The Pangea Audio Brand
Pangea Audio is quickly becoming one of my go-to brands for customizing my audio setup at home. They offer high quality goods at incredibly affordable prices. Sounds like an ad right? Wrong. The focus of this review is on the Vulcan rack, and I’d like to be clear on why it’s so good before we kick off the review. You see, for $220 (or $150 for the 4-shelf version), it’s a challenge to find another competitor’s product like this one.
VTI and Salamander racks look and function very similarly, but are approximately double the price. Monoprice makes a Monolith stand (4 shelf version) for the same price as the Vulcan rack, but it’s slightly smaller in width/depth and lacks any customization. Then you have traditional wooden stands from companies like Whalen or Sanus which are less durable, bulkier, and often more expensive with no tangible benefits.
The Vulcan rack gives you a smart design, high weight capacity, and maintains a low entry price. It really is the best bang for your buck rack for anything under $500. Now it’s time to explain why.
Base Kit Specs
We are reviewing the 5 shelf version of the Vulcan rack (in black), but the same concept and functionality applies to the 4-shelf version as well. The 5 shelf version is available in Black or Carbon Fiber (vinyl wrap), while the 4 shelf version is available in Black, Rosenut, Carbon Fiber, or Espresso. The 5-shelf version (NEW-PGVUL5RK-BLK) sells for $219.95, and the 4 shelf version (NEW-PGVULRK-BLK) sells for $149.95. Both feature the same construction design and dimensions (with exception of height of course). The lower shelf offers 8.75″ of height, while the remaining upper shelves are 7.25″ apart.
The width between posts is 19.4″, with total shelf width at 24″. The shelves are 18″ deep and are made from vinyl-wrapped 5/8″ thick MDF. They support 75 pounds each, with total weight capacity on the five shelf version at 350 pounds. The five shelf version stands at 39.75″ tall.
Every Vulcan audio rack comes with adjustable spikes at the bottom. This helps establish a sure footing on carpeted surfaces while also allowing you to adjust for slightly uneven surfaces. If you have a hard floor, small discs are included which get placed under each spike in order to protect your floor from scratches.
The vinyl wrap may be off-putting to some, but I found the Vulcan rack to be much more durable than my previously used BDI furniture for audio components. The wrap looks good and is extremely durable. For those who move components around a lot or like to swap things out, this durability is a welcome enhancement. I find that more natural looking stands look nice but don’t hold up well to frequently moving components around.
Expansion and Customization
I’ve spoken about the color choices and number of included shelves, but Pangea Audio offers much more than this. I’ll try to summarize but there is a lot to cover.
You can purchase 10″ posts (NEW-PGVUL10P-BLK) for $34.95 or the strengthened X-Brace version (NEW-PGVUX10P-BLK) for $39.95.
There are shelf kits that include 7″ posts (PGVUES) for $79.95 which are available in all color options. They also offer the X-Brace version (PGVUXES) for $89.95 in all colors but Espresso. This is a little more pricey than I expected but at least the option is there. One of the coolest shelf options is the LP Storage kit upgrade which includes a shelf and 13″ X-Brace posts (PGVTTXRS). It too is available in all colors. Lastly, if you have a heavy piece of equipment you want on the top shelf, they offer an upgraded top shelf (NEW-PGVUS21-CAR) that sells for $29.95, supports 104 pounds, and only comes in the faux Carbon Fiber wrap.
If you have available shelf space or height clearance, Pangea Audio also offers a drawer kit (PGVDR) in 2″ or 5″ depths. It sells for $79.95 and $99.95, and features a small hole in the rear for cabling. This is a great accessory to store remote controls, vinyl brushes, etc. Lastly, my favorite accessory option is the Roll On Caster kit (NEW-PGVCAS-BLK) for $29.95). It replaces the spike system at the bottom with a sphere shaped casters and allows you to move around the rack with ease. More on this kit below!
Performance and Quality
Assembly was straightforward enough. The posts are connected via a bolt that passes through each shelf. You can hand tighten each post which essentially clamps down the shelf for a strong mount. A rubber washer gets placed between the top part of the shelf and the adjoining post which helps reduce vibration transference. I had to line up the posts a little when putting on a couple shelves but it didn’t require much effort. Once assembled the rack was incredibly sturdy.
The posts are also powder coated to reduce vibration and increase scratch resistance. The finish was consistent and I didn’t notice any defects on the posts or shelves. There is a bit of ping sound if you tap the posts, but no resonance or ringing that follows. Considering the weight and strength, the powder coating seems to have helped.
At this price, do not expect the Vulcan rack to completely isolate vibration from one shelf to the next. A bump on a lower shelf can still make a record skip, but it is less sensitive to vibration than a traditional AV rack from companies like Sanus.
We added the caster kit ($29.95) to our Vulcan rack which was a must for my needs. I change things out often and occasionally move my “rig” to the living room if I want to enjoy an amazing two-channel listening experience in an open space. One big concern I had with an open frame audio rack on wheels was the stability of it all. I am pleased to say that even with the rack fully populated top to bottom, rolling it around was a breeze. Not only did the wheels handle directional changes well, they roll easily enough to not scratch or mark up my wood floors. The Vulcan rack also showed no signs of flex or wobble when shifting the weight around which was critical for me.
I genuinely cannot think of a better rack option for the money. Being able to expand or customize your rack to fit your exact needs is awesome. Being able to afford or justify the cost of said upgrade is icing on the cake. Pangea Audio has created an incredibly capable storage solution for your components and priced it fairly. If you search for comparable options on the market I am sure you’ll come to the same conclusion.
I’ve been using the rack for a little while now am more than pleased with the utility of it all. Everything is easier, it looks good, and it allows me to do whatever I want to do. For those reasons, I cannot recommend it enough.
- 5 Tier Rack
- 4 Tier Rack
- 4 Tier X-Brace
- Caster Kit
- 10″ Posts
- 13″ Tall LP Storage Kit with Shelf
There are many more options on their site so be sure to check out PangeaAudio.com