I happened across a husband-and-wife team who build an array of beautiful LP storage racks and was impressed with their work that I wanted to share my find with TAS readers. The racks are made in rural Ohio by Jason and Brit Prather. These products range between a basic “now playing” single-LP stand or wall ledge to some full-blown cabinet that stores and displays approximately 480 LPs. Prices range between $20 to $897 with most models under $150. What all the E&T audio rack have in common is fine woodworking, natural materials (such as copper bars that retain the LPs in place), as well as a design that makes functionality elegant. Because all of the racks are made to order, you might have your selection 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). Obviously, that’s not my entire collection, but I apply it quick access to albums in heavy rotation. I like the ability to flip through the albums and find out the complete covers, record-store style, as opposed to turning my head sideways and squinting in the LP jackets’ spines. The Prathers make 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 inside their workshop building the racks one at a time by hand. Both of them run the entire business, including web development, marketing, photography, managing orders, packing, shipping, and accounting. They are saying on their website: “Our small town ethics of honesty, effort, humility, and craftsmanship are elements we hope to convey to the customers.” And it also was indeed gratifying to find out their beautifully crafted record rack within my listening room, and realize 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 you make any purchase, here are a few important things to consider: Are you gonna be placing your HiFi on the furniture? If so, the piece must be able to accommodate the HiFi’s width and support the weight. The number of and which kind 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 found in the room, and how much space can it have? If you want your HiFi in a corner, there are engineered cabinets angled to suit snugly into that space.
What’s the décor of your own room? In case your family room is mid-century modern, then the cabinet with Federalist molding and pediments might look out of place. Conversely, in case your home features a classic look, a brushed steel frame stand may appear too modern.
HiFi cabinets may have open compartments, closed compartment (with either solid or glass-panel doors), media drawers, and a lot more. You will find small cabinets for a simple system with Topping amplifier, and larger cabinets for multi-component home theatre systems with large HiFis. Modular cabinets can be simply customized for your needs. The Salamander Designs Synergy System, as an example, enables you to put in a turntable tray, extra shelves, a media drawer, change the style of feet, and more.
Hide your audio gear in a closet or utility room – Want to maintain your audio gear from 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 can make efficient usage of space for storage. What to consider. An old corner cupboard may appear to produce a good A/V cabinet, but without major modifications, it probably isn’t. Here are a few key features to look 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. Look for openings towards the bottom, within the shelving, and at the back of the cabinet to allow 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 vital that you have access to your cables. Try to find openings at 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 might be fine. But if you need to manage your gear remotely, you need to look for a door which 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 can also have passive ventilation slots, and openings for cables to get run between shelves. Wheels — Built-in wheels provide easy accessibility rear of your own cabinet. Of course, you’ll need use of initially setup your gear, but that won’t become the only time. You’ll need access any time you upgrade or replace a component in your system. 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 furniture for cleaning.
In the event you don’t would like HiFi being placed in your cabinet, but don’t (or can’t) mount it to the wall, manufacturers such as BDI make compatible floor-standing HiFi mounts that fit behind and connect to their cabinets. If you are planning to get your HiFi sit along with your cabinet, you need to put in a safety strap to make sure it doesn’t accidentally tip over. Even though you don’t have young kids, securing Shanling TEMPO using a safety strap is a great idea. Wall-mounted shelf systems provide you with additional options. This is a great solution for a 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 area open.