Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Southern California
Re: Best racks ever made?
I recently purchased a Zirconia rack from Audiav, and am nothing if not overjoyed.
I tend not to be an early adapter -- when new products are initially introduced; prices are high, and typically the technology hasn't matured. But recently I decided it was time to bite the bullet and purchase a plasma screen TV. And, whether it's right or wrong, I decided to purchase the rack/stand first. Why the rack/stand first? Well, I didn't want to mount the TV on the wall, and I had these visions of having a brand new TV and nothing to put it on.
For me (an obsessive-compulsive) the internet is both a blessing and a curse. Before, I probably would have gone to a few stores, looked at what they had, and then picked the product that was the best for my purposes. But, with the internet, I can spend hours (upon hours) typing different search words into Google and seeing what pops up. I found some rack/stands with typical designs: BDI, Bello, Sanus, Salamander; and some not so: pARTicular, Stillpoints. I should mention that I wanted something functional, and that didn't try to be something that it isn't (e.g., wood-grained plastic drives me crazy ... if you're plastic, be the best plastic you can be, but don't try to be something else). That being the case, I wasn't interested in another "piece of furniture" -- this eliminated a lot of products.
So I had this difficult task of trying to satisfy a rather long list of criteria: aesthetics, adjustability, affordability, customizability, expandability, stability, and strength (that's a lot of abilities!). One manufacturer that was seriously considered was Billy Bags. I happen to live about 10 miles from their facility, and stopped by their showroom. They will make custom products and they are not bad looking, but they are not expandable or adjustable ... unless you're good with a welder. One thing I've learned about myself ... trying to save money by purchasing a less expensive substitute for what I really want, just doesn't work out. Initially, it may be fine, but inevitably, it doesn't fulfill my needs in one way or another and dissatisfaction slowly (or more likely, rapidly) creeps in. Of course, at that point I'm financially even farther away from acquiring the object of my desire ... I know, it's very sad. So in the end, only one of the manufacturers (which I stumbled across) had a line that met my criteria: the Zirconia series by Audiav.
There is no question that Audiav makes great racks, and I'm extremely happy with mine; but what impresses me the most is the service ... it's phenomenal! I'm a pain in the ass (there's no question about that), but Jared at Audiav was always friendly, patient, responsive, and extremely generous of his time. I initially had one design in mind, and Jared came up with a set of CAD drawings. But after some thought, I decided to go a different route and Jared, without any hesitation (or making me feel guilty), came up with a new set of CAD drawings from which I chose the final design. And then, while the rack was being manufactured, Jared kept me informed as to its progress via email. When the unit arrived, I mentioned to Jared that one of the shelfs had some very small scratches on it; he (once again, without hesitation) said he would send me a new one. Now, these were truly minor scratches that most people probably wouldn't even notice; but I *am* obsessive-compulsive and they would have ended up bugging me. So I really appreciate his attitude (even if my wife would call him an enabler). Basically, this was the best purchasing experience I have ever had!