This seems to be one area people like me ( if they exist) don’t seems to want to spend much money.
Most importantly the traditional furniture manufacturer s have stopped building anything that looks like a decent 3/4 shed wooden stand.
All we find nowadays is a long tv cabinet to accommodate the tv and the soundbar. Anything else is usually having glass shelves.
I refuse to pay the exorbitant amounts to the audiophile furniture manufacturers just for the anti vibration characteristics. I just need something to hold the power amp, pre amp and the phonostage. Something that looks decent aesthetically a d does the job while not been an arm and a leg in price.
Another even easier DIY is the standard four posts of large diameter threaded rod with cross members of wood. Great big nuts with washers make the shelves infinitely adjustable. Search around here there's several who have built these, very nice and they work great.
Whatever you do you want all your components on Townshend Pods, which if you do that it will make the rack itself quite a bit less critical. In other words everything on Pods in a cheap Ikea cabinet will sound better than nothing on Pods on an expensive audiophile rack.
It has enough space inside for my source components, with the bottom shelf reserved for my amp. It has worked well, is heavy, and looks nice. I think it looks better than lots of what I've seen sold as audio furniture, plus I like the fact that I can keep dust out with the sliding doors. It is also very deep, a tad over 18 inches.
OP, I sympathize. I was looking into furniture last year when it hit me that I really wasn't sure where my gear would be most optimally set up. More than a couple people emphasized that it's a good idea to keep gear outside your soundstage -- so all those racks between the speakers? No good. Ok, well then where should the gear go? And how does that change the length of the cables involved? Hmmm. I had already invested in some nice cables and wasn't going to get rid of them so I could buy some furniture.
My solution, so far, has been to set my gear very low to the ground, between the speakers, so that the soundstage is largely open above, say 1.5 feet high. This allows all cables to reach gear and speakers.
If I had planned things out differently, I would likely try to have the gear off, to one side, with my mono blocks behind each speaker and a long interconnect between the preamp and the amp. But I don't want to spend on a long, good IC right now.
Nothing is forever in this hobby. That’s why you invest in a rack solution that offers flexibility. I am using the same racks and platforms for over 10 plus years in my room despite of numerous changes with components. My racks are from Core Audio Designs and as situation demands, I can put together 2, 3, 4, 5 levels of rack in less than 30 minutes.
They are not cheap, but well worth it. I never have to think twice buying a gear thinking …oh shit I can’t fit this gear in my existing rack :-)
I've been using milk crates since college, also egg cartons. I gave up the egg cartons once I got married... I have cut down ones as low as 4 inches, several different heights. You can even screw one side of Nobsound springs into them to reduce the chance of tip over.
A bit OT, but never understood why some put components + rack in corner of room? Whatever works and not judging, but the corners are typically the worst place (generally speaking) in so far as vibration => sub freq / pressure is highest in that area. Sort of reducing all the isolation efforts. Putting rack on side wall in a null would seem a better option, no? Of course this applies only if one has the space to do so.
Enjoyed the comedic banter about what folks used in college and thought I'd add this for fun. For the longest time, I used cinder blocks & boards (e.g. 1.5" X 12" X 36" joined solid wood like long butcher blocks) with foam padding between them. A bit tedious to level for the turntable but served me well throughout college and until I could afford something more attractive. Very easy to break down & move when living the bohemian lifestyle. Today, I use a basic (no doors, back or sides) Salamander Synergy system. Sanus makes some interesting inexpensive stuff you might want to check out. Pangea also makes some pretty nice inexpensive racks, as well. If you eventually decide to splurge on something like a Salamander, their annual sale shaves off something like 15 or 20 percent.