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 desired to share my find with TAS readers. The racks are made in rural Ohio by Jason and Brit Prather. These products range from a basic “now playing” single-LP stand or wall ledge to a 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 stand have in common is fine woodworking, natural materials (like copper bars that retain the LPs set up), as well as a design which makes functionality elegant. Because all of the racks are designed to order, you have your selection 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). Of course, that’s not my entire collection, but I apply it quick access to albums in heavy rotation. I like the opportunity to flip through the albums and discover the complete covers, record-store style, instead of turning my head sideways and squinting in the LP jackets’ spines. The Prathers make this style in one, two, or three bays. Their top model, Morad ($875), combines a triple-bay arrangement with conventional storage below to get a 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 these 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 own customers.” Plus it was indeed gratifying to see 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 perhaps a/V cabinet, specialized furniture made to hold audio/video components can represent a substantial investment. Prior to making any purchase, below are a few important things to consider: Are you gonna be placing your HiFi on the furniture? If you have, the piece will 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 require a deeper compartment than a mid-line receiver.
Where will the furnishings be located in the room, and exactly how much space will 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 the room? In case your family area is mid-century modern, then this cabinet with Federalist molding and pediments might look unnatural. Conversely, in case your home features a classic look, a brushed steel frame stand might appear too modern.
HiFi cabinets might have open compartments, closed compartment (with either solid or glass-panel doors), media drawers, and more. You can find small cabinets to get a simple system with Topping DAC, and larger cabinets for multi-component home theater systems with large HiFis. Modular cabinets can be easily customized to suit your needs. The Salamander Designs Synergy System, as an example, lets you put in a turntable tray, extra shelves, a media drawer, alter the style of feet, and much 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 a majority of audio cabinets and racks are furniture created to house your gear.
Topping NX4 DSD component rack. Audio component racks could make efficient utilization of storage space. Things to look for. An old corner cupboard may appear to make a good A/V cabinet, but without major modifications, it probably isn’t. Below are a few 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. Look for openings towards the bottom, in the shelving, and at the back of the cabinet to enable 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 have access to your cables. Look 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 might be fine. But if you wish to take control of your gear remotely, you should choose a door that enables 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 quick 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. Needless to say, you’ll need usage of initially create your gear, but that won’t function as the only time. You’ll need access whenever you upgrade or replace a component in your body. Sometimes wires work loose, and you’ll must start the cabinet back and check connections. Plus, wheels make it simple to move the furnishings for cleaning.
Should you don’t would like your HiFi sitting 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 affix to their cabinets. If you intend to have your HiFi sit on top of your cabinet, you need to give a safety strap to make sure it doesn’t accidentally tip over. Even though you don’t have young kids, securing Shanling CD player with a safety strap is a great idea. Wall-mounted shelf systems offer you additional options. This is a great solution for any small A/V system, particularly for a wall-mounted HiFi. It enables you to store a couple of components below your set on wall shelving, keeping floor area open.