Rack Arrangement - “Brains and Brawn”

I’ve read that boxes “should” be arranged based on “brains and brawn”. I would think that the brains would be the; streamer, phonostage, CD player and preamp. While the brawn would be the; power amp and external power supply. Am I correct on this? What would be an integrated amp classify, and what stack will you put it, in the brains stack or brawn stack?

Would you not have a single stack with an integrated? The Brains/Brawn arrangement tends to be for systems with multiple PSUs and NAPs?


As I understand it:

  • Things with a transformer go on the right. (A powered transformer, that is. So a unit with a transformer but which is being powered externally would be on the left.)
  • Things without a transformer go on the left.

End of.

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So your ND5XS would go on the right?

Yes (unless it’s being powered by an external supply).

I’m still messing around with my gear after a fairly recent house move. Mostly as I don’t want a high stack this is what I’m doing with my XS3.

TT, CD5, Stageline on left. TT PSU, XS3, odds and ends and random RCA to DIN lead shelves (ok, they aren’t formal shelf designations, just what I last left on them :wink: ) on right

Which is great but in my room I have to sit quite near the two stacks of fraim and I do get quite a annoyed with the transformer hum. Tried so many devices to keep the noise down, best so far is a Grahams Hydra (6) and a dedicated socket with it’s own breaker in the consumer unit. Or I suppose I could rationalise a bit and get rid of some boxes. I think the new Atom and a pair of ATC SCM 40A’s are looking quite attractive.


Good though the Atom is, I think the SCM40s deserve something considerably better. Maybe worth being patient for a little longer.

That will be easy to do as I don’t have any spare money at the moment. :grin:

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