Boltz CD Racks

One way of adding products to write about to my ever-growing list of items is to simply surf through the list of referrers (for those not in the know, those are the “footprints” on my site left by visitors and kept track of via a small excellent programme called “Mint“, courtesy of Shaun Inman) which then usually takes me to longer or shorter posts referencing my site or discussing one of my posts.

Just the other day I followed another one of those links and was reminded again that I haven’t written anything about Boltz yet. Mind you, it certainly wasn’t the first time I was sent over to their site. It has happened many times because whenever people discuss storage options at some forum or another, the Boltz CD racks invariably pop up, usually by the third post or so … at the latest.

So, let’s see what all the buzz and hype is about.

Although we already have 2006 (time just flies too fast), Boltz is still a relatively “new” company which was started in the late 1990s, in 1998, to be exact. A team of California designers got together to create a functional and attractive, expandable and high-capacity steel rack system. What started with a single idea quickly developed into a whole line of A/V furniture and Boltz soon also entered the lifestyle furniture area, providing anything from office suites to bedroom furniture.

Today, Boltz is an established brand, catering to those of us who have a penchant for rock-solid quality furniture that is virtually indestructible. The latter is an important aspect if you consider that collectors never stop adding to their collections and that it is a real drag to re-buy elements or change shelf system altogether once you have either ruined a unit or are in desperate need for more space. If you are also into housing your stuff in any sort of aesthetic way, you are not the type to have several systems next to each other, a hodgepodge of styles, elements and units. What you want is a product that is expandable, that you can still buy years down the line and that offers consistent quality.

Secondly, I only hear positive things about Boltz’ commitment to quality, customer service and support. They also have an excellent track record of shipping on time and immediately responding to inquiries. Boltz is known for helping collectors find the optimal way of setting things up, for trying to help collectors plan elaborate setups to house their sometimes outrageously large collections. Give them a call, send e-mail or write a letter – from what I’ve heard, they’ll get back to you in a hurry and suggest solutions to your immediate problems or give you recommendations on how to set up your dream rig.

I have never touched or seen any of their racks, but they come highly recommended by countless collectors (just search for “Boltz” on any of the highly-frequented music sites around the planet and a long list of discussions, posts or image galleries will pop up), so it is about time I feature them here on my site.

On top of that, Boltz has a grip on that product placement shtick, and

[…] Boltz has been featured in many movies, TV shows, and magazines. Look for us in the TV Show CSI as well as the movies Spiderman, Mr. and Mrs. Smith ( with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ), and the upcoming movie version of Miami Vice.

So, what’s good for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie should also be good for us nutcase collectors. 😉

Let’s have a look at some of their products:

01) My favorite is the Raw Steel Double Cabinet.

The Raw Steel Double Cabinet is certainly bit pricey for what it can house, but it must also be the mother of CD shelving units able to survive a global thermonuclear war.

Each one of these beauties is hand-made as well as designed and produced to reflect an antique style, patina and finish variations and all. So, what you get is a unique unit that because of the way this is produced, does not have an identical partner anywhere on the planet. It can house 300 CDs or 180 DVDs (the unit will also house VHS tapes, if you so desire), has hinged glass double doors (pre-installed glass … for all of you worried about having to assemble any of this yourselves) and five adjustable shelves to create a 6-tier cabinet.

A real beauty, albeit a bit small: the dimensions are 23.5″ (Width) – 6.5″ (Depth) – 47″ (Height) for the unit. The base dimensions are 26,5” (Width) – 8-3/4″ (Depth). You can even order optional castors to move these babies around, so if you have a moderate collection and are into antique style, these might be the way to go for you. Because of the elaborate construction process, they’ll set you back just one dollar short of $700 dollars – cheap, if you consider that they will last several lifetimes.

02) The CD-110, a cool little unit (CD-220, if you need more head)

From my perspective, I would place the CD-110 right up there with the Raw Steel Double Cabinet. It’s a nifty little wall hanging rack – again with that 100% steel stamp of approval – able to hold 110 CDs.

Like all the other CD racks offered by Boltz, this one is also made to resist the daily strain put upon it, and it sports a virtually indestructible power coat finish. It comes with steel slider dividers to keep your CDs from tilting this way or that and an ingenious way of hanging these babies up: The wall hangers are built in a way that the nails are driven in at an angle, using the weight of the rack to hold them more than tight enough. The only complaint here is that Boltz, being an American company, designed these holders for sheetrock or wood walls and if you don’t have any of those, you need to acquire additional hardware that is not provided. Not that this would stop me from getting any … there are plenty of ways of getting them up on other walls if you have a look around your local hardware store(s). A solution for other wall materials would only set you back a few dollars.

The unit ships assembled, has the dimensions of 24″ (Width) – 5.5″ (Depth) – 12″ (Height) and will cost you 69 dollars per unit. The CD-220, which is basically the CD-110 multiplied by two, is the larger version which can hold, you guessed it, 220 CDs. It’ll cost you $129 and will enable you to perhaps keep your 200 something favorite CDs up on the wall close to your stereo. That’s what I would do.

03) What everyone is raving about: the CD-150, 330, 275, and 600 (times one, two, three or more … much more)

Hundreds – if not many thousands – of collectors swear by these racks. It is the one (nearly identical) system many of those people prefer who have to house positively huge collections. We’re talking about those people who have thousands of CDs (unfortunately, from a financial point of view only, I’m one of those) and want to arrange what they have neatly, in an ordered and stable fashion.

The models listed above are all floor-standing units that can be expanded by simply “hooking in” another unit. Infinitely expandable … until your spouse throws you and/or the shelves out of the house or flat. Each tier has a slider divider to help you organize your CDs and keep them stable, and each unit sports stabilizer feet and wall support brackets (inlucded, but not required, both of which can be used independently). The units are available in Anthracite Metallic, Black Matte, or with a clear coat. Do you want to give your ego a solid push? Get four, five or six of these units and slap them up on a long wall. Then make yourself a stiff drink, place yourself on a chair in front of what you have created, put on one of your favorite CDs and … enjoy, or do whatever it is your ego tells you to do.

For details in regard to dimensions, visit the Boltz web site.

Speaking of which: The Boltz website, a bit slow at times, offers all the details you need, showcases a whole bunch of (detailed) images, and lets you buy their racks online. There’s even a “Boltz Updates, News, & Specials” newsletter you can subscribe to on their site (bottom of the pages).

You usually have to allow a mere one to five days for delivery (in the US) and either you’ll get smaller units assembled or you have to do some work yourself. A piece of cake, if I understand collectors’ comments correctly, especially since the “Boltz Wrench” (now, there’s a title for a book or movie) is included. If you lose the assembly instructions, all of them can also be found online and I kid you not when I say that it is that aspect that clearly separates Boltz from the pack (many sites are, for one reason or another, very reluctant to offer that kind of customer service, IKEA being one of the major culprits).

So, all you collectors out there, beg or steel. 😉

God, what an awful pun to finish this post off.

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

  1. Just a quick additional note for those of you who shot me e-mails one second after this post went live: I am more than aware of the Boltz LP shelf units and will post about them here in an instant.

    The reason why they were not included here is that they are LP shelf units and not CD racks. Remember, I do have an LP storage category here and that’s where those other beauties are going to end up.

    So, hold your horses. 😉


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