How It’s Made: plyKraft by Core Audio Design


When original Audiogoner Steve Clay likes a product, he isn’t shy about it.  He’s been waxing poetically about this plyKraft audio rack for a while…

“The rack arrived in bespoke packaging; double boxed with high burst test cardboard, and an interior which coddled the shelves and legs in precision cut foamboard. One could eject these boxes from an airplane at 30,000 feet and not damage the contents. I am partial to wood and natural materials in high performance audio applications. The downside of natural materials is that you typically give up some accuracy in fit and finish. That is not the case with Core Audio Design; they have mastered the art of taking natural wood and shaping it like precision milled steel. The shelves are ultra heavy since they are engineered to hold dampening material (clay, sand, safe lead shot). Putting the rack together is a snap and actually kind of satisfying. The best part of displaying these racks is how they beautify my listening room. The solid walnut legs match the dark graining in the tiger wood shelves. It creates an exotic aura which is at the same time quite tailored in appearance.”


So, the Discovery Channel nerds in us got to wondering…

How does this tree trunk transform

into this gorgeous audio rack?

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 Arnold Marr of Core Audio Designs was happy to show us.

Core Audio Designs wanted to deliver a product that not only performs well technically, but also captured the architectural beauty of nature and allows the listener to showcase his components in a museum-quality setting.  Building from their “MOD” series of open-design audio racks, Marr drew inspiration from these two familiar items:

coreinspiration magico mini


 The Magico Mini
 Eames chair, circa 1950


After the initial concept was prepared, Marr started at Mount Storm Lumber and MacBeath Lumber.

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Partnering with local artisans in Northern California, the “plyKraft” Series required tolerances to be cut with amazing precision up to .001 of an inch.  This was successfully achieved using a new two head CNC machine.

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The router running at 15,000 RPMs.  Check out the video here – (at about 45 sec in, you get the router in action.)


The human element, though, isn’t lost.

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corebiild14  Now, after all that hard work with the “old school” chisel and mallet, it’s definitely time for an espresso break


before it’s off to the Finish department where the MOHAWK® lacquer is added.

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After this exhausting three-year labor of love, the plyKraft 2L, 3L, & 4L are rigid, high mass, low resonance audio racks that are fit to grace even the most discerning audio systems.

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A few technical notes:

  • Solid hardwood uprights composed from premium FAS certified heartwood. Eight-quarter stock selected for even grain, density, and stability.
  • 2″ high-density domestic apple-ply shelves consisting of 34 layers of hardwood. FSC & CARB Certified.
  • Milled center core provides hollow chamber for damping materials.
  • Di-Bond® aluminum composite panels (finished in brushed copper)used to conceal damping material.
  • Available in Hard Maple, Natural Cherry, American Black Walnut, African Sapele, and African Zebra.
  • MOHAWK® Professional grade oil based catalyzed lacquer finish.
  • Minimalist design showcasing the beauty and natural harmonics of solid hardwood.
  • Open architecture allowing for maximum airflow and heat dissipation.
  • Includes adjustable brass spikes & coasters.


If you’re interested in learning more about the “plyKraft” Series of audio racks, visit Core Audio Design’s website.

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