Mid-Century Stereo Console

Mid-Century Stereo Console

Brad Kayal

Project Category:

Project Level:

Project Time:
20+ Hours

Project Cost:
Over $1,000

Project Description:
I’ve always been a fan of mid-century stereo consoles. These clunky wood veneer boxes stuffed with generally mediocre electronics were a beacon of upper-middle-class-ness of the post-war era. They also did something a little more subtle – they made music a physical focal point of the living space.

This got me thinking.

Could I design a console stereo borrowing the mid-century aesthetic, but purpose-built to be as-good-or-better-than the current high end offerings? It’s one of those dumb ideas I have late at night that keeps me up until there is no turning back.

I designed the cabinet and electronics layout and then had a friend / woodworker (at JD Lohr School of Woodworking) construct the cabinet for me.

I had the control panel and rear input plate laser cut by MojoTone out of North Carolina.

I completed the final assembly with all the electronics once it arrived here.
Design Goals:
• Aesthetically true to mid-century design

• Near-audiophile sound quality

• 100w x 2 plus subwoofer

• Bluetooth connectivity

• RCA / Aux connectivity

Driver Selection:
Tang Band W8-2145 8″ Paper Cone Full Range Driver 8 Ohm

Enclosure Design:
3/4″ Walnut with main chamber for both front speakers + separate .5 cu ft chamber for 8″ subwoofer.

Crossover Design:
No crossover needed for the full range front speakers. The sub includes an adjustable high pass filter and gain.

This has been a great learning experience that combined my love for physical product design, music, and electronics.

The final piece is now the focal point in my living room and sounds just as warm and inviting as it looks.

About the Designer:
I’m a graphic designer / art director / creative director in advertising, but have had a life-long love for music and I consider myself a speaker and electronics hobbyist / nerd.

My work can be found at bradkayal.com

Project Parts List:

Tang Band W8-2145 8″ Paper Cone Full Range Driver 8 Ohm
Sure Electronics AA-AB41136 Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver Board aptX +EDR 12 VDC
Sure Electronics AA-AB32189 2x100W TDA7498 Class-D Amplifier Board


Add yours
  1. 1

    Looks beautiful! My only concern (could be wrong as it is hard to tell from the pics) is that I don’t see a fuse on the ac input or that the metal input / control panels are grounded. I am not an electrician but am under the understanding these are important for fire/shock safety, so may want to look into it. I might just be missing it though. Absolutely love the project. Beautiful execution of a cool design!

  2. 2
    Grant Treanor

    Great project. I have plans to do one in this direction as well. I really like the face plate. Very clean project overall. Clearly some wood working skills.

  3. 4
    Jason Szabo

    Over 20 years in the A/V and electrical profession, including high end 2-channel and his is one of the most refreshing things I’ve seen in some time. Very well done.

  4. 8
    Julie Jacobson

    OK, I’m a little slow. This is freaking outstanding! Kudos to you, Brad, and way to go Parts Express for sharing these great projects. I already shared on my MidModTech board on Pinterest and I’ll also give it a nod when we launch MidModTech.com within a month. I’ve stumbled across other audiophiles and artisans who are doing some amazing sound in mid-mod cabinets. If anyone is still following this and has stories to share about Mid-Century Meets Tech, I’d love to hear/see. Thanks, Julie Jacobson, CE Pro founding editor, MidModTech.com (soon) juliejac1@gmail.com

  5. 9
    Brian Dermody

    What a stunning hi-fi vibe. You should look up the album cover “Time for Listening” by Richard Hayman. I can picture that scene with this.

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