I happened across a husband-and-wife team who build a wide range 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. The products range between an easy “now playing” single-LP stand or wall ledge to some full-blown cabinet that stores and displays as much as 480 LPs. Prices range from $20 to $897 with most models under $150. What all the hifi racks have in common is fine woodworking, natural materials (such as copper bars that support the LPs in place), and a design that makes functionality elegant. Because all the racks are made to order, you have your choice of wood and materials. Walnut, cherry, maple, and oak are available 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, having said that i utilize it for quick access to albums in heavy rotation. I enjoy the opportunity to scan through the albums and see the complete covers, record-store style, instead of turning my head sideways and squinting on the LP jackets’ spines. The Prathers get this style in a single, 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 within their workshop building the racks one at a time by hand. Both of these run the whole business, including web design, marketing, photography, managing orders, packing, shipping, and accounting. They claim on their site: “Our small town ethics of honesty, work, humility, and craftsmanship are elements we hope to convey to our customers.” And it was indeed gratifying to find out their beautifully crafted record rack in my listening room, and understand 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 created 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 sort of components do you wish 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 demand a deeper compartment compared to a mid-line receiver.
Where will the furniture be located in the room, and just how much space will it have? If you appreciate your HiFi in a corner, there were created cabinets angled to suit snugly into that space.
What’s the décor of your own room? In case your living room is mid-century modern, then a cabinet with Federalist molding and pediments might look out of place. Conversely, if your home has a classic look, a brushed steel frame stand may appear too modern.
HiFi cabinets might have open compartments, closed compartment (with either solid or glass-panel doors), media drawers, and much more. There are small cabinets for a simple system with Topping DAC, and larger cabinets for multi-component home cinema systems with large HiFis. Modular cabinets can easily be 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 more.
Hide your audio gear in a closet or utility room – Want to help keep your audio gear out of sight? Utility-style audio racks feature open shelving or rack mounts. But most audio cabinets and racks are furniture created to house your gear.
Topping NX4 DSD component rack. Audio component racks could make efficient usage of storage space. What to look for. An old corner cupboard may seem to make a good A/V cabinet, but without major modifications, it probably isn’t. Here 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. Search for openings towards the bottom, inside the shelving, and at the back of the cabinet to enable 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 gain 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 simple storage, solid door panel could be fine. But if you wish 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 quick access. These panels could 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 your own cabinet. Of course, you’ll need use of initially setup your gear, but that won’t function as the only time. You’ll need access any time you upgrade or replace a component in your body. Sometimes wires work loose, and you’ll must open the cabinet back and look connections. Plus, wheels ensure it is very easy to move the furniture for cleaning.
If you don’t would like 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 that fit behind and affix to their cabinets. If you plan to have your HiFi sit along with your cabinet, you need to give a safety strap to make certain it doesn’t accidentally tip over. Even though you don’t have young kids, securing Shanling TEMPO with a safety strap may be beneficial. Wall-mounted shelf systems provide you with additional options. This is a great solution for a small A/V system, specifically for a wall-mounted HiFi. It lets you store one or two components beneath your set on wall shelving, keeping floor area open.