We've written before about the challenges of collecting vinyl - I've joked that those around us probably regard our hobby as a "lifestyle choice". There are the slings and arrows each of us face in trying to put together our ultimate music collection, but the problem that we all face is where to stow all of those damned records. They're large (okay... not along the Z axis), they're heavy, and you need to store them in a way that you can still read the spines.
Let's assume that you're beyond the ol' cinder bricks and glass blocks stage of storage solutions. You can of course build something perfect from scratch (provided that your significant other lets you touch power tools), but lots of us crave an out-of-the-box solution. Ikea's Expedit is ideal for storing a large record collection. The units are available in assorted arrangements of 12" x 12" cells - perfect for storing and browsing your favorite records.
Expedit has been much beloved by the vinyl collecting community, many going so far as to designing their listening rooms around multiple Expedit units. I have a 5 x 5 unit myself, and I can honestly say that it's changed my life forever. For years Expedit has been the standard bearer in affordable vinyl storage, which is why Ikea's announcement that they were discontinuing the line came as such a blow.
Vinyl collectors were aghast. Vinyl is on its first upswing in many years, and this is the time Ikea chooses to cease production on the perfect solution so many of depend on? One of the deciding factors in my investing in Expedit furniture was that I could always get another piece to match it a few years down the road. My current Expedit is almost full, and soon I'll need to swell ranks with another unit. But I really really don't want to start hoarding furniture because now that Expedit is on the outs. What am I supposed to do?
While news of the the discontinue Expedit has traveled wide, what is less widely reported is Ikea's response. They say that while Expedit is going away, it'll be replaced by Kallax (which I keep mistyping as "klaxxon"). The new line will have the exact same vinyl-friendly compartments in the exact same sizes, and take the exact same weight. The only difference they say is that the slide profiles will be thinner and will be more rounded. Okay, that's a partial reprieve, but to my eye the thicker sides are what make Expedit look like real furniture instead of budgety slapped-together dorm room furnishings. The big shocker is that Ikea's new Kallax line is also quietly being introduced with the largest unit being four by four compartments. Expedit sports a five by five choice, and believe me, those extra rows make a huge difference. When you're shelving a lot of vinyl, you need that extra height to make the most of your stroage space. I'm sure we'll all find ways to stack multiple Kallax units, but it's sad to already have the perfect solution in place right now, and we're just expected to stand by helplessly as it disappears. Vinyl collectors are taking action. You can join the Facebook group "Rettet das Ikea Expedit Rega" (The Expedit extinction was first announced in German Ikea stores, hence the German Facebook page) where record enthusiasts are posting photos of how Expedit keeps their collections wrangled. Astonishingly, the page has garnered some 24,000 likes in just a month. Some hopeful fans have pointed out that the line changeover is happening on April 1st, and hope that this is merely an April Fool's gag... but that would definitely mean that Ikea is playing the long game.
It's nice for the vinyl crowd to be recognized by the furniture giant, but I stand with my Expedit brothers in voicing my unhappiness about the forced move to the new smaller Kallax. Those of us who have made the lifestyle choice to collect vinyl aren't ones to exactly welcome change.