For Erik Owen, fixing turntables is just something he loves to do. The recent boom in record collecting is mostly providence.
Owen is the owner of Gig Harbor Audio, which specializes in records, turntables, audio equipment, speakers and entertainment systems. The store is in a new location, 3019 Judson St.
He started repairing turntables in 2002 purely because it was fun. Now, turntables are in high demand.
“The recent boom has probably been in the last five years,” he said. “I kind of got lucky.”
Now there’s a need for turntable systems. Customers are upgrading systems, turning them in for consignment and even looking for older decks.
Owen says that it’s not about the price of the equipment; it’s about loving it. Gig Harbor Audio has systems at all price levels. That adds to the atmosphere of the shop, Owen said, because no system is better than another. They are just different.
“I think what kind of sets us apart is... I personally have never met a stereo that I don’t like,” he said. “If it’s a $50 little box that makes music, I like it.”
The store sells both new and used vinyl. Each vintage LP is cleaned before sale, Owen said.
Owen owns the store with Matt Silberstein, a former sales representative for a turntable company. Silberstein moved to Gig Harbor with his family about two months ago to help Owen with the store.
“He was tired of traveling, and he liked it here,” Owen said. “It just kind of made sense. I think it’s the store that he always wanted to deliver hi-fi to.”
Although already in the new location, the opening bash is set for 7 p.m. May 21.
At the opening, 7 Seas Brewing will be serving beer. It will be a chance to celebrate a love of sound, music and records.
People have already been filing through the new location.
“The very first day we opened (on Judson Street), when we turned on the open sign, it was packed,” Owen said. “I think we have a great community that likes coming here.”
Karen Miller: 253-358-4155 firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @gateway_karen