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Published June 15, 2000


The Billy Bags PRO-1000 CD Storage Rack

Yikes! I’ve just moved again. That means that everywhere I look, I see piles of boxes, books, LPs, CDs, and magazines. Let me tell you, this is no way for an adult to live.

Yet, there are times when it seems as though the entire world has entered into a conspiracy to keep me from getting organized -- even without the convenient excuse of a move.

For years, my biggest impediment to organization was the lack of high quality record shelves. I’d go down to the custom furniture shops and they’d proudly show me "record shelves" that would hold all of 200 LPs. Not even remotely enough space. Finally had some built to my specifications and had done with it.

These days, the problem is CD storage. What’s stable, capable of growing with the collection, and remotely affordable? Not much. You can buy small unfinished shelves that will hold 150-200 discs, but you still need to put them on something -- and I don’t know about you, but I personally am tired of living amongst furniture that screams "student slum." I’d like to move beyond brick & board bookcases and the whole "unfinished furniture" ghetto.

And then there are the nicer CD shelves, all lacquered up and sporting glass doors. Well, they don’t stack very well, don’t take odd-sized CD packaging (so much for filing my XRCDs!), and who needs more flat glass surfaces in his listening room. anyway?

Just as I was despairing of ever finding CD shelving I could live with, I saw an ad for Billy Bags’ PRO-1000 CD Storage Rack. It was perfect! Sturdy as the dickens, generously sized, and best of all, it was modular. Buy one rack and continue adding additional 500 or 1000 CD sections as the collection grows! What a great idea..

I ordered two sections immediately. They arrived in five or six boxes containing the side panels (black on one side, "graphite nebula" on the other), some thirty 40-inch long textured steel rods per unit, bags and bags of 1/4-inch threaded mounting hardware, and two CD dividers per unit. An Allen key is also supplied.

A single person could assemble a single unit fairly easily -- all that’s required is a lot of elbow grease on the Allen key (and it’s even easier with a hex head on an electric screwdriver), but a double unit requires two assemblers. I know because I put my back out trying to do it by myself.

And what did I end up with? An 83-inch wide, ten shelf unit that holds approximately 2000 CDs. Shelves are 6 inches apart, so even XRCD packaging poses no problems -- and they’re angled so that it’s easy to read CD spines. Well, as easy as it gets.

The side panels have fasteners to stabilize the shelf against the wall and nubby little feet, so they look well finished.

Best of all, like all Billy Bags furniture, you can customize your order, as needed. When I moved to Connecticut, I no longer had enough room for a double unit along the wall of my listening room, so I ordered the appropriate hardware and an additional side panel and split my unit into two discrete racks. In my new place, I’ll be needing more shelves, but I’ll have to order them in custom widths, rather than the standard 42 inches. Again, Billy Bags will accommodate me for a reasonable price.

On one hand, there’s not a lot to say about CD shelves -- they either work or they don’t. The PRO-1000 CD Storage Racks work extremely well. On the other hand, they are, in addition, stable and handsome and flexible. They fulfilled all of my needs, as well as my expectations. There aren’t really all that many products you can say that about. I couldn’t recommend them more highly.

...Wes Phillips

Billy Bags PRO-1000 CD Storage Rack
Price: $658 USD

Billy Bags
4147-A Transport Street
Ventura, CA 93003
Phone: (805) 644-2185
Fax: (805) 644-0434


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