Rack or Cabinet? - Help me decide!

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Peter_Woo, Apr 10, 2003.

  1. Peter_Woo

    Peter_Woo Agent

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    Hi all,

    I am looking to buy some kind of shelving to house all my equipments (DVD, PS2, Tuner, CD changer and AV receiver, currently, they are sitting on an old TV stand) but kind of stuck on if I should buy a AV rack or an audio cabinet (Enclosed with glass door). Is there advantages going with the audio cabinet? What is everyone's experience on this?

    BTW, this is what I am looking at
    AV rack

    and
    Audio cabinet

    your opinion would be appreciated
    Pete
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I will never recommend a cabinet, as it traps heat from all of the equipment inside, and frequently makes running cables more difficult.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    The open racks are better for cooling and ease of hookups/maintance. But dust then becomes a weekly maintance issue and the rack/equipment become part of the in-your-face decor.

    The cabinents are neater/cleaner looking and have a higher spousal acceptance factor (SAF). The temperature issues can be solved by removing the back panel, cutting openings near the higher-temp components and/or installing a small fan. Just make sure the cabinent does not rely on the back-panel for structural support.

    Salamander is a company that sells modular, metal cabinents and shelving. The panels are all optional, but they have holes for venting. They even have metal-mesh front doors that hide the equipment, but still allow you to control things with a remote (or so they claim).

    Search the "Tweeking & accessories" fourm for "Racks" and I am sure you will find lots of links to web sites.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Salamander is the way to go, that's what I have, but they are also quite pricey, depending on what you are looking for. A comparable Synergy system simlar to what you are looking at will be roughly 2x the cost. Expandability and appearance are big factors with them though.

    I don't like electric fans in or near my system if I can help it. While opening up the back is fine (taking note structural integrity as Bob mentioned), I still feel there is insufficent airflow in a cabinet. I never had anything fail as a result of heat when I had an enclosed rack, but I noticed that the gear seemed to retain more heat due to proximity, than in my open rack.

    Dust IS a factor with open racks however, I can attest to that. I have to dust about once a week. Dust will ALWAYS be a factor, it's just a different time frame.
     
  5. Peter_Woo

    Peter_Woo Agent

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    Thank you all for your comments, I think I am going to focus on racks, so far I think I like Studio Tech rack the best (price and look)

    Thanks again...
     
  6. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    I prefer racks for the reasons cited. Another consideration is noise, though. If your equipment makes noise (e.g. your DVD player whirrs, your amplifiers have fans, you have a Tivo or ReplayTV or HTPC which has a fan) then an open rack makes you more likely to hear it during the quiet parts of a movie.
     
  7. Bry_DD

    Bry_DD Second Unit

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    I prefer cabinet cause it looks nice and neat. Only disadvantage is what everyone says, heat.. What I do is just leave the glass door open when watching movies. I guess it's a matter of preference both has disadvantage and advantage like cabinet = heat and rack = dust...
     
  8. David Preston

    David Preston Supporting Actor

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    I just bought a cabinet yesterday. At first I wanted a rack it was only like $200. My wife said she likes the cabinets so we went and looked at each. I think she likes home theater stuff as much as me. So we spent $400 on a cabinet. I like it so much better than a rack now because I really hate seeing wires/cables. It also has a backlight behind the components looks really nice. It aslo has two storage areas at the bottom I put my ps2 and Xbox down there since they are rarely played but they are still hooked up. Hope that wasn't to long.
     
  9. Brian tj

    Brian tj Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi all
    The SAF I know to well. You should see the Bombay cabinet I just modified it to hold my equipment. Wish I knew how to post photos? [​IMG]
    Yes I removed the back, if you do this I recommend you stiffen the cabinet . You can buy brackets at hardware store to do this they are L shape and come with screws. Yes the dust is better, the heat is not as bad as I though it would be and I have 200.7 AMP. yes small fan helps and right no noise with doors closed. I must insert small device to aid remote. I hope the photos come out and yes that is stainless for shelving laminated to birch plywood. Right NO RFI/EMI here.[​IMG] Yes the doors are still off in the photo.
     
  10. Brian tj

    Brian tj Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry all the photos did not work[​IMG] Looks like I need web sight?
     
  11. David W Johnson

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    The main things I look for in purchasing a rack or cabinet are:
    1) Is the rack/cabinet sturdy enough to hold your gear? Does it wobble at all? Are the shelves made of a material that won't warp over time?
    2) Does the rack or cabinet have a cable management system to hide cables?
    3) Are the shelves large enough to hold all of your gear?
    4) Are the shelves adjustable?
    5) Is the rack or cabinet modular or expandable?
    6) Does the rack or cabinet look attractive and does my gear look attractive on it?
    7) Does the rack or cabinet utilize any methods of sound isolation such as carpet spikes or isolated shelves?
    8) Does the rack or cabinet match (or compliment) my other furniture or does it stick out like a sore thumb in my living room?
    9) Will the rack or cabinet fit comfortably in the listening space? Can I easily get behind it to connect new components?
    10) Is the cabinet well ventilated?
    11) Does the size and shape of the rack or cabinet adversely affect the acoustics of my listening area?
    12) Does any part of the rack or cabinet have the potential to rattle when low frequency effects are being played?
    13) Is the price reasonable?
    14) Is the price of the rack or cabinet directly proportional to the price of my equipment? After all, it would be silly to house $500 dollars worth of gear on a $2000 dollar rack. It would be equally silly to house $5000 dollars worth of equipment on a $150 dollar rack.
     

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