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33 Rackit Modular Record Storage Unit

11-11-2017 | By Scott Dorsey | Issue 94

For many years, Per Madsen in San Francisco made elegantly designed modular record racks which were prized by record collectors and audiophiles. With oak LP modules as well as modules for CDs and cassettes, many thousands of his Rackit modules were sold over the years.

But then, in 2008, Mr. Madsen decided to retire and was unable to find anyone to take over the business. All the jigs and special tooling that were used for his rack products were discarded. But the demand still remained and a lot of people who invested heavily in the Per Madsen Rackit system over the years have been looking for additional modules to go with their existing racks.

For a couple years, a company called TwoCan HiFi was making reproductions of the original Per Madsen LP racks and a compact disc rack that was different than the original but integrated well with them. However, the owner decided to leave the business after a fairly short time.

Now, a Canadian firm called 33Rackit (http://33rackit.ca) is making new LP storage bins that fit the old system, as well as selling a set with two storage bins, a top, and a base. The base is a little different and sits directly on the floor without casters (which were optional on the original Per Madsen units) but once again this all seems to be designed to integrate with the original Per Madsen system.

I ordered a kit with two storage bins and received them in a little more than two weeks. The stain color was a fair match to the original racks, and they fit reasonably well with the originals.

The design is not quite the same. The slats on top and back are slightly angled so that the records are held slightly back. This makes them a bit harder to remove from the shelf but this is not a substantial problem. The replacement screws are somewhat lighter duty than the originals but much easier to install for assembly, and they are using torx drivers instead of the conventional Allen driver that Per Madsen did. They also slightly countersunk the holes for the newer bolts which means that the side pieces as shipped from the factory come as distinct right and left sides. With the original Per Madsen units they were identical and so you could select them for appearance.

Overall workmanship on the units was acceptable. Mine came with some shiny stuff on one side of one panel which may have been stray linseed oil that dried. The edges were not rounded uniformly and the rear cross piece on one of them appeared not to have been rounded at all although this is not visible in actual use. I would like to see better manufacturing, but even so, I am just delighted to be able to get something like this at all.

I would not necessarily recommend this for someone just starting a record collection, but if you have existing Per Madsen racks and are looking to expand this is worth every penny. I just wish that CD racks were also available.

33 Rackit Modular Record Storage Unit

Retail: $400