Is the A/V rack 'trend' outdated? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-11-2019, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Is the A/V rack 'trend' outdated?

I'm hoping to start a conversation or get help finding information that points to the future 'trends' of small home theaters as many things I see on these forums seem like hold overs from the 90's!

My main question:
Are a/v racks or built in racks that are on display in theaters an outdated concept?

I feel like the original purpose of cutting a hole in my wall and inserting an A/V rack was to A) display all my numerous cool gear, and B) in the late 90's most equipment needed to be physically accessed to load media and run a home theater like a matrix dvd, the latest season of the Chapelle show, or Halo on my xbox original.

With home automation, streaming, and less disc based media, is the trend of having a giant rack built into the wall outdated? and should we stop doing it? Should we instead place all of our equipment away in closets that are accessible with devices like Harmony and drywall over built in shelves?

Is there a reason to keep built in A/V rack shelves if I only ever go up to it to load an occassional game I've bought on disc from game stop?

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post #2 of 14 Old 07-11-2019, 09:59 AM
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I always figured most normal people don't like to see their equipment on display. AVS Forum is not full of normal people, no offense.

I'm a tinkerer by nature, so having a hidden rack isn't appealing to me. Maybe once it's done, which we all know ain't gonna happen.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-11-2019, 10:17 AM
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I don't know whether a rack is in or out of fashion, but my approach these days is to pick the equipment I need first, then figure out what is necessary to hold it.

I went through my "more is more" phase for many years where I liked having a ton of equipment. Now I have a minimalist mindset where I don't want anything I don't absolutely need. However, my "minimalist" system still takes up a lot of room (amp, shaker amp, shaker control EQ, A/V processor, subwoofer amp, ...). I measured everything I absolutely need, put the measurements in a spreadsheet, and then found a rack that would exactly fit. I replaced my huge industrial strength VTI RGR406 rack with a small Pangea Vulcan rack with 1 add-on shelf. There isn't a square inch free on the new Pangea rack, but I'm very happy to have everything so compact.

If anybody needs a large industrial strength (but still stylish (in my opinion)) VTI RGR406 rack -- let me know.


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post #4 of 14 Old 07-11-2019, 02:36 PM
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An av rack in my theater, is out of date for myself. A Low noise floor is far more important and I need an actively cooled rack.

But I still rack my gear.

A trend over the last 10 years is ever less gear in my av rack. So much gear is either substantially smaller, or does a lot of things well.
Some of the gear is spread around. Amps on the front LRC speakers. Eight channels of surround amplification in a 2U rack mount amp.
A server in a large storage closet.


What one does should be based on knowing the pros and cons, and then going with their best overall solution. I think there's never been
more variety and racking solutions then ever before.
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-12-2019, 04:49 PM
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Not sure if you are aware of this thread that started in 2007. It shows a large diversity of racks, positioning of racks, dollars spent, and some
pretty interesting ideas.


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...your-rack.html
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-13-2019, 08:34 AM
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I’m old school in the HT and like to turn knobs and watch my bass lights bounce around and even feed a BD player. I don’t want my equipment in my line of sight though.

In the kitchen Alexa rules. I asked Alexa if she knew Hal the other day. She said she did but in her family they don’t talk about him that much after the way things turned out.

Alexa may take over my kitchen but in the HT it’s me turning the power on and off still with a pushbutton.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-13-2019, 09:47 AM
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For me keeping the electronics in a separate room is the way to go. I don't want to hear or see the stuff. That said the equipment does sit in a rack (albeit homemade until a better solution presents itself).
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-13-2019, 11:20 AM
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Rack is right outside the theater entrance. Love to see it when walking in and out. Ever gets old to tinker with stuff, besides it’s a nice piece of furniture.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-13-2019, 01:54 PM
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Heck! I'm just looking into getting into an av rack! Just bought a 16U rack and some rack ears for my XPA-2 and an rack cooling fan.



Hope to start populating it next year with full emotiva gear. It don't have room for a full entertainment center but I can put the rack next to my desk, in the corner of the room or closet! Think it will look great will fully populated!
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-13-2019, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordancferry View Post
My main question:
Are a/v racks or built in racks that are on display in theaters an outdated concept?
Part of reason you don't see it much is that it can be expensive. I followed the advice of folks on here and kept an eye on local listings for a good used rack, and I scored a really nice enclosed middle atlantic for a good price. It's a relief to have all the gear nice and safe in the rack, and it makes wiring easier provided you can access the back.

I had one funny situation where I ordered a custom 5U rack and face plate for my Yamaha amp and preamp, and the company kept sending me 2 racks for the preamp but not the amp. This happened several times and they told me to keep the extra 5u racks, so now I have them sitting around with nothing to do with them!
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-13-2019, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danonano View Post
Part of reason you don't see it much is that it can be expensive. I followed the advice of folks on here and kept an eye on local listings for a good used rack, and I scored a really nice enclosed middle atlantic for a good price. It's a relief to have all the gear nice and safe in the rack, and it makes wiring easier provided you can access the back.

I had one funny situation where I ordered a custom 5U rack and face plate for my Yamaha amp and preamp, and the company kept sending me 2 racks for the preamp but not the amp. This happened several times and they told me to keep the extra 5u racks, so now I have them sitting around with nothing to do with them!
Yes racks become expensive really quick especially with the custom shelves and faceplates.
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-14-2019, 10:46 AM
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Watching a movie...


2019-07-14_07-57-53 by Barry, on Flickr


Listening to music...


2019-07-29_12-06-38 by Barry, on Flickr

Personally, I like a nice rack



Media_Room_201908 by Barry, on Flickr

So much media, so little time...
My Media Room...
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-18-2019, 01:48 PM
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It's nice to have a good looking rack (no pun intended ) but better to have your area quite and free of flickering lights. I put my equipment rack under the stairs in a closet. Still looks nice, easy to access, but no distractions. Plus if you start upgrading to pro audio or clone amps for subs, it could get a bit noisy.

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post #14 of 14 Old 11-03-2019, 05:24 PM
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I seem to come across all kinds of used racks locally. They range from never going to sell, to dirt cheap.

Saw this one today. Rack, fans, three shelves. $100. Not sure I could build a nice looking rack for that.
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