Depends on the amp... some amps should never be enclosed inside of a cabinet at all. Others have heat sinks on the back in which case it would be OK if there were adequate rear ventilation. Some have them on the top in which this is a bad idea.
Well, I'm looking at getting the Parasound HCA- 855A......I've heard they stay relativly cool...but I was wondering if my Denon 2802 could go on top of it. I should probably just find a place on a shelf for it though.
I have a Sunfire Cinema Grand Sig II stacked on top of a Sunfire Cinema Grand and this has posed no problems whatsoever. They are inside a cabinet, with little to no ventilation, and I regularly crank it. They do get a bit warm after some extended movie watching, but it hasn't been a problem.
I have my 855A in a wooden TV cabinet on the bottom shelf behind some doors with 1 1/2 - 2" of top clearance...but wide open at the back. Far from an ideal setup but the thing never gets past warm (to me warm is---I can put my hand on it and keep it there---hot I can't)...if it did I'd put in a fan. But I wouldn't put the 2802 on top of the 855 unless I was using spacers giving me at least 3 - 4" of breathing space...you would want to avoid heat problems not only with the 855 but also the 2802 through normal convection. Even when used only as a pre/pro receivers can get pretty warm.
If you have to stack them together and can't go the 4" for the 855A if placed on the bottom then I would go with Sushi's suggestion and use less spacing.
I own a Parasound HCA-1205A and I would not stack anything on top of it, unless, as per ClarkeBar's suggestion, that I was able to put 3"-4" of space between them. If a receiver was stacked directly on top of it, it would be bad for the amp as the heat sinks are internal and depend upon a lot of cabinet air flow-through.
It would also be bad for the receiver, as a lot of heat would be coming up into it, instead of it getting room-temp air. Most HT receivers have marginally adequate heat dissipation, having limited heat sinking and sometimes relying upon fans for ventilation. I'm sure your receiver wasn't designed for the incoming air to be 100 degrees or warmer.
The risers could be as simple as blocks of wood, although even with them, the setup is not going to be optimal for the receiver. But it may be enough for you to get by.
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