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Worth the Price???

I recently purchased two Salamander S40 racks black/rosewood and have to report that I am not totally happy with them. This is an expensive rack, and a well-made product that uses quality components -- but it has issues that may not make it appropriate as a high-end audio rack. To be specific: 1 While the rack uses quality components like aluminum posts, quality hardware and sturdy shelves, it is a royal PITA to assemble. It took me many hours to assemble these two racks, and I work with tools frequently. The infinite adjustability of the shelves is great but it is really a nuisance to get the shelves all lined up and perfectly level both horizontally and vertically. It would be way more preferable to have fixed stops that the shelf pegs would fit into. 2 While all the hardware is high quality, the engineering leaves room for significant improvement. The aluminum pegs/shelf-rests rely on friction to lock into place. It is difficult to determine how much to tighten the screws in order to correctly lock-in the pins -- too loose and the shelves will collapse as happened to me several times while assembling them. This is because the aluminum-on-aluminum construction does not make it apparent at what point the pins screws are sufficiently tightened; they can be just a little loose and the shelf will fail, since the pins do not fit into any fixed point -- they rely on compression fitting to channels in the uprights. It is not apparent when the screws are sufficiently tightened because you get no sense of how tight the screws are and when they are tight enough, since it is aluminum-on-aluminum construction. Its hard to adequately explain this -- you have to assemble these to understand this. So -- I tightened all the screws really tight to be sure the shelves will not collapse, especially since I have 30 - 50 pounds on each shelf. 3 Last -- but MOST SIGNIFICANTLY for me - the design of this shelf does not lend itself to placing a turntable on top of the rack. While no wood floor can be completely solid like a cement floor, the floor of my listening room was reinforced and I had several layers of thick quiet wood screwed to the floor beams to get as strong a floor as was reasonably possible. Still -- I have to tiptoe when walking across the floor if my LP12 is playing, otherwise the record skips and the arm dances. While this is partially the fault of the wood floor, closer examination of the the rack reveals what I think is a design flaw that allows the rack to contribute to some of this instability. Specifically, the four aluminum uprights bolt to the bottom shelf using heavy-duty screws that pass through the shelf and screw into the bottom of the aluminum uprights. It is at this juncture point that movement can be noticed with components and weight on the rack, since the connection point is only the width of the upright aluminum post screwed onto the wood bottom shelf. While the shelves can accommodate a lot of weight, the rack is not completly stable side-to-side/back-to-back. The end result is that I now have to try to figure out a way to brace the racks against the wall in order to try to alleviate the bounce problem. Ill have to look into this and make some trips to my local Home Depot to figure out an attractive way to brace the shelves. Im left thinking that a better choice for racks may have been to get Audio Advisors much less expensive steel racks that have three legs and are welded; I think they may have provided a more stable rack. TO SUM UP -- the Salamander rack is a very attractive, high quality rack that can accomModate a lot of weight -- HOWEVER, if you need a high quality audio rack that will contain a turntable especially with some kind of suspension, you may want to think carefully about your needs, and whether the Salamander racks design meet those needs -- or if youd be better-served choosing a different rack. Hope this helps anyone considering this rack for use with a turntable. Cheers ...

- Michael R, NY
Salamander S-40 component cabinet

My unit is a cabinet with the optional sides, back and door.Normally I wouldnt buy something this expensive but I was under the gun with a pending installation.It is a quality unit and worth the price.

- Reinhard Z, WI