Gibraltar GCS-450C Drum Rack Review
Ultimate Buying Guide
Gibraltar is one of the leading drum hardware brands out there. While most major drum companies have hardware lines, Gibraltar is one of the few companies that specialize in hardware alone. This allows them to put many resources into making high-quality drum hardware.
We’re going to have a look at the GCS-450C drum rack. It’s a heavy-duty drum rack that allows you to set your kit up in a steady and stable way, eliminating the need for individual cymbal stands and tom mounts.
There are several things that make this rack stand out, and we’re going to look at what exactly those are.
The two biggest things to note about this rack are that it’s 3-sided and that it has 4 posts to stand on. Having a 3-sided rack allows you to place drums and cymbals in front of you as well as on the side of you. Many racks are either front or side racks, so you get the best of both worlds with the GCS-450C.
Having 4 legs to stand on makes the rack feel incredibly sturdy. You can attach a large number of drums or cymbals to the arms without the rack feeling wobbly or unsecured. It’s the perfect option for a drummer who wants a large setup.
The rack comes with memory locks and attachment clamps, allowing you to attach things to it as soon as you set it up. Some racks don’t include the attachment clamps with the initial purchase, so it’s a great feature to have!
Gibraltar GCS-450C Drum Rack Review:
What To Expect from This Drum Rack
When it comes to drum racks, this GCS-450 is one of the most versatile thanks to the fact that it can fit so much on it. You have a large amount of room to create all kinds of setups with it. Whatever way you like your drums to be, this rack will allow it.
The only place it isn’t versatile is on the side bars. They can’t be set at a different height to the front bar, so you need to do a bit of adjusting with the clamps if you want the equipment on the side to be at different heights. You get used to compensating for this after a while of using the rack, though.
Since the rack has 3 sides, it’s a lot more versatile than drum racks that have fewer arms. So, it’s a good choice to go with if you’re looking for versatility.
Easy for Gigging?
There’s a common argument that occurs when drummers discuss drum racks. Some drummers will argue that they’re the perfect gigging tool while others will argue that taking a large rack with you to gigs is unnecessary.
If you’re someone who likes the idea of taking a drum rack to a gig, you’ll be happy with the GCS-450C. You can collapse all the components to fit them into one bag, allowing you to carry it with you alongside your other drum gear.
It’s surprisingly light for a rack that has 3 sides and 4 posts. Gibraltar have somehow kept it light without sacrificing any sturdiness.
The best aspect of using this rack for a gig is the fact that you can lock all your cymbal placements in the same positions. This allows you to easily get the same setup on stage that you’re used to in the practice room.
You may assume that this Gibraltar rack isn’t as high-quality as the popular ones from Pearl or DW. However, it’s made incredibly well and can compete with those racks very easily.
The overall chrome design looks visually appealing. Back that with the firm structure and you have yourself a high-quality drum rack.
The great thing about this rack is that it will work the same whether you have a $300 or a $3000 drum set. If you have a cheaper drum set, it will increase the overall quality of your drum setup. If you have a pro-level kit, this rack will maintain the same sense of quality throughout your setup.
Gibraltar is also very good at providing replacement parts for their products. So, quality control from the brand is excellent. If something isn’t working the way it should, you can easily get it replaced.
Price Value Ratio
There aren’t that many racks available on the market. So, your options are limited. The three main racks that most drummers choose between are the Gibraltar GCS-450C, the Pearl Icon, and the DW 9000 Series.
Out of those three racks, the GCS-450C has the lowest price. The Pearl Icon rack is incredibly heavy and sturdy, and it has the highest price. The DW rack has similar qualities. However, it’s only a front rack that doesn’t have side arms.
The Gibraltar rack arguably has the highest price-to-value ratio out of all three of these popular racks. It’s the most affordable and it has three sides with four posts. You’re not going to find a better rack for cheaper.
The other racks are slightly sturdier and more adjustable, but you can buy parts for the Gibraltar rack that will compensate for that.
How to set up the Gibraltar GCS-450C Drum Rack?
Racks can be fairly confusing to set up when you first start working with them. They’re a lot more complicated than your classic cymbal stands. However, you start getting used to the setup process over time and it eventually ends up being a very quick thing to do.
Here’s a step-by-step process on how to set the GCS-450C drum rack up:
Lay out all the parts on the ground to make sure you’re not missing anything.
Make sure all the clamps and memory locks are on the rods (they should already be on them when you buy the rack).
Attach all the feet to each leg (there are 4 of them).
Make sure all the feet are tightened firmly to the legs
Attach the front tube (with the Gibraltar logo) to the two front legs
Attach the side tubes to the opposite sides of where the front tube is connected
Connect the side tubes to the remaining legs
Tighten everything very firmly
Now you the rack should be standing upright, allowing you to work with it
Move the clamps around to suit your drum setup
Is the Gibraltar GCS-450C Drum Rack easy to transport?
As we said earlier, the rack is surprisingly light for how sturdy it is. It’s definitely lighter than some of the other heavy-duty drum racks on the market. This makes it easier to transport than those heavier racks.
It’s still a drum rack at the end of the day, though. It’s harder to transport than a few cymbals stands would be. If you’re playing a quiet and intimate gig in a pub or restaurant, you probably shouldn’t bring the GCS-450 with you.
However, it’s light enough to transport easily if you really need to use it for particular gigs. All the components will fit in a single hardware bag, so it will only take you one trip from the car to get this rack into the venue anyway.
It’s just a bit of a hassle to set it up and pack it down all the time. Although, so are most drum kits themselves!
How heavy is the Gibraltar GCS-450C Drum Rack?
In total, the rack is about 46 pounds. That’s quite light considering the fact that you can put a whole mega metal drum kit on it. The DW 9000 rack is around 32 pounds. It’s lighter because it doesn’t have the side bars. However, the front bar of the DW is slightly heavier than the one on the Gibraltar.
The Pearl Icon rack is around 43 pounds, meaning the Gibraltar rack is the heaviest out of the three. Pearl uses lighter legs on their racks, contributing massively to the lighter weight.
Although the Gibraltar GCS-450C is the heaviest on paper, it feels incredibly nimble and mobile. However, that weight is what keeps it sturdy.
Gibraltar GCS-450C Drum Rack Review
- Build Quality
A drum rack may be just what you need to upgrade your current drum setup. It’s the best solution for having multiple cymbal stands and toms without having too many standalone stands cluttering your setup. It allows you to have a very clean overall drum rig.
The Gibraltar GCS-450C is one of the top drum racks to consider getting. It has everything you need to set up a monster kit. You’ll most probably need to buy a few extra add-ons here and there. But Gibraltars service is excellent, and you’ll easily be able to get your grip on any hardware part you need.