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Ranking U.S. metro areas for record shopping

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by steelydanguy, Jan 15, 2015.

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  1. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    For the Hartford/CT area, can you add:
    Music Outlet- Enfield, CT
    Replay Records- Hamden, CT
  2. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    I love the love for Philadelphia but no Repo Records?? It's a top shop in town
  3. Been years since I have been on South St., It use to be great with 3-4 stores around 4th, before and during Tower. I remember Repo in Ardmore(?) and Jenkintown/Elkins Park. Never had much luck, but kudos to them for surviving.
  4. Spanish Prisoner

    Spanish Prisoner Forum Resident

    Central New Jersey
    I agree with you about New York. I'm a CD collector and I used to make regular trips to New York for imports. There were many great stores around the Village and St. Marks, most of which are now closed or relocated. I haven't bothered to go music shopping in New York in a couple of years.

    The two stores that I regularly frequent are PREX and Positively Records. Positively Records just got a large collection of import CD's in a couple of weeks ago.

    I don't know if the two stores located in Bordentown, NJ (Record Collector, and Randy's Man Cave) should be listed under Philly. I think they should be listed separately under New Jersey with PREX and Vintage Vinyl.
  5. NotOneStraw

    NotOneStraw Well-Known Member

    Also checking in to say that NYC, at least Manhattan, is simply not impressive. I don't know if it's the sheer competition for decent records (by shoppers), or the insanely high rents forcing exorbitant prices, or what, but I've yet to find a store in NYC that's even remotely as good as several here in NJ. To be fair I've yet to go hunting in Brooklyn.

    For NJ, PREX is well-known as amazing, but Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ deserves some love too. Great selection, one of the best I've seen. And well-organized, spacious, decent pricing. But my favorite store is a little family-owned business in Summit, NJ, Scotti's Records. Super-friendly, awesome <$5 used bins and great selection of new, used, and collectible vinyl in the main room. I love this place, they're my local go-to.

    Also, since I just got back from visiting Las Vegas, Record City is worth the hype, but you definitely should add 11th Street Records as a "must visit" store. Their collectible stuff seemed pricey to me, but the condition of the records was literally astounding. They had stuff I've never seen before. The regular AND "cheapo" bins were chock full of great finds. And the best part is their staff, which is knowledgeable, friendly, and clearly fans of vinyl themselves. Awesome store, right on Fremont near in downtown. Highly recommended.

    Thanks for this thread, btw!
    steelydanguy and seaisletim like this.
  6. NotOneStraw

    NotOneStraw Well-Known Member

    My wife & I fell in love when we visited Portland last year for our Anniversary vacation. So much that we're going back for our Anniversary this year too!

    Only this time I have a turntable...

    My wallet is already cowering in fear...
    steelydanguy likes this.
  7. mantis4tons

    mantis4tons Forum Resident

    Denver, CO, USA
    I've been going to the Big K shows for a few years now, and I always leave with a stack of records, but I also leave disappointed. I think my disappointment is related to the types of records I'm looking for; many of the sellers at the show are very focused on rock and punk while I'm looking for soul, jazz, salsa, funk, plus interesting Brazilian and African stuff. At any rate, YMMV.
  8. Mr. LP Collector

    Mr. LP Collector Forum Resident

    Understandable. It's been years since I've shopped the Denver area stores on a steady basis and I haven't been to Big K's shows now in the last couple years as I live on the other side of the state. The situation at other shows I've been to is not all that dissimilar. Albuquerque will surprise ya though. One guy set up there a few years ago with nothing but reggae- lp's, cd's, books. He was blown away as to how he did. Over the last few years Big K has been doing things that I wish other promotors would do.

    1. For the record show have a live remote from the local oldies station.

    2. Have a local area music dude for autographs. One that comes to mind was George Tomsco of the great group the Fireballs. George also has shown up at the Albuquerque show as well, sometimes by himself, sometimes the other band members are with him. They'll get a table and sell their cd's, re-issue lp's, t-shirts, etc. All of them are great guys, they originally grew up in Raton, New Mexico.
    mantis4tons likes this.
  9. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff

    Meh. The vinyl shopping IMHO is lousy here. I don't even go out anymore--I'll drive to Ann Arbor. Those stores are worth the trip.

    On the east side, Car City on Harper, and Record Time (?) on Gratiot closed within a year of each other. Car City died of neglect (and remote ownership), and I think Record Time had a lease issue that made them consider selling out. Car City used to be owned by the former owner of Encore decades ago, and it used to be as packed with stock (and customers) prior to his selling it out.

    Of the remaining stores? Anything used I've bought from Dearborn Music has been highly disappointing--about four out of five are too worn or noisy to be playable. Melodies & Memories has some ratty stock as well, although I've found a couple of keepers in the bin of sealed NOS records. The others mentioned I found unremarkable, and I refuse to set foot into...that city. Too many bad personal experiences. I want to stay alive and unharmed, thank you very much.

    Better to head west to Ann Arbor and hit Encore, Wazoo, PJs, etc. Encore alone I could spend 2-3 hours in, just looking through vinyl. Tons of used CDs also. Plus there is a lot of food variety and plenty of places to people-watch.
  10. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Senior Member

    Chicago suburbs
    Surprised it isn't a more active thread. Liked the research by the OP and have a few edits for 3 cities. Sadly in Chicago The Jazz Record Mart on Illinois St closed a few years ago, used to love to go there. The good news is the owner reopened as Bob's Blues & Jazz Mart but it is pretty far from downtown. Plenty of other options with 3 Reckless Record stores (I like Milwaukee Av the best), Dusty Groove and several others already listed. Another city that I didn't see listed is Scottsdale, lots of stores but far and away the best record store I've ever visited is The 'In' Groove (may technically be a Phoenix address but very close to downtown Scottsdale). Owner must have ocd in a good way, store is immaculate, every LP is in a high quality inner sleeve, outside the cover, the whole package in a protective sleeve. Didn't see any used LP under VG+ and prices reasonable. One last note, even though thread is US, if anyone is traveling to Toronto, fantastic options there. Just came back and had success at Kop's on Queen st. (the largest and best 45 selection i've ever seen) and Sonic Boom (more impressed with their used cd selection than vinyl).
    steelydanguy likes this.
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