The Minimalist Audio Viewpoint on Audio Furniture
Audio furniture is probably the most overlooked component in many stereo systems.
Just look at the galleries of many systems on various forums etc. and often you will see a beautiful multi-thousand dollar system sitting on a piece of furniture that is woefully inadequate. What a waste of a good system, and often these same people are posting threads complaining about poor sound, when it is clear the furniture the components and/or speakers are on are the culprits. Also, a large amount of what is sold as audio furniture is nothing but junk. Good audio furniture is not cheap, yet if properly chosen is a bargain because it will not only enhance the sound of any gear that is put into/onto it, but it will last for generations.
When choosing audio furniture here is what to look for:
1) Steel is hard to beat as far as durability and if done right is not only solid as a rock but can be very attractive. Usually it will come in some kind of black finish which is neutral and will blend with more decor than any colour. Welded one piece rather than bolted together is better in that it is extremely rigid. Another must with steel audio furniture is it must be ballast fillable as steel can have quite a "ring" to it, and who wants unwanted resonance's in their audio furniture. There also is some very good audio furniture that has virtually no steel in it - may be aluminum with ply or MDF or plastic with MDF. They can be quite resonance free, but make sure they are rigid.
2) Choose for the future too, remembering your gear could change, and who wants to buy new audio furniture. Buy the rack that has one too many shelves rather than only for the amount of pieces you currently have. Choose speaker stands with as many uprights as you can afford. You never know when your monitor size might grow.
3) If you have carpeted flooring, make sure the spikes go completely through the carpet and anchor well into the sub-straight underneath. If your spikes will not do this, then replace them with ones that will. This is a highly important step, and if done properly will pay big dividends in sound. There is some very good audio furniture that comes with inadequate spikes, so rather than pass up a great deal, spend a few extra bucks and get good spikes.
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