Billy Bags McIntosh Racks Reviewed

Billy Bags McIntosh Racks Reviewed

For those about to rock a McIntosh system comes a specifically designed rack from California-based Billy Bags that is aesthetically matched to the look and design of McIntosh equipment. Billy Bags is well respected in the audiophile market for their high performance racks.


Last year I wrote about the Billy Bags racks that I had been using in my various systems over the past decade or so. One of my criticisms of their gear was the styling; it was rather plain and industrial. I received a call from Jean at Billy Bags who told me about a new line of racks that addressed my aesthetic criticisms.

Additional Resources
• Read more AV racks and furniture reviews from the staff at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Find audiophile grade source components to place on these racks.
• See a review for the McIntosh MC-501 amplifier, which would sit well on these racks.

Jean asked me about what type of gear I was working with at the time, which happened to be McIntosh. She arranged for the loan of a couple of pieces from the Billy Bags McIntosh Racks line. The McIntosh Racks differ from the standard Billy Bags racks in that the tubular framework is finished in gloss black and the shelves are blue cracked glass. There is even an option to light the shelves in a blue hue that matches McIntosh's trademark meters. The gloss black and blue color scheme nicely complimented the McIntosh gear I was reviewing and changed the racks from being a utilitarian piece overlooked by most to an aesthetically pleasing part of the system that was noticed.

As with their standard line of racks, the McIntosh gear can be ordered in nearly any configuration imaginable. The pieces I had the opportunity to examine were a pair of amplifier stands that held MC-501 mono-blocks and a double component width, six-space rack. The fit and finish were top notch. Even the arc welds on the back and undersides were smooth and clean, continuing the impression of a seamless fixture. I initially had reservations about the glass shelving but even with the heavy amplifiers I did not notice any deflection.

In addition to the McIntosh color scheme, Billy Bags now offers racks that match Bel Canto's color scheme and a "classic brown" that is designed to work with classic gear from Marantz and Harman Kardon. For those who desire even more flash, LED lights can be fitted to the glass panels for illumination.

Read about the high points and the low points of the Billy Bags racks on Page 2.

High Points
• The Billy Bags racks all feature rock solid construction.
• Configuration options are limited only by your imagination.
• The stands feature, clean lines, are not bulky and provide plenty of air flow for warm running components.
• The McIntosh color scheme nicely complements the McIntosh gear yet is neutral enough to work in most modern decors.

Low Points
• Most of the racks do not feature adjustable shelves which means if your system changes, the rack may need to be replaced.
• The glass shelves may not be suitable for all applications such as those where strict light control is required.

Comparison and Competition
For more information about Billy Bags read the previous Billy Bags AV rack review. To compare the Billy Bags racks against other racks, please read our reviews for the Composite Products CF-1000 racks and the AudiAV Crystal rack. If you are interested in learning more, you can visit our AV Racks and Furniture Section.

Conclusion
I have been a Billy Bags rack user
for many years and can attest that their reputation for building solid
and well designed equipment racks is deserved. In the past Billy Bags
would allow the user to specify exactly the rack they needed as far as
dimensions and capacity. Now, the new color and style options will
allow the user can also specify a variety of style options to allow the
rack to complement their gear, room or both.

Additional Resources
• Read more AV racks and furniture reviews from the staff at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Find audiophile grade source components to place on these racks.
• See a review for the McIntosh MC-501 amplifier, which would sit well on these racks.

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