The Musician's Room: The SoundSeat
As you may know, I only create reviews for things I'm personally excited about. Well, Iíve got to tell you about something Iíve discovered, apparently late as usual. For years, when I was at home, I would play guitar while seated on my bed or the couch, neither of which gives you reasonable support. When recording at the studio, I would use the studioís chairs, which happened to be excellent Herman-Miller office chairs. Despite their quality, they had armrests and full seats: good for engineers, bad for guitarists. To play in them you have to sit catty-cornered or out on the lip. In either case, I found my playing time curtailed by the discomfort eventually imposed on my back by the seating position. I've even played for some recordings while seated on a couch, trying to get some comfort. Iíve recently discovered a chair designed especially for musicians, a product called the SoundSeat, made by a little company in Salisbury North Carolina. This chair has a sculpted seat with cutaway areas for the legs, which allows for better playing position and better posture.
How well-constructed is it? J.R. Baker, creator of the SoundSeat, was a professional drummer for years, until hip replacement surgery made drum thrones uncomfortable to sit on for the length of a gig. If he found an even moderately comfortable design, he found that it would self-destruct after a few months. In the end, J.R. decided to attack the problem by identifying the shortcomings of current throne technology and then building an entirely new design. As a starting point, he pulled apart some first-quality office chairs for their design ideas. He then set about designing a seat for use by musicians. His seat was designed around a pressure-molded plywood frame, padded with specially-formed high-impact foam and upholstered in leather. The result is a durable, strong seat which breathes.
J.R. added a gas lift, a sturdy frame, two optional sizes of back, optional foot rings, and optional arm and foot rests to create a great chair available in several configurations. Models are available for drummers, keyboardists, guitarists, and engineers. J.R. offers the seat in several colors of leather and can add custom embroidery to individualize your seat. He has recently created a version which knocks down and fits into a carry bag for travel. Donít you love the free-market system?
Engineer's Seat - Knock-Down Version - Drum Throne
Keyboard Player's Seat - Guitarist's Seat
The chairs are assembled with care and obvious attention to detail. They are extremely quiet right out of the box, which makes them welcome additions to the studio environment. Hereís the kicker: Because they are sold directly from the manufacturer, the SoundSeats are available for around one-third the retail price of a high-quality office chair. J.R. worked individually with his customers to get the configuration right and to make sure their chairs please them. He offered reasonably-priced parts and plenty of advice after the sale. Not only that, but he was a genuinely nice guy! After his untimely death, his wife picked up the business and now operates it just as J.R. did. For guitarists, the chair can easily be adjusted to accomodate either standard or classical playing positions. The benefit? Longer playing times with greater comfort from reduced leg and back strain! Since I've received my SoundSeat, I've found I can play for hours on end and my back stays comfortable. The SoundSeat is truly a rarity: A great product at a great price with great support, and not only for your backside!
Click to visit SoundSeat
315 Charolais Drive
Salisbury, NC 21846