I happened across a husband-and-wife team who build a wide range of beautiful LP storage racks and was so impressed with their work that I wanted to share my find with TAS readers. The racks come in rural Ohio by Jason and Brit Prather. These products range between a simple “now playing” single-LP stand or wall ledge to some full-blown cabinet that stores and displays approximately 480 LPs. Prices vary from $20 to $897 with a lot of models under $150. What all the hifi table have in common is fine woodworking, natural materials (including copper bars that retain the LPs set up), as well as a design which makes functionality elegant. Because all the racks are made to order, you may have your choice of wood and materials. Walnut, cherry, maple, and oak can be purchased in a selection of stain colors.
I opted for a Signature series dual rack that holds 60-80 LPs ($100). Obviously, that’s not my entire collection, having said that i utilize it for quick access to albums in heavy rotation. I like the cabability to scan through the albums and find out the complete covers, record-store style, rather than turning my head sideways and squinting on the LP jackets’ spines. The Prathers get this style in 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 inside their workshop building the racks one-by-one manually. The 2 of them run the entire business, including website design, marketing, photography, managing orders, packing, shipping, and accounting. They say on their website: “Our small town ethics of honesty, effort, humility, and craftsmanship are elements hopefully to convey to our customers.” Plus it was indeed gratifying to find out their beautifully crafted record rack in my listening room, and know that it absolutely was hand-crafted in a small shop instead of churned out by an anonymous Chinese factory.
Whether it’s called an entertainment center, HiFi console, or even 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 gonna be placing your HiFi on the furniture? If you have, the piece should be able to accommodate the HiFi’s width and support its weight. The amount of and what type 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 very high-end A/V receiver can require a deeper compartment than a mid-line receiver.
Where will the furniture be found in the room, and exactly how much space will it have? If you appreciate your HiFi in a corner, there were created cabinets angled to match snugly into that space.
What’s the décor of your own room? If your family area is mid-century modern, then a cabinet with Federalist molding and pediments might look out of place. Conversely, if your home includes a classic look, a brushed steel frame stand might appear too modern.
HiFi cabinets can 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 DAC, and larger cabinets for multi-component home theatre systems with large HiFis. Modular cabinets can be simply customized to meet your needs. The Salamander Designs Synergy System, for example, lets you add 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 out of 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 will make efficient utilization of space for storage. Things to look for. An old 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 in the bottom, inside the shelving, and in the back of the cabinet to permit free-flowing air.
Wire channels – If you need to connect your receiver on the middle ycqolf for the Blu-ray player on the lower shelf, it’s essential to get access to your cables. Search for openings in the back of shelves, portals in back panels, and notches at the back of side supports.
Tempered glass door panels – For easy storage, solid door panel may be fine. But if you wish to manage your gear remotely, you need to search for a door that allows 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 simple to remove for fast access. These panels may also have passive ventilation slots, and openings for cables to be run between shelves. Wheels — Built-in wheels provide easy accessibility rear of the cabinet. Obviously, you’ll need access to initially setup your gear, but that won’t be the only time. You’ll need access any time you upgrade or replace a component within your body. Sometimes wires work loose, and you’ll need to start the cabinet back and look connections. Plus, wheels make it very easy to move the furnishings to clean.
If you don’t want your HiFi relaxing in your cabinet, but don’t (or can’t) mount it for the wall, manufacturers like BDI make compatible floor-standing HiFi mounts that suit behind and connect to their cabinets. If you plan to get your HiFi sit on top of your cabinet, you ought to put in a safety strap to make sure it doesn’t accidentally tip over. Even though you don’t have young children, securing Shanling TEMPO using a safety strap is a good idea. Wall-mounted shelf systems provide you with additional options. This is a great solution for any small A/V system, especially for a wall-mounted HiFi. It allows you to store one or two components beneath your set on wall shelving, keeping floor space open.