19" rackmount chassis for supporting 2-channel tube amp build

Hello, I was hoping to hear from any of you that have ventured into building a stereo tube amp, and what you settled on for a 19" rack mount chassis.
For the amp I am designed up now, I plan to build this on a 1U (or maybe 2U) rackmount chassis in the vintage style, with all tubes/transformers/choke/maybe filter caps located on the top with preampboards, control pots, switches within the chassis.
I've been looking at Par-metal and see that there are 3-4 series to choose from - alum/steel, alum on only, Heavy duty alum/EMI RF protection.
Its obvious that for a 100W 2-channel tube power amp, there will be a considerable amount of weight that the tops of these chassis will need to support.
I should probably add that this will likely need at least a 10" depth. And a 1U height will probably be enough to fit preamp boards/switches/potentiometers/jacks, etc...
Were you led to purchase any particular brand/model that provided enough structural rigidity to support the weight of transformers?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Phil Donovan
Joined 2011
Keep the transformers next to the front panel with the handles.
You may need braces from the panel to the chassis, like this.
You'll need 3U or 4U height.


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back in the old days, you could also include into your hi-fi rack a small drawer to keep stuff in like a carbon brush for vinyl and cotton buds for cleaning your tape heads. And you could often arrange space to store your LPs. Nowadays hi-fi racks are all shelves to suit pizza box electronics but I'm not sure that this is a good thing.
Thank you all for the suggestions, and it gives me a few more things to look at. I'm not trying to change my story, just hoping to end up with a chassis that won't cave under the weight of a few transformers. This is actually for an instrument application. I have a selection of 19 inch rackmount FX processors that would likely work well with this system and it would be nice to have it all in one package for this application, which is fairly specific. I'll hash out the amount of space and necessary protection for everything as I go.

Thank you all,


Phil D.
Have you looked into the "Broiler-pan" school of way way sturdy chassis? A hop down to one of those giant kitchen outlets...colors abound, & the ever present stainless steel.



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Ha, broiler pan. Looks good, don't temp me. I had my sights on a 1U x 10" x 10-12" typical rackmount chassis because I could fit it with other 19" rackmount fx units. Figured it would be nice to just have them all together and in close proximity for hookup and interface. Of course, it won't be the most agile thing to haul around but, I'm willing to make that concession.

I do like the broiler pan idea though, could imagine building a 2-channel tube Hi Fi amp for the kitchen with that. And I 'm not being facetious. For a while now its been something I've thought about - a nice castle of transformers and hot tube sitting at the other end of the kitchen table with a couple of nice 2-ways hanging on the walls, (or on a couple of stands). I think the broiler pan would be a perfect mounting fixture structurally and aesthetically.

Phil D