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Record stores in San Fran?

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by Chester0711, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    Him and his brother both where radio DJs and they collected records well before opening the store in 1985. In fact Tommy worked for Rod's Records on that street, he then just did all the work there until Rod said one day, you want to buy the store? Tommy and Robert bought it, changed the name and worked out of that same location. A few years later a bigger store front opened up on the same street, so they fixed it up to move into.

    So they worked that store through all the down turn for records, but had CDs also it's a music store. It has been really good for him with so many people getting into records again, as they are getting closer to retirement age. But he loves what he does and get lots of used records in still. Then the fact of all the new stock that's being pressed these days.

    Every once in a while he'll need to look up a record because it's something rare and wants to know how the price is reflected. However he's never sold something like that to me at top dollar, always leaving some meat on the bones If I want to sell it later. Hell if you find some high dollar records in boxes of common titles you might have paid 50 cents to a dollar a title, it's not hurting you to sell it at half price and move it fast.

    This is the longest I haven't been in the store for a very long time. I'v been going through my records here and he's been going through his collection at home. Can't wait to see some of the gems he'll be finding.
     
  2. dcarwin

    dcarwin Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Any place to get sleeves open in the city?
     
    Greenalishi likes this.
  3. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    What do you mean get sleeves open?


    Oh I got ya. Buy sleeves. Not sure if any store is open yet. But soon. Things are starting now. Maybe next week.
     
    dcarwin likes this.
  4. meadorbd

    meadorbd Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    FYI Originals Vinyl announced they are opening on Monday. I assume others are following suit.
     
    Greenalishi and dcarwin like this.
  5. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    I hear The Record Man and Wax Trax Las Vegas are the most ridiculous record stores in the U.S.A..
     
  6. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Vegas record stores, just the idea, could be interesting. Pawning stuff for gambling type of thing. Who knows what could be there, transitory place. Intreguing. Haven’t been there in so long and records never occurred to me, next time.
     
  7. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    Vegas was okay in the 80's and 90's then the Record City chain got stale, J-Mars was obliterated by a Metro team on a sting, their few record conventions around '98 had more glasses of water than customers. Big B's was good but if you read the late owner's interview about why it went under you'll understand why getting trusting employees is a #1 thing in retail. Zia is once is enough. Wax Trax has legendary Yelp reviews.
     
    Greenalishi likes this.
  8. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Great name Wax Trax
     
  9. Pipian

    Pipian Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Are there any good stores still in the South Bay beyond Streetlight and the Rasputin in Campbell?
     
  10. roverb

    roverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    03104
    jfeldt, ispace, dcarwin and 1 other person like this.
  11. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF, CA, USA
    Sweet, never heard of it but will try and remember to go for sure after things get back to normal. Initial read of the site gives me a Bird & Beckett vibe
     
    roverb likes this.
  12. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Thrillhouse on Mission st. is open. I bought a few things there. Great store for vinyl
     
    dcarwin likes this.
  13. Spokeless

    Spokeless Forum Resident

    This recently opened (5 yrs. ago?) high-end audio shop, Tone of Music Audio - Home (on Castro, off 24th St.), has vinyl for sale, downstairs. Can't comment on the quality of the stock/selection. I only browsed it, v. briefly (and I don't qualify as a true vinyl collector) - so good luck.

    The "specials"/used equip. section has some familiar names, as do the galleries of client system shots. Hours are fairly limited, but personal service seems to be paramount. The owner was easy going and enjoyable to engage in discussion.
     
  14. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Thank you. I need a place like this. My lifetime place turned bad, Harmony. Tone of Music. Seems perfect. Tried a place or two a little too snotty. Tried to get a needle, they wouldn’t sell me one without me bring in my turntable. Friendly and no airs seems right to me. Thanks
     
  15. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Tone of Music is the best in the bay for customer service and hardware (assuming the brands he carries dovetails with your tastes), but I wouldn't suggest it as a record store. I've seen a couple of shelves of LPs when I visit but I always assumed it was more the owner's collection/demo material.
     
    Greenalishi likes this.
  16. Spokeless

    Spokeless Forum Resident

    I was afraid of that, and actually hesitated to post. I was only there once (and it’s two city blocks away.. (I’m an audiophile fraud)), but ..

    .. do you recall entering the shop’s lower floor to view any? I believe he had quite a number of shelves there. I remember mentioning to my wife that she may enjoy a few hours combing through them to see if any gems emerge. We never did, but the TT is operating again, so ..
     
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  17. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    What I'm thinking of "the third room" in TOM is where the most records seem to be (behind the sofa in the demo area, if memory serves), but those are the ones that definitely don't seem for sale. The owner loves music of course but doesn't really keep any personal audio gear in his home, preferring to listen to all the awesome demo gear he has in the shop, so I believe that's his record collection.

    There seem to be a few more in the "first room", where one enters and the Rega/etc gear is set up, but I think that's just to demo gear in that room. I'm not saying absolutely no records in the store are for sale, but I think it would get awkward to go there to try to shop for music.
     
    Greenalishi likes this.
  18. Spokeless

    Spokeless Forum Resident

    I am sorry to hear that Harmony is getting bad marks. A friend needed a shop to rebuild his AR2s, and Frank at Harmony did the deed. I’ve never purchased anything there, but occasionally ask for tangential audio advice when I’m killing time at West Portal. Never saw anything used that piqued my interest, but I am a low-volume audio equip. purchaser.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
    Greenalishi likes this.
  19. Spokeless

    Spokeless Forum Resident

    Definitely - any record sales are peripheral to the first order of business. And his arrangement/setup has probably changed a few times, too.

    Now, I’ll have to pay another visit if I notice the lights on, and see if the underground vault was only a figment of my imagination.
     
    Greenalishi likes this.
  20. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Thanks on the info. When I need gear or a needle or just to shoot the breeze with a friendly audio guy I’ll check em out. Or if I hit up Alice’s around the corner, the best. Yeah I’ve known Frank since before I was a teenager used to play video games there as a kid. Had a weird experience I had to let go. My dentist is next door so I still pass by. He didn’t pay me on a tape deck he had of mine on consignment. His idea not mine to put it out for sale. After a while and a few times mentioning it. I just let it go. Bummer. He kind of got odd as time went on but I was surprised at what happened. Tried a couple of high end shops in Pac Heights, very stuffy. Bought my new needle online, which I really really didn’t want to do. Like support specialized local shops.

    I’ll check the Tower of Music out. Thanks all
     
  21. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF, CA, USA
    Wow, I live close to Tone of Music as well and have only been once (I am also a bad audiophile) and had no idea there was even a downstairs. I haven’t bought any new gear in many years, but I always thought if I were to get new speakers I’d check out Tone of Music since I think they have Devore if I remember correctly, which I am curious about. I have never been to that west portal place, I’ll have to check it out sometime. I’ve only been to the record store there by the bookstore.
     
    Greenalishi likes this.
  22. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    I've been to Tone of Music many times and unless there's a secret trap door he's never told me about, there isn't a downstairs.

    Definitely Devore speakers, though. Be careful though, once you hear them it's all over.
     
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  23. Spokeless

    Spokeless Forum Resident

    I love a mystery. Though I am assuming I am mistaken, then, since a single visit is unlikely to have revealed an otherwise omitted section of the store.

    They say the mind is the first to go - with me, they’ll never be able to tell.
     
    Greenalishi likes this.
  24. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF, CA, USA
    News about Record Man, which I still have never visited. I need to go sometime.

    "...significant water and smoke damage to the building’s interior — but fortunately left most of the records inside unharmed."

    Bay Area music store housing a million records burns
     
  25. Instant Dharma

    Instant Dharma Spray paint!!! Avoid breathing the vapors

    Location:
    CoCoCo, Ca
    It was like that way before Newsome. Calling Willie Brown.
     
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