An audiophile’s approach to any decision is all about compromise. As one salesman so aptly explained, “You don’t want the best component, you want the one that sucks the least.”
Choosing to live in a condo over a house is a huge concession for someone with a passion for music and cinema. Not only do you need to make the best use of the available $500+ per square foot space, but also keep your volume down for the neighbors. Alright, the hell with the neighbors, let’s set about optimizing our home theater for that cozy living room, or cubby hole as Theresa so affectionately calls it.
Upgrading to a flat screen HDTV is a great way to start. However, these sleek sexy sets also present a new problem: Where does that full-size center channel speaker go?
I searched the A/V furniture market for my requirements:
- Flat screen TV
- Turntable shelf check that
- Center channel speaker shelf
The problem is that on any rack, the turntable needs to be on the top so that you can put records on it. The center channel speaker also needs to be as elevated as possible. Apparently I’m one of the few people who own both a turntable and a center speaker, and I don’t see any easy solution from the purpose-built audio furniture available.
Just when I was about to give up on flat screens altogether, my favorite furniture retailer, Room and Board, has unwittingly created an ideal solution:
This sliding-door media cabinet maximizes floor space, accessibility, storage, ventilation, remote control operation, and provides a 5-foot high area on which you can place a meaty center channel speaker. This would require drilling through the back of one of the middle shelves to channel the turntable cables back to the amp and power, but that’s something even my unhandy skills can easily work out.
Like most solutions that solve multiple problems, it’s expensive at $3,000 before taxes or delivery. That’s a whopping 50% more than the Sony KDL-XBR3 that I plan to mate it with. That said, I haven’t seen a better looking way to keep my home theater sounding great.