavy the rack is.

If you want to set your rack up at gigs, you should get one that is light enough to transport around conveniently. If you want to keep your rack in the practice room or studio, it would be better to get the heaviest and most durable one that you can.

Bringing a drum rack to a small pub gig would be seen as overkill. You most probably don’t need to take one with to smaller gigs.

However, having a rack with memory locks will allow you to get the exact same setup at a gig that you have in your practice space. It’s a fantastic option for continuity at larger gigs.

Wrap Up

Hopefully, you’ve seen from this article that drum racks are fantastic pieces of hardware to consider getting. You should definitely get one if you have a larger kit and need to save space. They save you from having to put several cymbal stands around your drums.

They’re also what you need to get if you want the most stable drums you can possibly have. Many drum kits have wobbly drums when they’re mounted to the bass drum. A drum rack will prevent that entirely.

Check out all the options I’ve listed and decide which rack you think is the best choice for your kit. Make sure that it’s going to work well in all the environments that you currently play in as well!

About Brett Clur

Brett has been drumming for almost two decades. He also helps his students get better at drumming. He can be found on Instagram (@brettclurdrums), where you can regularly catch glimpses of his drumming.

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