Vinyl's Made A Comeback! Tips For Storing Record Albums
As you may or may not know, one of the most popular formats for recorded music is once again the vinyl record. Though every time a new format made its debut as the “next big thing” - whether it was the cassette tape, compact disc, 8-track, or MP3- and the vinyl album would be written off as a thing of the past, they have actually held on quite well. In fact, many record labels that specialize in pressing vinyl records have bucked most music industry trends and actually seen increased sales and profits.
I will readily admit that I am certainly helping to contribute to these profits as I have been collecting vinyl records for the last 10 years or so. Maybe it was my father’s vast record collection that was the inspiration for this audiophile, or perhaps it was meeting and marrying an equally enthusiastic collector of vinyl – and it certainly does us no help having a brother (brother-in-law in my case) that works in a large independent record store that specializes in vinyl. No matter what it was that sparked this hobby, my wife and I currently have accumulated over 200 records of various shapes and sizes.
Now, for those that are more committed to compact discs, 200 albums do not sound like too hefty of a storage issue. But compact discs are made from lightweight plastic and come in small, easily stackable cases. I mean, it is right in the name, “compact” disc! Records on the other hand, typically come in one of three sizes, 7”, 10” and 12” – meaning even the smallest size is larger than a CD. Additionally, records cannot be stacked on top of each other as that causes damage to the vinyl. Lastly, records are quite heavy and a large amount of them on a weak shelf will inevitably lead to a disastrous shelf collapse.
So when my wife and I finally moved into our first home and established that we would be there for the long-term, we decided it was important to find a real solid shelf that was able to provide adequate storage for the vinyl records. We had been storing them in cardboard boxes in our guest room before that, which lead to lots of clutter in the room and made it difficult to find a specific record.
The three most important things we looked for in finding a proper vinyl record storage shelf were:
1.) A shelving unit that was made from solid wood or at least medium density fiberboard. Anything less durable than that, such as materials like plywood or low-cost particle board leads to collapsed shelves and potentially damaged records.
2.) A storage unit that featured adjustable shelves so we could maximize the space. It makes no sense and kills valuable shelving space to store your 7” singles next to large 12” full length records. With adjustable shelves we could create a shelf for each size.
3.) An adjustable wood unit that had deeper than usual shelves. 12” deep is actually quite deep for most shelves or cabinets, since they are typically built for literature. If you have too much of an overhang on your shelves, it can make the unit unstable and also lead to collapsed shelves.
We also kept aesthetics in mind when selecting a shelving unit – obviously purchasing a large steel garage cabinet would have been the simplest method but would look painfully out of place in the living room. Finding an adjustable shelving unit with deep solid wood shelves was not a difficult task at all, and has made out record-listening an even more pleasurable experience!
Do you collect vinyl? What do you use to store it?