Salamander Racks (or alternatives)

Discussion in 'Home Theater and Stereo' started by CJ, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    I'm looking to clean up my system and room a little bit. My current TV stand is pretty low end and frankly, some days I'm impressed it hasn't collapsed. Its an open unit with little cable management. It is a steel frame with tempered glass shelves. The openness is probably the biggest complaint. My second complaint would actually be that due to the general construction of the unit and lack of any ability to level it, my TV actually tilts forward 3-5 degrees. That's the part where I'm a bit amazed I haven't had an incident.

    Any way, I've been looking for a replacement for a while now and was hoping to find something mid level that might be like $500 bucks give or take and just haven't found anything. I ended up finding a Salamander rack that I really like but of course, its $1700 without the extended back panels that I would need for my deeper components.

    Here's what I'm looking at.
    Synergy Model 339 - Salamander Designs
    main.jpg

    What I like that I'd like to see in a similar unit if anyone has recommendations.
    • Leveling feet
    • Covered doors but mesh for cooling and IR
    • Good sizable space for a high end center channel
    • Room for six components assuming height limits are met
    • Optional extended back panels for deep components (need at least 20" of depth, the extended rear panels give you 21.5")
    • Infinitely adjustable shelves (nice to have)
    • Rear panel fans with temp sensors (nice to have)
    Given those bullets I think I'm probably settled on a company that makes actual AV oriented gear, not just general furniture. Are there other brands I should consider?
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    A few thoughts. Many moons ago when my friend worked at a high end shop, I did virtually all his deliveries and installs with him for several years. They sold Salamander and I still have my Synergy furniture in a secondary system, except for the matching media racks, which I use for Blu-Rays in the main system. I'd not recommend mesh. In some cases, it can rattle (that's why I use the frosted glass). I've never put the backs on (in fact I think I threw them out) to allow some additional air flow (I've never put a big amp in them but never had a problem with a receiver with several inches above to the next shelf and the back open). For cooling, there are products like - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LW0G46K/?tag=homthelou-20
    (they have cheaper or more expensive models too).

    The price of many of the racks/stands has gone up significantly (including Salamander, BDI and Standout Designs among many others). I am not sure that there's going to be tons of choices for that particular quality in that price range (some companies have even gone out of business like Baker Roads. My personal favorite (don't own it - very pricey) for quality and furniture look is - KANSO Audio Rack Stand HiFi Furniture

    This site list many of the things available - Audio Federation

    Bush carries a line of less expensive things - Bush Furniture > Product Search

    I don't have doors on the main system audio rack which was designed to my specs and built by Odyssey Audio
     
  3. jasn

    jasn Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Any thoughts to wall-mounting your screen, putting your CC on a stand and moving your gear out of the way CJ? I seem to be using less and less gear as the years go by and don't need as much rack room as I used to.
     
  4. Randy Rhoton

    Randy Rhoton Well-Known Member Donor

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  5. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    That's a great insight and what I was looking for with this thread. That would PISS ME OFF if I spent $1700 on a rack and it rattled. Now maybe you can shim the mesh so it doesn't but I'll take a hard look at frosted glass.

    I actually called a local dealer and was asking what they had in stock that I could come look at. The conversation turned to accessories and I mentioned the backs with the fans built in and he immediately said basically no one puts the backs on to start with. So you and he probably saved me $500-$1000 in accessories potentially.

    Surprisingly and somewhat disappointingly, there are really NOT a lot of TV stands our there that have space for a center channel speaker. The other feature that is common that doesn't really work for me is when there is a CC spot, they put drawers below it. Those drawers really do nothing for me. I need space for more gear.* Of course, the reality is many of these companies make audio only vertical racks that are completely open.

    Compare the Salamander I posted to this similar model. This has room for a legitimate center channel but it really only has four "component" bays and the drawers are wasted space for me.
    nd-media-console-wide-center-speaker-shelf-av-espresso-expresso-cherry_SD82MAJ22R-CEB-S-GG_2000x.jpg

    I actually tried that and it didn't work well for a couple reasons. Firstly is that I have a massive TV in that room. It weighs 120 lbs give or take. Second, I don't have regular studs in my basement. The drywall is offset on 1" furring strips so I don't have real studs to attach to. Finally, I actually need an AV rack to hide the wiring. There is really no graceful way to wire up a 7.4 audio system with a TV and projector using separate amp and processor and semi-active speakers. That is a SHITLOAD of wires. If I count up every speaker wire, interconnect, power, and video cable... 7 speaker cables, 7 RCA cables, 4 LFE cables, 4 HDMI cables, 1 digital coax, and probably 10 power cables plus a few IR repeater cables. All of that is actually a reason why I'm looking to move away from an open glass shelf. Its a hot mess.
     
  6. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    This is the reason I built mine, didn't see anything that would work and fit in my tight space.

    Yeah, I know you don't want to build one and to tell the truth neither did I, but when nothing is commercially available...
     
  7. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    The Salamander totally works for me, I was just looking for some insights before I pull the trigger. I'd RATHER not spend $1700, but I will.
     
  8. pillatier

    pillatier Well-Known Member

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  9. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    The mesh on the sides of the Salamander (not sure if that is still an option) typically rattled more than the mesh on the doors. From memory, the door mesh hooks in similar to the glass and has a rubber like gasket. One probably could stuff things in there if it was a problem easier than the side panels.

    This is what the Salamander furniture looked like in my old house (you can also consider the towers with one or more bridges for the center channel or another component). I have the 40 inch tall towers which was a hair tall to my liking with the screen (but I had too many components in the old house).
    MainSys062011.JPG
     
  10. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    This was behind the rack in the old house (you can see from the pick above that I took some fabric that is a similar color to the wall and attached it (using wire ties) to the back of the bridges to hide the wires.
    Wires old house main system.jpg
     
  11. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    Found a pic of the grand room in the old house where you can see the media cabinets (which are not in my main room) and the matching end table with two drawers (which is now in a back-up system - my 4k one) with the old Salamander furniture
    Living Room3.jpg
     
  12. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    If it was me - I'd do the 30 inch towers (I believe model 303) and then do a bridge and then use fabric behind the bridge similar to what I did. If the center channel is not deep, there is room for a seldom used component (e.g. power conditioner where one could hide and separate the power wires from the other components).
     
  13. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    This is what the back-up system looks like now with the Synergy furniture
    Back-up 2 Dec 2017.JPG
     
  14. GHilinski

    GHilinski Well-Known Member

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    I have the low boy version of the rack you are looking at. They are very well built, nicely finished and super solid for gear and TV's. I do not have gear in mine, just a lot of CD's and blue rays. The shelves are also infinitely adjustable so you can customize it to your setup. The gear is in an arnwar in the corner out of sight. I also eliminated the middle door wen i ordered and my center channel mounts perfectly in the center with a little wedge to adjust the aiming. The M&K's are somewhat beamy. A few comments or suggestions.

    1.) When you install the aluminum posts, spin the allen bolt, not the post. It is metal and will make little swirl marks in the wood which you do not want and will piss you off if it happens because you will see them.

    2.) The back panels are an extreme pain in the ass to assemble and do come loose often. When they do, you have to take the top off and re-screw all all of the bolts. There is a little nut that travels in a track on the post which has to be held in place before you screw it in.

    3.) Have a chat with whoever vacuums in front of this unit. It is is easy to get aggressive and hit the bottom which leaves little marks in the wood because there is a little bull-nose carve on many of the units that sticks out a little too far. After 10 years, I figured that one out.

    Other than a few quibbles, they are very nice. I also picked mine up at the factory since it was in CT at the time.
     
  15. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

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    At some point in the past I was doing a lot of shopping and so I dug up my old bookmarks, maybe give these a look:

    Entertainment + Television Furniture | Sauder

    Credenzas

    Cripes I had others but they all seem to be out of business. Always loved the Salamander stuff.
     
  16. RJ

    RJ Member

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    Did you ever decide on getting this or not CJ?
     
  17. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    No, I couldn't find one that fit my needs as far as component storage and size.
     
  18. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    In my opinion: I would never put my center channel inside a cubby. My acoustics brain says it is likely to alter the sound of the system due to reflected waves... but I have never tried it and never measured it so I could be out to lunch on that.

    I prefer open racks to those more closed like you are looking at, but if I did want to go closed I would set the CC on top of it.

    Salamander has a great reputation. Also look at Aegis.
     
  19. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Both of my W-T/M-W designs worked well in the cubby. Not so the TangBand 8 inch full range.
     
  20. Phil Rose

    Phil Rose Active Member

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    IMG_1326.jpg . The is my Salamander rack. I don’t have any issues with the doors making noise and have the back covers in place so that I can’t “see through” to the back wall. The rack has one extended back and three standard backs.
     

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