How to Rackmount Stereo Equipment
By Candace Horgan
Rack-mounting audio equipment is commonly done in professional audio applications, making it easy to move equipment from venue to venue without having to disconnect all the gear and then reassemble it in the new venue. Rack-mounting stereo equipment in the home is not as common, but has advantages, such as minimizing vibrations that can affect audio quality and making it easy to move the stereo if you ever change addresses.
Assemble the rack mount, if it is not already built.
Attach the rack mount ears to any equipment that you have that comes with it, such as CD recorders, DAT machines, power conditioners, and professional cassette decks.
Use shelves for the gear that does not have rack mount ears.
Count the number of holes in the rack mount and figure out how many spaces your gear needs. Small gear requires a single space (three to four holes), while standard gear requires six holes, and larger gear can require 12 holes.
Mount the power amplifier first, near the top, so that the heat from the amp doesn't affect other components. Leave six free holes above the amplifier so that the heat has room to dissipate.
Mount the power conditioner near the bottom, unless you have a Furman unit with lights, in which case it should be mounted at the top of the rack, with six free spaces under it, followed by the amplifier. When screwing the units into the rack, screw the top of the ears in first, then the bottom.
Rack the rest of the gear, using the rack mount ears or the shelves. Place frequently used pieces near the middle and infrequently used pieces at the bottom.
Turn the rack around and connect the source components to the amplifier, using standard RCA or XLR cables.
Plug the units into the power conditioner.
Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.