I happened across a husband-and-wife team who build a variety of beautiful LP storage racks and was 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 between an easy “now playing” single-LP stand or wall ledge to some full-blown cabinet that stores and displays up to 480 LPs. Prices range between $20 to $897 with most models under $150. What all the hifi audio rack have in common is fine woodworking, natural materials (like copper bars that hold the LPs in place), and a design that makes functionality elegant. Because all the racks are made to order, you might have the selection of wood and materials. Walnut, cherry, maple, and oak can be found in a range of stain colors.
I prefered a Signature series dual rack that holds 60-80 LPs ($100). Obviously, that’s not my entire collection, but I utilize it for fast access to albums in heavy rotation. I enjoy the opportunity to flip through the albums and see the whole covers, record-store style, as opposed to turning my head sideways and squinting in the LP jackets’ spines. The Prathers turn 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 manually. Both of them run the complete business, including website design, marketing, photography, managing orders, packing, shipping, and accounting. They are saying on their site: “Our small town ethics of honesty, hard work, humility, and craftsmanship are elements hopefully to convey to our customers.” Plus it was indeed gratifying to find out their beautifully crafted record rack within my listening room, and understand that it was hand-crafted in a small shop as opposed to churned out by an anonymous Chinese factory.
Whether it’s called an entertainment center, HiFi console, or even a/V cabinet, specialized furniture created to hold audio/video components can represent a considerable investment. Before making any purchase, here are some important things to consider: Are you gonna be placing your HiFi on the furniture? In that case, the piece should be able to accommodate the HiFi’s width and support the weight. How many and what sort of components do you want to store? Center channel speakers and sound bars usually need wider compartments than a receiver or Blu-ray player. A very high-end A/V receiver can need a deeper compartment than a mid-line receiver.
Where will the furniture be located in the room, and how much space can it have? If you appreciate your HiFi in a corner, there are specially designed cabinets angled to fit snugly into that space.
What’s the décor of your room? Should your family area is mid-century modern, then this cabinet with Federalist molding and pediments might look out of place. Conversely, should 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 much more. You will find small cabinets to get a simple system with Topping NX4 DSD, and larger cabinets for multi-component home cinema systems with large HiFis. Modular cabinets can be simply customized for your needs. The Salamander Designs Synergy System, for instance, allows you to give a turntable tray, extra shelves, a media drawer, alter the kind of feet, and a lot more.
Hide your audio gear in a closet or utility room – Want to help keep your audio gear from sight? Utility-style audio racks feature open shelving or rack mounts. But a majority of audio cabinets and racks are furniture made to house your gear.
Topping NX4 DSD component rack. Audio component racks could make efficient use of storage area. Things to look for. An old corner cupboard may appear to produce a good A/V cabinet, but without major modifications, it probably isn’t. Below are a few key features to search for in purpose-build entertainment furniture:
Passive ventilation – electronic components generate heat, and without ventilation that trapped heat can seriously affect your gear’s performance. Try to find openings in the bottom, in the shelving, and at the back of the cabinet to permit free-flowing air.
Wire channels – If you wish to connect your receiver on the middle ycqolf to the Blu-ray player on the lower shelf, it’s vital that you get access to your cables. Search for openings at the back of shelves, portals in back panels, and notches at the back of side supports.
Tempered glass door panels – For simple storage, solid door panel may be fine. But if you need to manage your gear remotely, you should look for a door that allows IR signals to pass through 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 fast access. These panels can also have passive ventilation slots, and openings for cables to be run between shelves. Wheels — Built in wheels provide easy accessibility rear of your cabinet. Obviously, you’ll need use of initially set up your gear, but that won’t be the only time. You’ll need access whenever you upgrade or replace a component in your body. Sometimes wires work loose, and you’ll have to start the cabinet back and view connections. Plus, wheels make it very easy to move the furnishings to clean.
In the event you don’t would like your HiFi relaxing in your cabinet, but don’t (or can’t) mount it towards the wall, manufacturers including BDI make compatible floor-standing HiFi mounts which fit behind and attach to their cabinets. If you plan to possess your HiFi sit on top of 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 young children, securing Shanling TEMPO having a safety strap is a great idea. Wall-mounted shelf systems provide you with additional options. It is a great solution to get a small A/V system, particularly for a wall-mounted HiFi. It lets you store 1 or 2 components beneath your set on wall shelving, keeping floor area open.