Do you miss a particular audio brick-and-mortar store?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by a10warthog, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. a10warthog

    a10warthog Member

    Messages:
    96
    I sure do. I used to love going to Pacific Stereo. As I remember, the stores had listening rooms for three tiers of equipment; cheap, middle of the road, and very expensive. Our local PS let customers hang out as long as they liked as long as you didn't cause trouble, and didn't waste the time of the sales staff. (who I think were on commission.) My buddies and I were musicians, had a band, and lived for music and electronic gadgets. So PS was a gas to go to burn a couple of hours.
    We had one buddy who was the manager of a "boutique" electronics store (not a PS, it was a small, locally owned store selling very high priced stuff to the gullible rich). He'd let us, and whatever girls were were hanging out with at the time, into the store after hours. We'd listen to music, party and audition equipment for hours.

    All this hanging out paid off for those places. I bought tons of gear from that PS while hanging out, including a Tanberg reel 2 reel, two Luxman receivers, and a Nakamichi Dragon from the boutique shop. (turns out the rich aren't the only ones who turned gullible in that shop, LOL)

    I miss those B&M stores.
     
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  2. ferninando

    ferninando super tek Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,945
    Location:
    San Jose Ca.
    well for me, it is kinda hard to miss something thats been gone for 30 yrs.
    there were quite afew in my local.
    Pacific Stereo and ALCO Paramount are 2 that cme to mind
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
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  3. loudnoises

    loudnoises Escalates Quickly Subscriber

    Messages:
    486
    Location:
    Pondside, NH
    Service merchandise.

    They had the best offering of midrange audio gear, and always had totl demos for sale if you asked. Was like Sears with less fluff and more gadget.
     
  4. Old Guy8

    Old Guy8 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,794
    Location:
    Rockford, Illinois
    Appletree Records. They had a side by side adjoining audio equipment and record stores.

    Edit: It was a chain, so followed me to college from home town. They were a nice store for records and brouse the audio before leaving.
    I bought some Ohm C2 speakers there in '77. Still use daily.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
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  5. Duane

    Duane AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,726
    Location:
    San Diego Ca
    Same here. There was a store just around the corner from where we worked in the early 70's. There were a few co-workers who had the same hobby and we'd go there during the lunch hour, ever so often to drool.
     
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  6. jimbo2k

    jimbo2k SWTPc Tiger 01s Tiger 215 2000ESD SB Touch BX300

    Messages:
    528
    Location:
    massachusetts
    Sound two from Dartmouth Ma
     
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  7. alteclipsch

    alteclipsch Super Member

    Messages:
    1,225
    Team Electronics, on Hennepin Avenue in South Minneapolis. Gone many years now, they were a moderate to high end retailer with cool equipment and no hard sell. I bought several pieces there back in the late sixties and early seventies. I think Best Buy (formerly Sound of Music) finally took their market share.
     
  8. a10warthog

    a10warthog Member

    Messages:
    96
    Yes, we had a similar record store here. Long gone now.
     
  9. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

    Messages:
    3,530
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    Big time loss.

    We had Soundex here in Willow Grove PA since I was 10. They moved thru various stages and buildings over the years. The last place was a custom built facility with 22 sound rooms.

    The whole 1st floor was all 2 Channel Systems, with Room#1 all the latest and greatest that month.
    The whole second floor was all HT setups and furniture.

    I bought my first stereo at age 16 with my first income tax refund in 1978. Onkyo Reciever and Tape Deck with Infinity speakers.
    I bought my first real setup there in 1992, Hafler 945 and 918 with Mirage M970s.
    Purchased many other items over the years before they finally closed their doors.

    I also got the chance to listen to some of the greatest gear out there on Saturdays when I would take a stack of disks and just close Door#1 and have at it.

    My favorite system of all time was the full Dynaudio Arbitur Pre and Amp driving the Consequence Speakers.
     
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  10. a10warthog

    a10warthog Member

    Messages:
    96
    Wow, you are so lucky.
     
  11. RamblinE

    RamblinE (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ Subscriber

    My girlfriends father talks about Soundex. I'm disappointed I never got to check it out. I believe he may have worked there when he was younger. Either there or HiFi House. His name was Erc.
     
  12. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,077
    Location:
    Adirondack Mountains NY
    I remember that was also my stereo place, if I remember right, they had a pencil and paper in each area, and you would need to write down the item, give it to someone then receive it on a conveyer belt at checkout? I think all items were sent to the checkouts, not carried by customers or something similiar.
     
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  13. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

    Messages:
    3,530
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    I used to love going there and watching guys drop some serious cash. I was there one day and a guy purchased something like a $15K Oracle Turntable. I saw the same guy 2 weeks later trading it in for the $30K version. Near the end, if you didn't have 50s and 100s falling out of your pockets, you could just browse the whole place without being bothered, or helped.

    Aside from the Dynaudio gear, my other favorite setups were BAT electronics, Oracle TT, driving ProAc speakers.
     
  14. Decibel_116

    Decibel_116 Phased Array

    Messages:
    1,468
    Location:
    North Alabama, USA
    Ah yes, the Camera Department as it was called. I was actually able to land a job at Service when I was still a senior in high school. My initial assignment was the sporting goods department. I later met the manager of the Camera Dept. and asked him why the displays in the stereo room did not work. After a brief discussion, I was given the task of completely rewiring the entire stereo demo room. I sent the selector switches out for repair, ran all new wiring, and set up new stereo equipment for display and demonstration. The manager was so pleased, that managing that room became my primary job. I can't tell you how much fun I had. First thing I did when I got to work was pick out an album and put it on. There sales went up over 40% just by having working and up to date displays - not to mention someone to help customers with their stereo equipment purchases. Those were the days...
     
  15. parman

    parman Alleged Natural High Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,084
    Location:
    Worse than Detroit
    Around here even in the heyday they came and went continually so it was hard to have a favorite. There were usually 2 or 3 at any one time, same with record stores. The stereo shops were pretty much gone by the 80's replaced by Best Buy. The record shops lasted a bit longer because they switched over to CD'S . Not a good town for audio lovers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
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  16. rxonmymind

    rxonmymind AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    Sacramento California
    I sure miss seeing the equipment. Not so much the staff through no fault of their own as they weren't "pushy" so I didn't get to know them. But the staff certainly gave me free reign to look and they were nice enough to play some high end offerings when asked. Man, to me it was acoustic art seeing and hearing some of those speakers play. Audio FX. Miss going in there.
    Later when they moved I was able to talk to the owner (I think) who had almost every imaginable audio gear in a separate room and knew the engineers behind them. Some of you guys know too. Lol. The guy was full of knowledge and in that instance at the new location a really good guy to know for a visit. He took the time to give me a tour and that was cool.
     
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  17. a_retent

    a_retent In memory of Daisy Mae

    Messages:
    401
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN
    Sound of Music;
    Used to get my Mobile Fidelity half speeds there, also got a Concord car stereo and EPI car speaks, a Precept 440 cart and Cannon speakers plus a bunch of small stuff. They handled a variety of products from Advent, AR, JBL, Ohm, Phase Linear, Philips, Technics and much more.

    After a tornado damaged the Har Mar shopping center store they had a sale named the "best buy sale" to sell/liquidate merch not damaged by the storm but could not be sold for new. That was successful enough to usher in a new business model which became the "Best Buy" as we know it today and was never the same audio wise until "Magnolia" showed up.

    Audio King;
    Boy, spent some money there. Alpine car system with ADS speaks, Carver C-4000 pre, m400t cube and dtl-100 cd player plus a Nak Dragon, and again all the small stuff. These guys sold items from ADS, Carver, Nakamichi, Yamaha and others.

    Eventually it was acquired by Ultimate Electronics and we know what happened there, thanks Mark!

    Schaak Electronics;
    Never bought much there other than Nautilus half speed recordings. They did offer a wide variety of audio stuff including dlk speakers and dbx sound processing gear.

    Filed for bankruptcy and liquidated inventory at the MN State Fairgrounds. Dick Schaak's kids attempted another start-up, "The Right Stuff" which closed within 6 months of opening

    Team Electronics;
    Bought way too much stuff there! Got all my CB goodies there, which was way before the whole uuh 10-4 good buddy, oh my yeeeugh cotton-picker, what's your 20, got a copy on me, bullsh!#. I actually applied and received an FCC license to operate...sorry I digress. You could get everything there from big quad receivers by marantz, Pioneer, Kenwood, Sony elcasets, Teac reel to reel and cassette decks from every maker to Altec VOTTs in stock.

    Sadly, they turned into an apple retailer exclusively and never recovered.

    Sony Sound Centers;
    I know they sold Sony equipment but they also had Carver and another couple brands I can't remember.

    I didn't pay much attention to this place but like the others they eventually went away.

    There are a couple of audio shops still around selling upper tier equipment but nothing like it used to be.
    Jeez I miss the mid 70s to mid 80s for audio.
     
  18. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

    Messages:
    3,717
    I miss the mcintosh store in my old home town of Santa Rosa, Ca. I miss HiFidelity in Houston. I miss the store I worked at off an on for 36 years. It closed up shop a few years ago. Seems like I retired yesterday but its been 13 years. There was an interesting store in Palm Desert Ca. I liked but its gone, too. The Mac dealer in Eugene, Oregon was on its last leg when I visited there 5 years ago. I bought my 2nd 207 there. Its neet to be able to buy in Oregon as there is no sales tax and if you can get the dealer to make a deal on pre-owned or demo equipment I can save over or 30%. I got a heck of a deal when I bought my MVP 891 as it was discontinued and had jst been put out on demo. Got a bunch off and the dealer paid the sales tax.
     
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  19. Poinzy

    Poinzy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,010
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Since I use computers for audio processing, I miss CompUSA a lot. I guess I miss brick-and-mortar parts suppliers more than anything else, not audio stores in the strict sense of the term.
     
  20. stereoguy70

    stereoguy70 Active Member

    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    Salem, NH USA
    Several around here are missed........Tweeter, Etc......Tech HiFi......the Cambridge Soundworks stores.......Cuomos in Salem, NH..........and most especially, Radio Shack the way it was in its glory days.
     

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