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Nov 01

Pacific Stereo, words of advice before you buy any stereo

Pacific Stereo ad from the then Telegram-Tribune February 3, 1977.

Any worthwhile college town in the 1970s had more than one stereo store. A listening room with lights set low so the components could glow on the shelves. Bring in your favorite virgin vinyl albums to play on the turntable. One of the happiest places on earth.
To be honest I never was one of those guys who could talk for an hour about linear sound spectrum of the 10 khz cut off sub woofer graphic equalizing turntable power supply. I just wanted a decent turntable and speakers. It was after college before I could afford more than a scratch-and-play-all-in-one stereo system.
Even this was better than my first few cars, some didn’t come with an FM radio, single speaker in the dashboard radio select buttons on the front. My Opal Ralley Kadet didn’t even have a radio. Kids today won’t know the joy of listening to cassette tapes on a battery powered boom box as you drive down I-5.

An audiophile website says that Pacific Stereo was owned by the television network CBS from 1972-83. The network also owned the Fender electric guitar company about this time. Guitar aficionados scour music stores for pre-CBS Telecasters and Stratocasters. (If one is just taking up space in your closet consider donating it to me.) The Pacific Stereo had stores in many cities throughout the west including San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara but by 1986 the network had sold the company and it was liquidated late that year.
Warehouse electronics supermarket stores like Fry’s and Circuit City had replaced the stereo store.
I recently saw at Boo Boo Records artwork that you can hang on your wall, a glowing amplifier and turntable with a shelf full of vinyl record albums. It cost about what these stereo components cost but weighs a whole lot less.
My son tells me he is just going to throw them in the dumpster when I die, but until then I’m keeping my vinyl records.
What is your favorite stereo story?

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