I'm finished with Amoeba.

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by imagnrywar, May 12, 2007.

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  1. SoporJoe

    SoporJoe Top 5 Reviewer

    British Columbia
    Amoeba SF was incredible 15 years ago. I went earlier this year and it was pretty lame.
    D.B., wayneklein, vince and 1 other person like this.
  2. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Wow. Seven year old thread and there's 34 users viewing it right now.
    hi_watt likes this.
  3. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    Was the used vinyl stock at Amoeba in SF EVER any good. I was going to Amoeba in SF when it first opened and the used vinyl section was anemic and overpriced--and never seemed to get better when I was checking. With all the renewed interest in vinyl, I expect it's only gotten worse in recent years,
  4. I really miss Amoeba (moved to Seattle several months ago ). While it isn't perfect, it's the only close to full catalog stores on the west coast that have a bit of that Tower Records (in their prime) vibe. - Don't love their used LP section but new LPs and deep catalogue is great.

    There are a numbers of great record stores in Seattle and all individually have their strengths, but I miss hanging in Amoeba for a couple of hours at a time. And it can't be beat on RSD
    e.s. likes this.
  5. e.s.

    e.s. Forum Resident

    United States
    I go to the Amoeba in Berkeley pretty often, and it's fine. It's not a great record store, but for new release vinyl, it's pretty reliable. Hit and miss for used stuff, but I've found some great albums there and I disagree that they're hugely overpriced. I've seen way higher prices outside California, often for records in worse condition. SF Amoeba is good, but as noted earlier in the thread, the resurgence in the popularity of vinyl means the bins are more picked over than ever. Still worth a visit, although it's far from my favorite vinyl spot in the city. Berkeley Rasputin is dependable for used vinyl – I've found some great stuff there over the years.
    Bryan and Mazzy like this.
  6. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Berkeley, CA
    Amoeba Berkeley is my regular store. I try to stop by about once a week. They seem to usually have the lowest prices on new vinyl out of the three Amoeba stores. I think they could do a lot better at organization, though, in terms of the separator tabs for the rock vinyl section. Way too many empty tabs for older artists, not enough tabs for current artists, meaning you have to dig through the "misc." section for each letter to find a lot of stuff. The other two stores are much better about keeping the tabs updated.

    Rasputin Berkeley is much less curated and even less organized, in my opinion. You have to sift through five crates of crap (that should be in the dollar bin, but isn't) to find a single half-decent gem. Plus the owner is a butthead.
  7. DmitriKaramazov

    DmitriKaramazov Forum Resident

    Yeah, well the ocean is great and the women are hot!!
    billnunan likes this.
  8. jhm

    jhm Forum Resident

    They USED to have a separate bin for high res titles at the San Francisco Store (right by the entrance to the DVD/Blu Ray/Soundtracks section), however I went a couple of years ago and it was gone. When I inquired about it, I was told basically that the section was small, so they just decided to dump the titles back in with the individual artists. When I told him that made shopping JUST for high res titles (regardless of artist) extremely difficult he paused for a moment (like he'd never considered that) and just shrugged. I love the store but that was a bad call in my opinion. It's not like they freed up a significant section of space for other discs and they made it virtually impossible to browse for these titles (you now have to "find the needle in the haystack").
  9. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Berkeley, CA
    This reminds me, Amoeba SF also recently combined their DVD and BD stock. It's a total pain to browse through now if you're only interested in blu-ray. Most of the time I don't even bother. Neither of the other two locations have done this, thankfully. Same for Rasputin. Terrible decision on Amoeba SF's part.
  10. ranasakawa

    ranasakawa Forum Resident

    If you lived in Australia you'd think Amoeba is like going to heaven. We have nothing like Amoeba, I flew 20 hours earlier this year to shop at Amoeba Hollywood and see West Coast USA. Loved it !
  11. SpinningInfinity

    SpinningInfinity Forum Resident

    it's back on page 1...of course people are checking it out...the title doesn't hurt either..


    I've never been but the celebrity customers angle alone I am sure changed the amount of attention and patronage the store has...with that you get higher prices, and I am sure way more people coming through...less selection because of the amount of traffic...etc

    best stores are more fringe...once you become a popular brand...things change.
  12. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Berkeley, CA
    I think people really take for granted how awesome the Amoeba stores are, especially the massive SF and LA stores. Other cities have much smaller stores or no stores or stores that only carry garbage.
    ranasakawa likes this.
  13. SpinningInfinity

    SpinningInfinity Forum Resident

    all the best records are pulled for Elijah Wood and those dreamy blue eyes


    he gets back room attention!

    Scope J and Mazzy like this.
  14. Sid Hartha

    Sid Hartha Well-Known Member

    The Midwest
    I'm surprised Amoeba survived this boycott.
  15. What boycott??
  16. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Senior Member

    San Francisco, CA
    AmoebaSF actually reestablished a high res section several months ago. It has dvd-audio, SACD, SHM discs, and blu-ray discs. If you make it back to the store, it's in the middle near the back -- where the oldies section used to be many years ago.
    gkella and jhm like this.
  17. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Berkeley, CA
    Now if they can just re-separate the DVDs and BDs.
  18. gkella

    gkella Let there be songs to fill the air

    Toronto, Canada
    Wow, I visited San Francisco in late June of this year.
    I was there for 8 days and I think I went to Amoeba on four of those days.
    Thought it was a great store.
    I probably spent $400.00.
    Could have spent another 400.00 easily.
    Lots of great stuff I couldn't find in Canada.
    A great section of audiophile SACD's, Gold Discs, DVDa's.
    I picked up Jesse Colin Young Light Shine CD, Colesseum Live CD, a bunch of Grateful Dead stuff including the Winterland 77 box set.
    Loved looking through the posters and handbills.
    I only wish we had Amoeba in Toronto.
    e.s. and LuLu Reed like this.
  19. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    I, too, was quite disappointed when I went there earlier this year.
  20. I was there a week ago and I still feel it's one of the best record stores anywhere.
  21. Dmann201

    Dmann201 Forum Resident

    Went to the LA store while in town for the Macca concert and had a great time. Spent a little over $100 and scored some some great used Ron Carter and Miles albums along with Nirvana Unplugged!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  22. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

    Besides smaller overpriced hipster stores Amoeba Hollywood is about all we got.
    You can still stumble across some good deals if you are lucky and the selection (particularly CD's) is pretty great.

    It's funny I was just in Maine and went to several Bullmoose record stores.
    Though their stores are much smaller their new vinyl selection and prices are better than Amoeba's.
    Not new jazz though and their used section still seemed to be in an embryonic stage.
    Would love to see Bullmoose on the west coast.
    Bull Moose likes this.
  23. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Senior Member

    San Francisco, CA
    I wonder if some people have the same "problem" I do: I have almost everything I want already any way, unless it's a relatively new release. No wonder that on the rare occasion I still go to Amoeba I frequently walk out empty handed. It's no longer an era where there are scores of discs I want being released every month (both new and old music).
    billnunan, wayneklein and e.s. like this.
  24. DesertIslander

    DesertIslander Forum Resident

    I've been going to Amoeba Hollywood regularly since I moved to LA in 2005. I was overwhelmed the first time I walked in—it's truly gigantic, even bigger than the one I had been to previously in SF (and loved, at least in the late 90s). But over the last several years, I have noticed a dip in the selection and a gradual increase in the prices. The staff there is, I think, fine, but for me, the experience of walking in once a week and hoping for a discovery is basically over. More times now than not, I walk out empty-handed. Even if I do find something I want, I know, sadly, that if I am willing to wait a few days, I can get it for seven dollars cheaper online. If money weren't an issue (and I'm a teacher, so...) I would just spend a little extra to keep them going, but I need to scrimp when possible. I'm much more likely to binge at Rockaway, where the prices (and finds, and staff) are much better.

    I visited the Berkeley store last year for the first time, and only one word comes to mind: dirty.
    wayneklein likes this.
  25. namretsam

    namretsam Forum Resident

    Santa Rosa , CA
    Amoeba load in so much suck it's hard to quantify:

    Rude ,indifferent and smug staff.
    Amazingly awful lighting and of course, its WORST where you need it most to be good. I literally take a flashlight and USE it at the LA store.
    Threatening street scum outside the Haight store
    Offending smelly homeless outside the Berkeley store. Sometimes inside it too.
    With probably a half-million titles in the store whatever is playing on their house system is usually something awful.
    Amazingly high priced used vinyl for stock that's usually VG condition at best.
    Way overpriced used CD's for the state of the market today.

    and on and on....
    billnunan likes this.
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