Salamander Designs Archetype 2.0 Rack Reviewed

Published On: August 20, 2008
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
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Salamander Designs Archetype 2.0 Rack Reviewed

For small audiophile and home theater systems, this well-under-$200 rack can be just what the doctor ordered. Speaking of doctors, Dr. Ken Taraszka takes a hard look at this equipment rack from a home theater and audiophile perspective.

Salamander Designs Archetype 2.0 Rack Reviewed

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salamander_2.0.jpgThe Salamander Archetype series of racks utilizes excellent engineering and simplicity to create a totally customizable two-shelf AV rack. The basic design is four threaded rods and your choice of black, cherry, maple or walnut-colored shelving, $109.95 with black shelves and $159.95 for real wood shelving. Each shelf is held in place by large nuts and washers with rubber bushings, making them infinitely adjustable along the threaded rod to suit your personal needs. Alternatively, you can use this two-shelf unit to add on to another Archetype rack you already own by using the stacking couplers Salamander sells.

Additional Resources
• Read more AV racks and furniture reviews on
• Search for source components to stack on these racks.

The simple design also is very strong. Each shelf can handle up to 150 pounds of weight on the 23-inch by 16-inch platforms. The total height of the rack is 20 inches, but you can increase the height by adding additional pieces to the systems through the use of stacking couplers. The Archetype system has plenty of options, including matching TV stands, drawers, amp stands, wire management systems, rear panels, arched bookends and additional shelves. You can interface them with the floor using casters. Both standard and heavy-duty models, as well as large spikes, are available.

High Points
• Infinitely adjustable shelving makes for a custom look and allows loads of flexibility in set-up.
• The large shelves have huge weight handling capability, allowing the simple racks to easily handle bigger and heavier gear.
• A wide array of design options allow for total system design and integration of your entire home theater, with the ability to add on in the future or change the set-up as your system evolves.
• The simple design makes for a sleek and modern-looking AV shelving system and the real wood shelves add a nice touch, enhancing the appearance of the rack.

Low Points
• The threaded rod design makes set-up tedious, but this is something you are unlikely to change often, so it's tolerable.
• The threaded rods might seem cheap to some and are only available in black.

The Salamander Archetype 2.0 AV rack is an affordable and completely flexible system that will proudly hold the finest of AV gear in style, while the numerous options and add-ons allow you to design an entire wall unit for your home. The infinitely adjustable shelving makes a custom rack look without the cost. These are high-quality racks that offer more than their price point would lead you to believe. This is a system you should look at if you are in the market for affordable quality shelving for your gear.


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