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Record Stores - Old-School Places That Serve Up Vinyl With Their Gramophones


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So this is not specifically food related so mods please feel free to move the thread as needed where I will never find it again ;) but I noticed in a separate thread 2 mentions of record stores that also serve good food. I have been in search of someone really knowledgeable to ask a few questions about an old record player that's come into my possession. I tried a few places in Baltimore to no avail and the thread gave me the thought that perhaps DC is worth investigating, with the possible perk of a good bite to eat. Does anyone know of a place where you can not only pick up some good records, but get good information on care or rehab of an old player?

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The used record stores I know about in DC are Crooked Beat, Red Onion, Smash, Som...all in the Adams Morgan/U Street/14th Street areas.  Good eats are close by.  Although I doubt they would do any repair work. 

If you want to rehab an old record player, check out Chuck Levin's in Wheaton, which puts you two blocks away from the food mecca that is Georgia Ave and University Blvd. (Mi La Cay, Ren's Ramen, Nava Thai, El Pollo Rico, Max's Cafe, Thai Taste by Kob, to name a few places)

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On March 18, 2016 at 11:37 PM, Choirgirl21 said:

So this is not specifically food related so mods please feel free to move the thread as needed where I will never find it again ;) but I noticed in a separate thread 2 mentions of record stores that also serve good food. I have been in search of someone really knowledgeable to ask a few questions about an old record player that's come into my possession. I tried a few places in Baltimore to no avail and the thread gave me the thought that perhaps DC is worth investigating, with the possible perk of a good bite to eat. Does anyone know of a place where you can not only pick up some good records, but get good information on care or rehab of an old player?

I'm a little late to the party but a few ideas:

1. Rock and Roll Graveyard in Frederick MD.  I once discussed record cleaning there and ended up in a 60 minute conversation on the subject with other patrons chiming in.  There was some deep kmowledge there.

2.  Get an opinion from a real pro:  amps and more (ampsandmore.com) in Westminster, MD.  It may take 2 weeks and you may pay for it but you will get the best opinion or service possible.  

3. Self-assess:  IMHO, a turntable needs 3 things to be usable: the ability to swap out the cartridge for decent ones, the ability to adjust the weight on the arm so you don't carve up your records, and either a good direct-drive system or the ability to fine tune the speed. 

Now, you didn't mention what kind of rehab you want, to make a player (that may end up with franken-parts) or to make an accurate reconditioning of the antique that may not actually play well.  I suspect the former as you asked about record stores, not antique stores.  My suggestions above are geared toward something you use and your concern is functionality, vs something you refinish and preserve.

anyway, good luck and if you've already moved past this then maybe someone else is helped!

 

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I actually disagree on the direct drive recommendation. As long as the belt is in good condition, a belt drive is better at isolating the motor noise from the platter and the record on it. I currently use a circa 1970 Thorens belt drive turntable so you can absolutely use an older turntable and get good results. I think direct drives are better for DJ'ing because the record gets to speed quicker than a belt, and maintains speed when scratching or mixing. That said, there are a lot of good products out there for under $500 now. The Record Exchange in Silver Spring sells vinyl and sometimes has used turntables in stock, but I have never talked to staff there about technical stuff regarding my turntable. There's a TV repair place in Kensington that is really old school and I would guess they might do turntable repairs there, but no place to eat there as well. As for picking up some vinyl, go to garage sales or buy online. As much as I like to romanticize flipping through records when I was in high school, the markup now on used vinyl from retail stores is way too much.

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4 hours ago, dinoue said:

I actually disagree on the direct drive recommendation. As long as the belt is in good condition, a belt drive is better at isolating the motor noise from the platter and the record on it. I currently use a circa 1970 Thorens belt drive turntable so you can absolutely use an older turntable and get good results. I think direct drives are better for DJ'ing because the record gets to speed quicker than a belt, and maintains speed when scratching or mixing.

Yeah, that works.   No argument here and yes, I used to DJ down in the bars, so direct drive was for me - belts were just things that could break and make my night sad, while noise was what I was being paid to generate!

4 hours ago, dinoue said:

That said, there are a lot of good products out there for under $500 now. The Record Exchange in Silver Spring sells vinyl and sometimes has used turntables in stock, but I have never talked to staff there about technical stuff regarding my turntable. There's a TV repair place in Kensington that is really old school and I would guess they might do turntable repairs there, but no place to eat there as well. As for picking up some vinyl, go to garage sales or buy online. As much as I like to romanticize flipping through records when I was in high school, the markup now on used vinyl from retail stores is way too much.

I picked up two of these Technics 1200 emulations and love them - not hyper expensive and get the job done.   The clip holding the tone arm busted on one...not too big a deal though.   As for buying vinyl - I used to own a vinyl record store and while picking up a stack of 45s feels a little like Cal Ripken picking up a baseball after a long while...it is also an addiction I need to keep at bay.   So I limit myself to like 15 minutes or 5 records or $10 at a time...then we're done and I have to put it down and walk away

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On 3/18/2016 at 2:10 PM, Tweaked said:

The used record stores I know about in DC are Crooked Beat, Red Onion, Smash, Som...all in the Adams Morgan/U Street/14th Street areas.  Good eats are close by.  Although I doubt they would do any repair work. 

If you want to rehab an old record player, check out Chuck Levin's in Wheaton, which puts you two blocks away from the food mecca that is Georgia Ave and University Blvd. (Mi La Cay, Ren's Ramen, Nava Thai, El Pollo Rico, Max's Cafe, Thai Taste by Kob, to name a few places)

Crooked Beat has closed and is looking for a new space.

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5 hours ago, ArlFred said:

CD Cellar in Arlington actually had a great vinyl selection. I haven't been to the new Falls Church location but I assume the stock migrated over there. Very fair prices. 

The *new* Falls Church location? CD Cellar has been in Falls Church for as long as I can remember (it's next door to Spacebar).

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New in the sense that they moved a few blocks, from Broad Street to Park Avenue:

"Our flagship location in Falls Church is relocating to a bigger and badder space. As of Dec. 31, 2015, CD Cellar will live at 105 Park Avenue, just a hop, skip and a jump away from our longtime home on West Broad Street. What's more, we are moving our fantastic Arlington stock into the new Falls Church space, combining two stores into one super-awesome megastore. Arlington will close Jan. 15, 2016. "

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On 6/13/2016 at 3:10 PM, MC Horoscope said:

Joe's Record Paradise refers you for repairs to a shop going out US 29 past White Oak. No repairs in-house, AFAIK.

Any idea of the name of the place? That's actually quite close to my office so sounds like a good option for me. 

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