Does the order of stuff in a rack matter?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Proton Lenny, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Proton Lenny

    Proton Lenny Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Sorry if this has been asked prior, I did a short search. Didn't see anything. I have an amp, a compressor and a power conditioner. Does it matter where I put these in the rack? I see a lot of people with amps on bottom and power conditioners up top. However I'd like it the other way because I want to plug my effects board into the front of my power conditioner and the closer to the ground it is the easier that will be. Also, I want my amp at the top because it is closer to eye level to see the knobs. I figured it doesn't matter, but I never see anybody with this orientation so...


  2. physically no but its generally a good rule of thumb to have your power amp on the bottom.

    like here is my rack
  3. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    The only caveat I see is that you should put the power bar between the amp and the compressor. Amps have big transformers that can bleed hum into other audio devices. Isolating them with the power bar will reduce this. You can always "dry fit" the components to see how the noise levels are.

  4. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    No, placement doesn't directly affect anything.

    However, it does affect ventilation, which I assume is why most power amps are on the bottom, where there is usually a little space left below the rack unit. It's also going to affect weight distribution, so if you have an especially large rack case (6U+), make sure to put the heavy stuff on the bottom.
  5. Hi.

    ^+1 for the EMI/RFI Paul mentioned.

    Another things to consider when arranging a rack in general would be, in no particular order:

    Center of gravity.

    The rear support of the amp(s) or heavier/long equipment.

    Ventilation/buildup of heat.

  6. Proton Lenny

    Proton Lenny Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Hm...thanks for the quick responses. A few things to keep in mind.

    My current amp is a Thunderfunk 750A which only weighs 21 pounds. And I just ordered an Accugroove Synergy to try out. If I go with that amp over my TF, it only weighs 9 pounds. The Furman I have is on 13, and the Rane DC24 I have is only 5. So weight distribution wise, if I go with the Synergy the heaviest thing in my rack would be the Furman. If I have the TF, it would be that. So I guess I'll put the heaviest thing on bottom.

    In terms of this hum bleeding from my amps transformers: How bad is this? I mean to be safe should I separate my comp from my amp with something? I'm not exactly sure what should be done to try to avoid this. I am only using a 4 space rack by the way.
  7. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    Heat rises, so I would put the power amp on top as long as it doesn't make the whole rack too top heavy. Otherwise I would put the power amp on the bottom, and definitely never between two components.
  8. Foz


    Jul 26, 2008
    Jax FL USA
    It doesn't matter as long as you aren't covering up air flow...

    Make it look cool and YOU ARE A WINNER!
  9. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I want the weight at the bottom, and I keep track of cooling vents, the depth of components, etc. So, my rack has the 2U power amp on the bottom, an empty space, the 1U pre-amp, then the 1 U power strip. The power strip is much more shallow than the pre, so that gives an air space below and above the cooling vents for the two tubes in my pre. If the pre was right against the top of the rack there wouldn't be room for air flow.