Usually I can’t even blink an eye before someone takes me to task for not including this or that in one of my posts and also this time, about two seconds after I put up a post about the nifty Boltz CD racks, Steve, hailing from the US, shot an e-mail my way, complaining that I had forgotten to include the Boltz LP shelf units, his – as he put it – “one true and only love” (did I ever mention that we collectors are a weird bunch?). In a post scriptum, he added that his wife had threatened him with divorce (no surprise, mate) if he ever bought another expansion set and, he tells me, he now has to resort to having them shipped to his office. Collecting can put a real strain on your life and relationship(s), can’t it?
Well, it wasn’t due to negligence that the Boltz LP shelf units didn’t show up in that post the other day. They are, after all, LP and not CD racks, so I thought I might as well write about them separately to stick them into my LP storage category. The reason is simple: There aren’t many LP shelf units that collectors swear by, and the Boltz ones are far too popular to let them drown in a post on CD racks.
The Boltz LP shelf units were the first product from that fine American company that I came across when researching what’s modular, popular and readily available. When compared to the myriad of CD racks out there, vinyl enthusiasts – sadly enough – don’t have that many quality products to choose from. Yes, they can have racks hand-crafted locally, and many collectors choose that route, but if you are searching for a neat commercial product that comes highly recommended by people using them, your list of available products becomes rather short quickly.
I have to admit that I have left the group of vinyl collectors and although I still have many LPs left, I have chosen to go the digital way … although that can be frustrating at times. I have my LPs housed in old IKEA Ivar cupboards, and they are rock solid. I also know though that despite the popular conception that vinyl collecting is only for grumpy old geezers, recent articles have repeatedly told us that vinyl collecting is on the rise again with young people all around the globe … and those people need racks, and plenty of them.
To get an idea of how popular the Boltz LP shelf units are, you just need to search for them online. If you are a regular reader of any of the many music and audiophile forums out there, forums that usually ask their members to supply a profile with details about their stereo equipment and preferred rack systems, the name Boltz pops up so many times that I’ve started to wonder if there’s anything else out there that people actually buy (this one comes in a close second).
Most importantly though, the Boltz LP shelf units are so popular because they’re easily assembled and are rock solid. We’re talking U.S. steel that can withstand even the heaviest collections you decide to place on the shelves and, what’s best, you can stack these babies to the ceiling, giving your apartment or listening room the wall-to-wall treatment.
Boltz offers two different expandable LP shelf units, a 36″ shelf unit and a 20″ one. Both are made from solid steel and sport the instantly recognizable unique Boltz design. When faced with which width to choose, it really comes down to what kind of space you need to fill up and how large your collection is. Both shelf units are expandable by adding shelf packages and despite the somewhat hefty price tag, you can fill up every square inch with these if you like because they have been around since the end 90s and are probably also going to be around for the next few decades, minimum.
LP collectors know that weight soon becomes an issue and if you choose to go with the Boltz LP shelf units, you simply don’t need to worry at all. A 36” shelf will easily hold 275 lbs (that’s about 180 LPs) and one 20″ one will hold 200 lbs (that’s around 90 LPs). Both shelf units can be built as high as you like “without so much as an ounce of deflection”, although Boltz recommends that you get their optional wall brackets if you expand a rack to go over 5 shelves high. I don’t even want to picture one of these shelf units tipping over and burying its owner beneath. From what I’ve heard though, chances that they might tip over are about as close to non-existent as you can get, but you never know. So use wall brackets, especially if you have kids running around your place!
If you do need to move your shelves around once in a while, you can add 4 large (locking) casters to a unit you built and Boltz also offers a pair of uprights for $20 to keep your LPs upright and tight in a 36″ unit that isn’t filled to capacity yet.
Yes, they are a bit pricey ($199.00 for the 20″ one and $109 for a 20″ expansion shelf package; $249.00 for the 36” shelf unit and $149 for the expansion shel package; buying 2-, 3- or 4-shelf units from the get go will save you some cash) , but from what I’ve heard, they are also a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. I haven’t heard of a single person parting with these and it is to be expected that they will be passed on to following generations. Combine that rock-solid quality with the widely-discussed excellent service and customer support Boltz offers and what you get is a product that is more than worth investing your hard-earned cash in (just check their seemingly endless list of testimonials on their web site which seem to have been placed there completely uncensored).
If you have read my site regularly, you also know that I recommend buying quality products (although I myself often don’t have the money to do so), simply because I had to invest too much money into cheap units that had to be replaced all the time. Yes, there are cheaper products available, but if you have one of those super huge LP collections, the Boltz LP racks might be just your thing, both in regard to design and durability.
In the end though, don’t blame me if your spouse threatens you with divorce.
I ain’t taking the blame.