Newbie Questions on in-wall Racks — with Thanks! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-31-2013, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Folks,

I'm doing a bit of a living/media room remodel, and am looking to try and get my equipment out of a hulking Salamander rack and into the wall where it belongs. wink.gif However, I'm not very familiar with the racks, and had a few questions to make sure I'm going in the right direction.

First, I'm aiming for something very similar to what Max Lomax did in this post. I'll try to post the picture below:



The key elements I like about this are that the rack is embedded in the wall, "starts" a few feet off the ground, and has a really nice seamless look, with plates to cover all sort of components, including the oddly-shaped ones like the video game consoles. I work as a digital entertainment consultant, and have way too many of these little gaming boxes around, and am hoping to get them all cleaned up into a solution that I can tweak and modify well into the future as needed. smile.gif

The only thing missing from this example picture is a closing door, which is something I might like to have (not 100% decided).

I will be installing this into a wall where I can likely get rear access. So, running power should be relatively easy, and I don't think I need any sort of sliding or pivoting rack.

That leads me to my questions — with thanks in advance to anything any of you can share!

First, based on this article, I'm leaning toward the Sanus Component Series CFR2136 rack. I'm curious if anyone has had any experience with this rack, or can imagine any issues with the way I'd hope to install and use it? Related, would this rack work with and without a door, if I wanted to change my mind and go one way or another?

Second, it is unclear to me what the purpose is of some of the rack mounting kits I see for components, when those components appear to simply sit on a shelf? For example, I have rack mount ears for my ATI 1505 Amp, and may order the same for my soon-to-be-delivered Marantz 8801 Preamp. But considering the weight of some of these devices, I struggle to imagine them "hanging" by just these front ears. So, the question is what exactly are those ears or kits for, and are they applicable to my proposed rack solution?

Finally, I'm confused on how to get the clean, flush look with the faceplates above, especially for oddly-shaped devices like the video game consoles. I found some reference to a Performance Audio, stating they can supply these custom plates for Middle Atlantic racks, but I haven't been able to find a specific source, and am not sure if those would fit this rack as well.

At the end of the day I'm hoping to find a reasonably priced rack that I can use to get a similar look as the picture above. The door isn't critical, so if there's a better solution without (quality/price), I'm very open to hearing about it as well.

Thank you very much for anything you can share — with thanks!

AV
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-01-2013, 12:09 PM
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First, I would take a hard look at the Middle Atlantic Slim 5 series rack for a built-in application. It's a bare-bones rack frame which is designed to be built into millwork.

Second, the rack mounting kits from M/A are for gear that does not have rack ears. They will fit any standard 19" rack (except for a few which are for extra-wide equipment) They supply a tray to support the gear, and a custom-cut faceplate which give the nice clean look you are looking for.

Lastly, here is a list of all the custom rackshelves they can supply: http://www2.middleatlantic.com/RSH/mainRSH.asp
There are a number of suppliers on the internet that will sell them to you.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-01-2013, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avrignaud View Post

Second, it is unclear to me what the purpose is of some of the rack mounting kits I see for components, when those components appear to simply sit on a shelf? For example, I have rack mount ears for my ATI 1505 Amp, and may order the same for my soon-to-be-delivered Marantz 8801 Preamp. But considering the weight of some of these devices, I struggle to imagine them "hanging" by just these front ears. So, the question is what exactly are those ears or kits for, and are they applicable to my proposed rack solution?

While many products have rack ears so they can be mounted without using a shelf (and if they have ears, there's enough structure to take the weight of the product, otherwise they designed it wrong!), the product may not be an even rack-unit (U) high. So that when installed, they can leave gaps above/below that "ruin the look". Worse, sometimes the ears don't position the unit within the rack-unit boundaries, so you end up with an even larger gap. But yes, if the unit (without the feet installed!) has the correctly positioned ears and is the right size, you don't need a shelf. I have several products that worked fine with just their ears, and another (Emotiva amp) that was known not to align properly, so I used a shelf with a custom faceplate (see below).
Quote:
Finally, I'm confused on how to get the clean, flush look with the faceplates above, especially for oddly-shaped devices like the video game consoles. I found some reference to a Performance Audio, stating they can supply these custom plates for Middle Atlantic racks, but I haven't been able to find a specific source, and am not sure if those would fit this rack as well.

LeBon already mentioned this - you get an RSH shelf which comes with a custom-cut faceplate for specifically that product. Use the database to get the model number. I bought mine from Performance Audio - you just put the model number in the notes for the correct-sized RSH shelf. For future reference, if and when you change out equipment, you can order a replacement faceplate for half the price of the shelf (and you re-use the shelf). Performance Audio was the cheapest place I found to order them (when you account for free shipping!).
Quote:
At the end of the day I'm hoping to find a reasonably priced rack that I can use to get a similar look as the picture above. The door isn't critical, so if there's a better solution without (quality/price), I'm very open to hearing about it as well.

You can save some money by not exposing components that require no front-panel interaction, like AppleTV / Roku boxes, Ethernet switches, etc. You can set them on rear-mounted utility half-depth shelves, set them on top of other components (without top vents!), or as I did, velcro them underneath a shelf...

Jeff

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post #4 of 5 Old 02-03-2013, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your feedback, gentlemen. Between this and some MA rack configuration blog posts I've been pointed at I think I have enough to go to some research. Greatly appreciate your time and effort!
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-03-2013, 12:56 PM
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I just purchased an AX-SXR-32 rack unit........................I'll give feedback when installed.

The rotational aspect of the unit works for me...............
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