Best (Vinyl) Record Store in the SF Bay Area?

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by Cyclone Ranger, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Help a vinyl dude out. I'm in the South Bay/Silicon Valley, and while we have plenty of record stores, almost none of them have all that much in the way of vinyl selection. :sigh:

    Streetlight in San Jose is probably 'the best of a bad lot', as the Brits say, but even they are only just okay.

    I don't get up to SF or Berkeley that much, but I assume the 'serious vinyl meccas' are all up there? Or is there some hidden gem in the South Bay or Penninsula that I'm just overlooking? Heck, I'll go to Marin or Walnut Creek if that's what it takes, wherever's clever.

    Again, want selection, selection, SELECTION. :agree:

    Thanks for any and all help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  2. hhjack

    hhjack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I’m a fan of Stranded Records in San Francisco and Oakland. Their Superior Viaduct label is worth checking out, too.
     
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  3. zakyfarms

    zakyfarms White cane lying in a gutter in the lane.

    Location:
    San Francisco
    If you’re hitting up Stranded in SF, stop by 1234 Go, right across the street.
     
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  4. zakyfarms

    zakyfarms White cane lying in a gutter in the lane.

    Location:
    San Francisco
    There’s also an app for locating record stores. The Vinyl District, I think.
     
  5. rednax

    rednax Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    If you're looking for selection, try 'The Record Man' in Redwood City; he boasts of having over a million records on hand for sale. For example, one time I went he had over 100 copies of The Beatles 'White Album'. None of the records have prices on them, he figures the price at the counter by researching what the going rate is. Not the place to go if you're looking for a good deal.

    Welcome To RecordMan! CD's*LP's*45's*78's*Tapes* All Music & Entertainment
     
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  6. zakyfarms

    zakyfarms White cane lying in a gutter in the lane.

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Grooves in SF is an under-the-radar place. Not well organized and you will get dusty, but there are gems to be found.
     
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  7. rcrawley

    rcrawley Gotta keep on movin and groovin...

    Location:
    Sydney
    Two that come to mind:
    • Amoeba, Golden Gate Park, is the big go-to. Excellent mix of new and used vinyl, and store is about half vinyl, half CDs (same spread), and a video room to boot. It's a gotta visit if you haven't.
    • 101 Music, North Beach, it's a crate diggers dream. You could spend a day in here easy. One pic I snapped when I was passing through in January. It's insane (in a good way).
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. zakyfarms

    zakyfarms White cane lying in a gutter in the lane.

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I went in there once years ago before I knew how he ran things. Once I realized, I walked out. I won’t support that practice.
     
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  9. hhjack

    hhjack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    A few years ago, I happened to be in San Francisco on Record Store Day. I decided to go to Stranded in SF since I had been to their location in Oakland on a previous trip and had been impressed. When I arrived that morning, I saw a massive line of folks waiting outside of a shop. I just imagined this had to be the record store. However, while I was standing there, I looked across the street and noticed a sign for Stranded. Their doors were open and there was not a single person in line. I looked closer and realized that I was actually in line for 1234 Go Records. I got out of line, crossed the street and stepped inside Stranded where they ended up having everything on my list without the crowd. Hopefully, one day I will get to check out 1234 Go since it did seem very popular.
     
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  10. zakyfarms

    zakyfarms White cane lying in a gutter in the lane.

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Well, stranded in SF has only been in existence for the last 2 RSDs. Before that, it was Aquarius Records, terribly missed my me.
     
  11. hhjack

    hhjack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Yeah, it would have been two years ago, so their first RSD. Hence, the lack of folks at the time.
     
  12. rcrawley

    rcrawley Gotta keep on movin and groovin...

    Location:
    Sydney
    Bop Street in Seattle is exactly the same. It can be a trying shopping experience. :) But the selection is insane and it’s worth the experience. I haven’t been to Record Man but it’s now on my list. Gotta try it.
     
  13. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Hmm, wow! But he's about 90% used vinyl, I assume?
    .
     
  14. rcrawley

    rcrawley Gotta keep on movin and groovin...

    Location:
    Sydney
    If you're looking for the best (most?) new selection then Amoeba all day, same story for their store in Hollywood. The stores are warehouse sized with probably equal new and used vinyl selection.
     
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  15. rednax

    rednax Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    Right. For the Bay Area, it's pretty simple in terms of "selection"... if you want used, 'The Record Man'. If you want new, 'Amoeba' San Francisco.
     
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  16. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Thanks for all the help, guys. :righton:

    My mistake was originally thinking it was all about San Jose. It sure isn't!
    .
     
  17. johsti

    johsti Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Here are a few more besides Streetlight in the South Bay:

    The Analog Room in San Jose
    Rasputin Music in Campbell
    On the Corner Music in Campbell for used records. Sometimes you'll find a gem.
    Time Tunnel Toys in San Jose
     
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  18. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Thanks. I've already been to most of tbose, but will check out the ones I haven't.
     
  19. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    One more question to all:
    Best places to go for 'audiophile quality' vinyl? :idea:

    I understand The Analog Room is such a 'specialty' shop, but there must be others.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  20. mantis4tons

    mantis4tons Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO, USA
    I always hit up Groove Merchant while I'm in SF. It's one of my favorite record stores anywhere.
     
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  21. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Well, I finally made my way to Amoeba in SF. Ah yes... finally, selection. :)

    Sure, not quite at the level of say the old Tower Record stores in their '70s/'80s vinyl heyday of course, but within shouting distance. And a reminder that, even at its best, this 'vinyl revival' thing still has a-ways to go/can get even better.

    Only two negatives:

    1) Very dusty and odd-smelling, somehow
    2) Disturbingly high hipster-to-normal-person ratio. Yes, even for an SF record store, I'd think. :help:

    But still cool. Thanks for the heads-up. :thumbsup:
    .
     

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