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

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

  1. alteclipsch

    alteclipsch Super Member

    Messages:
    1,273
    Me too--those were great days. I can't go into a Best Buy anymore, it's just too much glitz and hype.
    BTW, Midwest Stereo was near Ridgedale Mall.
     
  2. MikE

    MikE Color Me Gone

    Messages:
    2,934
    Location:
    Columbus
    Progressive Audio [Columbus]

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  3. sregor

    sregor AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,877
    Location:
    Mass
    Start with one of the original Lafayette Electronics in Boston (actually, Allston I think). Then worked for Tech HIFI, mostly in Boston but got to work for short times in Paramus NJ and Detroit. However, most respected HIFI store for me was Suffolk Audio (first in Boston, then Cambridge then gone....) They new their stuff. They were the first with a lot of the English HIFI (KEF, Celestion, B&W in the area, and were active at BAS (Boston Audio Society).
    Also important in the 70's - Audio Lab, Demambro, Tweeter, K&L (started in a former gas station in Watertown) Nantucket sound, Lectra City, Cramer (later Cramer/Olson) Minuteman Radio, Lechmere Sales, and then some "invaders - ACL later Atlantis sound, Fretter and Highland Appliance.
    I also really liked Q audio (still active, I believe, with some internet presence.

    This thread is making feel my age...
     
  4. Roadrash

    Roadrash New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    St.Louis MO
    Flips Stereo Place was the best boutique place around me. Flip ran the original location, and his son Tom ran the store in Florissant. Great people and they carried a little more upscale gear than the chain joints did. They would let you listen to pretty much anything in the store and had a great collection of vinyl with just about any kind of music you could imagine to audition the gear. I hung out there a LOT. CMC Stereo was the best chain store around, but no where near as friendly. The Speaker and Stereo Store was a pretty cool little joint too, I bought my Altec 315s there and got a screaming deal on them for buying the demos. You don't get treated like that at WorstBuy.
     
  5. stereoguy70

    stereoguy70 Active Member

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    229
    Location:
    Salem, NH USA
    Nantucket sound! Oh I forgot about them! Yes, they were great. And who could forget about Lechmere......
     
  6. doodledog

    doodledog Active Member

    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    central Florida
    Yes! I was a regular at Meyer-Emco, Tower, and especially Audio Associates. Bought my first good cassette deck -- Tandberg -- from AA. Still have my B&O turntable I bought there in 1990.

    Excalibur was too rich for my budget. Meyer-Emco was fun.

    There was a small place in a mini-mall in Bailey's Crossroads too that I can't recall the name of. I bought an HK 385i there that I had for 30+ years.
     
  7. AdamAnt316

    AdamAnt316 Collector of heavy things Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,512
    Location:
    MA
    I didn't spent a whole lot of time at Service Merchandise's stores, but I do remember poring over their phone book-sized catalogs when they came out. I drooled over the electronics and watches they offered. I did buy a Walkman from them in the mid '90s, and looked at the stereo equipment they offered. I remember the room where you got the merchandise; you told them what you wanted, and then it came rolling down the conveyor 'belt'.

    Another store I remember was an oddly-named place called "Cookin'". It was at one of the local malls, and though I don't remember exactly what sort of gear they had, I do remember seeing a big video setup in their front room which used a LaserDisc player (first time I'd ever seen a "video disc" system) to serve up Tommy Boy or somesuch movie.

    One place I miss in the area is Ensemble Home Theatre. This one doesn't entirely count, as a descendent of the store is still around with a different name ("AV Therapy"), but it isn't quite the same. Why? Ensemble was a McIntosh dealer, and they always had a lovely Mc setup in their main room, headed up by a pair of ginormous MC1201 (later MC1.2KW) amps. Some of the best sound I've ever heard came out of the B&W Nautilus speakers connected to those massive monoblocks. I bought some of my best gear there, including a Superphon Revelation preamp and a pair of Paradigm Studio Monitor speakers.

    However, the store I miss the most dearly is Hi-Fi Exchange. 2/3rds of the store was used records, and the other 1/3rd was used audio gear. I bought several turntables and countless records (plus some LaserDiscs) from them over several years. The owner was a great guy, always helpful when I had issues with something. Eventually, the owner closed the retail store, and moved the operation into the garage attached to his house. Sadly, he died a few years back. RIP, Mike. :(
    -Adam
     
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  8. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Super Member

    Messages:
    4,206
    Location:
    A rocks throw from JBLM !!!!
    Especially the warehouse sales.....

    You would be surprised how much equipment you could get in the back of a '64 Caddy ragtop. Buy it cheap, then when I wanted something else, I could sell it at a profit and go back the following year. The Cow Palace in S.F. had a huge annual sale. Those were the days my friend, I'd thought they'd never end.......
     
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  9. noogies

    noogies My Favorite Woofers. Subscriber

    I grew up in Vancouver, BC (Canada) and for me there were two:

    1. Larry's Stereo Awareness, located just around the corner from my high school. In 1977 Larry sold two-thirds of the males in my tenth-grade class Kenwood KA-3700 amps. The following year, we all bought Stark SE-2 speakers. Graduation year saw us all purchasing Dual CS 506 turntables. It was a symbiotic relationship -- in return for the business, Larry tolerated a bunch of stoned teenage boys hanging around his showroom on their lunch hours, tripping to Pink Floyd and Yes ("Now THAT'S real air-suspension music!").

    2. Pretty much every piece of audio (and video) equipment I bought from 1975 until the turn of the century that I didn't buy from Larry was purchased at A & B Sound, either at their downtown store (556 Seymour St.) or at their Marine Drive location. Said equipment included: A Lafayette LR-75A receiver, a BSR 6500AX ceramic cartridge turntable (aganst the salesman's well-considered and quite correct advice), a PE 3010 turntable with Shure M91ED cartridge (shortly after the BSR), a JVC QL-A2 direct drive turntable with ADC QLM36 cartridge, a long procession of televisions, several tapedecks and CD players, enough car audio equipment to outfit a small fleet of cabs and the bulk of the records and CDs that comprise my not-inconsiderable collection.

    They've both been out of business for some years now. I guess that goes without saying, doesn't it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  10. Infinitoid

    Infinitoid euphoniums, etc. Subscriber

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    2,732
    Location:
    Out past the Airport, Indiana
    Sound Productions (SoundPro) in West Lafayette and Carmel, IN. Got my first turntable there in 1967, and some PhaseTech speakers in 1990. Also Ovation, which once had several stores in the Indianapolis/Louisville areas. Seems they still have one store left.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  11. SPEC2man

    SPEC2man Are we there yet? Subscriber

    Messages:
    643
    Location:
    Vancouver Washington
    Schrag Electronics in Rapid City SD ... the first time I experienced McIntosh and Klipschorns. I was 16 years old in 1980 and spent all my spare time working on electronic equipment and bothering audio salesman. The owner was Ricky Schrag, about the nicest guy you would ever meet. He put up with a lot of dumb questions and taught me a ton about audio. He sold me one of my early turntable setups ... a Technics M85 cassette deck and an SL-1300 MKII with a Shure V15 MKV cartridge. He took them in on trade and held them in the back room just for me. He gave me a hell of a deal ... mostly because he liked my enthusiasm. I must have made a million mix tapes on that tape deck. I tried hunting him down on Facebook, Twitter, etc just to say thanks for putting up with me. I wonder what ever happened to him, he was a huge audiophile and music lover. Hats off to him ...
     
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  12. Chrisxo55441

    Chrisxo55441 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,641
    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    i lived right between Team Electronics and Sound of Music (later Best Buy) in Uptown Minneapolis in the 70-80's a couple of blocks in either direction and i stopped by both of them quite a bit. i remember going to pick up a wood case for my 2245 at Team and the sales guy demoed a Stanton 681eee for me i liked it but said i wasnt sure how to set it up on my dual 1218, he said he would come over and hook it up no charge, i bought it and he did. did cost me a few beers and a couple joints though but well worth it.
     
  13. Chrisxo55441

    Chrisxo55441 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,641
    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    HiFI Sound is still in business in Minneapolis and you can still go there to demo hi end gear , Macintosh, Marantz, paradigm etc, they also repair tube gear great store
     
  14. mprince

    mprince Super Member

    Messages:
    1,038
    Location:
    Mooresville, NC
    I have four from my earlier life that I miss:

    1) TechHiFi, bought my first "real" system (Nikko receiver, Ohm speakers and Pioneer turntable and tape deck) from them in my high school years via my science teacher who worked there part time and spent a good part of every school day letting students drool over the TechHiFi catalogs in his classroom :).
    2) Natural Sound in Framingham, MA (it is still there I believe, but I am not) - once I graduated college and got a bit of money, I spent way too much of it here.
    3) Manufacturer's Marketplace - a discounter, where I bought a pair of Genesis 33 speakers when I was still in college.
    4) Lechmere - bought a lot here too, it was a do-it-all retailer for me up until I left MA in the early 90's.
     
  15. simm

    simm Member

    Messages:
    55
    There was a fairly small chain in NC and TN that I bought all of my equipment from in the early '90's through mid-2000's that I miss. Started as Stereo Sound the became NOW AV and was eventually bought by tweeter. Spent a lot of time there during those years.
     
  16. Boozehound

    Boozehound SX-Forever Subscriber

    Messages:
    953
    Location:
    Chi-Town, USA
    Music Craft.. Lombard IL.

    Best-

    Boozehound
     
  17. blownsi

    blownsi AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,077
    Location:
    O-H-I-O
    While I do miss some of the local Radio Shacks and HiFi Buys, more than anything I miss audio being more mainstream. It seems as though years ago nearly everyone owned a component system and understood caring for vinyl, etc.
     
  18. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,807
    Location:
    Espanola NM
    What used to bring us together now sets us apart, as freaks.
     
  19. kmulkey

    kmulkey AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,644
    Location:
    Gilberts, IL
    Along with HiFi Hutch and Stereo Studio
     
  20. Will S.

    Will S. AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    666
    I had an unsatisfactory experience the last time I was at HiFi Sound. Enough so that I emailed the proprietor about it. Never heard back, not going back. OTOH, I have nothing but good things to say about Audio Perfection, Stereoland and Halsten.
     

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