The Ultimate Vinyl Den

Building the Perfect Hi-Fi Listening Room


May 5, 2016 Buying Guides By Photo by Touchstone Pictures
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Back before I had a record player, I used to fantasize about having one. It would start with the needle hitting the platter and warm, hot blues riffs rolling out through the speakers — but once that got boring, I started dreaming up the rest of the room. The stuff in it, yes, but more importantly the way everything would feel together, subtle and mellow: the setting, the mood, the feng shui, the milieu. What I was after wasn’t expensive hi-fi gear or rare records; I was high on the idea of being studious and learned in the art of music. The curated pieces of the dimly lit listening room came to represent not just hearing but understanding good music, like an aficionado should.

And it was bullshit. Today I have a record player and care about music more than I ever have — and I sure as hell don’t listen in a hulking leather club chair with a cigar in hand sipping bourbon. I sing along to “More Than a Feelin'” while I cook dinner. That’s the way listening to music, and imagining things we can’t have, goes in the real world. I’ve come to terms with the truth. Just like my mental blueprint of the perfect shower — with a sweet sound system and multiple showerheads and a window looking out on the sea — the perfect listening den will probably never happen. One or two pieces of it, maybe. That would be more than enough.

And yet, every now and again, I’ll slip back into that smoky, bass-rich daydream of the perfect listening room, where the furnishings prove my expertise and the answers to melodic riddles are easy. Here’s the ideal — everything but the vinyl and record-player setup itself. (For that, go here.)

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Hartford Lounge Chair by Thos. Moser $2,900

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Basic Book Cubby by Reliquary Studio Learn More

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The Rise of David Bowie by Taschen $70

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Valet Tray by Frank Clegg $195

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Model BB3 | X3 by Akari Light Sculptures $650

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No. 1 Humidor in Macassar Brilliant by Davidoff Learn More

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VSG Pegasus by Ashton $198+

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Mixology Mad Men Edition Olsen Cigar Ashtray by Waterford $225

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Handcrafted “Surfboard” Coffee Table by TRNK $599

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Birthday Bourbon by Old Forester Learn More
Añejo 7 Años by Havana Club Learn More
Octomore 7.4 by Bruichladdich Learn More

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Aero 51’ Audio Rack by Symbol Audio $2,545

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Dovetail Record Crates by Symbol Audio $225

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Posters by Jason Munn $40+

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Magazine Rack by Makr $400

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Desk WebNotebook by Rhodia Learn More

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Johannes Brahms Special Edition Fountain Pen by Montblanc Learn More
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