It’s a nice start.
My following comments are not meant to dissuade you, nor to be negative for the sake of it. I understand there are limitations in all platforms, and that different people like to consume and find information in different ways. But this is all fighting how this particular platform (Discourse) is intended to be used, and as a result will be very manual, and possibly more work than it is worth.
There might be an add-in that does it. The problem with add-ins is that they often break when the platform upgrades and that causes major problems, and is one more thing that has to be administered and managed.
So the best way to order the list, for the broadest number of users, is likely to simply be alphabetical by manufacturer then model.
Beyond that … and I say this with a deep background in taxonomic systems, information management, organization and presentation, library science and other related topics (@pennstac has also done extensive work in these areas, I believe) …
Tables like the above, whether manual or system-supported, are useful for browsing a list of items to see what might be there. They’re extremely inefficient for organization and directed discovery, however.
Discourse is a “metadata and search” driven tool, with a bias towards fluid discussion rather than information presentation.
It is most effective when used in that manner, and that’s why it was picked as the platform for this forum, vs. something like XenForo (which is an excellent platform, but biased in the opposite direction to Discourse).
And what that means is using the Search function, rather than trying to impose other structures on top of the platform itself. This is a model I am very used to, but it’s less common on audio forums.
This means that when I want to know about a specific headphone, I type its name into the search box and hit enter. Doing that will generally get me exactly what I am looking for in the top three links. If I have to start browsing for things, then I’m going to be clicking multiple times and manually scanning tables to find the item to click.
And then with indexes like this, on this particular forum, you cannot pin all of them and still have the platform work effectively. So you’ll wind up with ONE pinned post that will contain links to the un-pinned indexes, which means you’re three clicks + browsing/scrolling from what you’re looking for, instead of two clicks and finding what you want at the top of the page.
The next problem is that a manually indexed model is a lot of work. It’s time consuming to setup, and people have to remember to update it otherwise it becomes actively counter-productive.
And by “actively counter productive” I mean that, if it isn’t current, all the time, then some subset of users that use those indexes to see if there’s something posted for what they are interested in are going to go to the index, not see what they’re looking for, and consequently think it isn’t there at all.
For the more static, tabular, model I think the Wiki-based “database” model that Andrew and the other mods are working on behind the scenes is a better fit for what you’re trying to accomplish here.
For me, I still find doing a search for what I want to be faster, more precise and much easier.