Product Review (December 2007) - StudioTech
E-1 Cantilevered TV Stand (Rosewood/Black)

By Kevin Nakano


Need some furniture to complement that new flat panel you just bought? Furniture is an essential part of any A/V system and finding that piece to safely house your components and be aesthetically pleasing can be a challenge. A company called StudioTech has introduced a line of contemporary A/V furniture that not only looks good, but offers a design sturdy enough for heavy components and displays. The attractive E-1 design provides a functional stand while looking absolutely fantastic. The floating glass shelves on an exposed cantilever steel framework give the stand a high-tech and industrial look. Complemented with a background of rich wood veneer panels, the E-1 adds beauty to any room. Rosewood and Black Ash finishes with Black, White or Silver metal frames are available. Our review unit came with a black steel frame and rosewood veneer. The E-1 comes with a Lifetime Limited Warranty.

Shipping
The E-1 comes shipped on a long palette in four boxes wrapped in plastic to keep it all together. The good news is shipping is free, otherwise you would be paying some serious fees with the size and weight of this A/V stand. Each box contains a separate set of items (glass, wood, metal frame, and metal E-shaped shelving supports) for the assembly. The packing is world-class and provides extensive styrofoam pieces on all sides of the boxes to protect it during shipping. Each part is clearly marked and the hardware is in labeled pouches to simplify the assembly. Each of the shelf supports use a sturdy metal E-shaped design that can withstand a lot of weight. As we put this unit together it became quite clear that this TV stand was sturdy. The heavy metal structure and thick glass gave us confidence our equipment would be in good hands.

Assembly
The unit is easy to put together, but like most furniture takes time and patience. The frame of the E-1 is made from metal and therefore provides a rigid structure for the glass shelves and wooden base. All wood pieces have a beautiful rosewood finish or black surface. For anyone who has ever assembled furniture, the E-1 is simple thanks to the well documented instructions. Each of the screws and small parts are clearly labeled in individual pouches.

The tempered glass shelves on the E-1 are a full ½" thick and the top shelf can support up to 250 pounds. This A/V stand easily accommodates virtually all the flat panels available, including those that are as large as 70". The middle shelves can support up to 75 pounds each and the lower shelves support up to 100 pounds each. However, the total weight on the unit cannot exceed 400 pounds per the manufacturer's specifications. Even with substantial equipment occupying the space, the E-1 had no problem accommodating the most serious A/V system. The contemporary design of the E-1 is a perfect match for today's elegant flat panels. The open sides allow higher power components to keep cool without confining the space around them. Even our deep Sony 400-disc DVD changer had no problem fitting into the lower shelf with room for the A/V cables to exit the rear of the unit. The E-1 sits 21.25" high, 72" wide, and 20.75" deep.

The center tray can be inverted to accommodate a larger center channel or stay flush mount with the adjacent glass shelves. If a taller speaker is required, the entire shelf can be removed to maximize the space in the center of the unit. Each of the glass shelves are held down with mounting brackets and screws. Rubber pads are placed between the shelves and the E-shaped supports. The structure is very rigid and we felt comfortable placing our Mitsubishi 52" LT-52133 LCD display on it. The hidden heavy-duty rolling casters make it easy to roll the cabinet on a hard floor. In our case, we had carpet, so it was not going to move easily. The glass does have a tendency to collect dust, so it does require periodic housekeeping to look its best.

The removable rear panels made it easy to access the back of the components during installation. They simply slide in and out of the slotted channels. We liked the look of the rear panels when they were in place, but it is possible to remove them permanently if needed. The good news is the cables have no problem running to and from the components. The open design allows for easy cable routing without restricting the paths.

Cable Management
Once you have wired a multi-channel (5.1 or 7.1) audio system, you soon realize a large number of cables are required. This can quickly make wiring in a system very cluttered looking. The A/V processor or receiver is almost always the most difficult component to wire simply because all other components usually connect to it. Like the other StudioTech cabinet we reviewed, ease of wiring was an important feature offered in the design. StudioTech has one of the best designs in this area and should be noted to those who have experienced the pain of installing an A/V system. I would recommend placing the heavy components on the bottom shelf of the E-1. The open slots on the bottom of the cabinet make for easy routing while keeping the ugly rats nest of cables out of sight. As you can see, there are large openings on the sides and back that allow for plenty of air movement. This design helps keep the components from overheating.

Conclusion
StudioTech's E-1 A/V stand is a beautiful and contemporary design that offers both style and functionality for large flat panel displays. Plenty of space is available for components without the worry of overheating thanks to the open design. The rigid structure supports heavier components totaling as much as 400 pounds. The factory direct price of the E-1 cantilever design is $1499 and includes free shipping. StudioTech also offers additional options for cable management and custom cooling. The E-1 is a quality built product designed to look great with the stylish displays available today. Assembly is a breeze with the great documentation and the build quality will impress those who have worked with other furniture needing assembly. A quality stand such as the E-1 can easily be factored into the overall system budget to provide a beautiful presentation.

- Kevin Nakano






OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review System

Display: Mitsubishi LT-52133 52" 1080p Full High Definition LCD Display
Video Processor/Scaler: Anchor Bay Technologies DVDO iScan HD+ A/V Processor
Set-top Box: Dish Network ViP722 HDTV Satellite and Terrestrial Receiver with HDMI
HD-DVD Player: Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD Player
Blu-ray DVD Player: Sony PlayStation 3
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables


Review at a glance


StudioTech™ E-1 - Contemporary TV Stand

Features

  • Heavy-duty steel shelf supports in a unique E-shape design
  • Removable back panels for easy access to components
  • Reversible steel tray accommodates most center channel speakers
  • True-tempered ½" clear glass shelves
  • Open design keeps components cool and accessible
  • Accommodates plasma, DLP, and LCD screens up to 70"
  • Rolling casters included for easy movement of rack
  • Available in 2 finishes: Black Ash and Rosewood. Metal frames in Black, White or Silver.
  • Lifetime Limited Warranty

E-1 Specifications

Company Information
StudioTech, Inc.
P.O. Box 5995
Irvine, CA 92616
Phone: 800-887-8834
Fax: 714-241-9520
Hours of operation: Mon–Fri (8am – 5pm) PST

Model Number: E-1 RW/B (Rosewood)
Source: Manufacture Supplied
MSRP: $1499 (Free Shipping)
Warranty: Limited Lifetime when purchased from an authorized source

URL: www.studiotech.com


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