Flexy Rack & Equipment position - some opinions needed

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by RobertMc, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. RobertMc

    RobertMc Agent

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    Hi all, I have been mooching around this Forum for a few months now and thanks to all of you for the advice, opinions and friendly assistance you freely give to members. This is my first post, so bear with me.

    I am now in the final stages of getting my HT room completed - the carpet is due down today. Actually, the HT room is a dual purpose room, so although it's main focus is on keeping my HT and Music needs satisfied, it hasn't been constructed with all of the finer points of sound insulation, acoustics and video-ustics(?) in mind. Can't have everything when you're on a budget and have a wife.

    To the point of this post. I am preparing to build a flexy-rack for my modest equipment. However, I would like some advice from you good people in relation to two things.

    1: Where is the ideal place for equipment to be located in a HT room. I am fairly limited by cable lengths etc and also by room size, so at the moment, the flexy-rack is probably going to be situated next to the 56' RPTV, on the right hand side, between the TV and the right hand floor standing speaker.

    2: Given this likely location, will the electronic displays of the various devices (DVD, VCR(with LCD screen), AV Receiver, CD etc) be a distraction when watching movies and if so, what should I do about it.

    I haven't started the flexy-rack yet and I am thinking that it may be worthwhile trying to incorporate some type of semi-transparent screen door over the front of the rack to block off the displays. This screen could be on hinges to open for access, but also be semi-transparent so that the IR beams could get through and I would still be able to control the equipment with the remote. I was thinking a hinged door with some speaker cloth or similar.

    Any thoughts guys - or should I not worry about the issue and launch straight on in to the project?!!

    Also, while I am here, what are your preferences for the order of equipment when loaded into flexy-racks / stands. What should go where and exactly how much ventilation does each need.

    Thanks

    RobertMc
    (Cairns - Australia)
     
  2. RodN

    RodN Stunt Coordinator

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    I find my behringer BFD display to be a distraction. I use old x-rays to put over the display to really darken it up. It really depends on the equipment, I removed all of the lights connections on my HTPC because of the same thing. The amp is fine, all depends on your equipment. Dark glass might detract from the clean lines of a flexy rack.

    My order of preference would be heavy (and warm) amps at the bottom, moving your way up with lighter eqipment. This is just a preference though, don't know if there are any real benefits in it, other than it being a bit cooler down near the floor.

    I have just finished my flexy-rack which you can see here if you're interested.
     
  3. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    Hi Robert,

    1. I am not sure of the ideal place, it probably depends on the room. I have seen them placed everywhere, but I prefer having it in the front. It is the most convenient for me.

    2. I use a plastic screen thing to cover up the BFD and receiver but I hide it when I am not watching a movie. Maybe this could work for you.

    Like Rod, I also prefer to put the heaviest equipment on the bottom shelves. You should have 2-3" of clearance for the amps but that is no problem with a flexi-rack.
    Good luck with the theater
     
  4. RobertMc

    RobertMc Agent

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    Rod & Graham - thanks for your replies.

    In reference to your flexy Rod, I had a good look at your site yesterday - nice rack (I usually reserve that compliment for certain female aquaintences - ahem...)! A couple of questions for you and perhaps anyone else out there.

    1: I see you doubled the thickness of the MDF by laminating two boards. I am not sure if you specified what thickness MDF you used, but it looked like 16mm, giving you 32mm for each shelf. That's some thickness, strength and weight. What were your reasons for having all the shelves so thick. I had thought about having one or two double thickness shelves on the rack, for the heavy equipment, but for other items like PS2 and Set Top Box, a single 16mm would be plenty methinks - comments?

    2: I notice you used only three 'legs' on your flexy - how does it go for stability? Does the rear 'leg' get in the way of the cabling at the rear. I had read somewhere (probably in one of the other 'interconnect' forums where things can get waaaaayyyy technical) that there was a possibility of 'shorts' occurring if a 'leg' was used as a cable tidy.

    3: How exactly have you arranged the cables at the back - if at all?

    Thanks
     
  5. RodN

    RodN Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Robert,

    The shelves are 18mm*2 making for a 36mm thick shelf. I went for this as for cd/dvd playback a stable platform makes for cleaner sound. I have not experienced 'cleaner sound' as that would take too much to setup and test but I am trusting the experts. This is why you see audiophile equipment on slabs of marble very clost to ground level, as it's very stable. The thickness of the shelves adds to the weight of the rack, adding to it's stability and making it less prone to vibration. While 36mm is really thick 18mm is too thin and might vibrate/resonate. The whole point of a rack is to be as stable as possible - (resting on bedrock or a concrete slab would be ideal). Knock on a shelf of any sort, is it a 'dink' or a dull 'donk'? It might be partly snake oil but I've gone for the 'donk' factor (in fact the shelve don't really even donk, it's more like hitting rock. in which you only hear your knuckle)

    The three legs are very stable, in fact more so than four in my situation. This is because the weight is transferred over three points not four, so each leg is heavier to the floor. It is also much more stable for me because I have floorboards and it's a little uneven in the corner, three legs are much easier to level up than four.

    I haven't used the single leg as a cable tidy. The argument would be that the EMF from cables in your system would create current in a closed loop such as the leg. I have actually run the speaker cables down it though, they're not affected by emf and hardly cause any themselves so this is pretty safe for that situation. The 5.1 analogue out from the sacd player to the amp is tied to the back leg but I have made it perpendicular to the leg to avoid any issues. The power cables are dropping down the left and right sides of the rack. Believe it or not that's about it for cables, the HTPC doesn't need much (single toslink and power) so it's pretty 'quiet' back there considering the equipment. If you were to tape everything up to the back leg then you're asking for hums, shorts and so on.

    Rod
     

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