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Picking an Audio Tower/Rack

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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 lcampbell89



  • 20 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 2011

Posted March 02 2011 - 01:53 AM

I am currently in the process of putting together a home theater, and one of the big things I am missing right now is an audio tower. My tv is mounted above my air conditioner (yah... not much choice here) so I was thinking an audio tower to the right of this would be the best option for my space.

I am looking for something that can store, an xbox 360, marantz SR5005, cable box, belkin AV30, and an s570 bluray player. As well as possibly having the ability to store some DVDs/Blurays/Games and some of the Xbox stuff like controllers and such while still hiding all of my cables.

And I want it to be black, or black-brown for "design" purposes.

The cheap one I found was this basic, essentially bookshelf:


Cheap Walmart version:


Seems pretty good to me, better then walmart maybe:


Nicer more expensive Black/Cherry:


But essentially curious if anyone here as used any of these and has an opinion on them or maybe some suggestions? Also what should be stacked on top of one of another and what shouldn't? Also is having a closed glass door like the last one going to be an overheating issue?

250 is probably the highest I can go budget wise give or take 20 bucks

#2 of 5 winniw


    Second Unit

  • 287 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 19 2010

Posted March 18 2011 - 06:39 PM

I am going through the same process of selecting an AV rack.

I found one similar to the Bush cabinet in your last link.  My other half likes it because it looks like furniture and it is enclosed.

We don't have it yet and we may choose a different one, but I can tell you one thing... if you get that one, I can almost guarantee that you will have to cut out the back of the cabinet to make room for your receiver in order to close the door.  Most of the current furniture was designed to fit old audio components, not the new breed of AV receivers.

If we do get this one, I will probably remove the entire back, for ventilation purposes.  If it looks bad without it, I might cut out some large areas that would be covered by the equipment and reinstall the back.  I guess that I could paint the wall behind it black!  Hahaha, just kidding.

Of course, you could just put your receiver on top of the cabinet for the best ventilation but then it will get dusty.

BTW, your Costco link does not work.


#3 of 5 jrussell


    Stunt Coordinator

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  • Join Date: Oct 02 2010

Posted March 19 2011 - 07:45 AM

I actually just bought a TV stand from these guys to house all the AV equipment since my TV is wall mounted. It arrived fast and in great shape, no damage and it looks good also.


#4 of 5 snowman2



  • 3 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 17 2010

Posted March 25 2011 - 04:09 AM

If you're a handy person like me, I've used strut channels for electrical pipe installation. It's a U-channel with either round or elongated holes every inch or so. It cost about $15.00 per 10 foot lengths with all sorts of connecting brackets for different configurations. Try to use the smallest L-shape bracket with two holes to really hide the bulkiness ( manly looking though) of the connection between the 4 vertical posts and cross members. The number of cross members- front/back and left/right sides depends how many shelves you would need. If  you really want a very clean work, you may want to spot weld the pieces together as I did then paint it black. You can get this material from any electrical supply house or Home Depot. My project was a seven foot rack with four(4) 3-inch wheel vinyl casters mounted at the bottom of each main post. I've used half inch plywood  shelves sitting on cross members. All my 3 main amps mounted on top for proper ventilation and the rest of my A/V equipment down the line. Since heavier equipment are on top, this cage looking rack is a bit TOP HEAVY, otherwise install your heavy equipment at the bottom shelf.You must secure the top part on to the wall with simple flexible harness, if you decide to be top heavy. ( I used an old leather belt) long enough to swing the whole rack every now and then to make necessary tweaking in the back.

#5 of 5 winniw


    Second Unit

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  • Join Date: Dec 19 2010

Posted March 28 2011 - 04:53 AM

Lee, what did you decide on for a rack?

I hated to spend the money, but I went with a Sanus CFA56, telling myself that it would last forever.  MSRP is $850.  I saw it locally and was impressed with the build quality, plenty of interior space for componets and decent looks.  I ordered the Cherry/Black finish.  The black corners are actually aluminum rails.  The top of the unit is raised slightly, creating a gap all the way around to vent out the hot air.


It's not everything that I wanted (like a Walnut finish) but it was the best compromise for me between the cheaper, not-so-well suited for audio cabinets and the twice as expensive Salamander unit.  I will probably still have to add a fan system on the back.  The local shop sells kits for $130 that have variable-speed fans on a thermostat.

I looked and looked but could not find anything lower priced that was enclosed and had plenty of interior space.  That's really why I got it.  In my mind, there were no other options.

LIke I said, a little pricey, but hopefully I will get what I paid for.


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