Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review: Wood Technology CDS-3X-E CD Storage Rack

The good folks at online retailer CSN Stores recently provided me with a new wooden CD storage rack for review, in exchange for promotional considerations here at the Gaming After 40 blog.  The Wood Technology brand CDS-3X-E unit can be purchased here.  (And with those links posted, I have fulfilled my commercial obligation.)

The CD shelving unit arrived in good shape, and after many years of dealing with this kind of thing, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it requires no assembly -- this rack ships fully-assembled in the box.  This obviates a good portion of what I was planning to review, as ease of assembly, quality of hardware, and clarity of instructions are non-issues here.

It looks quite nice, too, in its simple way -- solid black-painted wood, with rounded edges for style and safety, and it's compact enough to fit in almost any environment.  The shelves are short, designed for CDs only, and will not handle DVDs or other large cases.  The unit is also a little back-heavy, so while it's unlikely to tip forward and spill its contents, that does mean you'll want to make sure it has something solid at its back.  That said, it seems very stable, and I currently have mine set up on top of a small bookshelf unit -- but if it's going to tip in any direction, it will go backwards long before it goes down face-first.

My only real complaint is that the unit only includes one bookend block, so unless one plans to methodically fill up one shelf at a time, it's not really sufficient to keep a partially-filled unit organized.  I'm using it to store my PC Engine game collection, and since I'm doing my geeky best to group titles by manufacturer and volume number (many companies numbered their PC Engine releases on the case's spine), I find myself with one full shelf of "miscellaneous", and two partial shelves organized into groups by publisher.  If I had another block or two, everything would be neater.

The CDS-3X-E units are also stackable, with hardware included to solidify the assembly, but I'm not sure the modular approach works -- because of the rounded top and bottom edges, two CDS-3X-E units stacked together will look like two units stacked together.  I'll be more likely to replace this unit with a larger one if/when I exhaust the purported 150 CD capacity (it's less with double-wide CD cases, of course; my single completely full row currently contains 44 cases, 4 of them double-thick.)

I'm pretty happy with it overall -- it's a quality unit, simple but solid and functional, and it'll contain my collection for a while.  The CDS-3X-E retails for $65 at this writing, fully-assembled, so if you're in the market, I'd advise shopping around before making a decision.  The time and effort savings, and tight factory assembly, are nice; but there are attractive assemble-it-yourself options available for around half the price.

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