GT Rack Effects Installation

There are two types of installation required for GT effects.  You first install the effect modules into our 3U Enclosure.  Then you install the 3U Enclosure into your rack.  Or you may optionally use the enclosure outside a rack on a flat, level surface.  Let's look at all of these.

Racked Effects Without Racks

Our modules and enclosures are designed to be used in racks.  You'll note that the front panels of the modules protrude above the top panel and below the bottom panel of the enclosure itself.  That helps cover from view the heads of the screws holding the enclosure together and fills the gaps above and below the other pieces of equipment in your racks.  If you plan to use the enclosures without a rack, the edges and corners of the panels and enclosure could scratch or damage the surface you place them on.  If you plan to use our enclosures without a rack, just get the adhesive rubber feet we offer.  These stick to the bottom of the enclosure and are tall enough that the enclosure and bottom edges of the module panels will not touch the surface the enclosure rests upon.  Other than their height, there is nothing special about the rubber feet we offer - you can get others that will work fine at a hardware store.


Adhesive feet keep front edge of modules from resting on table


The enclosures are sturdy, so you can stack multiple enclosures on top of each other using the adhesive feet on the bottom each enclosure.

Installing Enclosures in Racks

If you've used racks, then you know how this works.  Decide which 3 rack units you want to use, and use the correct rack screws for your rack to attach the enclosure to the front rails of your rack, just like any other rack product.

Depending on what modules you have in your enclosure, and considering whether you will be moving your racks around, you may want to also use the optional rear supports available for our enclosures.  These supports attach to the side panels of the enclosure, near their back edges.  We recommend that you use them if your rack case has rear rails.  If you don't yet have your rack case, we recommend that you get one with front and rear rails, or install rear rails if they aren't included.  It's best to distribute the weight of rack products between the front and rear rails and not have all the weight "hanging" on just the front rails. 

The picture below shows an enclosure with the rear supports attached.  Note that the heads of the screws that hold them on are on the "outside" and the nuts are on the inside.  Once the enclosure is in your rack, you won't have access to the outside.  You'll need to tighten and loosen the nuts to install or remove your enclosure.


Nuts and washers for rear supports go on the "inside"


Heads of rear support screws go on the "outside"


Without the rear supports, installation is simple.  Slide the enclosure into the empty rack space, align the mounting holes, and screw it down securely.

With the rear supports, it is nearly the same, but there is a trick to getting those rear supports in place.  Loosen the screws that hold the supports to the sides of the enclosure, and slide the supports to their full extended position.  Lightly tighten one screw on each side to hold the supports in the extended position, making sure they are extended "level", not sagging down or pointing upwards.  To get the supports to go between the front rails of your rack, flex them toward each other slightly.  They will flex easily, but do not bend them.  Then slide the enclosure into the rack.  You may need to repeat the flexing to the get the supports between the rear rails, too.


Extend supports fully and flex them inwards slightly to fit between rack rails


 Next, fasten the enclosure securely to the front rail using your rack screws.  Then loosen the two tightened screws holding the rear supports.  Slide the rear supports in until they fit against your rack's rear rails, and fasten them in place with your rack screws.  Then tighten all 6 screws holding the rear supports.  A nut driver is a good tool for that.


Rear supports attached to rails, adjustment screws tightened with nutdriver


This should all go smoothly, as there's not much that can go wrong.  However, note that the rack mounting holes in the "wings" of your enclosure are the top and bottom holes of their corresponding rack locations.  They are the middle of the 3 holes in those rack locations.  If you have problems with aligning the holes with the holes in your rack, that could be the problem.

Installing Rack Effect Modules into Enclosures

Installing modules into enclosures is easy, but can be a bit tedious in some situations.  Normally you won't have to install or uninstall modules unless you are installing new modules or uninstalling modules you no longer need.  You might also need to uninstall and re-install a module if it needs repairs, although that can often be avoided.  Your enclosure should be completely filled with modules and/or filler panels (empty modules).  That means that to install a module, you need to remove a module or a pair of filler panels to make room for the new module.  We'll actually discuss the process for uninstalling modules here, since that is probably what you'll need to do first.  Installation just reverses these steps.  Of course, when you purchase an enclosure and modules together, we'll install them for you, no problem.

The first thing to realize is that the enclosure and the modules aren't entirely separate products.  The front and rear panels of the modules are part of the enclosure and help hold the enclosure together.  If you remove all the modules, your enclosure will probably be in pieces when you finish.  To install modules, you'll usually need to remove both the top and bottom panels of your enclosure, along with the side panels.  We won't go through the special case of removing or installing a wing module in the leftmost or rightmost position in your enclosure.  In those cases, you can probably get by with just removing the side panel by the module and use the guidelines below.

If your enclosure contains our 18V Power module you must first follow the instructions to unplug your enclosure from the wall and drain the power.  Uncable all the DC power, switching, and audio cables and remove your enclosure from your rack.  If you have the rear supports on your enclosure, slide them all the way in and loosely tighten a screw on each side to hold them in place so they won't slide around. 


Ready to start


Next, remove all the screws holding the top and bottom panels to the front and rear rails.  You must also remove the screws holding the top and bottom panels to the side rails.  You only have to remove one set of those side panel screws on the top/bottom panel, leaving one edge of one side panel attached to the top and one edge of the other side panel attached to the bottom.  The top and one side will then come off together, as will the bottom and the other side.  Be careful not to snag the panels on cables and components as you remove them.


Top, bottom, and sides removed


Now, disconnect all the cables that go to components on the front panel of the module to be removed after first noting where they all connect.  Then remove the 4 screws (more for larger panels) holding the front panel to the front rails, using a small phillips screwdriver and needle-nose pliers to hold the nut.  You should then be able to remove the front panel.


Module to remove


Panels and boards connected


Panels and boards disconnected


Front panel removed


Next, you will be taking apart the two pieces of the PCB support.  They are held together by 3 screws.  Remove the screws and the smaller piece of the PCB support.


Screws holding PCB support together are now visible


Front part of PCB support removed


Next, unplug the cables going to all the components on the rear panel, then remove the screws holding the rear panel to the rear rails.  Remove the rear panel.  When you remove all the screws, the PCB support may also come free or still be held in place by friction, so be careful it doesn't drop.   Slide the PCB support forward until it is free of the rear rails and lift it out.


Rear panel removed


Rear part of PCB support removed


That's all there is to removing a module.  If you are swapping in another effect module of the same size, just do the reverse of these steps.  If you are installing a larger module, you may need to uninstall and move other installed modules to make room.  If you are installing a smaller module or if you aren't installing a replacement module, you may also need to install a filler module to fill the gap in the front and back panels of the enclosure.  Filler modules are just a pair of "blank" or "empty" front and rear panels that come in several widths.  Always completely fill your enclosure with effect modules or filler modules.  That will help prevent damage to your effects, prevent external EMF noise sources from degrading your tone, and make your effects safer to use.


0.5" Filler module.


While the method above details how the modules are design to be installed and uninstalled, there are a number of tips about the process you should probably read before you begin.  They may save you some time and effort.  You'll find them in our How-To section, Installing and Uninstalling Modules


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