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Paia vs Blacet Racks. Amongst other questions.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Fractional Rack Modules  
Author Paia vs Blacet Racks. Amongst other questions.
How are the quality of Paia racks compared to Blacet?

What about PSU's? What should I avoid? What's the cheapest solution?

Have many of you built CGS kits in frac format?

IIRC you can get the Paia racks with a top and bottom piece. What this means is, 8 additional sharp, thin, metal corners you can slice your hands open on trying to put the thing together. I also seem to remember that the rail fasteners were not as slick as on the Blacet, which are tapped. It is easier in general to get a clean, square rack with the Blacets. For me the Paia rack was a mistake I made once and never returned to. Others may have differing opinions.

The cheapest PS solution is one you wire up yourself from a PowerOne or Condor supply that you get for $20 on Ebay. But, requires soldering skill and is dangerous for anyone not familiar with working with mains voltage. I have Blacet, Cyndustries, and MOTM power supplies and all are great.
Hmm. I might have to get a Blacet then. I'll wait until one pops up in the buy/ sell section.

I think I might just bite the bullet and get one of these Powerone and/or Condor supplies. I need to figure out how to rig one up if I plan on building a lot of DIY kits.
Blacet racks seem to be in short supply at the moment. Looks like they won't be available until the start of October.

Waz wrote:
How are the quality of Paia racks compared to Blacet?

I’ve build by now 7 PaiA racks and never managed to slice my hands open nor I accidently build them in anything else but square.

Actually I prefer them over Blacet racks bcs they com with top and bottom panels so I’m able to stack them on top of each other. Blacet racks are much sturdier even though they are also supported by the SKB rack in which they’re supposed to be mounted (hence the “missing” top and bottom panels).

Waz wrote:
What about PSU's? What should I avoid? What's the cheapest solution?

Like others: Power One from ebay.

Waz wrote:
Have many of you built CGS kits in frac format?

I’ve build some CGS modules for frac. You’ll find most of their faceplates as well as few pics of the modules on electro-music board:
I've been wondering where they come from. Does some metal shop custom make them? Do other industries use them? Because we all know Euroracks are made, sold and used and for many other things besides modular synths.

Anyway I'd think that whatever conclusions you draw about Paia vs Blacet would depend a good deal on when you bought them. The first Paia rack I bought had no top, bottom or back panel and was painted off-white except for the black rack ears. The second one I bought had a top bottom and back and the covers were not at all sharp. It also cost 3x the $20 I paid for the first one new. Then again that old Paia one didn't fit that well together.

The newer and much more expensive Paia rack I have looks a lot like the Blacet one but isn't 100% the same. I agree that the Blacet one I have seems a bit more solid

For a while I was thinking Blacet bough them from Paia but I don't think that's what's going on except they now cost a lot more than they used to.
I am also not a fan of the Paia rack. I wish I had gotten a Blacet for my second rack.

Sharp edges, poor screw scheme - but hell, it works.
another vote for the Blacet racks... higher quality, IMHO.

one difference is the U-rails on Blacet vs L-rails on PAIA, U-rail is somewhat stronger... tradeoff is that there's slightly less width between rails. i think that was an issue w/ the original ZOscillator, for instance--it was sized to just squeeze into a PAIA rack, and bumped into the Blacet rails.
Hi Waz,

Waz wrote:
How are the quality of Paia racks compared to Blacet?

PAIA are less expensively made. (Blacet's are better, IMO.)

What about PSU's?

If you're doing Frac only, Blacet's PS500 is the way to go. If you have a Frac/Euro system; or anticipate potentially changing out formats over time, my gRACK PSU (2-300 ma/rail with integrated distro), CorePSU (800ma/rail) or SubStation (1A/rail) may be a better choice. They're 115/230VAC, 12/15VDC universal linear supplies. Right now they're in short supply due to their going into full case orders, but that will change as time goes on.

What's the cheapest solution?

Quite possibly my GeoMetrics subracks, set up for Frac. Especially when you consider that they allow for an extra module per row! 11FU, instead of Blacet and Paia's 10.

RevMutt has 5, and posted about them in another thread. (Two of his are set up for Frac, 2 for Euro, and he has one 4U holding both vintage and 200e Buchla). The FE rails lmeanyou can switch between Frac/Euro formats at any time.

A full set like RevMutt bought is 100USD. This has 4 FErails, 2FEnds, 4FEsp's, 2 FEsides and 2FEars (Rack ears), and all hardware including sliding nuts for modules and PSU. If you're going to mount the PSCONN2 to rear rails, let me know and I'll throw in an extra 4 screws and nuts[/quote] The FEsides are punched for both Blacet distros and mine. The rear rails are the correct distance and provide for mounting BOTH the Blacet PS500 and the Blacet PSCONN2 distro. (John Blacet kindly provided me with the dimensions to make this possible.)

The resulting SubRack is extremely solid, sturdy and stackable. It is made up of parts from my GeoMetrics lineup, so you can add top, bottom and rear panels in Metal, wood or plastic to enclose and dress up the system. Add wood cheeks instead of ears to hold multiple rows and/or at an angle in something more like a desktop case.

The FErails use sliding nuts so there's no problem with tapping/stripping threads, or gaps due to misdrilled DIY panels.

Because it's composed of GeoMetrics parts, you can put together exactly what you need, from basic to complex. And from really inexpensive to over-the-top.

You can go barebones with a frame of 2 FErails and 2 FEars for 40USD.

Add FEnds for 20 more and you'll have no spaces between modules and rack ends. Use FEsp's (.100 thick spacers, i.e., rectangular "washers") instead and it's 45USD, with gaps at the ends but overall width now at 19" (It's 18.8" without FEnds or FEsp's, but still mounts to Rack rails because the FEars have the typical oblong Rack ear holes.

Add FEsides in any of 5 depths to provide mounting for rear rails, more protection, and allow for stacking. Depths are 2-3/4", 4-1/4", 5-3/4", 7-1/4", 8-3/4". FEsides are available in 3U, 4U and 6U heights.

FEpanels are used to fully enclose the setup, and we'd discuss those on a case by case basis.

So the functional *equivalent* of a blacet/paia rack is available at a similar price, but with far more expansion possibilities... Sliding nuts, stronger rails, Dual format capability, and surely not least the extra module space per row means that "equivalent" may not be accurate.

I've been focused on completing orders for other styles of cases lately, but I made extra GeoMetrics components when I built RevMutts 5 Racks, so some of this can ship from stock. Otherwise, expect a 2 week lead time to shipping. The website is still not updated for all these components, so if interested send me an email at the contact email on the website.

Another well-known member here is about to get some GeoMetrics subracks, but I don't mention anyone's name unless given permission. Point being, there will possibly be a second person to give a review of the product quality and suitability. I'm not worried, this is a solid lineup!

Kind regards, Randal
Hi Randal,

I know you're busy with all your buildings, but it would be SO helpful for you to get more details (especially pictures) on your website. At present we've got loads of words spread throughout a load of different threads. As mentioned by others - clear pictures are worth so much more than many words!

The PSU parts have been promised for quite a while now, but we haven't seen any pictures unless I've missed them?!

By the way - a simple pair of FErails seems to cost $80+ to ship to UK?!?! And FEnds / FEars aren't selectable (or pictured) on the site.

I know you say people can contact you direct via email, but I think getting the website ordering together would help purchasers AND you!

All best & hope it is all going good!
I agree! I agree! I agree! I agree! I agree!

I'm in the market for a rack at the moment. I wouldn't buy one without a few pictures. I'd like to see the PSU as well.

Could you post pictures of your geometrics rack? I'm really interested in buying a 3u rack with ears.

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