It was thought that the CD would kill off the vinyl record, and if that didn’t then the mp3 would. But it seems that UK consumers are becoming more and more enthused about the sound quality and flexibility that vinyl offers. Turntable sales are up and we bought more vinyl albums last year than in any year since 1997, according to The Telegraph.
This is great news for the factories that still churn out the 12-inch 33rpm LPs, but not such good news for our living rooms. You can store tens of thousands of mp3s on a laptop, but just four vinyl LPs take up more space than the average Sony Vaio, Dell or Macbook. And that is before considering the sizeable audio equipment that goes with playing your vinyl collection.
Clever storage is the obvious answer. Looking around, you should be able to uncover suitable 12-inch storage or shelving from high street chains, DIY stores or retail parks, but a far better solution will be something custom-made for you by a carpenter or joiner. This means that the storage could be designed to your own specifications, contain display space for your favourite record sleeves and include space for 7-inch records and even your turntable and amplifier.
Whether you store your records alphabetically, by genre or even by the colour of the spines, you can be sure that your collection will be neat, easily-accessible and safe from potential damage. You can also have the space to perfectly set up a pair of Technics 1210 turntables without trailing cables, uneven surfaces or interference from other equipment. If you are a weekend DJ, serious vinyl collector or casual enthusiast you will certainly appreciate it.
The best place to start is to see how large a collection you have and think about how you would like to keep it. You may want to take up an entire wall of your living room and display some of the sleeves outwards as a design feature, or you may want to have racks put up in a spare bedroom. You could even house a small collection beneath a custom-made window seat or have a shelving system that divides a large through-lounge.
Always be sure to have at least 10% extra storage made to allow for the expansion of your collection. After all, finally having your collection organised may make you even more enthusiastic about making it grow further. Your carpenter should be able to offer ideas too, as well as telling you about the limits of what you can do when it comes to wall storage. Vinyl LPs can be very heavy when stored in large numbers, so you will want to take this into consideration.
Of course, those who have thousands of books, CDs or DVDs in their homes may also want to consider custom storage. It will always cost more than the equivalent amount of storage from Ikea or Homebase, but the results can be stunning, with joiner-made shelving having the ability to really make a room. Prices start from £250 or so, but this can go into the thousands for extensive shelving. The materials are generally fairly inexpensive, but it is the skill and the time of the carpenter or joiner that you are paying for.