Rack Concept: Design and W.A.F. Riddle

Here is an interesting puzzle for your big brains:

Since assembling my retro high end system, I have agonized over how to store and display my gear, as I love it not only for its sound but also for its design.

Recently, at a viewing of Asian art at Christies here in NYC and in the Metropolitan museum, I was struck by how simple, painted wooden pedestals highlighted the beauty of porcelain and antiquities and had a very modern and minimal look.

(Now my wife doesnt find as much beauty in say - a Mark Levinson 30/31 stack as she does in a Ming dynasty vase, but of course you know what I think looks best in the middle of the living room.)

So I am wondering if it would be interesting to have what appears to be a simple pedestal built, and shamelessly display my favourite components right on top -- to best showcase their exotic, intoxicating high end beauty.

Even better, to then have a custom acrylic cube made to sit on the top of the pedestal to give a VPI TNT -- for example -- the museum like display treatment that I think it really deserves.

Now that concept is simple enough, but here is where it gets tricky:

Could such a pedestal have a false front which opens up to adjustable shelves inside? They could hold uglier, more pedestrian components, DVD players etc.

Also, a false back to open up for ventilation during use, but to close for a clean tidy look when not in use.

Obviously shelves inside could also hold CDs, SACDs, LPs DVDs, etc, which seems especially handy if they sat directly beneath the source component, instead of across the room in a bookcase or something.

Cables from the turntable or other componets could drop down through the top and then be hidden inside.

A tweaky power strip could be mounted inside the pedestal so that only one, minimal AC umbilical cord would be visible from the outside to power everything.

Casters could be mounted to the bottom so I could wheel it over to my listening chair for easy reach to the volume etc, and back against the wall when not listening.

Maybe, I could have three pedestals -- one for a turntable and records, attached to another pedestal with the preamp and reel to reel -- perhaps feeding longish interconnects to a shorter pedestal for the Levinson 31.5 which could just lurk against the wall or near the Tympanis. But they would all match for that gallery kind of a look.

I dont know if any of you have ever tried or thought about anything like this but I am sure many of you will have some excellent suggestions.

Mainly, I would love to showcase intersting designs, hide the wires, streamline the power supply and AC power cords and have storage space for ordinary components and software with a minimal, museum gallery like look.

I am afraid this would not be super cheap, so I dont want to have any Eureka moments after having it made?!?

Any and all comments and suggestions therefore are greatly appreciated.
I think if you are going to all this effort to shocasw your gear, why dont you show the cables as well?

Ive seen communication rooms in building where the wire management resembles chaos, and ones that resemble artwork as well.

Put the speaker cables on elevators that match the rack.

Have the interconnect cables fingerpicked and layed out in a nice fasion. Power cables as well.

In my opinion, anything, even wires can be done in an attractive nature. If you have any buddys who have ever worked on large communications systems ask them, they will know what im talking about, and probably be able to give you some good ideas
That would also help show the system as a whole, instead of individual pieces.

If i could post pics of the past systems ive had, you'd see what i was talking about. Instead of a spider's nest of cables in the back, everything is routed and fitted in order to prevent interference and to show the maximun cosmetic potential.

Being in communications and having run tons of cable, ive gotten pretty anal about how the cable in my rig looks. In communication installation, you could always tell the calibur of a technicians abilitys by thier wire management. Im a damn good tech! :) I take it as a sence of pride.
Slappy, I'm in the same field and am with you all the way. Now try spelling.
I've considered different wooden pedestals for years but never did try it. Although I've seen some nice wooden ones with carvings, etc.

Aesthetically, I would think this to be very simple and attractive depending on the pedestal, equipment, and what one did with the exposed cabling.

Sonically, I don't think they would be of any help and in fact will probably degrade sonics since they simply are not designed to transfer (or even isolate and dampen for those that believe in that methodology) any air-borne vibrations captured by the component and pedestal.

But if you were to execute such an endeavor, I would suggest your considering the following:

1. Use a real wood pedestal to give your configuration a more classic look.

2. For aesthetics, you might consider slightly different heights for each pedestal. Perhaps 6 inches or so difference.

3. Install the pre-amp in the center with the other components on either side and toe the left and right pedestals slightly outward. Thus putting the pedestal backs closer together to better hide the interconnect cables and keep their lengths as short as possible.

They are going to have to be wide pedestals to hold a 19" wide component. Also, you have to be sure that they don't get "tippy" with all the weight on top. Low is probably best for this, with wide base, and firm footers like points.

Personally, I'd say just get a Sistrum rack. They are beautiful and artistic looking, have minimal frontal appearance impact, and really do something to improve the sound, instead of just the looks. You can hardly believe how nice these racks look in person. They are not "blocky" looking, but have a very nice sculptured look, with sweeping curves on the shelves, and nice polished brass legs. Really hard to beat for the looks, and you simply cannot beat them for sound improvement. Reasonably priced, too, for a high end racking component.
Just when I thought I might be raising the desing bar.....

you guys inform me that there are professional cable installation designers! Excellent.

If anyone knows someone who might be able to help me in the NYC area or have more ideas for a pedestal installation, please continue:
You need an audiophile Feng Shui artist. I'll be there in the morning. $400 per hour, and you walk my poodle.