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Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

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Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby Kwaidan » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:40 pm

I'm looking for a new home studio desk, but so many of them are badly designed,
especially the monitor shelves, they are so narrow. Do these manufacturers think
we all use tiny speakers/monitors. Or do they think we don't use larger monitors!
I'd prefer a wider shelf to get my nearfields on.

I've looked at the Zaor desks, the glorious workbench etc. Some are overpriced
for what they are though.
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby Watchmaker » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:56 pm

If: *there's a sucker born every minute*

and: production is influenced by factors other than demand

or: the profit motive is the impetus for decision making

then: loop

Mainly because every room is different. To mass produce something like a desk necessitates a lowest common denominator design. Custom builds are usually far too expensive for the hobbyist. Building your own is fun and allows you to take your own special circumstances into account.
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby Rincewind » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:11 pm

It is good thing that one cannot balance studio monitors on the meter bridge any more. This avoids the mechanical coupling of the cabinet to the desk thereby reducing vibrations. Put the monitors onto stands where they belong!
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby Alba » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:42 pm

I use a 6'x3' solid wooden dining table and put the monitors on small stands on the table. Everything goes on or under it and i have hooks around the rims for cable etc. Not too expensive either.
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:56 pm

I've recently got one of these: https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... tural/2QY9
cheap and cheerful and the finish is definitely budget but it's actually reasonably robust and I'd happily put a normal nearfield on there.
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby tomas » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:46 pm

Kwaidan wrote:I'm looking for a new home studio desk, but so many of them are badly designed, especially the monitor shelves, they are so narrow.

I have a Quiklok Z600. It has 8HE of rack space, a drawer for computer keyboard + mouse, and the top shelf accommodates a pair of KRK 8" monitors with two 27" displays between.

Too bad that it is no longer in production, but you can perhaps find a used one.

https://images.app.goo.gl/eM7orKgb2t5Kte5C6
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby Kwaidan » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:45 pm

blinddrew wrote:I've recently got one of these: https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... tural/2QY9
cheap and cheerful and the finish is definitely budget but it's actually reasonably robust and I'd happily put a normal nearfield on there.

I was looking at that desk on Gear4music, it's certainly not too bad for the price, i wouldn't use the top shelf that comes with it. Lookspretty flimsy. Better off putting a couple of 4U pods in it's place. The desk also looks like a cheaper knock-off the glorious workbench.
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby fatbenelton » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:42 pm

tomas wrote:
Kwaidan wrote:I have a Quiklok Z600. It has 8HE of rack space, a drawer for computer keyboard + mouse, and the top shelf accommodates a pair of KRK 8" monitors with two 27" displays between.

Too bad that it is no longer in production, but you can perhaps find a used one.

https://images.app.goo.gl/eM7orKgb2t5Kte5C6


Fame do a very similar version....actually looks like a licensed or ripped off version as it's identical!

https://equipboard.com/items/fame-w-200 ... orkstation
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby blinddrew » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:05 pm

Kwaidan wrote:
blinddrew wrote:I've recently got one of these: https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... tural/2QY9
cheap and cheerful and the finish is definitely budget but it's actually reasonably robust and I'd happily put a normal nearfield on there.

I was looking at that desk on Gear4music, it's certainly not too bad for the price, i wouldn't use the top shelf that comes with it. Lookspretty flimsy. Better off putting a couple of 4U pods in it's place. The desk also looks like a cheaper knock-off the glorious workbench.
Well it's obviously not as solid as if the side panels were a single piece but I wouldn't call it flimsy. It's certainly not going to be a problem from a weight-bearing point of view, but if your studio is a busy place where people might be bumping into things or leaning against it you might want something more substantial.
But I've got no qualms. It would be even more stable with a few bits of hardware bolted in.
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby bobg » Sun May 24, 2020 5:10 pm

IMO, many off-the-shelf home studio desks appear to be nothing more than modded office furniture, designed with little thought as to what a studio desk needs to include.
Such as little or no thought to ergonomics, sound-field, speaker height, real-world studio gear, cable management, power-sourcing, typing keyboard placement, music keyboard width etc.
As mentioned by others in this thread, materials used in many of these desks are unexcusably cheap ie you get what you pay for and LESS.
One thing I keep in mind is that my studio desk is also "studio gear" that gets more use than any other piece of gear I own and for the money and the gear I use, have found it better to go the DIY route.
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby blinddrew » Sun May 24, 2020 5:20 pm

Yeah, I'm going to retract my previous statement a bit because mine has got a little wobbly with a few months use. But a couple of diagonal struts on the rear should sort that.
Longer term I think the only thing I'd change is to replace the desk surface with a shape that sweeps forward at the side for my controllers and replace the top shelf with something that sweeps back in the centre so I could position the screens further back.
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby CS70 » Sun May 24, 2020 5:31 pm

Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Echo chamber.

The desk X looks like it is because there's another desk Y that looks similar.. and so on and so on. A desk will tend to look in a certain way because everyone expects it to.

People who are using them have learnt to deal with the limitations and faults and not only no longer benefit from innovation, but tend to resist it - because change, even for the better, always requires some initial effort.

It's really the same in almost any context and business.
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby jaminem » Wed May 27, 2020 7:44 am

Had loads of other stuff previously like ikea, modified, homemade and Thomann desks, because I didn’t want to spend the money it costs to get something decent...

Ended up with a Studioracks Minimaster. Yes, it was expensive but it’s very solid, well laid out, my KH310’s are very happy on the top shelves and it’s really well made.

I can only conclude that in terms of studio desks you get what you pay for....
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby fruitcake » Wed May 27, 2020 1:56 pm

I’m in the market for a new desk. I’m stuck on whether I should get one that has a keyboard tray or have the 88 key controller to one side. If I use a tray, where do I put the fader controller and all the other little things that seem to proliferate on my desktop. Does having the keyboard controller up front make it more awkward when I’m using the computer keyboard?
I’m eyeing a desk that has slanted rack space built in to either one or both sides.
And then there’s the monitors. I use at least 2 computer monitors, and will have 2 pair of near field monitors. Where do I put those? Wall mount? Stands? Arms for the computer monitors?
It makes my head spin trying to figure it out.
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Re: Why are Home Studio Desks so badly designed ?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed May 27, 2020 5:40 pm

Hi fruitcake!

I sympathise with your dilemma ;)

I can certainly see the attraction of a slide out 88-key controller in front of you, but this inevitably means you have to either compromise on the desk height (making typing/MIDI controlling less comfortable) or the music keyboard height (which ends up slightly too low for intensive performance use).

Personally I decided to have my main MIDI keyboards to either side (dual five-octave keyboards on the left, and an 88-key piano style controller on the right).

However, to regain some of the usefulness of having a music keyboard in front of me I've placed a 2-octave (25-key) music keyboard in front of me, directly behind my PC keyboard, which is almost exactly the same width. I like your idea of having sloping rack space either side of your desk, since that will probably give you 20u or more in total. In my case I only needed 9u of rack space, so ended up simply cutting an appropriately shaped hole in one side of my desktop and mounting the rack gear vertically into it (i.e. the front panels end up spread out horizontally).

As for the problems of mounting monitor loudspeakers, I gave pride of place to my main ones, giving them perfect angled positioning on 1-metre high stands. Other nearfields tend to be used for consumer-quality checks, so their placement isn't (in my opinion) so critical, and if you're only using a mono grot box (as I do for quality and mix balance checks) there's a school of thought that suggests placing this one loudspeaker somewhere entirely different (e.g. one or other side of your studio) can benefit your decisions, since it forces you to listen in a different way.

By the way, several years ago I did invest in a tilt-swivel desk-mounting stand for my computer monitor screen, but found it got too much in the way when I pulled it forward, and was too far away to see the screen clearly when I pushed it back out of the way of the monitor speakers during critical listening. In the end I replaced it with a bigger monitor screen that stays permanently out of the way of my loudspeakers, yet is still large enough to see all the detail without squinting or leaning forward :headbang:

Hope this helps!


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