Besta depth adapted (with updates on ventilation)

My girlfriend and I were thinking of a solution to hide all the hifi, home cinema stuff that was present in the room and there was no direct solution until I came to this site and the Ikea site with the besta cabinets, of course..

Instead of letting all the equipment ‘in sight’ we found the solution, although there was a problem … the depth of some instruments like the receiver, the hifi-amplifier, the subwoofer and the cd-player were to big to fit in the cabinets. The solution was so simple that in the beginning I didn’t even see it, moving the cabinets half a foot forward and making holes in the backside of the cabinets so that the instruments could slide deeper into them would solve the problem but then there would be a gap between the back of the lower cabinets and the wall.. you’ll see what we came up to..


That was the plan we had, after reading the ‘You got the Besta me‘ post from a previous Ikea hacker 😉 I even sent the guy mails about his good job and that he inspired me to do what we did in our livingroom… We had to solve some problems for moving the hifi – home cinema system into the cabinets, the pictures will explain what the solution was. I will even say what adjustments we made compared to the guy from ‘You got the Besta me’ … explained by pictures also..

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This was the picture that actually inspired us to go on with the Besta-plan in the living room, the adjustments we made I’ll make clear in the following pictures, first the build up…

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The idea was to add a plate of mdf as a backwall so we could advance the lower cabinets, the picture explains it.. but as you know, pictures and the execution is a big difference.. the mdf-plate gave the advantage that we could build in speakers for the home-cinema system..


this was the wall in the living room where the cabinet was going, In sight is the b&w asw700 sub to fit in the cabinet, on the wall the power supplies and the speaker chords already hanging, waiting to get installed.


with the help of an expert..


the lower cabinets in place…almost


The lower and the upper cabinets placed, the upper cabinets were installed with Ikea instructions against the wall, no hacking there..


Installing the frame as a base for the mdf-plating.. already looking out for the different holes and gaps for wiring and speaker installation..


That’s how it looked, also we installed the Inreda spots into the lower side of the upper cabinets. We built them in, there is space in the structure of the cabinets, they are hollow so wire can pass into it…


as you can see

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installing the back wall


You can see the holes for the speakers (with a box placed in the backside for the sound), the taped area is the place for the tv, the cables for the tv are also visible and my girlfriend is stuffing the holes from the screws.. the instruments are underneath and they fit 🙂


You can now clearly see that the lower cabinets are moved forward and the mdf covers the gap..


Afterwards we covered the mdf with wallpaper and than painted it in the same colours as the walls


We also painted the covers of the speakers (b&w cwm663) in the same colour..


The tv installed against the wall..


The flat result..


The instruments installed : from right to left : cambridge audio 840a-v2 amplifier with 840c cd-player. In the middle the ps3 as a gameconsole/bluray player and the pioneer vsx-ax3k home cinema amplifier.. on the left digital tv decoder and the onkyo nd-s1 docking station..

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And this is the end result.. now, maybe a question is : how to control all of the instruments with the doors closed. well, the marmitek  invisible control 6 does the job well, the eye for the controller is just beneath the screen..

Updated: Feb 3, 2014

So, after putting the ‘Besta Depth Adapted‘ post on this site, I got some pretty positive reviews, even more than expected.. but I got a few interesting questions too, going from the size of the cabinets over the speaker material until they asked me the most important question : how do I ventilate all the instruments in the cabinet without leaving the doors open.. well, I couldn’t.. Everytime we played a movie or music we had to leave the doors open, even though that wasn’t the purpose.. so after these questions I started to figure out some things, searched over the internet forums about ventilating av-cabinets and boy, the things I found.. so I began ordering some stuff, took my working tools again and started to drill some holes 😉

The end result of the last time, for now the starting point for this post


The instruments installed, without the ventilation, overheating when the cabinets are closed.


The instruments are placed behind a side-opening door, above are the drawers.. for drilling the holes for the ventilation, all of these instruments are to be removed again, and one thing I don’t like is to do the cable-job (removing and afterwards replacing all the cables.., if you look at the picture you’ll see why..


So the big square holes in the cabinet were from the previous modification to the cabinet to get the instruments actually in the cabinet.. the (temperature controlled) fan above I installed right now, also the grill above the fan, to evacuate too much hot air. The fan sucks the hot air away, leaving a little bit of vacuum in the cabinet.. so, where does the fresh cold air come from? Well, a certain rule says that cold air comes from beneath, hot air rises.. so I had to make a hole in the bottom of the cabinet to suck new air into it..


The hole in preparation..


And the grills installed on the bottom of the cabinet.. the cold air gets from beneath in the cabinet and runs thru the instruments, the hot air leaves thru the fan and the grill above.. by the way, the grills aren’t visible because the ones beneath are underneath the instruments, the ones above are put behind the drawer..


And of course some holes in the shelf to let the hot air pass.. the fans start to rotate when the receiver is activated, they are 12V dc’s, and with an adaptor went to 230V ac, connected to the rear of the receiver.. the playstation above the receiver had bushings under it from about 1/2 inch to let air pass under it, a normal ps3 is standing on the ground completely so no air can get under it.. overkill? Might be, but I prefer it to underkill..


The final result, only the fans are visible like I said, no grills in sight.. actually nothing visible with all the doors closed now 🙂

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Buy cabinet ventilation fans.

uwe christiaens
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