Product: Guizu BWAV-3B
Manufacturer: Guizu - China
Italian distributor: Audio Azimuth
Price approx.: 760 EUR
Reviewer: Mattia Bellinzona - TNT Italy
Review date: October, 2008
This is a pure, 100% wooden rack proudly made in China. It looks solid, clean and well designed. It can easily hold 2 HiFi components on each shelf for a total of at least six. Shelves are not adjustable. It positions itself in the 500-1000 EUR range.
Because of its function and positioning a hifi rack does catch some attention in a home environment. This is why I strongly believe a rack should be „attractive“, harmonizing well with the surrounding furniture. Of course, one may not care or have a dedicated room. Nevertheless, let me get this one straight: the Guizu is really beautiful. It is not high, but it is has large shelves and so it can accommodate a lot of gear.
The Guizu comes in a huge box, ready to use. You just have to screw on the 4 feet and you are all set. This bold solution has the obvious advantage that no time is wasted for installing the rack. On the other hand, it implies that transport will always be more difficult and expensive. Take the Finite Elemente Spider I've already reviewed is an example of a radically different philosophy: packaging is kept to a minimum (and fully recyclable from the manufacturer), the rack requires some work to be put together but transport and storage are easy and inexpensive.
Take a close look at the pictures: this rack is 100% wood. If you do not like wooden racks then - simply put - this is not for you.
Design and build quality
The three shelves are fixed, no moving parts. Each shelf can accommodate large gear (up to 22 cm high on the lowest level). Sides are open and there's plenty of room and air. The second level is lower but it is still high enough for larger than standard gear. The third and highest level is for whatever equipment you like but most would use it for a turntable, a tube amp or a top loader CDP.
Consider that each shelf can easily accommodate more than 2 pieces, depending on their size (small phono amp, D-amp, converter...). Hence, the whole thing does not develop like a tower and keeps a low profile ;-) The Spider cannot accommodate more than one piece per level and therefore you are forced to add "levels", making it definitely too tall.
The Guizu has sharp corners and may not be recommended for families with young children. The Spider is however razor sharp and I never had any problems with my daughter.
The Guizu is very well built. A luxurious plate on the front of the top shelf may not look so elegant and, in my sample, it was also slightly misaligned. The rack has no traces of visible glue. It possesses a nice warm and natural look, thanks to the wood it is made of. The surface of the shelves is rather delicate and can easily be scratched.
The Guizu looks and feels solid. I haven't been able to detect any hint of vibration or resonance. It can hold very heavy gear without any visible fatigue (up to 70 Kg on the third level!). The feet are screwed on. They are solid and adapt very well to any kind of floor. Since they do not scratch the floor you can easily place the rack anywhere. In case of need (or if you wish to experiment some direct coupling) spikes are also an option (but they are not included).
Now the facts
No radical solutions here but simple and elegant wooden work to hold a lot of gear, as low as possible. The Guizu is wisely made of reinforced wood: no vibration or resonance and a warm modern look. This rack weighs in less than 40 Kg (90 lbs) and it is very sturdy. Other exotic materials (for example stone) would have made it heavier, and not necessarily better. Obviously we have shelves and surfaces that can eventually create some resonance effect. The radical solution of the Finite Elemente Spider solves the problem by avoiding shelves altogether. This makes the Spider rather unique. The Spider cannot hold much compared to the Guizu and this is the main point. You could accommodate more on the Spider only by using shelves. But it would not be a Spider anymore. Anyway, try to accommodate a turntable on the Spider and you understand what I am talking about.
The Guizu looks nice and my friends and family all agreed. It can easily harmonize with different furniture, colors and materials.
Summarizing, I like the Guizu both for its looks and its capacity. It holds so much and stays so low. Its price is fair. No amazing and flashy solutions, a rather conservative but modern look. If you have more than 4-5 components this rack will suit your needs. And your family will not complain.
© Copyright 2008 Mattia Bellinzona - www.tnt-audio.com