I happened across a husband-and-wife team who build an array of beautiful LP storage racks and was so impressed with their work that I wished to share my find with TAS readers. The racks are made in rural Ohio by Jason and Brit Prather. These products range from a simple “now playing” single-LP stand or wall ledge to some full-blown cabinet that stores and displays as much as 480 LPs. Prices vary from $20 to $897 with a lot of models under $150. What all the hifi audio rack have in common is fine woodworking, natural materials (like copper bars that support the LPs in position), along with a design which makes functionality elegant. Because all of the racks are designed to order, you have your choice of wood and materials. Walnut, cherry, maple, and oak can be found in a variety of stain colors.
I prefered a Signature series dual rack that holds 60-80 LPs ($100). Needless to say, that’s not my entire collection, but I apply it fast access to albums in heavy rotation. I enjoy the ability to scan through the albums and discover the whole covers, record-store style, rather than turning my head sideways and squinting at the LP jackets’ spines. The Prathers make this style in just one, two, or three bays. Their top model, Morad ($875), combines a triple-bay arrangement with conventional storage below for any total capacity of 480 records.
The Prather Design website has photos of Jason and Brit Prather in their workshop building the racks one-by-one yourself. The 2 of these run the whole business, including web design, marketing, photography, managing orders, packing, shipping, and accounting. They say on their site: “Our small town ethics of honesty, hard work, humility, and craftsmanship are elements we hope to convey to our own customers.” And it was indeed gratifying to find out their beautifully crafted record rack in my listening room, and know that it was hand-crafted in a small shop rather than churned out by an anonymous Chinese factory.
Whether it’s called an entertainment center, HiFi console, or perhaps a/V cabinet, specialized furniture designed to hold audio/video components can represent a sizable investment. Before making any purchase, here are some important facts to consider: Are you placing your HiFi on the furniture? In that case, the piece must be able to accommodate the HiFi’s width and support its weight. The amount of and what sort of components do you wish to store? Center channel speakers and sound bars usually need wider compartments compared to a receiver or Blu-ray player. A higher-end A/V receiver can need a deeper compartment when compared to a mid-line receiver.
Where will the furniture be located in the room, and how much space can it have? If you like your HiFi in a corner, there are specially designed cabinets angled to match snugly into that space.
What’s the décor of your own room? In case your family room is mid-century modern, then this cabinet with Federalist molding and pediments might look unnatural. Conversely, if your home includes a classic look, a brushed steel frame stand might appear too modern.
HiFi cabinets may have open compartments, closed compartment (with either solid or glass-panel doors), media drawers, and a lot more. There are small cabinets for any simple system with Topping NX4 DSD, and larger cabinets for multi-component home theatre systems with large HiFis. Modular cabinets can be easily customized for your needs. The Salamander Designs Synergy System, as an example, allows you to put in a turntable tray, extra shelves, a media drawer, alter the style of feet, and a lot more.
Hide your audio gear in a closet or utility room – Want to keep your audio gear from sight? Utility-style audio racks feature open shelving or rack mounts. But many audio cabinets and racks are furniture made to house your gear.
Topping NX4 DSD component rack. Audio component racks will make efficient usage of storage area. What to consider. A classic corner cupboard might appear to create a good A/V cabinet, but without major modifications, it probably isn’t. Here are some key features to find in purpose-build entertainment furniture:
Passive ventilation – electronic components generate heat, and without ventilation that trapped heat can seriously affect your gear’s performance. Search for openings towards the bottom, in the shelving, and in the back of the cabinet to allow free-flowing air.
Wire channels – If you want to connect your receiver on the middle ycqolf to the Blu-ray player on the lower shelf, it’s essential to gain access to your cables. Look for openings at the back of shelves, portals in back panels, and notches in the back of side supports.
Tempered glass door panels – For easy storage, solid door panel could be fine. But if you wish to take control of your gear remotely, you should search for a door that enables IR signals to move without interference. Such panel doors often feature smoked or tinted glass to discretely hide your components.
Removable back panels – Entertainment furniture features back panels that are easy to remove for quick access. These panels may also have passive ventilation slots, and openings for cables to get run between shelves. Wheels — Built-in wheels provide easy access to the rear of the cabinet. Needless to say, you’ll need use of initially create your gear, but that won’t become the only time. You’ll need access whenever you upgrade or replace a component within your body. Sometimes wires work loose, and you’ll have to open the cabinet back and check connections. Plus, wheels allow it to be very easy to move the furniture to clean.
Should you don’t would like HiFi being placed in your cabinet, but don’t (or can’t) mount it for the wall, manufacturers including BDI make compatible floor-standing HiFi mounts which fit behind and attach to their cabinets. If you intend to get your HiFi sit along with your cabinet, you need to put in a safety strap to make certain it doesn’t accidentally tip over. Even when you don’t have small children, securing Shanling amplifier with a safety strap is a good idea. Wall-mounted shelf systems give you additional options. It is a great solution to get a small A/V system, especially for a wall-mounted HiFi. It lets you store 1 or 2 components beneath your set on wall shelving, keeping floor area open.