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How Much Space To Leave Around Componenets


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Morning Guys,

I have decided to build a new AV rack, as i am sick of my bell'O. The cords are way to exposed and it doesnt give it a neat finish. As such i am having a new rack fabricated out of MDF. But i have a couple of quick questions before i send the plans to the carpenter.

1) How much space around my components should i leave for them to "Breathe"? Is 20-25mm top and sides adequate?

2) Should i use a certain thickness of MDF or it doesnt really matter?

Anything else you think i should take into consideration

Thanks

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MDF will sag over time if it has heavy components resting on it.

Consider some kind of support or greater thickness for the shelf holding the AMPs.

You will probably want more height than that for some of the hotter components, such as the AMPs and DVD player in particular, and PVR if you get one.......

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I agree with Peter about the sagging of the MDF.

Also looking at your sig you have some serious heat generating components and I would give them as much space as possible if you are going to stack them above each other.

It may be an idea that you can build a lowere level rack (if space permits) and run the R1 and the rotels side by side rather than stacked as this will help quite a bit with any heat issue which stacking them could produce.

Quite a while back I built a stacked cabinet using pine studs on the sides with glass shelving and it didn't work out too badly but I still ended up placing a couple of fans in the lower sections to help with heat dispersion.

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The more space you have the better. There is no such thing as too much breathing room. But there is such a thing as not enough. I would make the gaps as big as practical for the location you are putting it in.

Also open at the sides, front and back helps :blink: Fans are all good too.

Sorry, a bit vague I know, but the more airflow the better!

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HI guys,

Thanks for all the input.

I will post a pic of the bello Al ---> myhometheatrefrontmq2.th.jpg (its an old photo buy you can see the rack)

I was planning on running a 'double rack' if you will. With some components next to each other and some on a shelf of their own .

The amp will be on a shelf of its own, then the DVD and CD players share a shelf with a divider, the Pre on a shelf of its own, then again the STB and PS3 share a shelf with a divider, and finally centre channel sits on top. Have a diagram in excel if anyones wants an email.

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LD looking at your photo there. first thing I'd say is you havent got enough gear in that rack ! :blink:

hence able to see all those wires.

other thing is move closer things that need to be connected up together.

eg I'd move the rotel power amp below the pre-pro - means can use really short interconnects straight from pre to power amp.

2nd one run a duct or cable tray along each shelf. you can use these to run cables eg interconnects from CD player to pre-pro and coax rca from dvd player to pre-pro.

then you have those vertical ducts already with the rack use those !

run power leads from the av-pro and power amp down one side and rca interconnects from pre-pro to the power amp down the other.

in regards the speaker leads take them straight out the back of the power amp and along the floor or in-wall or however you have them feedign the speakers.

given the setup you have I think you can have it looking pretty slick. and that is a lovely rack woudl seem a shame to me to get rid of it.

one other point I'd move your mains in closer leaving at least 0.5m between the sides of the speakers and the side walls. also try movign your speakers forward you'll find that and moving out of the corners will help their bass response loosing the boom and also give them more room to breathe to do their thing !

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LD looking at your photo there. first thing I'd say is you havent got enough gear in that rack ! :blink:

hence able to see all those wires.

other thing is move closer things that need to be connected up together.

eg I'd move the rotel power amp below the pre-pro - means can use really short interconnects straight from pre to power amp.

2nd one run a duct or cable tray along each shelf. you can use these to run cables eg interconnects from CD player to pre-pro and coax rca from dvd player to pre-pro.

then you have those vertical ducts already with the rack use those !

run power leads from the av-pro and power amp down one side and rca interconnects from pre-pro to the power amp down the other.

in regards the speaker leads take them straight out the back of the power amp and along the floor or in-wall or however you have them feedign the speakers.

given the setup you have I think you can have it looking pretty slick. and that is a lovely rack woudl seem a shame to me to get rid of it.

one other point I'd move your mains in closer leaving at least 0.5m between the sides of the speakers and the side walls. also try movign your speakers forward you'll find that and moving out of the corners will help their bass response loosing the boom and also give them more room to breathe to do their thing !

Thanks Al,

Might give this a go first then.

I will move the Amp to below my pre-pro and place the HDSTB and PS3 (just ordered) either side of the centre speaker. Advantage to this rack is it does also give me room to add. Will then follow your instructions on cabling and wiring.

My mains now sit about 0.4m from the wall (spiked), and the reason i chose the symphonix is they are apparently designed to sit as close as 0.3m from the wall.

Will hopefully have time to make a start this weekend (si if you get a PM, any assistance wold be great) and get some photos up once finished.

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This maybe a radical suggestion - but how about following the manufacturers' recommendations for component placing?

My Rotel booklet says 100mm around every component. But space constraints make that awfully hard. I dont have 100mm clearance at the moment with my current rack. But was only planning to leave about 25-30mm in the new cabinet.

Hence trying to work out if this would be suffecient. Also the carpenter has asked if i want 18 or 25mm MDF for the quote, should i go one over the other?

Will still give Als suggestion a try first, but will still have cabinet quoted.

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I want to 'hide' my HT audio equipment and seek some advice in doing so.

Equipment is as follows:

2 x floorstanding B&W speakers (106 cm tall)

1 x power amp

1 x receiver

1 x B&W centre speaker

1 x twin driver sub, two ports.

Basically I want to know if I make MDF cabinets for the front floorstanding speakers will these hinder the sound? It is recommended floorstanding speakers be app .5m from the wall. The front of the cabinets will have white speaker mesh but the sides, back and top will be MDF. Can installing foam inside the cabinets help?

Additionally, want to hide the sub, centre speaker and rest of the equipment in an MDF unit. If I enclose the sub into the unit is it going to cause the sub to 'boom', does it need to breathe, and will foam help?

May as well get feedback before I do any work :blink:

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Basically I want to know if I make MDF cabinets for the front floorstanding speakers will these hinder the sound?

Additionally, want to hide the sub, centre speaker and rest of the equipment in an MDF unit. If I enclose the sub into the unit is it going to cause the sub to 'boom', does it need to breathe, and will foam help?

May as well get feedback before I do any work :blink:

Yes, in my opinion. I would hesitate to do this. Speakers, unless designed for cabinets, are meant to breathe.
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Looks like i'll have to do a full frame around the floor standing speakers using white speaker mesh to allow them to still breathe...hopefully it wont look too dodgey, then have an MDF top so an ornament can sit on it like a stand.

I'll probably make the tv unit in the same manner to allow AV equipment to breathe. Have the front swing doors using the same mesh to allow centre speaker, sub woofer and remote control functions.

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