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Cp Mega EMS 400/500 19-Inch Modular Rack Cases

Paul White checks out two 19-inch modular rack cases from CP. By Paul White
Published August 1995

Why do they call them flightcases? Most of the time, they never fly anywhere, and they're traditionally so heavy that you end up paying excess baggage on them even before you put any gear in them! Worse still, when you buy more gear and outgrow the case, you have little choice but to buy a new, bigger case. CP Cases have tried to break this vicious circle with their EMS range of cases — they're both lightweight and modular, so if your system grows, the theory is that your case can grow with it.

Manufactured from a polycarbonate mix, the EMS cases are light but immensely strong. Each module is 3U high and available in two depths — the EMS 400 cases are 378mm, while the EMS 500s are deeper at 455mm. Each unit comprises two sides, a top and a bottom, and there are front and rear covers held in place by traditional flightcase fasteners. The covers are made from three separate pieces bolted together, so that when you expand your system, you simply bolt in one or more additional centre sections to both the case and the covers.

The front edge of the case is fitted with rackmounting points, complete with bolts, but rearmounting kits are also available for gear that needs supporting at both ends. A wide range of useful accessories is also available, from the provision to mount a mixer in the top of the rack to more conventional bits and pieces, such as a base with castors and additional corner protectors. The basic systems are sold in 3U, 6U, 9U and 15U sizes, and optional stacking feet are available, so that one rack can be stacked above another, with the feet of the top rack resting in dimples on the top panel of the lower rack.

Though the cases actually feel a little 'plasticky', they seem to be as strong as claimed, and they're neat enough to use in the studio as well as on the road. They seem ideal for holding ADATs — perfect for when you want to go out and do a spot of live recording — and because you can add modules, you can build up quite a tall rack cabinet with no stability problems. The ability to mount a mixer in the top is also very welcome both in recording and keyboard‑playing circles. In all, these cases seem well built, and the idea is certainly a good one. Paul White