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Review: AZ Studio Workstations – Elite Sit-Stand Studio Desk

This is my review of the AZ Studio Workstations Elite Sit-Stand Studio Desk. This is a long one, so TLDR: I would not recommend AZ Studio Workstations because my frame broke within 24 hours, they sent me the wrong color / finish desk and their customer support is awful.

The pictures they show on their website do not match the product you receive. Apparently they changed the colors and finish of the desks, but didn’t bother to update any of the pictures to reflect that. After 4 weeks of back and forth emails they refused to do anything to send me the desk I paid for unless I paid for return shipping, so my credit card company said we should file a chargeback.

This prompted a somewhat aggressive email from the president of the company (Art) threatening legal action if I didn’t send them the desk or the funds. Only after refusing to budge did he finally offer to process a return where they would pay for the return shipping.

AZ Studio Workstations is the worst company i’ve ever purchased from. They can’t be bothered to update their website when they change their products and if you question it they blame you instead of taking responsibility.

Table Of Contents

* Update – 1/5/24: Uplift Desk sent me a new control box in the mail. I was hoping this would fix the frame because it’s an easy swap, but unfortunately it still has the exact same problems. They’re going to send me new legs to try as well.

* Update – 1/9/24: AZ Studio Workstations is refusing to do an exchange for the desktop unless I pay for shipping, despite the fact they’re the ones who made a mistake.

Why I Chose This Desk

For years I have been happily using an Output Platform studio desk for my home studio. However considering I work from home running my business I spend 12+ hours per day at my desk – so I decided I needed a sit-stand desk.

Believe it or not, sit-stand studio desks are hard to come by. Some of you might be happy with a regular office sit-stand desk, but I also wanted these features:

  • Under desk keyboard tray (ideally 88 key sized)
  • Rack spaces for gear
  • Large enough for two screens, two speakers and my camera

While possible to customize a regular office desk with rack stands and keyboard mounts, i’d rather purchase something already designed. From what I could find, there were two desks that met these requirements:

  • AZ Studio Workstations Elite (this company also has two other sit-stand desks)
  • StudioDesk Enterprise Electric

Why I Picked The Elite Studio Desk

The Elite desk met my requirements, but I also liked the design more than the Enterprise Electric desk. StudioDesk appears to only use mockup models on their site, and they appear to be in the EU. With AZ Studio Workstations having real images and being based in the USA, I felt it would be much safer and simpler to go with them (I was very wrong about this assumption).

The footprint of the desk worked better for my needs too, and I was able to change the rack spaces from a 2U size to a 3U size for no additional cost or lead time. The Elite also had memory controls on its controller while the Enterprise had none.

Elite Sit-Stand Studio Desk Delivery

When I placed my order the fabrication time was about 4 weeks, and delivery another 3-5 days. The package is nearly 300 pounds so they use a specialized delivery company that schedules a delivery day with you and use a lift to get it off the truck.

The delivery company needs to confirm delivery over the phone. This is fine, however even after confirming a delivery date they ended up having a problem and had to reschedule.

The delivery company doesn’t bring it inside though, they left it on my sidewalk in front of my house. I opened the box on the sidewalk and brought the individual pieces in one-by-one. I would recommend getting a 2nd person, especially for the desktop (carrying this part upstairs alone is scary, but possible).

Elite Sit-Stand Studio Desk Assembly

Fortunately the desk is simple to assemble due to the relatively low number of individual parts:

  • Desktop
  • Frame (8 or so parts)
  • Keyboard tray (3 or so parts)

Their instruction manual for assembly is very clear in some areas, but also awful in others.

  • The name of hardware in the manual didn’t match how the hardware was labelled in reality
  • The wiring diagram is confusing and lacks information
  • No mention was made for how to mount the control panel to the cutout

Look at how silly this wiring guide is. There is no mention of which cables go where, just where the pieces are relatively to the desk itself. Fortunately there is only one way to wire everything.

AZ Studio Workstations Elite Wiring Diagram

Assembling the legs and frame was very clean. However when it came time to mount wood pieces to the frame I noticed the tolerances were a little tight. After I placed the desktop on the frame I had to loosen the frame to shimmy it around for the holes to line up.

Additionally I wasn’t able to fully fasten all screws for the keyboard tray to the desktop, as the brackets didn’t line up perfectly to the cutouts on the desktop. However it’s tight enough on there where I feel perfectly safe with it. I feel like they need to do a quick tolerance analysis on these parts because clearly they aren’t lining up perfectly.

Building the desk itself maybe took an hour or so. Setting up my computer and gear and wiring everything up again took the entire day though. Here’s a small photo montage of the process…

Clearing my desk area
Clearing my desk area
AZ Studio Workstations Elite assembly
Assembling the UpliftDesk frame
AZ Studio Workstations Elite assembly
Attaching the desktop
Controller sliding right through the cutout
AZ Studio Workstations Elite Fully Assembled
Mounting the keyboard tray

AZ Studio Workstation Problems

Unfortunately there were several problems along the way, some pretty massive ones in fact.

  1. Within 24 hours the frame stopped going up and down. I had to reset the frame, but it kept failing and locking up with any minor movements.
  2. It seems that the cutout on the desktop for the controller is incorrect, or the controller changed without them knowing. There is no mention in the manual for how to mount it, and it just slips right through the hole.
  3. The color and finish of the desk they sent me is not remotely close to the desk I actually ordered.

AZ Studio Workstations Broken Frame

AZ Studio Workstation uses the UpliftDesk Commercial V2 frame, so within 24 hours of me notifying them they were able to start a warranty claim with Uplift for them to send a new frame. The problem with this is it involves taking the entire desk apart when they arrive.

They don’t actually handle the new frame themselves either. They passed me off to an employee at UpliftDesk. I was kind of expecting they (AZ) would have a new frame in the mail within 48 hours, but they just threw it over the fence to the other company.

Uplift Desk has been pretty smooth to work with. They overnight shipped me a new control box but that didn’t fix the issue. So now they’re sending me new legs for the desk since thats the only other component that could be causing issues.

This part was frustrating but at least it has a clear resolution. I’m not looking forward to taking apart the desk and putting it back together again though. As it means I have to undo a lot of cables, re-do my camera setup and lighting, and plan this around my busy video creation and Zoom call schedule.

AZ Studio Workstations Wrong Color & Finish

While I was stressing out about my brand new broken desk, I went on the website to read the reviews again. That’s when I noticed that my desk seemed oddly dusty, because the color and finish of the desk didn’t remotely match the product I purchased.

On their website when you choose ‘black’ it shows this dark grey desk with a powder coated look. However the desk I received is painted black with black plastic trim around the sides. The contour of the edges of the desk don’t even match the pictures.

Here’s their reply, “The images you shared are old when they used to be painted. Due to durability issues we stopped painting them and now they’re all melamine with pvc trim. We don’t have any gray colors. Only the colors found in the swatches.”

As a result, they’re refusing to exchange it unless I pay for the return shipping and packaging. I ordered one thing and was sent something different and inferior, it shouldn’t be up to me to spend more money.

If the images are old and they don’t offer this color, why is it the default product image for the desk? And why do they have it setup so when you select the color black it shows the old color? I wouldn’t have chosen this color if I knew it wasn’t the one in the image. To me this is misleading as hell.

When I buy a $15 item on Amazon and it doesn’t match the image exactly it’s whatever. Not updating your product images for a $2,200 desk that takes 5 weeks to deliver is inexcusable.

AZ Studio Workstations Mounting Control Panel

This issue fortunately did have a resolution. Basically you have to drill two screws into the inside of the cutout on the desktop. I wasn’t expecting to have to do any drilling on my new $2,200 desk, but apparently that’s what they had in mind.

It’s a pretty awkward angle and it results in a less than ideal mount. However it does get the job done. I don’t understand why the didn’t pre-drill the holes or come up with a more sophisticated mounting solution.

Oddly enough the orientation they recommend mounting the control panel results in the height display being upside down. Mounting it the correct orientation is incredibly awkward to drill. This feels like a design flaw.

AZ Studio Workstations Elite Quality

In my opinion the Output Platform feels much more premium that the AZ Studio Workstation Elite desk. Here’s the major differences:

  • The Elite seems to be made of a painted particle board while the Platform is made of much thicker plywood.
  • The Elite is much more wobbly than the Platform, however it’s worth mentioning all standing desks are
  • The tolerancing doesn’t feel as tight on the Elite, holes don’t align as well and there are larger gaps than on the Platform
  • The PVC trimming scratches and scuffs very easily

The Output Platform feels like a tank while the Elite feels somewhat fragile.

AZ Studio Workstations Customer Support

Overall my experience with AZ Studio Workstations has been pretty damn poor. Almost every time I sent an email it took 2-3 days to get a reply, and that was with me constantly pestering their inbox.

The image below is of two separate 21-email long threads. We’ve exchanged over 42 emails at this time and still don’t have a resolution.


Overall I found this entire process to be incredibly frustrating, and I don’t think i’ll ever purchase anything from them ever again.

The Elite desk frame broke within 24 hours of me receiving it, resulting in a warranty claim thats taking weeks to resolve and has wasted hours of my time. They don’t update their website to accurately show the color and finish of the products you’re purchasing. Their assembly instructions are vague and don’t match the pieces you actually receive.

At the time i’m writing this it’s been 3 weeks since I contacted them about the broken frame and incorrect color / finish and I still have a broken frame with the wrong color / finish desk. I’ll update this article once the entire process is over with, i’d be happy if they turn things around and turn this into a positive review.

The design of the desk is generally great, although I really wish they sent me the color and finish I purchased. Future improvements would be to incorporate cable management in the form a cable management tray, and cutouts for wires to pass through like the Output Platform has.

Overall I think the perfect desk for me would be if the Output Platform came out with a standing desk version. But until then, problems aside, the Elite gets the job done assuming they fix my frame.