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Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

5-shelf audio/video stand for TVs up to 40" (Black)

27 Reviews | 3 questions - 12 answers

Item # 537A5B

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Our take on the Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Room to expand

The elegantly simple Salamander Designs A5 Archetype provides plenty of storage for your A/V system. The five shelves are supported by threaded steel posts. Lug nuts hold the shelves in position, and can be adjusted to any height. The sturdy, 3/4"-thick shelves are made of select hardwoods finished with a natural stain. The top shelf can support a TV up to 40" and weighing up to 150 lbs. The lower shelves can also each support 150 lbs. of gear. Salamander Designs proudly manufactures its Archetype line in the U.S.A.

Product Highlights:

  • for use with TVs up to 40"
  • 5 black MDF shelves (each):
    • usable space: 18"W x 16"D
    • supports up to 150 lbs.
  • 4 black steel threaded posts
  • 23"W x 36"H x 16"D
  • warranty: limited lifetime
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • assembly required

What's in the Box:

  • 5 Shelves
  • 4 Rods
  • 39 Hex-nuts
  • 39 Metal washers
  • 39 Rubber washers
  • Assembly Instructions

Nice and solid. A little much $ for such a simple stand but not unreasonably priced; it is adjustable which is the reason I chose it. It is challenging to get together level. It isn't so stable on carpet compared to the Whalen audio tower it replaces. 5 stars for Crutchfield as always.

Robert, Olympia, WA


Salamander Designs A5 Archetype Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(27 Reviews)

Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Robert from Olympia, WA on 5/19/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nice and solid. A little much $ for such a simple stand but not unreasonably priced; it is adjustable which is the reason I chose it. It is challenging to get together level. It isn't so stable on carpet compared to the Whalen audio tower it replaces. 5 stars for Crutchfield as always.



Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Anonymous from Lenexa, KS on 3/27/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I like it. Bit pricey though



Excellent, American made A/V rack!

E from Chicago, IL on 3/23/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This really is a great A/V rack. It's sturdy, well built, very adjustable, and really clean looking. Highly functional, and highly recommended. Assembly will take some time, and your hands will need to be washed once or twice (unless you wear gloves, which is probably better), but it's totally worth it. Being able to infinitely adjust all the shelves (except the top one of course) is really a huge bonus. Right now it's holding my turntable, dac/pre, oppp spinner, phono pre, ps3, some headphones, and an LED lamp. Looks and performs fantastic! If you're thinking about buying a rack like this, I think the price is completely justified. I'm really glad I didn't spend less for an inferior product. Oh - and all the parts were included in the box, with extras! One other thing, there is some out-gassing from the shelves. It took about a week or so to die down, but again I am extremely happy with this purchase. Just order it!

Pros: Construction Flexibility Looks American made Durability

Cons: assembly can take some time parts are oiled (as they should be) and either gloves or some handwashing is required slight out-gassing from shelves themselves, takes about a week or so to dissipate

Very very nice

Bryan from Washington, DC on 3/19/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Beautiful minimalist design. Very easy to put together (but does take a while spinning each of the nuts into place), even comes w/ a small level to make sure you get each shelf level. Installation tip - build the unit in the spot you want to place it. This ensures that even if your floor is not level, your shelves will be!

Pros: Exactly as it looks. Materials and manufacturing attention to detail is impeccable.

Cons: Price....

Great audio rack. Some tips for assembly.

RC from Kenosha, WI on 3/11/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Looks great, sturdy, good build quality, excellent for high-end audio components. Flexible: you can customize the spacing between shelves to accommodate components of different heights. You can also customize with add-ons. I got the casters to make it easy to move the unit when I need to access the back, and the drawer. The drawer is great for keeping small loose items organized in one place, such as carbon fiber record brush, stylus brush, small level, 45 adapter, extra cable, microfiber cloths, headphone jack adapter, cleaning solution for a record cleaning machine, and storing the remote control when not in use. You can also get a black back that hides cables; it has holes to allow cables between components on different shelves and it attaches to the back of the unit with strong Velcro. Assembly is straight-forward but a bit tedious and requires careful planning. Before assembling, measure the height of each of your components and decide how much space should go between the top of the component and the bottom of the shelf above it. Decide which component should go on the top shelf (probably your turntable if you have one), which should go on the second shelf, the third, etc. Actually putting the unit together is straightforward, but screwing the nuts on the threaded poles is tedious. It took me a total of 2 hours to assemble, including double-checking my measurements for each shelf, plus 15 minutes to assemble the drawer.

Pros: Sturdy, looks great

Cons: Assembly requires careful planning, and patience. But is worth it!

Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Anonymous from Mcdonough, GA on 6/1/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Clean look, nice design. Holds weight well. Takes some time to build but worth the effort. The A5 has plenty of room to add a additional shelf with most components heights.



Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Anonymous from Rogers, AR on 5/23/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am very happy with them, I bought two. I have heavy audio equipment that puts out alot of heat so being able to adjust the shelves is great. They are very well made and they look great.



Great item and very functional!

Michael from Yucaipa, CA on 4/23/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent product! Well-built, sturdy and looks great - very functional. It does take a bit of work to assemble, but it was not difficult. I particularly like how you can adjust the shelf height depending in your components.

Pros: Well built, easily adjustable

Cons: None so far!

Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Anonymous from Aledo, TX on 4/2/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I give this five stars. Very durable, minimalist design, and a great price.



Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Anonymous from Allen, TX on 3/17/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

great product



Great quality, beautiful and sturdy

Guillermo from Redondo Beach, CA on 2/27/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very well made. Easy to set up and the wood is of great quality. This things looks awesome, allowing you to show off your audio equipment, and the simple design makes your audio setup be the center of attention. Would definitely recommend.

Pros: great quality, looks beautiful, simple design that doesn't draw attention away from your setup

Cons: none from my point of view


Austin from vt on 2/9/2017

The A5 is very fairly priced for what it is. I do not recommend it for use with turntables, though, as it is not exceptionally steady (everything is tight and leveled). Salamander's customer service is pretty bad, too. I have reached out to them with multiple questions and have only received one sentence yes/no replies, which were very unhelpful. Do not buy the Mega Spikes. The threads are very loose, which adds to the wobble of the A5.

Pros: Cheap, customizable

Cons: Unsteady

Crutchfield response on 2/21/2017 Austin, we're sorry you're having issues with your stand. Whenever you encounter a problem with anything you purchase from Crutchfield, please contact our tech support team right away. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.


Brad from Clarkston, MI on 2/5/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very Nice Product and I love the infinite adjustable shelves.Shipping was only 2 Days to Michigan and I could not wait to get it assembled.That is why I deleted 1 star.The hardware did not include the much needed metal washers they were all rubber.I called Crutchfield and they gave me the option to go purchase the washers and they would credit me with a receipt when sent in.I went to a local big box hardware store and they do not stock Black washers.I was told that furniture companies typically customize their own hardware this was a real drag because my entire Family room was pulled apart.I bought a can of black spray paint and the metal washers which were different from the ones I should have received.



Missing parts

Jeffreygus from Harwich, MA on 1/31/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

It looks like it will be nice when I get my missing parts.

Pros: Will know when I get parts to build it.

Cons: Missing parts

Crutchfield response on 2/6/2017 Jeffrey, we're sorry you didn't receive all of the needed parts. If you need help once you receive everything, please just reach out to our tech support team. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

solid and sexy

Eric from Schenectady, NY on 1/23/2017

after reading some of the negatives on this rack I was a bit worried i'd have some issues...thankfully, I had none. all the materials were supplied as well as spare parts. this isn't a hard assembly but for certain some may have some issues. take full advantage of the supplied level because it is the most important thing to do when putting this together. it takes some time, for me a solid hour, mostly because it just takes time to get all the washers down. the wood is nice quality although it has a matte finish to it. I chose the walnut and was expecting the wood to be a bit darker. as it stands, it looks handsome. this is a solid unit and way better quality than the cheap stands you see made out of mdf with low weight limits. Fully assembled this is rock solid and i'm guessing weighs at least 40 lbs. Aside from the quality, the big selling point is the infinite adjustability of the shelves, and you don't even need to use all five. Two things to keep in mind: your hands will get dirty. the rods are pre oiled which is a good thing, but your hands will be black so get ready to wash them. a few times.'s tricky putting on the top shelf. loosen all the nuts to free up the rods, than push in the top shelf so they sit flush with the top connectors. than go back and tighten all the nuts. 4 stars because a poly finish would have been nice, and the top shelf will definitely confuse some as the instructions make no mention of 'the trick' . 4.5 stars

Pros: Well Built Solid Infinite adjustability Supports a lot of weight Beautiful grain to the wood Useful accessories available

Cons: Lengthy, dirty assembly Will trip up those without much experience with assembling products A bit overpriced Not a bad idea to have a tape measure handy

Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Anonymous from Lafayette, CA on 12/23/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Product has robust design but lack fine detailing on finish. One of the screw sent was without thread and I have to ask customer service from Salamander Design to ship new screw out. The Crutchfield customer support was not able to help me with the screw issue as they were unfamiliar with their product offerings.



Shelves are worthless if you can't assemble them!

Henry from Ossining New York on 12/17/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The product when set up is great... how do I know? I've had two units before and lived with them for years... sorry that I didn't take them with me when I moved... But as good as the unit is, that's how bad the Quality Control has been from Salamander...I can't seem to get 4 of the archetype rods that have been properly machined to allow the nuts to do their job.... this is a known problem, so you would think that Salamander woutld QC the threading on each and every rod before shipping... at least until they get a handle on why this problem occurs so frequently. check the online comments... Poor Crutchfield... they've been terrific! They contacted Salamander, who promptly shipped me two new, and functioning rods... when I tried to assemble the unit, I encountered another rod that was only partially correctly threaded... called Crutchfield, who again promptly contacted Salamander, and I assume I'll get the rods... but in the meantime, it's the week before the holidays, my stereo is spread over the floor... and I've put 4 hours and counting into assembling an uncomplicated DIY unit that should be done in 30 minutes. Not a happy camper...For all the bad will this generates and all of the customer service attention, Crutchfield should discontinue selling the product!



Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Anonymous from Lenoir City, TN on 12/16/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I really like this equipment rack. It takes awhile to put together (threading the nuts takes the most time) but being able to space the shelves any way you want is a big plus. The rack is very sturdy too after the nuts are tightened down with the supplied wrench. I also have a Sanus Euro equipment rack and the Salamander A5 takes up less room.

Pros: Very sturdy. Can space shelves any way you want. Does not take up much room.

Cons: Takes some time to put together and your hands will get a little blackened from the threaded posts and the nuts that hold the shelves in place.

Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Anonymous from Castle Rock, CO on 12/10/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The absolute BEST audio stand for the money. I live in Colorado and every year I attend the RMAF (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest) and many of the audio manufacturers choose to use these flexy type audio racks to showcase their products. That's a huge endorsement, imho. :) Building goes quickly and Salamander support and warranty just can't be beat. Quality and construction are fantastic and the audio rack is extremely stable. Pick up the floor spikes while your at it. They work great on carpet. :)



Meets all my needs

Anonymous from Kirkland, WA on 11/27/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great rack! Really liked the infinite flexibility in shelf spacing. I also purchase spike feet and an additional shelf.

Pros: Great looking and sounding!

Cons: Initially there was some out gassing but that's gone after a week.

Excellent build quality

Matthew from Garland,Tx. on 10/2/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very solid audio rack. It looks good in black and the shelves are adjustable. Not hard to assemble but takes a little time. This is my third Salamander product and the quality is excellent.



missing parts 1 nut,1 steel washer and 1 rubber washer

oman from north branford ct. on 9/16/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good product. easy assembly would buy from Crutchfield again



Salamandar A5/B

Stan from Kentfield, CA on 8/21/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Works well, as advertised. Black wood seems sturdy, without blemishes.

Pros: Sturdy. Easy to install components.

Cons: I really wish there was an option to screw a castor onto the bottom of the supports. Wheels would be nice.

Excellent quality

Victor from Wheeling, Il. on 8/16/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a beautiful piece of furniture to compliment my Mcintosh gear. Very easy to assemble well built and worth every penny. I think it was a great deal. I added four long bolts for legs and to raise it a bit. You won't be sorry!

Pros: Everything

Cons: None

Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

salamander user from Greenville, NC on 7/3/2016

You get what you see in the picture: threaded rebar and wood panels. The wood panels are nicely made. The feet for the legs are rubber, which works well on hardwood, and would probably work as well on laminate; I'm not sure how it would be on carpet. The threaded rebar allows for custom adjustments, but the flip side to that is that getting the shelves just right can be very tedious. The small level which is included is handy, but leveling the shelves in a way which gets the spacing proportional (if you care about that) is challenging. I have not had a chance to set up my turntable yet to comment on stability, which was my top priority; but the unit does wiggle a little bit if it is bumped. I'd give it 3.5 stars if that were an option.

Pros: It does look very nice when it's completed. The cherry wood I was sent is fairly light in color, close to oak. Infinitely adjustable shelves are an advantage.

Cons: The metal parts are coated with an oil, which is deliberate and functional; but if you don't want to get the oil on the wood panels, you will need to wash your hands before handling them.

Exactly what I needed

Richard C from Orlando, FL on 5/28/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a beautiful wood rack (I got the walnut version), plus, in the world of audio racks, it is a great value (affordability, quality/performance, expandability, and accessories). I would not hesitate to buy again!

Pros: Slim form factor, takes up very little space for how much it does. Excellent price for the value that it brings to the audio system. It looks beautiful.

Cons: It takes some time and thought to put together and to level each shelf. Also the black metal hardware is coated with an oil to help protect it, but this will get all over your hands while assembling. Take care to not let it touch carpet or components. Once it is all together it's not a big deal just be careful while assembling.

Looks better than I thought it would

SB from Houston, TX on 5/16/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

There is a little time investment to get it put together - maybe an hour - but it totally pays off in the end. The walnut shelves are very attractive and it is very sturdy. The black hardware virtually disappears which is the only thing I was worried about pre-purchase. The greatest thing - besides the good looks - is the ability to make the shelves any height you need. I would buy again and highly recommend this rack.

Pros: Beautiful Infinite shelf locations Very hefty once tightened Can add spikes or wheels if desired

Cons: Nothing really - just make sure you follow the directions for the first two bottom shelves and do not tighten all the top nuts until the end or you may get it in a bind a bit and out of square.


Hands-on research

Product Research


Archetype Series: Salamander's Archetype series of stands is an innovative, infinitely adjustable, modular shelving system for audio/video equipment that allows you to create a wide array of shelving possibilities.

Note: Salamander's Archetype series stands are available in Black, Cherry, and Walnut finishes.

Solid Construction: Salamander's Archetype series stands use solid hardwood shelves (black shelves are powder coated MDF) which are supported by full length, solid steel threaded posts (also powder coated).  The wood shelves are put together using an equalization process which requires the wood panels that make up a single shelf are glued together with grains opposing one another to prevent warping.  Shelves are fastened with hex nuts and metal washers in a gun metal finish and neoprene gaskets to provide resonance damping.

Note: All of the Salamander Archetype series stands are hand-built in the USA.

Audiophile-Grade: The Archetype series of stands was designed with the Audiophile in mind. Metal washers and neoprene gaskets sandwich shelf corners in order to isolate components. The use of dissimilar materials in it's construction further reduces resonant frequencies. Also available are MegaSpikes (537SPIKES, sold separately) to further mechanically isolate racks from environmental vibrations.

Modular System: You can stack shelf units together with optional couplers (537STACK, sold separately) or add individual shelves (537SSB, sold separately) as you need them. The shelf system's maximum overall height should not exceed 64". Available in 2, 3, & 5 shelf systems.

Adjustable Shelves: The Archetype series shelves are infinitely adjustable. The threaded rod allows you to adjust your shelf heights from a minimum of 1" to a maximum recommended of 20" between shelves. Each shelf measures 18.75" wide between the posts and 16" deep. Each shelf can support up to 150 lbs.

Open Architecture Design: The Archetype series stands utilize an open architecture design to allow for superior component venting and simple cable management.

Optional Accessories: The use of optional Bookends, Drawers, and Casters (all sold separately) further enhance the stands capabilities.

Additional Applications: In addition to holding your AV gear, these stands can be used bookshelves, end tables/side tables, night stands, computer/printer stands and any other use for open shelving.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

it's the only open rack system that allows my amplifier to breath [ Willie  Apr 18, 2018 ]
Building a new theater setup and love this units versatility. Being able to add additional shelves, drawers and wheels. Once this unit arrives. If it works out as good as I hope. I'm going to order a few more. [ Brian  Feb 14, 2018 ]
I chose this item for it's small footprint, infinite adjustability, and clean, elegant design. [ MICHAEL  Dec 30, 2017 ]
Perfect size for my 4-component audio system. [ MICHAEL  Nov 07, 2017 ]
It was the only shelf I could find that I could adjust the shelfs that wasn't outrageously priced. I have heavy audio equipment that is big and all the shelves either couldn't handle the weight or if they did the space between the shelves were to small for the equipment. [ Lawrence  May 10, 2017 ]
It will look good in my room and it's less expensive. [ Brad  Mar 03, 2017 ]
Infinite adjustability [ Brad  Jan 23, 2017 ]
I choose this style due to the looks and build quality plus made in the USA [ Victor  Aug 03, 2016 ]
Flexibility to adjust shelves as my needs/technology changes. [ Marc  Aug 20, 2017 ]
I needed it. [ David  Aug 04, 2017 ]
Great reviews, good looking, best price I could find, trusted retailer. [ Daniel  Dec 26, 2016 ]
This is my second SD Audio Rack. Excellent craftsmanship and expandability. Crutchfield delivers them damage-free to my door! [ RODNEY  Oct 21, 2016 ]
The natural walnut color will complement the furniture in our listening area. I like the open design concept for ventilation and the adjustability of the shelving. [ Eugene  Jul 12, 2016 ]
Not too expensive, compact, yet moderately high end. [ Frederick  Apr 25, 2016 ]

3 questions already asked

They're powder coated or something, just as easy to dust as any surface I would say. [ Aaron  Apr 26, 2018 ]
They are smooth, so yes . It's a great rack and the assembly was simple. [ jeffrey  Apr 24, 2018 ]
It's easy to wipe off the dust [ MUKESH  Apr 24, 2018 ]
They are laminate with fairly coarse texture, so likely takes more than one wipe. I use vacuum with brush attachment. [ Irvine Lee  Apr 24, 2018 ]
They are very smooth, almost glossy. They wipe up very nicely! [ Gene  Apr 24, 2018 ]
Yes [ Dywane A.  Apr 24, 2018 ]
Use a tape measure and a small level . Adjust the spacing to fit your components as some need more airflow to cool them. [ jeffrey  Apr 24, 2018 ]
I bought this unit specifically because I can adjust the heights and even add more shelves. Not the easiest to get right the first time, but relatively quick once you get the hang of it. [ Rafayel Rafo  Aug 02, 2016 ]
I would say that it's not. But: if you have a component which is narrow in one of the two dimensions, the shelf will accommodate it to its full width or depth--just not both on the same shelf. In the vertical dimension, the shelves are fully adjustable, and you don't even need to install more than two shelves, so almost all of the space is available for use. [ Jay  Jul 04, 2016 ]
I have rack mount dimension equipment which fit just inside the bolt struts...even if not one would slide an oversized component just slightly back behind strut if needed...slight adjustment makes for a very nice set up with turntable on top shelf for easy access [ RUDI  Jul 04, 2016 ]
I'm not quite sure what this guy wants. The shelves are adjustable,so it is pretty easy to accomidate your equipment. I'd say measure your equipment and determine if the unit can fit your equipment with room for air flow. [ william  Jul 03, 2016 ]
I'm not following your question [ Robert  Jul 03, 2016 ]