Building The Perfect Beast

Building the Perfect Beast is the second studio solo album by Don Henley, the lead vocalist and drummer for the Eagles. The album was released on 19 November 1984 on the Geffen label.
– Wikipedia

My affinity for Mr. Henley is well-documented. And so I felt that it was apropos to code-name this little endeavor: “Operation Perfect Beast”. You see, ever since we purchased a home back in the autumn of 2013, I’ve nursed this incoherent vision of the perfect music appreciation room. I’ve seen thousands of digital silver-gelatins featuring fantastic altars to the Gods of recorded music. Much of this renewed interest in vintage audio (mine included) has come on the heels of the vinyl revival. More than jealousy, envy or even mild hatred, these snapshots spurred me to eschew my incoherence and actualize the opaque schematic in my mind.

We finally moved into our new-to-us home this June after an endless renovation. Long before (and ever since) the move-in day, I’ve been frantically putting each thing that clutters our lives into its ideal newest final resting place. Afflicted with Precision Arrangement Syndrome (PAS)–I’m incapable of simply putting stuff away. Instead, I incessantly jockey, jostle and jell the artifacts of a lifetime into some illusory paragon known only to me. This often requires numerous iterations to complete depending on the primary task-at-hand and each accompanying sub-task-at-hand. My wife finds this ailment baffling, as does practically everyone else.

With the stuff that necessarily comprises a home, like cookware, software and underwear, this is not a particularly difficult process. Sure, it can be arduous, but not-so-much difficult. However, when it came to the space that would be my music appreciation chamber, my “man cave” (a term I loathe), my Rumpus Room, the PAS metastasized. I can recall numerous moments staring out into the landfill occupying my garage stalls and thinking…It’s out there somewhere – that thing I need. I wonder if I’ll ever find it? Shit, who cares if I ever find it at this point? It’ll turn up someday; it has to. The garage can’t stay like this forever. Fuck it–I see some vodka in the corner.

I’ve probably spent more time locating, constructing, arranging the various components of this solitary 12′ x 10′ x 7′ x 6′ (it’s L-shaped) room than all others in the house combined, squared. Throughout all of the iterations, I always knew that I had to build a custom stereo rack. And yet, I also knew I needed to listen to my music like yesterday–dammit! Hence, I just threw the old rack into the new room and proclaimed: “That’s good for now!”

On or about August 9th, Rumpus Room v1.0 looked like this in pano mode…

126392781946

And while the trusty old (hacked/modified) gray metal tempered glass rack was surely functional (after I dealt with the uneven floor issue), I still could not abide the impostor occupying the space where my dream rack was meant to stand. I did my best to ignore this uncomfortable, disappointing and glaring anomaly in an otherwise ecclesiastical sonic arcade.

Meanwhile, back in July, amid dueling 5x eBay bucks promotions and PayPal Credit no-interest deals, I purchased 100 1/2″ steel floor flanges. In case you haven’t priced these out at a big-box hardware establishment, they are about $5 each. Thankfully, I found a bulk dealer on eBay that was offering them at a considerable discount. I had to strike fast, as there were only a pair of 50-flange lots remaining costing less than half of the big-box price-tag. I took a photo, not only as inspiration, but also to remind me I had just dropped $170 on 50 lbs. of steel that was decaying somewhere on my garage floor. Now, I had to build that rack; I had committed to it, at least financially…

130246046226_1.jpg

Meanwhile, in a desperate attempt to find the penultimate rack for my Pioneer Silver Stereo components and save myself weekends of painstaking construction, I Googled hundreds (possibly thousands) of pre-fab racks. I perused racks of every shape, size and dimension. As I evaluated rack after rack in full LCD color, the same issues persisted:

  1. I wanted each component on a separate shelf
  2. The height of each component varies
  3. Therefore, I need numerous infinitely adjustable shelves

You’d think such a rack exists, right? Well…it does if, like most sane individuals, you have four components + one turntable. If instead you are slightly less sane and have eight components + a pair of turntables, the prospects shrink considerably. It’s like a minivan that works great until the fifth kid is born…and then you’re looking at a minibus. I promise you—with one exception, I was not going to spend $600 + shipping on a rack I could not first see in-person—no such rack exists.

OK, I’m kinda not telling the whole truth. If you are willing to compromise and purchase a modular horizontal rack system, you have plenty of options for an 8×2 component system. Here’s an example…

130246046226_2.jpg

All long, I wanted a wall—nay a monolith—of sound. I had little interest in a pony wall of sound. Thus, it was settled: I would build the wall! Only there was no chance “of course Mama’s gonna help build the wall” or daddy, or anyone else for that matter.

So for starters, I constructed a miniature prototype. Surprisingly, it seemed like a plausible design—I was gonna build the bitch!

130246046226_3.jpg

 

Over the past few weekends, my kids have endured countless trips to big box hardware establishments, hours of me in the garage and countless profanities floating through the air. But at least the project was well underway, and there was certainly no turning back. My daughter lent me her bear “Bubbles” for moral support. His assistance in that capacity was incalculable. Bubbles has a unique talent: he can sit on anything and not fall over. This was key to his ability to offer me moral support from numerous locations throughout the garage and basement.

130246046226_4.jpg

130246046226_5.jpg

130246046226_6.jpg

This was not an easy project (to be brutally honest). In fact, if I had to do it all over again, I’d buy the two racks from Target, screw them together and take up quilttng. But last night, the build was (mercifully) complete. I swear this rack weighs 150 lbs. I managed to lug it down the stairs without assistance. I was beyond determined to get this thing hooked up and the minor detail of getting it down the stairs all by myself was sure as hell not going to be my Waterloo. 13 stairs and a gallon of sweat later, I had the thing in my Rumpus Room. I loaded each component into its allotted space, and spun it around to meticulously hook everything to everything else.

130246046226_7.jpg

130246046226_8.jpg

About three hours, much splicing, some shimming and a lot of cussing later, I had it level and lit. My dream rack was alive!

130246046226_9.jpg

130246046226_10.jpg

130246046226_11.jpg

The journey of 1,000 steps is on or about 998. Sure, there are a few accouterments in the Rumpus Room that could be painted to look more ravishing. Yea, the floor could use an additional coat of concrete paint to make its sheen shine. And yup, I need to file a few LPs currently residing in crates on the floor. But I shot a new panoramic this evening of the Rumpus Room v2.0. It gave me pause…then, bliss.

130246046226_12.jpg

In case you are curious, Part 1 – The first notes to pour over the wall of sound were from the Sturgill Simpson masterpiece “Turtles All the Way Down“ – on vinyl, of course. It was fucking fantastic…!

In case you are curious, Part 2 – allow me to introduce the band (right side to top to bottom):

  • Dual 1019 Turntable / Record Changer (da Beast)
  • Pioneer PL-560 Quartz-PLL Full-Automatic Turntable (da Plow)
  • Pioneer DT-500 Audio Digital Timer
  • Pioneer RG-2 Dynamic Processor
  • Pioneer SR-303 Reverberation Amplifier
  • Pioneer SG-9800 12-Band Graphic Equalizer
  • Pioneer SA-9800 Stereo Amplifier (da Heart)
  • Pioneer TX-9800 Quartz Locked Stereo Tuner
  • Pioneer P-D070 CD Player
  • Pioneer CT-F1250 Stereo Cassette Tape Deck
  • Pioneer CS-T7000 210W 8Ω Speakers
  • Pioneer CS-520 60W 8Ω Speakers


© 2015 – ∞ B. Charles Donley

 

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Pioneer Vintage Speaker Listing

1960 >> CS-201L
1960 >> CS-250R
1965 >> CS-51
1966 >> AT-16A
1966 >> CS-24
1966 >> CS-52
1966 >> CS-61
1966 >> CS-62
1966 >> CS-71
1966 >> CS-72
1966 >> CS-73
1966 >> CS-91
1966 >> CS-A23
1966 >> DN-5
1966 >> DN-7
1966 >> DN-10
1968 >> AS-305A
1968 >> CS-33
1968 >> CS-52T
1968 >> CS-53
1968 >> CS-55
1968 >> CS-81
1968 >> CS-88
1968 >> CS-A31
1968 >> CS-A50
1968 >> CS-A88
1968 >> IS-60
1968 >> IS-70
1968 >> IS-80
1969 >> AS-303A
1969 >> CS-5
1969 >> CS-7
1969 >> CS-10
1969 >> CS-20
1969 >> CS-66
1969 >> CS-90
1969 >> CS-100
1969 >> CS-A22
1969 >> CS-A55
1969 >> CS-A77
1970 >> AS-200
1970 >> AT-8B
1970 >> CS-07
1970 >> CS-5F
1970 >> CS-8
1970 >> CS-11
1970 >> CS-12
1970 >> CS-15
1970 >> CS-15A
1970 >> CS-22
1970 >> CS-23
1970 >> CS-24B
1970 >> CS-44
1970 >> CS-54
1970 >> CS-63
1970 >> CS-63A
1970 >> CS-63DX
1970 >> CS-77
1970 >> CS-99
1970 >> CS-A500
1970 >> CS-A700
1970 >> CS-E200
1970 >> CS-E201
1970 >> CS-E300
1970 >> CS-E301
1970 >> CS-E500
1970 >> CS-E700
1970 >> DN-6
1970 >> DN-20
1970 >> DN-21
1970 >> DN-30
1970 >> DN-31
1971 >> CS-05
1971 >> CS-20B
1971 >> CS-30
1971 >> CS-40
1971 >> CS-50
1971 >> CS-60
1971 >> CS-80
1971 >> CS-410
1971 >> CS-610
1971 >> CS-810
1971 >> CS-900
1971 >> CS-3000
1971 >> CS-E400
1971 >> CS-E600
1971 >> CS-E900
1971 >> CS-H9
1972 >> AS-16A
1972 >> AS-20A
1972 >> AS-22
1972 >> AS-E400
1972 >> AS-E500
1972 >> AS-E700
1972 >> CS-06
1972 >> CS-22A
1972 >> CS-33A
1972 >> CS-66A
1972 >> CS-66E
1972 >> CS-77A
1972 >> CS-88A
1972 >> CS-99A
1972 >> CS-A770
1972 >> CS-E350
1972 >> CS-E450
1972 >> CS-R10
1972 >> CS-R30
1972 >> CS-R50
1972 >> CS-R70
1972 >> CS-R100
1972 >> CS-R300
1972 >> CS-R300-1
1972 >> CS-R400
1972 >> CS-R500
1972 >> CS-R500-1
1972 >> CS-R600
1972 >> CS-R700
1972 >> CS-R900
1972 >> CS-X100
1972 >> CS-X100-1
1972 >> R-300
1972 >> R-500
1972 >> R-700
1973 >> AS-30
1973 >> CS-06A
1973 >> CS-30A
1973 >> CS-40A
1973 >> CS-50A
1973 >> CS-60A
1973 >> CS-301
1973 >> CS-330
1973 >> CS-500
1973 >> CS-500G
1973 >> CS-700
1973 >> CS-701
1973 >> CS-770
1973 >> CS-801
1973 >> CS-901
1973 >> CS-3000A
1973 >> CS-E45
1973 >> CS-E220
1973 >> CS-E320
1973 >> CS-E420
1973 >> CS-E530
1973 >> CS-E730
1973 >> CS-E830
1973 >> DN-25
1973 >> Project 60
1973 >> Project 80
1973 >> Project 100
1973 >> SCS-11
1974 >> CS-44G
1974 >> CS-66G
1974 >> CS-313
1974 >> CS-700G
1974 >> CS-701A
1974 >> CS-801A
1974 >> CS-901A
1974 >> CS-955
1974 >> CS-F25
1974 >> CS-F45
1974 >> CS-F51
1974 >> CS-T8
1974 >> CS-T61
1974 >> SCS-12
1975 >> CS-311
1975 >> CS-313A
1975 >> CS-411
1975 >> CS-511
1975 >> CS-515
1975 >> CS-550
1975 >> CS-711
1975 >> CS-811
1975 >> CS-911
1975 >> CS-F75
1975 >> CS-T7
1975 >> CS-T66
1975 >> CS-T88
1975 >> CS-W5
1975 >> HPM-40
1975 >> HPM-60
1975 >> HPM-100
1975 >> HPM-200
1975 >> Project 60A
1975 >> Project 100A
1976 >> CS-511A
1976 >> CS-711A
1976 >> CS-811A
1976 >> CS-911A
1976 >> CS-E321
1976 >> CS-E421
1976 >> CS-E531
1976 >> CS-E731
1976 >> CS-F6
1976 >> CS-F7
1976 >> CS-F8
1976 >> CS-F9
1976 >> CS-F300
1976 >> CS-F500
1976 >> CS-F700
1976 >> CS-F900
1976 >> CS-T3
1976 >> CS-T5
1976 >> R-300B
1976 >> R-500B
1977 >> AS-202
1977 >> AS-252
1977 >> AS-302
1977 >> AS-304
1977 >> AT-8S
1977 >> CS-12D
1977 >> CS-27
1977 >> CS-100A
1977 >> CS-200A
1977 >> CS-400A
1977 >> CS-516
1977 >> CS-522
1977 >> CS-616
1977 >> CS-655
1977 >> CS-722
1977 >> CS-755
1977 >> CS-770A
1977 >> CS-822
1977 >> CS-880
1977 >> CS-922
1977 >> CS-F77
1977 >> CS-F99
1977 >> CS-F330
1977 >> CS-F550
1977 >> CS-F660
1977 >> CS-F770
1977 >> CS-F990
1977 >> CS-X1
1977 >> CS-X3
1977 >> DN-8
1977 >> DN-200
1977 >> DN-300

IMG_0979
1977 >> HPM-150
1977 >> HPM-1500
1977 >> PS-3
1977 >> PS-5
1978 >> CS-323
1978 >> CS-323/W4
1978 >> CS-424
1978 >> CS-424/W4
1978 >> CS-506
1978 >> CS-525
1978 >> CS-525/W4
1978 >> CS-F1000
1978 >> CS-F5000
1978 >> CS-F6000
1978 >> CS-F7000
1978 >> HPM-40
1978 >> HPM-60

IMG_0979
1978 >> HPM-100
1978 >> Model 2301
1978 >> Model 3301
1978 >> Prelude 80
1978 >> Prelude 100
1978 >> Project 80
1978 >> Project 100B
1978 >> Project 120
1978 >> S-180
1978 >> S-X4
1978 >> S-X50
1978 >> XD-11
1979 >> CL-30
1979 >> CL-35
1979 >> CL-40
1979 >> CL-70
1979 >> CL-100
1979 >> CS-99aa
1979 >> CS-333
1979 >> CS-410
1979 >> CS-434
1979 >> CS-510
1979 >> CS-535
1979 >> CS-610
1979 >> CS-636
1979 >> CS-710
1979 >> CS-A1
1979 >> CS-A3
1979 >> CS-A5
1979 >> CS-A7
1979 >> CS-A9
1979 >> CS-F77A
1979 >> CS-F99A
1979 >> CS-F3000
1979 >> CS-X2
1979 >> CS-X4
1979 >> CS-X5
1979 >> EN-907
1979 >> HPM-30
1979 >> HPM-50
1979 >> HPM-70
1979 >> HPM-110
1979 >> HPM-110X
1979 >> MCL-3
1979 >> Model 3401
1979 >> Model 3401w
1979 >> S-X20
1980 >> CS-343
1980 >> CS-444
1980 >> CS-522A
1980 >> CS-545
1980 >> CS-646
1980 >> CS-722A
1980 >> CS-822A
1980 >> CS-922A
1980 >> CS-A33
1980 >> CS-A44
1980 >> CS-A66
1980 >> CS-A77
1980 >> CS-A99
1980 >> CS-AV55
1980 >> CS-AV88
1980 >> CS-X3II
1980 >> HPM-300
1980 >> HPM-500
1980 >> HPM-700
1980 >> HPM-900
1980 >> HPM-1100
1980 >> Promusica 80
1980 >> Promusica 120
1980 >> S-100
1980 >> S-110
1980 >> S-140
1980 >> S-160
1980 >> S-180A
1980 >> S-570
1980 >> S-922
1980 >> S-933
1980 >> S-955
1980 >> S-F1 (Custom)
1980 >> S-X2
1980 >> S-X3II
1981 >> CS-103
1981 >> CS-203
1981 >> CS-303
1981 >> CS-329
1981 >> CS-353
1981 >> CS-403
1981 >> CS-420
1981 >> CS-454
1981 >> CS-520
1981 >> CS-529
1981 >> CS-603
1981 >> CS-620
1981 >> CS-629
1981 >> CS-656
1981 >> CS-703
1981 >> CS-720
1981 >> CS-757
1981 >> CS-803
1981 >> CS-903
1981 >> CS-7100
1981 >> CS-V70
1981 >> Prelude 130
1981 >> S-170
1981 >> S-X4G
1981 >> S-X10
1981 >> S-X21
1981 >> S-X30
1982 >> CS-03
1982 >> CS-05
1982 >> CS-363
1982 >> CS-439
1982 >> CS-530
1982 >> CS-565
1982 >> CS-730
1982 >> CS-767
1982 >> CS-930
1982 >> CS-939
1982 >> CS-3100
1982 >> CS-5100
1982 >> CS-9100
1982 >> CS-G100W
1982 >> CS-G200W
1982 >> CS-G300W
1982 >> CS-G1000
1982 >> CS-G1011W
1982 >> CS-G1022W
1982 >> CS-G2000
1982 >> CS-G2011W
1982 >> CS-G2022W
1982 >> CS-G3000
1982 >> CS-G3011W
1982 >> CS-G3022W
1982 >> CS-V700
1982 >> S-33X
1982 >> S-55X
1982 >> S-77X
1982 >> S-99X
1982 >> S-170II
1982 >> S-180III
1982 >> S-310
1982 >> S-310L/R
1982 >> S-510
1982 >> S-510L/R
1982 >> S-710
1982 >> S-710L/R
1982 >> S-910
1982 >> S-910L/R
1982 >> S-922ii
1982 >> S-955iii
1982 >> S-1010
1982 >> S-1010L/R
1982 >> S-X6
1982 >> S-X33
1982 >> S-X55
1982 >> S-X77
1982 >> S-X99
1983 >> CS-210
1983 >> CS-300W
1983 >> CS-400W
1983 >> CS-575
1983 >> CS-600W
1983 >> CS-777
1983 >> CS-800W
1983 >> CS-979
1983 >> CS-A1000
1983 >> CS-A5000
1983 >> CS-A9000
1983 >> CS-C3
1983 >> CS-C7
1983 >> CS-C11

IMG_0979
1983 >> Model 2401

IMG_0979
1983 >> Model 2402
1983 >> S-9500
1983 >> S-T5
1984 >> CS-055
1984 >> CS-100Z
1984 >> CS-101Z
1984 >> CS-201W
1984 >> CS-201Z
1984 >> CS-205
1984 >> CS-305
1984 >> CS-405
1984 >> CS-539
1984 >> CS-549
1984 >> CS-559
1984 >> CS-585
1984 >> CS-605
1984 >> CS-705
1984 >> CS-787
1984 >> CS-805
1984 >> CS-905
1984 >> CS-949
1984 >> CS-959
1984 >> CS-989
1984 >> CS-B1000
1984 >> CS-B5000
1984 >> CS-B5000D
1984 >> CS-B9000
1984 >> CS-B9000D
1984 >> CS-G101
1984 >> CS-G101W
1984 >> CS-G201
1984 >> CS-G201W
1984 >> CS-G301
1984 >> CS-G301W
1984 >> CS-G401
1984 >> CS-G401W
1984 >> CS-V70
1984 >> S-5PC
1984 >> S-5PG
1984 >> S-7MB
1984 >> S-7MS
1984 >> S-180D
1984 >> S-200X
1984 >> S-500X
1984 >> S-700X
1985 >> CS-222Z
1985 >> CS-569
1985 >> CS-650W
1985 >> CS-797
1985 >> CS-850W
1985 >> CS-969
1985 >> CS-999
1985 >> CS-C1000
1985 >> CS-C5000
1985 >> CS-C9000
1985 >> CS-C9900
1985 >> CS-G101WA
1985 >> CS-G201WA
1985 >> CS-G301WA
1985 >> CS-G401WA
1985 >> CS-G500W
1985 >> CS-G900W
1985 >> CS-V12
1985 >> CS-V70A
1985 >> CS-V900D
1985 >> CS-V9010
1985 >> CS-V9910
1985 >> CS-VX50
1985 >> DSS-5
1985 >> DSS-5R/L
1985 >> DSS-7
1985 >> DSS-7R/L
1985 >> DSS-9
1985 >> DSS-9D
1985 >> DSS-9R/L
1985 >> DSS-E6
1985 >> DSS-E6R/L
1985 >> DSS-E10
1985 >> DSS-E10R/L
1985 >> S-180DV
1985 >> S-300X
1985 >> S-313X
1985 >> S-1300DV
1985 >> S-1800
1985 >> S-1800DV
1985 >> S-9500DV
1985 >> S-V707X
1985 >> S-V909X
1985 >> S-X200
1985 >> S-X300
1985 >> S-X500
1985 >> S-X700
1986 >> CS-407
1986 >> CS-607
1986 >> CS-707
1986 >> CS-D1000
1986 >> CS-D5000
1986 >> CS-D9000
1986 >> CS-D9900
1986 >> CS-G101WAII
1986 >> CS-G201M
1986 >> CS-G201WAII
1986 >> CS-G301WAII
1986 >> CS-G401WAII
1986 >> CS-V90
1986 >> CS-V9020
1986 >> CS-V9920
1986 >> S-X1A
1987 >> CS-E9000
1987 >> CS-E9900
1987 >> CS-V910
1987 >> CS-V9930
1987 >> CS-VX110
1987 >> S-55T
1987 >> S-3000
1987 >> S-X7
1988 >> CS-590
1988 >> CS-790
1988 >> CS-907
1988 >> CS-990
1988 >> CS-F9000
1988 >> CS-F9900
1988 >> Prologue 10
1988 >> Prologue 50
1988 >> Prologue 70
1988 >> Prologue 100
1988 >> Prologue 100-W
1988 >> S-W1000
1989 >> CS-C300
1989 >> CS-G515
1989 >> CS-G915
1989 >> CS-G9900
1989 >> CS-V55
1989 >> CS-V99
1989 >> S-1000twin
1989 >> S-T100
1989 >> S-T300
1989 >> S-T500
1989 >> S-Z82V
1989 >> TZ-7
1989 >> TZ-9
1990 >> CS-997
1990 >> Prologue S-55
1990 >> Prologue S-77
1990 >> Prologue S-110
1990 >> Prologue S-330
1991 >> CS-300
1991 >> CS-557
1991 >> CS-777
1991 >> CS-G103
1991 >> CS-G203
1991 >> CS-G303
1991 >> CS-G403
1991 >> CS-X50
1991 >> CS-X58
1991 >> S-1000twinA
1992 >> CS-C150
1992 >> CS-C250
1992 >> CS-M555
1992 >> CS-M751
1992 >> CS-M755
1992 >> CS-V935
1992 >> CS-X300
1992 >> CS-X500
1992 >> S-3D
1992 >> S-4D
1992 >> S-C55
1992 >> S-P70
1992 >> S-P320A
1992 >> S-P520A
1992 >> S-P720V
1992 >> S-SR55
1992 >> S-V301
1992 >> S-V401
1992 >> S-Z15
1992 >> TZ-7LTD
1992 >> TZ-9LTD
1994 >> S-C5
1995 >> S-5000twin
1997 >> CS-301
1997 >> CS-701
1997 >> CS-901
2003 >> Model 2251
2003 >> Model 2404
2003 >> TAD-M1
???? >> CS-G204
???? >> CS-J150E
???? >> CS-J600E
???? >> CS-STONE
???? >> CS-T5100
???? >> SPEC-15L
???? >> TZ-F700
???? >> TZ-MC05
???? >> TZ-SW05


© 2014 – ∞ B. Charles Donley