Upgrading The AV Furniture
April 5, 2022
As an Audio/Video guy, furniture was always an afterthought. I thought I just needed something that held my gear. That is until I upgraded and realized what a difference it makes to have a furniture piece that was made for A/V. I recently discovered Salamander Designs and found an A/V cabinet that looks amazing. It was time to upgrade my old IKEA cabinet that I thought was doing the job. However, when the 245 Chicago showed up, I was blown away with how much of a difference it could make. Having a cabinet that is expandable, adjustable with a back that is removable, and it’s ventilated for power hungry components is totally worth the money.
My old IKEA cabinet was with me for years. I thought it looked fine, but I was constantly having to MacGyverit to hold my stuff. It originally held the gear on top, thenI moved it into the shelves and eliminated a drawer to fit my Marantz A/V receiver. I was having to take it apart to get to my gear or pull things out through the front. It wasn’t ideal.
The Salamander Designs Chameleon 245 Chicago is top notch and made for a/v gear. Measuring in at just under 86 inches wide, 21.5 inches tall and 21.25 inches deep. This unit is big and will accommodate up to a 90” TV assuming you are placing it on the top of the unit. This unit was key for me as it hides my center channel speaker neatly behind a grille. All my gear fit easily with room to spare, and it was a significant size upgrade from my old IKEA cabinet. The only thing that you will want to consider is longer speaker cables. Your A/V receiver is most likely going either on the left or right side of the cabinet. While the cabinet closest to the speaker will be fine, the other speaker will need plenty of speaker wire. I opted for the 10’pair of Audioquest cables in my setup which do a great job.
The unit comes mostly assembled and the parts that you need to attach are the shelves. These are fully adjustable which make it nice for different sized components. Also, the glass top is placed after you have everything in place (and can be removed if you have two people at any time). You basically have full access to run cables, wires and position your gear. The back is fully open and exposed until you place the easily accessible rubberized plastic covers in place.
The cabinet has a metal frame with ventilation slots on the bottom of the unit. This ventilation is key for power hungry receivers and other components that get hot. This unit is not cheap but made by a/v experts that understand the importance of having access to your gear, providing good air flow and looking great as well. Even better, it’s made in the USA in their Bloomfield, Connecticut facility. You will appreciate the high quality and flexibility for many years to come. Accessories are also available for most of their cabinets if needed.
Interested in learning more about Salamander Designs, just reach out to me. The best information can be found on their website: https://www.salamanderdesigns.com/
The Chameleon Chicago 245 as pictured: $3,299.00
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