HeadFiers have traditionally loved custom made stuff – Headphile, JMoney, and several others appear to run successful businesses based around custom work for headphones. Yes, they both do nice wooden modifications for headphones, but another key product they both sell is accessories. Many people own and love the Headphile headphone stands as well as the JMoney pads and headbands.
Another thing well liked by many HeadFiers (and audiophiles in general) is vinyl. Despite the advancements in digital audio over the past few decades, many people swear by vinyl for absolute sound quality. Some of us don’t actually listen to records any longer but still maintain a certain fondness for them; in many cases vinyl was the medium used when we first heard music that we enjoyed, usually played by our parents or older siblings.
So what happens when you combine these two well liked things? The result is known as Re:Thirty-Three, which turns old records into usable custom made accessories. The current offerings include a 45 rack, a CD/DVD rack, and a headphone stand. I picked up the headphone stand (around $37 shipped) and figured that people around here might be interested.
Mike, founder of Re:Thirty-Thirty three, explains it like so:
Re:Thirty-Three was born on February 6th, 2011 after my attempts to find a creative and functional way to display my headphones.
The overpriced headphone stands and banana hangers just weren’t the right fit. I wanted to honor the very medium I was using to enjoy all my favorite music.
As is obvious from the pictures, Re:Thirty-Three takes records, shapes them into a form similar to that of the Sieveking Omega stand, and adds a brace through the middle for stability. It’s a totally unique looking item that really attracts attention. My wife, usually oblivious to my nutty audio hobby, commented that she liked the look of it better than my other stands.
Mike says he rescues old records that are no longer playable. Each headphone stand uses two of them, as do the media racks. There is also a two tier rack that uses a total of four records. The customer does not get to choose which records are used, although you could probably work something out if you had a specific request. Mine is made from a pair of similar classic Motown releases – Rick James and Diana Ross. I think it looks great. I suppose a worst case scenario would be getting an artist that you absolutely despise… although I doubt Mike uses Backstreet Boys records.
I never realized how difficult it would be to get a decent picture of vinyl. The reflective surface, the intricate detail of the grooves, and my poor photography skills all combine to make the pictures seem a bit underwhelming. Make no mistake – although it is well made, the Re:Thirty-Three stand is not a high end piece like the Omega. There are some rough surfaces, and the “pre-owned” nature of the vinyl means that each stand will have unique imperfections. That being said; what this stand lacks in precision, it more than makes up for in character. It is instantly recognizable even for non audio-junky types, and almost guaranteed to spark a discussion. Despite not being as heavy duty as most stands, it does seem solid enough that I don’t worry about it, even when holding heavier models.
Perfect fit for Audio Technicas, which can sometimes be tricky for headphone stands
It even fits enormous headbands like the JVC RX700 or the Sony SA-5000
The stand does a good job with most headphones. For small or medium models, it fits great. Even large headphones are fine provided you don’t have them adjusted to their biggest position. That did become a problem for me once in a while, as I have a large head. Not that they didn’t fit on the stand at all, but just that a smaller setting fit better. I also had trouble fitting the Audeze LCD-2 onto the stand. If I adjusted the LCD-2 to its smallest position, I got a great fit, but there was not enough room for the cables. Remove the cables and the fit is perfect. HiFiMan HE500 exhibited similar symptoms. Those were the chief offenders, and most everything else did just fine. I was able to fit models from Grado, Audio Technica, Sennheiser, Denon, JVC, Beyerdynamic, Ultrasone, and AKG without issue. If Mike could somehow make it so the stand is a few inches taller, that would probably alleviate the minor issues I encountered. I don’t know if that would be possible though, since he is limited to the twelve inch diameter of the records being used in the construction.
Overall this is a great way to display your headphones. It’s a conversation starter, and I gladly display my expensive headphones on it. If I still used CDs, I would probably pick up one of those racks as well. The website also mentions some new products coming soon, and encourages people send their inquiries if they have any ideas. I don’t know what the limitations would be as far as how the vinyl can be shaped, but I’m very curious to see what they come up with next. Highly recommended.