Modernizing The Console Stereo
By James Grahame
Robin Cooksley recently contacted us with news of his audio furniture business. He explains, "I am trying to start a furniture making business specializing in retro audio equipment, one of my ideas is to make retro record player units, like the old ones where the record player was under a lift up lid and the speakers were integrated into the unit. The units can be fully customized to the size of audio equipment being placed in them, have ipod docs etc etc and be made out of the wood of choice for the purchaser. I would love to hear from you guys as to what you think, I think it is pretty groovy and original, well originally retro."
It should come as no surprise that I'm a huge fan of stylish systems like the Clairtone Project G and even the homey Magnavox Astro-Sonic Solid-State models. Their appeal is straightforward -- a piece of furniture is much easier to blend into a room than a stack of modern stereo components.
Robin's audio furniture wraps the components of your choice in a hand-crafted cabinet that evokes classic design of the 1960s. Each console can be customized to fit the buyer's needs. He explains, "The doors of each unit are carved into waves to give a really cool 3 dimensional feel to it and there is also some classic dovetail joinery incorporated. The unit in the photo is made of walnut with the internal cabinet made of baltic birch plywood. I could make the unit in Ash (light color) Oak (medium) or Walnut (dark) for around the same price."
The speaker mounts in the prototype are approximately 20" wide by 10" high and 17" deep, and there are two shelves behind the middle door that fit standard 17" components. Additional shelves can be added as required. Overall, the unit measures 60" wide by 18" deep by 30" tall and weighs 160 lbs.
He estimates the price will be around $1800. That's expensive by Ikea standards but reasonable when you consider the hundreds of hours of labour required to craft a piece of custom furniture.
So what do you think? Do you have any ideas to help Robin get his venture off the ground?