Cadenza75 angled, closed Walnut Cropped

Sanus Cadenza75 Review

We spend a lot of time thinking about what gear we are going to buy: what TV will work best for our living room, which receiver or sound bar has the features we want, even if we want to go with a Roku or an Apple TV. We spend little time considering how we are going to organize these things. Perhaps we throw a TV on the wall, and then put the components in the same AV cabinet we’ve had since our 27” TV.

Specs
Manufacturer: Sanus
Model: Cadenza75
Size: 75" x 24.9" x 23"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Review Date: February 19, 2014
Price: $1,799.00
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What we needed in furniture a decade ago is much different than what we need now. We have components that are much smaller than before and can often be hidden out of sight. All your components might need an Internet connection. And it seems like everything uses a giant wall-wart that fills up that surge protector.

Custom installers know this, so Sanus turned to them to help design new furniture for a modern AV system. The Cadenza75 is their flagship unit and comes with many features other furniture lacks. It might be more expensive than your average AV furniture, but it is impeccably built and has turned my living room into a clean, clutter-free environment.

For years I’ve used a Salamander Synergy 329 cabinet. It is flexible, strong and can hold a lot of gear. In my living room this past year it has left a lot to be desired. My Wi-Fi bridge, Control4 system, music bridge, and Roku are all non-standard sizes. The fact that they are strewn about inside cannot be hidden. The Salamander also lacks cable routing so wires are a mess. Every year I rip everything out and start over, but that is ruined as soon as I replace a component. I’ve also found that certain disc players will cause the sides of the cabinet to rattle, and the shelves are adjustable but a challenge to install level.

Thoughtful Design Touches

The Cadenza75 is a hybrid between a rack system and a normal piece of AV furniture. Doors on the left and right sides conceal 11U of rack space each. Those rack rails are further hidden by interior trim pieces, which provides the stability and flexibility of a regular rack mount system in a far more attractive package. Gear with or without rack-mounts is easy to install by using the included pair of moveable, rack-mount shelves (or aftermarket rails), making shelf-arrangement simple.

Between the two rack units is a center area with space for a sound bar and a pair of drawers, which, in a regular situation, can hold a soundbar or speaker up to 34” wide on the center shelf. Because that often isn’t enough space, you can lift the glass top and find two removable dividers, allowing you to use a speaker up to 73.5” wide. The doors on the side have included metal mesh inserts to allow you to hear the speaker.

On the rear of the rack is where you’ll find two of the nicer touches. First, magnets hold the rear vented panels on, making them easy to take on and off. In contrast, while the Salamander Synergy series has a removable back panel, it lacks vents and attaches with six thumbscrews, so I never put it on. The removable panels on the Cadenza75 feel solid without being inconvenient to use.

The Cadenza75 also has a pair of channels in the back for holding your wiring as well as gear that you don’t need access to. These two channels hold my surge protector, Control4 MC-250 controller, Music Bridge, Roku3, and a Wi-Fi Bridge, none of which need IR or physical access. The rear wire compartments are great for storing those secondary components out of sight– I’ve had no problems since I threw my gear in there. With wire channels between all these areas, keeping your cables organized is simple as well.

Rock Solid Build Quality

Most impressive about the Cadenza75 is the build quality: it comes assembled in the box, so you just need to attach the feet and a couple pads for the glass top and shelf. This also means that it comes in a 281 lb. package that you will need help with, but the packing keeps it protected and most of the packing materials are easy to recycle as well. From delivery to assembled and installed took less than an hour for a friend and me.

To test it out, I installed my SVS-PB1000 in the right compartment. It fits inside with little room to spare and with the wire mesh panel installed I can hear it through the cabinet. After my experience with the Synergy where some Blu-ray players cause rattling sounds, I felt certain this SVS setup would be a problem.

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To my surprise the Sanus Cadenza75 remained silent. With the PB-1000 set to max and blasting away there is not a rattle to hear. The glass top doesn’t shake, the sides and removable panels remain in place, and even the drawers don’t shake. Despite this big, ported sub going full throttle inside it, the Cadenza75 is as solid and quiet as it is usually– that is impressive build quality.

Things I’d Change

There are a few things I would change on the Cadenza75. With most of us having 3D glasses for our TV, and often video game controllers, we need a place to charge them. The drawers are great for storing these items, but having a way to feed a cable or two in there for charging them would make the drawers even more useful.

While reinstalling the doors is easy to do after you install a rack component, it could be easier. Getting them level, and holding them in place, is almost more than a 2-hand job. Placing magnets on the rear of the trim pieces and on the door would make it easier to install and align them better.

To make wiring easier there are a couple of changes I would make. For instance, there is currently no hole between the top- and bottom-middle sections in the rear of the rack, so if you have a device on top that needs to connect to something on the bottom, the cables cannot run directly. A hole or two here would help. I’d also like to see some included method for gathering cables together. Perhaps some recessed screw holes, like the doors use to mount, that accept wire organizers that could be included. Then you could place them in a variety of different locations, depending on need, and keep an even cleaner look.

Finally there is no way to lock the doors on the front. The Salamander Synergy has an optional lock kit that has been essential at keeping my kids out of my components. There are no locks included, or even an option, with the Sanus Cadenza75, and the location of the handles makes it hard to do a lock without resorting to ones that permanently attach on the inside. Having a way to keep other people out would be nice.

Conclusions

I’m almost embarrassed to say that the Sanus Cadenza75 might be the nicest piece of furniture in my home. The construction and quality is first rate. The wood finish looks wonderful in person and it is incredibly solid. The layout and design are more in-tune with what a modern AV system needs than most units, and make it easy to have a clean, elegant system.

Aside from the little nitpicks I found, the main issue with the Cadenza75 is price. As someone that buys a lot of furniture from IKEA, the price of the Cadenza75 is high. When compared to other high-end AV furniture, then it is more in line. I’m sure it will outlast any piece of AV gear I own today and I will use it for a long time to come.

Review Summary
Product: Sanus Cadenza75
Reviewer:
Pros: Fantastic build quality, very good organization and design
Cons: Price, could use locks and a bit more cable routing options
Summary: The Sanus Cadenza75 is a piece of AV furniture that feels like it is worth every dime. Fantastic built quality, great organization and built in rack mounting.
Value: 3.5/5
Performance: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

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