Best Record Stores in NYC

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by BigMusicFan, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Forum Resident

    Arlington, VA, USA
    I had heard good things about Vintage Vinyl but unfortunately did not check it out when I made a road trip last year from the Washington, D.C. area to Princeton, N.J., to check out the Princeton Record Exchange. I really enjoyed my visit to the Record Exchange and found a bunch of great stuff there. Lots of CDs, including some cheap out-of-print box sets. I know that Vintage Vinyl is not all that far from the Princeton Record Exchange (maybe 20 miles?), so I probably should have visited both. Oh well. Maybe next time.

  2. George P

    George P Love Will Lead Us

    PBo likes this.
  3. NotOneStraw

    NotOneStraw Well-Known Member

    how many hours do you think it would take to find a single $2.00 record that made all the time worth it? lol
  4. PBo

    PBo Forum Resident

    New England
    Yes, The Thing is definitely a unique record buying experience. I used to live on Huron St. down the block and would visit all the time. The smell in the basement area where the records are kept is awful. It was probably black mold or something toxic along those lines. Every once in a while I would see crate digging DJs who would come prepared wearing latex gloves and surgical masks.

    True story: I found an original Beatles Yesterday and Today second state baby butcher cover at The Thing. The record was included, but was seriously trashed, but the cover alone had quite a bit of value to it. I paid $2 for it. That was my best score there. I pointed it out to the guy who worked there right after he sold it to me and he and I were both in disbelief. After that he would mention it occasionally to random customers when I would stop in. I later ended up selling the cover on eBay for a nice sum.

    I also repeatedly kick myself for not buying what appeared to be a signed copy of Aja by Steely Dan. It had what appeared to be Fagan and Becker's signatures on the inside of the gatefold cover. Of course there was no way of verifying if they were real signatures or not. For some reason I didn't buy it when I found it. I was just getting into Steely Dan at the time, but I already had as stack of other records I had found and thought "Oh, I don't need two copies of this on vinyl". I went back for it a few days later and it was gone. :shake:
    ARK and NotOneStraw like this.
  5. Andrew

    Andrew Chairman of the Bored

    I hope to visit this place next month.
    zphage likes this.
  6. Petrofsk

    Petrofsk Gort to Get You into My Life! Staff

    Any one have any tips / suggestions on a good used CD shop in NYC?

    (hope it's not a sacrilege question...)
  7. tremspeed

    tremspeed Well-Known Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    When Other Music closes, you can generalize that the stores worth checking out in New York are all about the vinyl, but some stores have small, often cheap CD sections.

    Permanent has moved and is no longer within walking distance of any of those other stores (but maybe still worth a subway trip... it's a good chance to see a more working-class part of Brooklyn if nothing else!)

    I would skip Earwax and Co-Op, they're nothing special. Earwax probably has less CDs than many forum members, and I don't remember seeing any at Co-Op.

    Academy (Greenpoint) is much much more vinyl focused than CD. The 18th st Academy has a good amount of CDs, the 12th street shop seems to be heavily vinyl-focused as with Greenpoint.

    I would caution you to adjust your expectations- there are no longer any stores for CDs in NYC like the old Tower or HMV shops. Rough Trade is probably the closest to what those stores were like, but they devote a lot of space to vinyl, books, guitar pedals, etc- and they don't sell used. There's just not a market for new CDs that can justify the outrageous prices of real estate in the city.
    Andrew, steelydanguy and Petrofsk like this.
  8. boiledbeans

    boiledbeans Forum Resident

    Thanks for your replies!

    Academy 18th St is actually more convenient since it's in Manhattan! I had trouble fitting Academy Greenpoint into my schedule. During the daytime, I would like to tour the NYC attractions, so the best time to visit the CD shops would be in the evening/night. But Academy Greenpoint closes at 8pm and requires a big detour from Manhattan.

    I'm mainly looking for new CDs for general pop/rock from 1960s to present. I think I'll visit Academy 18th St and Rough Trade, Brooklyn. Rough Trade closes at 11pm, so I could visit it at night.
  9. LordThanos1969

    LordThanos1969 Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I am on a business trip to Manhattan this week and had a limited window to shop today. I went to Academy on 18th Street and then walked in the rain over to Discorama. Neither store impressed me, and I didn't make a purchase at either store.

    Academy was at least well organized. There is an extensive stock of classical CDs and vinyl and a few audiophile things, but nothing too exciting. Their rock vinyl was fairly parhetic.

    Discorama was even worse for vinyl. I did find two Target CDs in their disorganized bins, but both were not in good enough shape or collectible enough to purchase.
  10. Cronverc

    Cronverc Forum Resident

    Academy on East 18th Is the best out of all three stores, but because of it's location, you have to be there "at the right time" - lots of competition. But at least once in a while (lately - in a long while) it's possible to find there good records. Comparing to this store, the other two (the one in the East Village and the Brooklyn one) suck big time, mostly selling very common stuff and leftovers of whatever they already listed on eBay and Discogs. A shame really, they were great stores just about 5-6 years ago, I bought a lot of great records there.
    Hep Alien and Andrew like this.
  11. George P

    George P Love Will Lead Us

    For CDs, Academy on W18th (it's slightly west, actually) is fairly decent. However, I'd much rather take the short trip to Princeton Record Exchange. It puts all NYC stores to shame.
  12. Cronverc

    Cronverc Forum Resident

    Been there a couple of times, last time it was last summer. I agree it's a pretty good store, but again if you looking for something better than common records, you have to be there "at the right time". Considering that's a kinda long and not exactly cheap trip from NYC (about $35 on the train and not much cheaper if you driving - tolls for tunnels/bridges, NJ turnpike and gas). Which IMO still could be fine in you know for sure, that you will find a bunch of gems there, but... nobody can possibly know for sure. My point is - that is not an option to use often, unless of course if you live in New Jersey.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  13. NotOneStraw

    NotOneStraw Well-Known Member

    I personally think Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ is a far better option than PREX, but that's because I'm usually looking for metal or punk. Their used section is outstanding though, most albums are in great shape (if not the NM they claim on every single outer sleeve, lol). It's about 45 minutes closer than PREX too.

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