I have long contended (sometimes rather noisily) that a hi-fi system can, and should be, as pleasant to see as it is to hear. Subjects that have been amply treated elsewhere are treated lightly, if not downright summarily: in connection with speakers and enclosures their exterior design, styling and construction are treated, not acoustical principles.

Step-by-step do-it-yourself instructions on how to make a Chippendale sideboard out of three grapefruit crates and a grandfather's clock won't be found in this book—there is already a lot of information of this kind around, but there is very little design-it-yourself literature. Therefore, I have tried to point up some of the most important principles of design and construction as related to hi-fi furniture.

Because a pleasing end result is impossible unless the furniture housing the equipment is properly related to the room, both as to placement and styling, these aspects of the problem are discussed. And styling itself is a relatively meaningless term unless you are acquainted with the basic elements which, through various permutations and combinations, make up style.

The materials available for the construction of furniture are numerous and varied. Wood is the primary material and by becoming acquainted with the woods available you are likely to come up with some encouraging design ideas. Too, an extensive explanation of construction methods, types of jointing, and types and capabilities of tools is needed if you are to know which design ideas are practicable and which, though pretty on paper, would be difficult or impossible to build.

To make an intelligent choice of materials a knowledge of finishing methods and procedures is a necessary prerequisite. Knowing methods of repairing, retouching and refinishing will be of incalculable value, not only for maintaining your hi-fi housings, but also any of the other furniture you have that may fall into disrepair. It is likely that you will use this information most often on your standard furniture, although it is not unusual to find that someone has used the top of a speaker enclosure for a not very efficient ashtray.

As you go through the pages of this book, remember that it is not the last word on the subject. I sincerely hope that after you have read it, you will be able to prove that.

Jeff Markeli.

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