The Ultimate Vinyl Den

Building the Perfect Hi-Fi Listening Room

May 5, 2016 Buying Guides By Photo by Touchstone Pictures

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.)


Hartford Lounge Chair by Thos. Moser $2,900


Basic Book Cubby by Reliquary Studio Learn More


The Rise of David Bowie by Taschen $70


Valet Tray by Frank Clegg $195


Model BB3 | X3 by Akari Light Sculptures $650


No. 1 Humidor in Macassar Brilliant by Davidoff Learn More


VSG Pegasus by Ashton $198+


Mixology Mad Men Edition Olsen Cigar Ashtray by Waterford $225


Handcrafted “Surfboard” Coffee Table by TRNK $599


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


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


Dovetail Record Crates by Symbol Audio $225


Posters by Jason Munn $40+


Magazine Rack by Makr $400


Desk WebNotebook by Rhodia Learn More


Johannes Brahms Special Edition Fountain Pen by Montblanc Learn More
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