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Best value for money Eurorack case
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Author Best value for money Eurorack case
AW198
In light of the Arturia announcements, I'm thinking more and more seriously about adding more modules to my humble Moog 3 tier rack, via another case.
Money is the biggest issue here, so I'm looking for the best value case I can find.

- Looking for 6U or 9U, up to 114 hp. Money will stop me getting anything larger.
- Preferably tilted rather than vertical, but I'll take what I can.
- Closed back (so no happy ending-type cases) and not a skiff.
- Powered or unpowered, but if unpowered I'll have to buy 1x or 2x uZeus, and their cost coupled with the fact that they would take up hp means that the case had better be cheap!
- I'm not going DIY.

Can anyone suggest a case or custom case builder who is good value?
Bignorthumbrian
Doepfer LC6 or LC9 cases are excellent value for money, definitely not the sexiest cases out there, but they do the job.
erstlaub
Scrimp on cases (or more specifically PSU's) and you're more likely to have problems and more expense in upgrading/sorting them out down the line.

I've never had a single peep of hassle out of any Doepfer cases I've had (PSU3 P9, PSU2 P6, PSU2 LC6 or multiple DIY kits). I also own a single uZeus which I use to power a control skiff sometimes and the lack of grounding causes contact issues with my pressure points sometimes and the cost of buying an upgraded wall wart for a single row of modules is a pretty big turn off. Other folk's mileage may of course vary.
insoul8
Doepfer LC6 or LC9 without a doubt.
emergingstates
New Arturia cases
AW198
erstlaub wrote:
Scrimp on cases (or more specifically PSU's) and you're more likely to have problems and more expense in upgrading/sorting them out down the line.


Don't worry I know the problems of skimping on power! Not planning on doing that at all.


Everyone seems to be sticking to the Doepfer low cost cases? Fair enough, I suspected they'd be best value for money. The new Arturia cases are definitely sexy, but I suspect 2nd hand eBay will be on the side of Doepfer...
starthief
TipTop Mantis was kind of a standard answer at least until today. The Arturia stuff looks good though, depending on what street prices actually will be.

If you get unpowered, I would recommend against uZeus if you can help it.
insoul8
starthief wrote:
TipTop Mantis was kind of a standard answer at least until today. The Arturia stuff looks good though, depending on what street prices actually will be.

If you get unpowered, I would recommend against uZeus if you can help it.


Is the power in the mantis every bit as good as in their other cases? Hard to believe with that tiny price tag.
starthief
I realize it could just be luck, but I haven't had any trouble at all with the Mantis power -- seems clean and reliable, where the uZeus was noisy.
slidearind
starthief wrote:
TipTop Mantis was kind of a standard answer at least until today. The Arturia stuff looks good though, depending on what street prices actually will be.

If you get unpowered, I would recommend against uZeus if you can help it.


What issues to you have with the uZeus? Do you have a better recommendation?
AW198
Mantis, Rackbrute and Doepfer low cost are all good contenders.

I've never had any issue with my uZeus but then again it only powers 4 modules. I'd be worried about powering a whole case with it.
Has anyone had problems with the Mantis power or is that a safe bet?
I'd go straight for the low cost cases, but I had an LC9 before I downsized and while it was useful, it was so ugly that I really didn't feel like I was playing an instrument at all. Call my superficial but I do like a bit of style.

I might swallow my words when I next check my bank account but hey ho. I'm interested in seeing how many non-wigglers get tempted by the rackbrute, only to realise the cost and time it takes to create a patch isn't to their liking and put the case on eBay for cheap. Probably won't happen a lot, but a man can dream...
Balouk
I have bought the LC9 as my first case and i am super happy with it! Before deciding i also had the tiptop mantis in mind.. I dont regret going for the LC9 so far :-)
nolongerhuman
Value for money with a case is... well... extremely variable.

Do you need an enclosed case with lid? Just a studio case? Do aesthetics matter? How many high current draw modules do you plan, and how much are you willing to deal with running out of power?

I've been through a half dozen cases in the last 6 months, so here are my personal conclusions and opinions:

Tiptop Mantis was nicer than I expected, but still not what I wanted. The power was solid when completely full. The softcase for it was a large, ugly, barely padded affair that I was unhappy with. The actual aesthetics of the case could not have reminded me more of cheap Ikea furniture. The legs were rickety, the moulded plastic was an off-grey color that didn't match anything, the whole thing felt... budget. If you don't care about what it looks like, and really want the cheapest option, this isn't a bad way to go. For me, I couldn't take looking at it, and didn't trust the tilting legs at all.

Make Noise/Elite 6U cases ... solid as a rock, the durable coating is actually really damned durable. Not too heavy, nicely fitted lid. I really like these cases.
Here comes the downsides... the power is highly underwhelming. 1.5A is not enough anymore unless you are very, very, choosy about your module selection. 20 headers is not enough unless you feel like adding flying bus cables. No tilt. Plus the joy that is sliding nuts. very frustrating The power itself is clean enough, and works well with touch plates, but for the cost, I can't recommend these.

Doepfer LC6/LC9/LCB (PSU3) I can't speak for the basic edition, just the vintage edition black coated cases. These are where I ended up for my system. Ample, clean power that's quieter than I am used to, nice durable coating, Everything about them feels very precise and well crafted. I went with an LCB and 2 LC9's and have been equally happy with all of them. Well done for the price. If you don't plan on traveling, this is the direction I would (and did) go.

As for the Arturia cases, I am really not impressed. It looks as though the edge of the left most and right most modules are clearly exposed, the power leaves you with odd HP, it's slightly underpowered, the whole thing just looks like it was a great idea on paper than didn't turn into a well thought out product.
uniquepersonno2
For power, i really dislike uZeus. I had a lot of trouble with mine. I'm loving my trogotronic m15 though. You could get the power of 2 or 3 uzeus' for only a little more than one. I'd go for one of those+an unpowered case.

I have a powered 12u+84hp case that i got new for under $500 with power and rails in a sturdy roadcase. I know this is larger than you were originally talking about going but can share exactly what I used if you're interested. No building involved.
strawberry
+1 Doepfer
2x LC9 no problems, 2x LCB coming next.
insoul8
Yea, i have an lc6 and a skiff. I'm in the market for a new case but have been super pleased with the doepfer. not a single issue with it and i have it totally filled up.

I think i'm going to go with a monorocket 9u 120hp if i can find one when i'm ready but those are a bit pricey.
AW198
uniquepersonno2 wrote:
For power, i really dislike uZeus. I had a lot of trouble with mine. I'm loving my trogotronic m15 though. You could get the power of 2 or 3 uzeus' for only a little more than one. I'd go for one of those+an unpowered case.

I have a powered 12u+84hp case that i got new for under $500 with power and rails in a sturdy roadcase. I know this is larger than you were originally talking about going but can share exactly what I used if you're interested. No building involved.


I'm most certainly interested, hmu with info! razz

Could you link a trogotronic m15 info/purchase page? A google search didn't help at all
hermbot
uniquepersonno2 wrote:
For power, i really dislike uZeus. I had a lot of trouble with mine. I'm loving my trogotronic m15 though. You could get the power of 2 or 3 uzeus' for only a little more than one. I'd go for one of those+an unpowered case.

I have a powered 12u+84hp case that i got new for under $500 with power and rails in a sturdy roadcase. I know this is larger than you were originally talking about going but can share exactly what I used if you're interested. No building involved.


Another vote for avoiding a uZeus. I had plenty of issues with mine and Tiptop was not very good on suppport. I'm staying away from flying bus cables in general now, but yeah - no uZeus for me.
starthief
slidearind wrote:
What issues to you have with the uZeus? Do you have a better recommendation?


Noise was the worst -- some modules I tried a whine around 12kHz when powered by it, while others picked up some crosstalk that I just didn't encounter with other power modules.

You also have to make sure jumper J7 is set appropriately according to the load or it might overheat or just not power everything -- and you have to watch the heat in general.

With the regular adapter it may not be enough for 6U, and with the 3A power brick, due to limits on the -12V rail it's not usually enough for 9U.

As for what to replace it... I'd probably go with Trogotronic at the moment, and a decent busboard rather than flying bus cables.
cptnal
insoul8 wrote:
starthief wrote:
TipTop Mantis was kind of a standard answer at least until today. The Arturia stuff looks good though, depending on what street prices actually will be.

If you get unpowered, I would recommend against uZeus if you can help it.


Is the power in the mantis every bit as good as in their other cases? Hard to believe with that tiny price tag.


Two-Mantis owner here - both of them are pretty full and no issues. thumbs up
JosefK
check out the Silvas modular cases. I picked up an unpowered one in the marketplace for 330 I think but here's the powered one for 650. Not bad at all...

https://reverb.com/item/6351707-silvas-modular-cases-powered-12u-104hp -eurorack-studio-case-2017-black
Dragonaut
I would go for a 9u Moog case and trogotronic power if I were shopping today. Or spend the money on upgrading my Intellijel supply or a Make Noise power setup. I've got the 6u 84hp Moog case and it is super solid. Closing it patched gets a little sketchy with a heavily patched system but right angle cables could help you get around that. Medium patched is fine. I have an Intellijel TPS30 power supply and it just wouldn't be enough power if I didn't have a Mother32 taking up 60hp. I'm at the limit of my power what with all the digital modules I have in there.

(edit: Forgot you gotta buy the Tip Top rails. Makes it a non-contender.)
cackland
No thoughts on the Intellijel 7U 104HP case?
oinkbanana
mantis and doepfer LC9U are the lowest $/hp
I went the doepfer route because I can stack them.
facklr
LC9 with PSU3 in cost and quality will beat out everything. No bells and whistles, but you've got a great PSU, no sliding nuts, solid construction, stackability, and they are easily customizable, but look great in their plain state as well.

I believe $/HP is the lowest as well. I used to have a chart...but I deleted it.

And if you by them used...
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