Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Hardbopjazz

Who remembers the stores where they would go to buy stereo equipment?

20 posts in this topic

By the 1990's many of these retail locations went the way of the dodo. I use to like being able to sit in a room at the store a hear music through the various speakers, and different receivers. In New York, there was the Wiz, J&R  and Crazy Eddies to name three. In a few years when I plan on retiring, my wife and I have our place in Istanbul, where my wife is originally from. There are a few audio stores. In fact, there is one which is a ten minute walk from my place.  

Where did the rest of you go to buy stereo equipment?   

Anyone know what the third image down is? 

IMG-8511.jpg

 

IMG-8502.jpg

IMG-8506.jpg

IMG-8727-1.jpg

IMG-8725-1.jpg

IMG-8723-1.jpg

IMG-8722-1.jpg

 

IMG-8720-1.jpg

 

 

 

 

There was also Sam Goody. I used to by albums there and I kind of remember stereo equipment in those stores. 

IMG-8509.jpg

 

Edited by Hardbopjazz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never bought the good stuff, when I had it (late 70s), from a chain. Local dealers with serious, patient, and personalized service, that was the way to go in this market. Bring some records in so they could get a grip on what you were looking for, and let them start working off of that. Not unlike buying from a good shoe store, get the best fit possible and no rush to find it.

There were options then! I think i pieced together my system from three different stores, finally. And loved doing it almost as much as finally having it.

Then my shit got ripped off and the money was gone. It's been down hill ever since as far as hi-fi options. Almost all the good stores are gone or now are "multi-media" dealers. I don't want to buy something without getting that good fit first. I know what music sounds like now, you don't forget that.

God, shopping. What a 20th Century concept! :g

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a very good old style stereo store in North Dallas (Forest Lane and Preston Road) that I patronize--Audio Concepts. It's a low key, friendly place, that gives good advice within whatever budget you specify. Their range is from modest prices to ultra-expensive. I've been going there for more than two decades.  

Edited by kh1958

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought and still buy hifi stuff, new or used, in the same store in Rome since 1990. I guess we are friends now likewise a junkie and his pusher but definitely in a much more polite manner.

Joke a part the guy is much more competent then me about audio I trust him he use to lend me stuff to listen in my place and get back my old stuff when I change something in my rig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought my first stereo from Crazy Eddie himself, Eddie Antar.  He had one store, on Kings Highway and Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn.  The store wasn't called Crazy Eddie (he wasn't well known yet), something like Stereo Exchange.  It wasn't far from where I lived.  I was working during the summer, saving money so I could buy a "real" stereo.  I had a subscription to Stereo Review, so I kinda knew what to look for and what was in my price range.  Every so often, I'd go to that store, listen, and ask questions.  The summer ended, and I had enough money, but this was a big purchase for me and I couldn't pull the trigger.  I was told to come to the store that evening and they'd give me a great price.  I went back with my dad.  They had me speak to Eddie, who was wearing a dirty white t-shirt stretched over his belly.  He gave me a final price of $525 for the whole thing.  I still wasn't sure.  He got angry and said "This price is for tonight only!"  The pressure worked, and I bought.  I got for $525: a Garrard Zero-100 turntable, I don't remember the cartridge (probably a Shure), a Marantz receiver with 30 watts per channel RMS (and this really cool blue and red lighting scheme for the stations), a pair of Martin speakers (the guitar company, making a foray into speakers), and Sennheiser HD-414 headphones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kh1958 said:

There is a very good old style stereo store in North Dallas (Forest Lane and Preston Road) that I patronize--Audio Concepts. It's a low key, friendly place, that gives good advice within whatever budget you specify. Their range is from modest prices to ultra-expensive. I've been going there for more than two decades.  

They're still open? Good to know!

I shopped with Wavelength Audio a few times a decade or so ago when I was trying to replace my failed POSs as I went along. Loved that place, but their location (Skillman/Audelia, iirc) closed and the guy did consultations only) for a while...no idea if he's still around or not. But he was the kind of guy who you could explain your budget, explain your relaities (room, family noise, pets, etc.) and he would suggest some things to you. If he had it in store, you could take it home for a tryout, and if he didn't, you could still do that if you put down a deposit.

I'm afraid that if I asked anybody today what they had for somebody who's slowly losing their hear to play in a room with tile floors, a ceiling fan, a sofa in front of the speakers, and a dog that's liable to start barking at anytime (and might only sometimes stop), their answer would be "what difference does it make?"...and they'd be right! :g

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I miss those old stores. Tweeter Etc, Fred Locke Stereo, Spearit Sound & even Lechmere, which was more of a large department store with a huge stereo department. I too bought an Onkyo receiver from Crazy Eddie when he was selling via the Stereo Review classifieds section as "Stereo Exchange". I remember having to wire the money to them. That was a scary thing for a teenager. The only reason I even did it was that I figured Stereo Review wouldn't list their classified ad if they weren't legit. How naive I was...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, mjzee said:

I bought my first stereo from Crazy Eddie himself, Eddie Antar.  He had one store, on Kings Highway and Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn.  The store wasn't called Crazy Eddie (he wasn't well known yet), something like Stereo Exchange.  It wasn't far from where I lived.  I was working during the summer, saving money so I could buy a "real" stereo.  I had a subscription to Stereo Review, so I kinda knew what to look for and what was in my price range.  Every so often, I'd go to that store, listen, and ask questions.  The summer ended, and I had enough money, but this was a big purchase for me and I couldn't pull the trigger.  I was told to come to the store that evening and they'd give me a great price.  I went back with my dad.  They had me speak to Eddie, who was wearing a dirty white t-shirt stretched over his belly.  He gave me a final price of $525 for the whole thing.  I still wasn't sure.  He got angry and said "This price is for tonight only!"  The pressure worked, and I bought.  I got for $525: a Garrard Zero-100 turntable, I don't remember the cartridge (probably a Shure), a Marantz receiver with 30 watts per channel RMS (and this really cool blue and red lighting scheme for the stations), a pair of Martin speakers (the guitar company, making a foray into speakers), and Sennheiser HD-414 headphones.

When I was growing up it was my parent's set up, which was a pretty good Harmon Kardon turntable and receiver ... in college it was a boombox which was suitcase-size and purchased at a tremendous discount at what I am going to say was the Macy's in Stamford CT.

My first encounter with a real stereo store was when I got into jazz and was purchasing vinyl although I didn't own a turntable, had a roommate with one. I was in St. Louis at the time and changed housing arrangements, and decided it was time for a decent stereo set up. I did no research whatsoever, though I do recall I brought Stitt Plays Bird, and MJQ Last Concert to audition at the shop ... bottom line I got the full-on pressure sales pitch and crumbled, spending way too much money. The next day I returned it all, and I remember the salesman had to come out to sign off on the return since he was getting no money out of me in the end. Got a taste of the same pitch but at that point I had made up  my mind and that was it. Dude was pissed.

In the end I purchased an all-inclusive set from some catalog company and it did me very well for a good long time. (And sounded even better when I married my wife and added her studio-monitor quality speakers.)  Nowadays though its higher-end PC speakers and the Kia car stereo that came standard.

I do recall Crazy Eddie's in Westport, CT but that was only when I needed a car stereo to replace the original Am/Fm radio that came with the Mustang II I purchased before moving to St Louis for Grad school.

What can I say I've always been about the music and not exactly how it gets reproduced.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

20 hours ago, Hardbopjazz said:

 

Anyone know what the third image down is? 

 

IMG-8506.jpg

 

Looks like SF would be ‘Sonus Faber’ the speaker manufacturer and this is a parts display box with wood finishes available, example parts etc. to use during sales/demos.

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

J&R in NYC - I remember that place, not far from the Twin Towers site. Never got beyond the jazz CD section though (impressive in itself).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back when I was living in Rochester, NY in the 70's, 80's and 90's there were actually about 4 specialty stores that sold  high quality audio equipment.  I would often visit those shops just to check out what they had. When the time came that I wanted to upgrade my speakers or separate amps and pre amps, I would spend quite a bit of time listening to what was available in the various shops. A few of them had special listening areas with wonderful leather couches and chairs. You could bring your own recordings with which you were familiar  to audition the equipment.

Was very disappointing when I moved to Tucson to find only one stereo shop with high quality equipment, and that soon changed to focusing primarily on Video.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sound Mill in Mt. Kisco….  Sold to nearly all tastes and price points.  Loved the well-matched starter systems offered there.  Owner Martin was usually pleased to play our favorite LPs on McIntosh gear for our kicks. Old days. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: the topic in general — I’ll be perfectly honest in saying I’ve always felt SUPER self-conscious even just browsing around in stores dedicated to stereo equipment.

I never knew (and still barely know) the first thing about amplifiers, or how to pair speakers with the rest of a system, or what pre-amp goes with what. Like next to nothing, I’m kind of ashamed to admit.

I always felt (and still feel like) I haven’t the foggiest idea what sort of even remotely semi-intelligent questions to even ask, that wouldn’t reveal the depth of my vast lack of knowledge on the subject.

It’s almost a neurosis of mine, if I’m being perfectly honest.

Probably a big part of why I’m almost an anti-audiophile (in practice). You all wouldn’t believe the (mostly poor, I’m assuming) variety of stereo equipment I’ve had over the last 35 years.

My last integrated bookshelf system bit the bullet (after 10 years of use) about 3 years ago. And my jury-rigged replacement — listening thru the barebones BluRay unit I have plugged into our 12-year old digital TV (and the TV’s built-in speakers) — sounded so much better, that I’ve been hard pressed to face my phobia about buying something else.

We live in a small 630 sq ft 1BR apartment, and the TV fills the room with sound really well, so what can I say?

Part of my fear is spending $1,000 (or more) for something really worth barely half that. And/or getting the wrong stuff that really doesn’t work together right, or over-spending on one component to the point where everything else in the overall system couldn’t possibly allow the one overpriced component to actually perform as designed.

Yeah, those friendly sales people in the specialty shops are supposed to know how to get past all that — but the whole process always wigged me out — what can I say?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rooster, it sounds like your anxieties with regards to audio gear have saved you lots of money over the years. 

That's money that you were free to spend on music.  I don't see ANYTHING wrong with that.  ;) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

Rooster, it sounds like your anxieties with regards to audio gear have saved you lots of money over the years. 

That's money that you were free to spend on music.  I don't see ANYTHING wrong with that.  ;) 

Definitely that, 100%!!

I’ve always put practically all my music-related spending into buying more music, that’s for sure!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Re: the topic in general — I’ll be perfectly honest in saying I’ve always felt SUPER self-conscious even just browsing around in stores dedicated to stereo equipment.

I never knew (and still barely know) the first thing about amplifiers, or how to pair speakers with the rest of a system, or what pre-amp goes with what. Like next to nothing, I’m kind of ashamed to admit.

I always felt (and still feel like) I haven’t the foggiest idea what sort of even remotely semi-intelligent questions to even ask, that wouldn’t reveal the depth of my vast lack of knowledge on the subject.

It’s almost a neurosis of mine, if I’m being perfectly honest.

Part of my fear is spending $1,000 (or more) for something really worth barely half that. And/or getting the wrong stuff that really doesn’t work together right, or over-spending on one component to the point where everything else in the overall system couldn’t possibly allow the one overpriced component to actually perform as designed.

Don’t worry, Rooster. I know a great music forum which I would be happy to recommend to you. Once you’ve bought your new system, you’ll find it a really fun place to hang out and argue about which Blue Note audiophile reissue series you prefer, over and over again.

Edited by Rabshakeh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's time to stop buying music and to start buying comedy and spoken words records. Diversify that portfolio!

R-6391174-1502733735-6123.jpeg.jpg

look, it's MONO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

R-6391174-1502733745-4799.jpeg.jpg

and it's authorized, so you know that the right people got paid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a good record to have, trust me on this one.

R-818138-1290903748.jpeg.jpg

Play it between Eddie Gale Blue Notes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Re: the topic in general — I’ll be perfectly honest in saying I’ve always felt SUPER self-conscious even just browsing around in stores dedicated to stereo equipment.

I never knew (and still barely know) the first thing about amplifiers, or how to pair speakers with the rest of a system, or what pre-amp goes with what. Like next to nothing, I’m kind of ashamed to admit.

I always felt (and still feel like) I haven’t the foggiest idea what sort of even remotely semi-intelligent questions to even ask, that wouldn’t reveal the depth of my vast lack of knowledge on the subject.

It’s almost a neurosis of mine, if I’m being perfectly honest.

Not to rub salt in your wounds, but I've almost always felt the opposite. I almost enjoy torturing some of the "salesmen" I've encountered through the years. I use quotes because in my experience, in the world of audio, not many deserve that title.

One of my favorite shopping experiences ever was when a CD player (Pioneer maybe?) came out with a button to turn off the digital filter. I always wanted to hear how this would affect the sound so I made my way to the local hifi store to test it out. When I got there, I asked the salesman if they had this new player. He brought me over to it. I checked it out - there it was - the button to turn off the digital filter. I asked him to set it to one of their nicer speakers and started a CD. I listened and then switched the digital filter on & off. He was standing there wondering what I was doing. I told him, "I want to see if I can hear a difference with the digital filter on & off". He said, "You can't shut off the digital filter on a CD player". I showed him the button. He just stood there insisting that I didn't understand the button's function. I had to have him get the manual for the floor model. He still couldn't believe that the music sounded fine with the digital filter turned off.

I left that store laughing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.