The Rack!….Adventures In A Space For Your Gear

 

It is the Sanus Euro series audio rack and AV rack. At first I was not keen on the open concept, but the more I looked at it and thought about it, the more I appreciated it. Having assembled and put everything in its place, I realized it was the right decision.
The Euro system is modular, meaning that one can order accessories such as longer shelf poles. I needed a set of the 12-inch poles for the audio rack and found out that they were not available (so I thought). I was not going to be able to get the racks without the 12-inch poles because my current amp is 8 inches high and so are the poles that come with the rack. This means not only would the amp not fit, but there would be no air if it did. I had two people from Sanus working on locating a set of the 12-inch poles as I also started looking on-line following a lot of false leads. Finally, at the end of a three week search, I contacted Sanus again and got someone who informed me that they actually have at least 12 sets in stock! I was finally able to move forward as my gear was just stacked up on the floor and unusable most of this time. I ordered a set of 12-inch poles and the AV rack direct from Sanus. I ended up ordering the Audio rack from another place because it was $60 less!

I did not film an unboxing or assembly because they are usually boring and the internet has so many, you do not need mine as well. Here is my review of the Sanus Euro rack system. To start with, the packaging from the manufacture leaves much to be desired. While everything was neatly packed and the parts were pack-sorted well, the whole thing lacked protection from damage. The boxes were very thin and not designed to hold the weight of the product. Inside packing was no better with only a half-inch of Styrofoam surrounding the edges inside of the box. The boxes were put into other boxes for shipping, but those were also thin and there was no packing material inside so the inner box was free to slide around in the outer box! The manufacture needs to get their crap together and not use boxes designed for up to 20 pounds for a 53 pound item. Sure enough there was some damage, but only cosmetic and on the side edge of two shelves toward the rear that was taken care of by a black sharpie pen.

The instructions were also poorly written. There are two different head size screws of the same length and shaft diameter, stack assembly screws, etc. Shelves are not labeled, but not much worry there as they are interchangeable. The instructions, which are mostly diagrams do not indicate what part is used where at all. Some were obvious, but the screws were not obvious at all and took some study to figure out. It took me about 40 minutes to assemble both racks, but that is only due to my many times experience assembling furniture and other things. Had I not assembled such things before or had only done one or two items, it would have taken me a couple of hours having to figure stuff out from thin air.

So, with those cons out of the way, once you have figured it out, assembly is quite simple. They are modular units so one can swap out poles, damaged shelves and what have you fairly easily. (Everything screws and unscrews). The shelves are about a half-inch thick MDF and will roughly hold 80 pounds each. The exact calculation is different though. For example, the audio rack will hold 125 pounds on the bottom shelf and 80 on each shelf above. So that rack will hold about 365 pounds total. (More than enough for my current and future gear). Be aware that there is no distinction in size from the shelf that holds 125 pounds and the 80 pound shelves, that is because it is not based on shelf thickness or anything, but rather height from floor in the rack.
Both the audio and AV rack have shelf widths of about 18.5 inches between poles and 19.5 inches in depth, which is room enough for most all gear dimensions in those directions. As I mentioned my current amp in this system is 8 inches tall and needs air, which is why I got the 12-inch poles to replace the 8 inch poles that come with the audio rack. The AV rack is 40 inches wide as is my TV, so it fits perfectly. There is enough depth so one can fit a sound bar in front of the TV easily. (One may need a little riser shelf though depending on one’s screen height and the sound bar height).
Overall material quality is fairly good. The shelfs seem a little more durable than the VTI or Pangea racks, but I would not go getting careless around them all the same. The poles are metal with a powered texture finish. The units only come in black, but that is a good thing as it looks sleek and neat. The racks are surprisingly aesthetically pleasing in spite of the industrial feel one gets from first look. The gear looks nice in them and there is an element of tidiness. The racks also come with cable management accessories. The racks sit on screw-in feet that are height adjustable should that be needed. There are supposedly wheels available, but I would not personally recommend wheels for things such as audio racks and the like.
With the two racks there is plenty of room for lots of gear. I like how the racks have made things easier to get to as well. I can easily slide the rack to access the back to get to cords, etc. Each rack weighs about 45 pounds empty, but hold a lot of weight. Like I mentioned earlier, the audio rack can hold up to 365 pounds total and the AV rack can hold up to 400 pounds total. Most folks, including myself, will never come close to needing that capacity, but it is nice to know anyway.

The more I look at it the more I like it. It is a very clean and modular look that would work well with most situations and the best part is it is affordable. The audio rack runs around $250 and the AV rack around $230. The whole set was a fraction of the cost of my former entertainment center.