That cheap desk you got from Walmart or Amazon isn’t going to cut it anymore. You need an affordable workstation that accommodates all your studio gear.
The ProRak LS840 from RAB Audio is the perfect solution for folks who want to upgrade their home studio. If you have at least one piece of rackmount gear and a MIDI controller, this desk will reduce clutter and keep all your gear within arm’s reach.
This review will take a closer look at the ProRak LS840 and see if it is the right desk for you. We will discuss its features, its build quality, and its overall value.
What is the ProRak LS840?
The ProRak LS840 studio desk is a high-quality, adjustable workstation that’s perfect for your home studio. It features a spacious work surface, two 4U rack bays, a sliding keyboard tray, and a cable management system. The desk is also height-adjustable, so you can find the perfect ergonomic position for your work.
ProRak LS840 Workstation Features
As simple as this desk is, there’s quite a bit going for it. Let’s go over all the main features.
Dual 4U Rack Bays
The built-in 4U rack bays provide ample space for your rackmount equipment, such as audio interfaces, preamps, compressors, and power conditioners. That way, they’re easy to reach and look incredibly professional.
Sliding Keyboard Tray
This handy tray can slide under the desk and can store your keyboard or a small MIDI controller. You can also adjust the height to fit your needs.
Large Table Surface
The LS840 has a 40.5-inch x 16-inch work surface. It provides plenty of space for your desktop gear, including laptops, keyboards, MIDI controllers, and more.
Cable Management System
The built-in cable management system stores all your cables in a nice little cradle. It dramatically reduces the clutter behind and under your desk. Here’s a look from behind holding some power cables:
The desk is height-adjustable, so you can find the perfect position for your needs. If you’re tall and/or have plans to use the sliding tray, I’d suggest going with the highest setting.
Optional Keyboard Tray and Monitor Upgrades
If you want more out of your desk, you can upgrade it with a larger keyboard tray or monitor extensions. Personally, I chose the complete desk with upgrades to future-proof my setup.
The keyboard tray upgrade kit includes a larger 38-inch x 16-inch surface. That’s big enough to accommodate most 49-key keyboards. You can also adjust the height from 3.25–4.75 inches to fit chunkier keyboards.
The monitor extensions add extra length to the second tier. That way, you can place speakers on the extensions and have extra room for a wide computer screen, more gear, or just desk toys.
You can buy these upgrades separately, or pick them up as part of a complete set with the desk.
Assembling the ProRak LS840 Studio Desk
Maybe I’m just an idiot. But I had some trouble building this desk. I thought the instructions were genuinely terrible, and I had to resort to watching RAB Audio’s tutorial video to figure things out.
If you’ve assembled other pieces of furniture, or even Lego sets, you’ll notice their diagrams show everything from an isometric viewpoint. On the other hand, the LS840’s instructions only show side views with some vague circles highlighting the holes.
Here are two diagrams to show what I mean:
As a visual learner, I much prefer the bed diagram on the left. You could look at just the picture and immediately know which pieces you need, where they attach, and what direction they go in.
The diagrams in the LS840 packet don’t adequately communicate that information. You’ll have to read the instructions very carefully and use some deductive reasoning. That sounds like an obvious thing to do. But in practice, it’s not as simple without good diagrams.
If I had any feedback to give RAB Audio, it’s to update the manual with 3D diagrams. That alone will make their instructions much easier to understand.
What Tools Do You Need?
The LS840 kit comes with a 4mm Allen wrench. You’ll also need a Phillips screwdriver. I’d also recommend having a power drill — it’ll make your life much easier.
This highly versatile cordless driver comes with a large number of drills, bits, and accessories to tackle any home repair or DIY project.
How Long Does the LS840 Take to Assemble?
You should probably set aside at least two hours to assemble this desk. Some people have said it took as low as half an hour. It took me closer to two hours since I struggled with the instructions a bit. I also had the upgrades, which added to my build time.
The Build Quality
I was initially worried that there are only four bolts (two per side) supporting all the weight of the desk and my gear. But once it was all put together, my worries went away.
The LS840 is clearly a desk that’s built to last a long time. It feels really chunky and sturdy, doesn’t wobble around, and I’m comfortable with setting more gear and books on top of it.
RAB Audio ProRak LS840 Pros and Cons
There’s so much to like about this desk. But that’s not to say it’s without faults. Let’s go over some pros and cons.
- Rack bays keep gear easily within reach
- Sliding keyboard tray frees up table space
- Cable management system reduces clutter
- Incredibly sturdy build will last a long time
- Affordable price makes it a great option for home
Chances are, you want this desk for the rack bays. I can tell you, it’s nice to have your essential gear sitting right in front of you. Everything’s within arm’s reach for quick and easy access!
The keyboard tray is also incredibly nice. You can hide your MIDI controller on the tray and keep your computer keyboard on the large work surface — or vice versa.
The ProRak LS840 also reduces clutter. For one, having the rack bays and keyboard tray eliminates the need for having separate units for those items. Plus, the cable management system under the desk keeps everything all in one place.
Right now, there’s no mess of cables behind my desk. I just have a single power cable running out the back. Simple and clean.
The best part is, this desk is highly affordable.
- Large rack gear sticks out behind desk
- Keyboard tray only fits smaller MIDI controllers
- Desk is prone to cosmetic smudges
- Instructions might be difficult to follow
The desk is a perfect fit for most rackmount audio gear, which is usually about 10 inches deep (or 25.4 cm). That said, I have a rackmount PC that’s twice as long. It sticks out incredibly far behind the desk. So I can’t push it against the wall.
It’s not a huge problem for me, but I can see this being an issue for people with limited space.
If you have a large MIDI controller, be ready to set it on top of the desk. The included tray measures 32 inches by 12 inches. For reference, that’ll fit most 32- and 37-key controllers.
You could get the keyboard tray upgrade kit, which gives you a 38-inch by 16-inch surface. That’ll hold most 49-key MIDI controllers. But if you have anything bigger than that, you’ll have to set the keyboard on the main surface or find a different solution.
Another thing I noticed the desk is incredibly prone to smudging from fingerprints. Depending on who you are, this may or may not be an issue.
And as I mentioned earlier, I think the instructions are kind of difficult to follow. Putting the LS840 together may take some trial and error.
Recommended Accessories for the ProRak LS840
This desk doesn’t come with rack screws or other accessories. Here are some products you should consider getting with your ProRak workstation.
- Furman PL-8C Power Conditioner with Lights
- Gator Standard Size Rack Screws - 25 Pack
The Furman PL-8C is an advanced surge protector that protects your electronic equipment from voltage spikes and provides clean power. It's a worthwhile investment for anyone with multiple pieces of rack gear.
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Alternatives to the ProRak LS840 Studio Desk
I settled on the LS840 based on a friend’s recommendation. That said, I had my eye on these other studio desks when shopping around. Each one comes with similar features and price points.
Final Thoughts: Is the ProRak LS840 Studio Desk Worth It?
The LS840 desk is easily one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It’s helped me create a clutter-free setup and keeps my essential gear within arm’s reach.
You may or may not have trouble putting it together. But long term, it’ll do wonders for your workflow.
If you’re at all considering this desk, I’d say pull the trigger and go for it.