Unfinished Oak Record Shelf System With Birch Inlay
One Unfinished Oak Record Shelf unit with a fitted 1/4″ Baltic birch plywood inlay. The unfinished inlay is a ready-to-use, solid bottom plate that can be easily added to any of our Oak and Ambrosian Maple record shelf units. This add-on makes our shelving incredibly versatile, accommodating both smaller-than-LP-size vinyl and opening the door to a myriad of other functional storage possibilities. And if you frequently add, remove, and/or reorganize your records, inlays help protect album corners from snagging if accidentally dragged across the bare shelf frame.
Virtually every record collector tussles with the quandary of how to store their ever-growing collection of cherished LPs. As avid collectors ourselves, we are sadly aware of the limitations of available vinyl storage options. Cardboard LP storage boxes are unsightly, cumbersome, and stack poorly. Ditto for milk crates and the slew of other on-the-cheap storage methods. Designed initially to house our own record collections, our Shelf Systems incorporate several key features:
• Durable Construction. Hand-crafted by the same Amish family that makes our rock-solid SAMSON racks, the handsome Mapleshade Record Shelf System uses first rate solid ¾” oak. Crist and Uri meticulously hand-assemble the components using no staples, cardboard, plastic, or MDF. Our Record Shelf System offers exceptional material and handcrafted quality.
• Ease of Use. Assembly is simple, requiring only a screwdriver. Stored LPs have all their spines clearly visible. That obscure European pressing of your favorite artist is always right at your fingertips. No unstacking and restacking of boxes, no sifting from crate to crate. Your complete collection is readily accessible and easy to keep organized so you can focus on listening to great music.
• Expandability. Each shelf holds 150 LPs. Add extra units as needed. Our interlocking shelves are so sturdy and rigid that they can be stacked 6 units high. This allows you to store up to 900 LPs in little more than 2 1/2 square feet of precious floor space. Our Record Shelf System is designed to expand as your collection grows.
• Furniture Grade Quality. Either finished or unfinished, our Record Shelf Systems exude quality and are far more attractive than any mass-produced, semi-disposable Swedish furniture you’ll find.
• For The Elegant Listening Room. We offer our Eleganza series for rooms where it is important that the record storage integrates handsomely into an elegant décor. We offer both Finished Oak and Ambrosian Maple, with handsomely contrasting flush bottom plates and an inset top – allowing you to utilize the top for display or extra storage. To add further elegance, we offer a matching base to raise the bottom shelf off the floor. A rolling caster base is another option.
• minimal assembly required
• each shelf holds 150 LPs
• interlocking construction allows stacking up to six shelves high
• internal dimensions: 24″ wide x 13″ deep x 13″ tall
• external dimensions: 27″ wide x 13-3/4″ deep x 14-1/2″ tall
• includes 24″ wide x 13″ deep x 1/4″ thick unfinished Baltic birch plywood inlay
• weight: 15.5 lbs each
REVIEW by The Absolute Sound, August 2014
It wasn’t too long ago that I figured my vinyl-buying days were over. By high-end standards my collection was a modest one, maybe 1500 or so LPs. But they were choice—carefully culled over the years, only the best discs had survived. These were stored on classic Per Madsen stackable oak record racks accumulated back in the 1980s. By the turn of the millennium my collection was neither growing nor shrinking, and Per Madsen was no longer building record racks.
However, with the premium vinyl resurgence of the last few years my collection has begun increasing once again. I’ve been playing more records than ever. And as in my long-ago college days, I’ve got batches of records sitting on the floor once more. Long story short, I never thought I’d be in the market for another LP rack system.
But riding to the rescue was Mapleshade. A stalwart of the high end, Mapleshade’s beginnings can be traced to the purist recordings of engineer Pierre Sprey, who built the Mapleshade Studio in 1986 and launched the Mapleshade label in 1990. Achieving renown for their indie audiophile recordings, Mr. Sprey and his partners also researched and developed what has turned into a full-blown catalog (68 pages and counting) and a grab bag of tweaks, cable, racks, and mods.
The racks are constructed of 3/4″ finished or unfinished oak or finished Ambrosia maple, and are still hand-crafted by the same Amish family that also builds Mapleshade’s massive Samson racks. They are beautifully sawn with clean edges and immaculate corners. Even in the unfinished oak that I opted for, the smooth grain was like silk to the touch. The racks are stackable and stable up to four units high. At 27″, they are wider and heavier than the Per Madsen 18″ standard, and the planks are cut thicker—all the better to support the latest crop of 200-gram reissues.
Admittedly I’m no Thomas Chippendale, so the prospect of assembling anything with more than two or three parts was a little unnerving. However these Mapleshades were a snap. The materials arrived so carefully packaged that the planks and end pieces hadn’t shifted an inch within the box. Each rack is made up of two square vertical end pieces, a pair of right-angle planks, and two flat planks, all connected by eight wood screws and four tiny wood plugs. (Pre-tapped holes are aligned and neatly sunk into each rack to accept the wood plugs for righteously secure stackability.) No glue is required anywhere.
It took a mere fifteen minutes to assemble a Mapleshade rack, gather up a few dozen homeless LPs, and slide them securely into place. Aligning the edges of each jacket just as I always have, I stood back and surveyed my efforts and felt a wave of nostalgia. I recollected a time when I nearly gave up my records for a new “improved” format. But now, years later, I’m far more skeptical of such claims. As vinyl continues to be issued and reissued, LPs have never seemed more alive and relevant. Thanks to Mapleshade finding a place to store them will never be a problem again. —Neil Gader