No, not that rack. I’m talking about audio racks. I was very recently in the market for a new audio rack as I had donated my entertainment center after 5 years wanting something smaller not to mention easier to get at. The shelf dimensions had to be correct for current and future gear, etc. It also had to be at least somewhat aesthetically pleasing and of course, not cost an arm and a leg.
To my surprise, this is not easy to find. My original idea was to get either a large TV console with enough shelves and storage or get two pieces, one smaller TV console and one purpose-built audio rack and sit them side by side. First, as I did with my entertainment center, I was going to see what my favorite furniture store had (who also did custom work) and failing finding anything to my needs, I would have designed my own and had it built as I did with the entertainment center. Sadly, two factors ended this idea, 1) I found out that my favorite furniture shop was going out of business after 50 years and 2) it would have still been around four figures by the time I was done.
I then started looking at a few other furniture stores. This was a complete waste of time as I found with the exception of one, that most TV consoles sold at such stores could not accommodate most of my gear (standard-sized) because for some reason they are made with narrow shelves around 15 inches wide at best. I don’t understand this because the average DVD or Blue Ray player for example, is 17 to 18 inches wide. Where are folks supposed to put their gear? There was one shop that had a TV console with all the right dimensions and a nice look as well, but while I had strongly considered it, it was going to be close to $1000 out the door, just too much for me, not to mention too heavy and a pain in the rear to get at like my entertainment center was.
I then went on the internet to see what I could come up with. The only options were as follows: One was Salamander Design. While their TV consoles look nice and could likely accommodate my gear with the only question being the amp which needs lots of air room. However, again, no spot for my turntable and pricey. Salamander also makes reasonably priced audio racks I noted, but sadly they look like something made from bits and pieces from a Home Depot, not aesthetically pleasing in the remotest way. If you do not mind the hardware scrapyard look though, the Salamander audio racks are a friendly price and durable, a good buy.
I then remembered Pangea audio racks, they look very similar to VTI racks, aesthetically pleasing and are very reasonable in price, really one of the best values out there for basic audio racks. However, they do not make TV consoles. I could have gone with a different TV console and the Pangea rack, but I was questioning the durability of the shelves and wanted something a bit more in cohesiveness. I have a VTI rack for my vintage-based system. It is a very nice looking rack, but the one caveat is that no matter how careful you are, the shelves scratch with so much as a sideways glance. Too easily scratched no matter if rubber feet or felt etc. Both the Pangea and VTI will hold a lot of weight per shelf, so no questions there, but having dealt with the extreme cosmetic fragility of the VTI, I did not want a similar situation.
I then found Sanus racks. Sanus is actually the distributor for Milestone AV, but they sell direct and at other places like Amazon, B&H Photo, etc. This is what I ended up getting: (See next page)