The 19" rack

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The 19" rack

As long as I am getting nostalgic I might as well ruminate about the 19" rack.

When we first started PS Audio in the mid-1970s and well into the late 80s, all separates had 19" face plates with rack mount holes. Today, none of them do.

The standard back then was derived from the pro-market where everything had to fit into a rack. Chassis were 17" wide, and faceplates were 19" wide. The unit's height was determined by units called 1U, 2U, etc. The Us were shorthand for Rack Unit and each rack unit was 1.75" high (44.45 mm). So, a 2U high unit was 3.5" tall, and so forth.

Almost no one I knew ever had an actual rack to put their equipment in. The rack mount era was just the way it was and few of us questioned it.

Slowly but surely, a few brave companies started inching out of the trend producing 17" wide equipment without the extra 1" ears and holes mandated by the convention we started with. They were the "odd man out".

Before you knew it everyone lost the rack ears and today I'll bet you'd be hard pressed to find any company not in the pro field selling equipment with those old rack ears.

Things change over time and in this case I must say for the better.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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