One of your first considerations when purchasing an audio rack or stand should be around how many components, you'll be housing. Audio systems can get complicated very quickly, especially when they're paired with DVD players, line power conditioners, center channel speakers and the other components that go into a solid set up.
Most likely, you're not necessarily considering having everything set up in one location. Center channel speakers can get bulky, so having them on the top of your audio rack can sometimes be impossible. This is especially true if you were considering placing a flat-screen TV there.
Before you commit to an audio rack, we recommend developing a written plan of what elements will be housed on your rack and where they will be. Having a written plan can help you foresee some of the issues that might pop up when you're physically putting things together.
When constructing your plan, be sure to consider:
- The size of each component and how they'll fit on shelves
- The location of speakers and other audio elements that require cable connections
- The appearance of your rack or stand and how it interacts with the room
The typical audio rack is around 24 inches across, 17 inches deep and 30 inches high, which puts it just about waist height for convenient access. The space on each shelf can be anywhere between 7-9 inches tall, which can house most audio receivers comfortably.
We recommend strongly against stacking multiple components on a single shelf. Most A/V components need some level of ventilation to dissipate heat and function normally and the shelf space available in the standard-sized audio rack is designed to accommodate this.