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Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

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

Item # 537A5M

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9 questions - 25 answers

Item # 537A5M

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Since 1974

Years of experience making people happy.

About the Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Ralph Graves

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 (black shelves are powder coated MDF). 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 maple hardwood 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
  • assembly required
  • MFR # A5/M

What's in the box:

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

Customer reviews for Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

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Average review:

4.5 out of 5 stars
49 reviews

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More details on the Salamander Designs A5 Archetype

Stacey B.

Features & specs

General Features
Type Audio Stand
Stand Style Stand
Color Maple
Number of Shelves 5
Number of Adjustable Shelves 5
Number of Drawers None
Assembly Required Yes
Main Materials MDF
Wire Management Yes
Height (inches) 36
Depth (inches) 16
Stand Weight Limit 750 lbs
TV Shelf Weight Limit 150 lbs
TV Shelf Width 18-3/4
TV Shelf Depth 16
Parts Warranty Limited Lifetime
Labor Warranty Limited Lifetime

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.

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.

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Customer Q&A

9 questions already asked

What is the total weight of the rack?
frank  Dec 23, 2020
1 answer
I'd say close to 60 pounds. Solid construction.
brandon  Dec 31, 2020
Is the rack stable if the bottom-most shelf is placed at a height of 20 inches?
frank  Dec 02, 2020
7 answers
I have had mine for over 4 months and it is very stable. I have the bottom shelf at height of about 6 inches but I believe that even if you had it at 20 inches it would still be very stable as long as you have leveled it correctly.
raj  Dec 07, 2020
Hi, It would be very stable as this product is high quality and very well designed and strong. Ron
ronald  Dec 05, 2020
Should be ok. With the threaded rod design this Salamander is pretty heavy and rigid, and I don't believe having the bottom shelf near the floor is necessary to ensure its rigidity or stability. Looking at the assembly instructions there are no warnings or cautions about having the lowest shelf near the floor.
james  Dec 05, 2020
in my opinion, I do not think the rack would be stable if the the first shelf was 20" off of the floor ...
mr. phil  Dec 05, 2020
As long as you tighten the supporting nuts and washers it should be ok. The largest space I use is 9 inches so I can't say with absolute knowledge it will work.
steve  Dec 04, 2020
Frank, I guess it depends on what is going on the shelf, but I would say "no" because that's not how it is designed to be used, because the "shelfs" are what provides the support to the structure. So unless you are anchoring the legs down somehow, it could be top heavy or unstable. Good luck with your project!
dave  Dec 04, 2020
The bottom most shelf on my rack is at a height of 6 inches. The second shelf is at a height of 13 inches. The five shelves that come with the system are spaced relatively evenly between 6 and 7 inches. 20 inches seems pretty high.for the bottom shelf. My rack holds three McIntosh components plus a turntable so its pretty heavy. The bottom shelf is used for magazines. The way my rack is set up, it is stable. Hope this helps.
leigh  Dec 04, 2020
What's the distance between the Rods? i will be putting Vintage audio receivers on these shelves and some are 21-22' wide and they are too deep to be able to just slide in between them.
steven  Aug 29, 2019
1 answer
The distance between the interior edge of the rods is 19 3/4 inches. Between the interior edge of the nuts is 19 1/4. Between the interior edge of the washers is 19 inches.
george  Aug 30, 2019
Are the shelves smooth wood so that a dust rag gets all the dust on one swipe?
brian  Apr 13, 2018
6 answers
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 g  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!
eugene  Apr 24, 2018
dywane a.  Apr 24, 2018
Can you adjust the shelves to different heights ?
vic  Aug 02, 2016
3 answers
You can infinitely adjust the distance!
ronald  Dec 05, 2020
Use a tape measure and a small level . Adjust the spacing to fit your components as some need more airflow to cool them.
jeffrey g  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
Can one purchase additional shelves, to provide 6 or possibly 7 shelves ?
douglas  Jan 04, 2023
1 answer
Greetings Douglas, and thank you for your question. Yes, we also carry the extra shelves, and posts to add on more shelves. You can find them on the accessories page of the A5.
thomas  Jan 04, 2023 (Staff)
What is the diameter of the rods? Is it 1/2" or 3/4"?
tom  Mar 23, 2023
1 answer
Greetings Tom, and thank you for your question. I contacted Salamander as the rod diameter cound not be found or in the manual. They are 5/8ths inch.
thomas  Mar 23, 2023 (Staff)
Can I purchase additional shelve(s)??
douglas  Jan 04, 2023
1 answer
Greetings Douglas, and thank you for your question. We do offer additional shelves and posts as well to add to the 5 shelf Archetype audio shelf. you can find those on the accessories page of the A5.
thomas  Jan 04, 2023 (Staff)
How can the useable space be the same as the overall dimension on the shelving ?
victor  Jul 03, 2016
4 answers
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

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