San Francisco Vinyl Stores

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by Marc Perman, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    West of the Hudson
    I'll be in S.F. soon and will as usual be shopping for used LPs, mainly 1960s-1980s rock. Besides the usual suspects (Amoeba and Rasputin), there seems to be about a dozen smaller stores I've never been to, on upper and lower Haight St., in the Mission, etc.: 1-2-3-4 Go!, Groove Merchant, Rocky Ricardo, 101 Music, Recycled Records, Originals Vinyl, Thrillhouse, Grooves, Jack's Record Cellar, Stranded, Vinyl Dreams, Pyramid, I haven't been to any of these, what are the highlights?

    Also confirming the Rasputin vinyl store in Berkeley has moved across Telegraph Ave. and is called Mad Monks?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Kate Koeppel

    Kate Koeppel Active Member

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I really like Pyramid Records because it is very small, but interesting used selection. I tend to find things here that are completely new to me. Bobby the owner is also a very friendly and welcoming guy-- but for you, he might not have a ton of rock options. I also like Originals--their pricing is great, and all their vinyl is super clean and they are really friendly. Rooky Ricardos feels like a spot that you have to visit-- it is very special! Grooves would be a good spot for what you're into, but the quality might be a mixed bag. Contact Records in Oakland would be good to add to your list if you're in Oakland/Berkeley. Stranded, 1,2,3,4 are both a little on the pricier side in my opinion, and have a lot of new releases, but they are very close to eachother and easy to hit both if you're already in the Mission. There is also a newish place called Amados on Valencia that has a pretty interesting selection- quite a lot of 70s-80s rock if I remember correctly! Good luck!
     
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  3. The Slipperman

    The Slipperman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boise, Idaho, USA
    Thanks for all the info Kate! I am spending the summer on the fringe of the Bay Area for work and have been meaning to check out some record stores in the big city. A day trip has been inspired!
     
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  4. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    West of the Hudson
    Thanks for the personalized tour. :) Grooves and 1-2-3-4 were my favorites in The City on this trip. 101 Music in North Beach was also good (the smaller store on Grant, not the epically unorganized basement on Green). Amoeba on Haight Street seems to have lost their minds on used vinyl prices, I know rents are high but still... The highlight overall however was Mad Monks Center For Anachronistic Media in Berkeley, directly across the street from Amoeba on Telegraph Ave. This was Rasputin's used vinyl department, now with its own store. Selection is massive and prices are very fair.
     
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  5. Maccaroni

    Maccaroni Active Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    Visited Amoeba a couple of weeks ago - only had the chance to hit one store in the city.

    Very disappointed - range, prices, atmosphere.
     
  6. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    West of the Hudson
    Agreed, Amoeba in SF has become a bleak place.
     
  7. Guildx500

    Guildx500 Active Member

    Location:
    California
    Amoeba is not what it once was when they had only the Berkeley store. I have to go check out the new Rasputin. I've done well at their Berkeley location. Their Campbell store is now a different story. Hardly any vinyl.
     
  8. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    West of the Hudson
    The Rasputin on Haight St. has almost no used vinyl either, but the sales clerk confirmed that most of their used inventory is sent over to Mad Monks on Telegraph. So more or less one stop shopping in SF/Berkeley, but it's a good stop.
     
  9. Amoeba in Berkeley has been remodeling. They have moved all the classical/jazz/experimental/country/folk out of the separate space into the main space, I suppose to save money. But overall the collection has improved over the last few months imo, and I've found some very good titles for decent prices. Rasputin's vinyl across the street is not nearly as good as it was when it was in the basement under the main store on Telegraph. The jazz/classical selection has dwindled since they moved. I don't even bother when I'm in Berkeley.

    Groove Yard in Oakland is still a fantastic jazz store that is expensive, but has titles that you will only find there. If you're looking for rare, small label jazz from the 60's-80's, that's the place that will have it. And a lot more. And the owner Rick knows his stuff and is a real nice guy. The store is cramped and seemingly unorganized, but with patience it's a treasure trove.

    I like Stranded's new space off Piedmont, and it's next door to a fantastic magazine/news store, Issues, which also has a small, eclectic used vinyl collection.
     
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  10. Just came back from Groove Yard. The piles of records on the floor are getting higher. It's really quite mind blowing to walk into the store. But the selection, if you're willing to do a little work, is easily second to none. My favorite store in the Bay Area. I'd want to keep the secret to myself but there is so much great stuff, and Rick the owner is such a great guy, that I want more folks to go in there. Just be prepared to spend some time. Nice place for lunch right next door, and parking is pretty easy on the side streets.
    t
     
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  11. davidksmusicschool

    davidksmusicschool New Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
  12. The Slipperman

    The Slipperman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boise, Idaho, USA
    It's a ways out from the Bay Area but Blast From the Past in Tracy has a great selection of music, both old and new. Mostly focused on rock, prices are a little on the high side but a lot cooler place than I expected to find in Tracy. As far as the other stores go, I think Mad Monk's in Berkeley is the best and the other stores listed here are mostly for niche tastes, although the stores on the Haight are all worth stopping in. Also Jack's Record Cellar really didn't have my kind of music, the staff there is extremely friendly and will happily look up whatever niche thing you want.
     

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