Contemporary stereo cabinets and consoles for good-looking audio
Stereo cabinets and consoles put your love of music on show. Here’s our pick of beautifully handcrafted contemporary hi-fi furniture
Just as CDs, records and even cassettes give music a physical presence, a new era of elaborate console and cabinet design is returning to hi-fi to counter the ethereal blankness of ultra-compact speakers and invisible streaming services. Stereo cabinets and consoles are statement pieces, and have more in common with high-end furniture than with high-tech design. Here’s our selection of the most elegant ways of proclaiming your love of music to the world.
Statement stereo cabinets and consoles
‘Folded Record Bureau’ by H Miller Bros
The ‘Folded Record Bureau’ is a low bureau fashioned from a band of folded natural timber, carefully crafted to give the impression of a single plank, folded to accommodate record storage. Created by brothers Hugh and Howard Miller of design and making studio H Miller Bros, the ‘Folded Record Bureau’ is available in a variety of finishes, including birch-ply veneered white ash, oak, iroko, and black walnut. The standard turntable is a specially modified model from Fluance, set seamlessly into the top surface of the bureau. The example shown incorporates a Bang & Olufsen Beogram 5000 turntable with solid iroko finish.
Wrensilva ‘Club Series’
The Wrensilva ‘Club Series’ is a limited-edition collection of the California company’s three key music consoles, the ‘M1’, ‘The Standard’ and the ‘Loft’. Featuring uprated material details, including mother of pearl inlays, each Club Series console offers a combination of craftsmanship and high-fidelity sound, courtesy of high-quality turntable and speakers, connectivity to streaming services (as well as compatibility with Sonos), and the helpful addition of storage space for your vinyl LPs.
‘Caruso’ by Miniforms
Paolo Cappello’s ‘Caruso’ for Miniforms is a piece of furniture that fully embraces the idea of pop art. Incorporating a 50-watt speaker system and Bluetooth connectivity, the console references the earliest era of vinyl amplification, with its ceramic trumpet embedded into a refined, tapered-leg cabinet. Cappello describes the piece as something that ‘everybody immediately can understand as a cabinet that plays music’.
‘LX Platine’ by La Boite Concept
French company La Boite Concept builds everything for the style-conscious audiophile, from standalone speakers to racking systems. Its flagship ‘LX Platine’ is a desk-sized piece of multimedia kit, incorporating a turntable and integral speaker system, with a modernist-tinged compact design that adds record storage to the mix.
‘R7 High Fidelity Radiogram Mk3’ by Ruark
Ruark’s ‘R7 High Fidelity Radiogram’ might have a retro-style name, but the technology baked into this sleek stereo console is bang up to the minute. Within the slender enclosure is a tightly packaged set of drive units and speakers, along with radio, Bluetooth and even a CD player. There’s optional TV connectivity with an attachment kit that transforms the console into an elegant stand, and the system is available in either walnut or grey lacquer.
‘EGB2’ by Luno
Musicians Dan Knowles and Jennifer Farmer set up Luno in Los Angeles to fuse their love of vintage modernism and high-quality audio. The ‘EGB2’ is the firm’s flagship model, blending a minimalist turntable arrangement with integral minibar. Finished in American walnut, with details extending to the gold-rimmed whisky glasses, the ‘EGB2’ will play vinyl through the integral turntable, speakers and subwoofer, and can also stream music from your wireless device. Built-in storage for 150 records comes as standard.
Symbol Audio ‘Modern Record Console’
Symbol Audio builds everything from record racks to bespoke furniture for Sonos, but the New York-based company puts its all into its ultimate model, the ‘Modern Record Console’. By incorporating a custom-designed hand-built vacuum tube amplifier, Symbol Audio has ensured that vinyl fans can get an authentic full analogue signal path from the Clearaudio turntable. Twin 6.5in speakers are paired with a powered subwoofer located in the steel pedestal, while the rest of the structure is finished in handcrafted American black walnut. An array of streaming options are also available, including Airplay and Sonos.
‘+RP System’ by +Audio
British hi-fi brand +Audio builds one of the most exacting all-in-one record players on the market, transcending the genre by focusing on sound and build quality. The company will also supply a matching stand, using aluminium and maple or walnut (depending on the record player’s finish) to put the turntable at the perfect height for record-swapping and sound projection, with space for 200 LPs underneath. A system that’ll save serious space without compromising sound quality.
‘Model-One’ by Andover Audio
Andover Audio’s ‘Model-One’ is another compact solution, this time with a more modular twist. By pairing the record player with its internal audio system and Bluetooth connectivity with a walnut stand and sub-woofer, you get a mighty sound with a small footprint. The Massachusetts-based company has been around for nearly ten years, working closely with high-end suppliers like Pro-Ject Audio Systems.