"My first piece of advice for anyone curious about stereo is start with where you are going to put it and create your system moving forward from there. What sort of sound priorities you have is the next issue to consider. A jazz trio in a closet is a different challenge than Carmina Burana in a cathedral."
Great advice from one of my readers, 'footfixed'.
Few of us have the luxury of starting from scratch. Whether starting anew or repurposing what you have, it's helpful to hit mental reset before starting your project. Going into a system rebuild with preconceived notions of what does and doesn't work is often more limiting than enabling.
As our reader suggests, you need to first determine the amount and location of available real estate. Perhaps the entire living room is up for grabs, but chances are good you're only getting a portion of it—and likely a small one at that.
Second question, what is it you hope to accomplish? Big, room-filling sound or light background music with the occasional boogie? If the former, you'll focus your efforts on the loudspeakers and grabbing as much space as you can. If the latter, convenience and disappearing into the setting might be where I'd want to start.
For this series of posts, we'll spend time on each. Today, take stock of what space you have available and determine what you hope to gain from that space.
Tomorrow, we'll start with simple, small, convenient.