Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 42

Thread: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

  1. #1

    Default Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Are there any good home audio stores on this island? I don't mean the big box guys, I mean specialty stores. The phone book isn't a whole lot of help.

    I'm thinking of replacing my old turntable and amp/receiver/tuner (see my offer to give them away in the Selling section), but I'd like to actually see the item I'm buying rather than go sight unseen from the web.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Audio Lab on Ala Moana Blvd. may be worth a try.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    5,947

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Tom Choy at audio lab is the best. VERY knowledgable. and/but... he has the bestest TOP level high end stuff you have ever seen. he specialises in this. ya want off the shelf basics, I dunno. He would know where ta steer ya. But i don't recommend a buncha people ringin him up and demanding the shopping list be filled with stuff he don't touch.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Oahu now part of the traffic problem in lower Puna
    Posts
    8,415

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Is that the same Audio Lab (or was that Audio Center) that was in the Manoa Marketplace decades ago? They sold Nakamichi audio gear as well as other high end stuff.

    It's sad that today's Home Theater stuff can't even rate with the audio purity of the 70's.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Posts
    7,327

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    A coworker is a serious audiophile (you don't know what he spends just on turntable cartridges -- you know, the "needle"?)... he definitely makes a good case for how today's top tech is still no match for the good ol' days of quality craftsmanship. So I asked him where to go...

    He also mentioned Audio Lab (660 Ala Moana, Ste. 102, 595-8066), but specifically recommended Stewart Ono at Audio Directions (1814 Algaroba St. between Hauoli and Pumehana streets, 941-6550). Definitely a full-range shop, from entry-level to sell-your-kidney, and absolutely a great resource for turntables. Open 11-6, closed Sundays and Mondays, check out the listening rooms and watch your step -- stuff everywhere.

    Ono is quoted in an article on vinyl from the Honolulu Advertiser and an HPR record sale story in the Star-Bulletin.

    He did confess to visiting the Magnolia room at the Best Buy on Alakawa, if only to play with their Martin-Logan speakers...

    Hard-core audiophiles are something else. To think I've reached the point where download-only, compressed music files are just fine for my ears. These folks can listen to two nearly identical $25,000 setups and tell you what kind of cables are running to the speakers!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Thanks, folks. I guess I should schedule a field trip to both of those places.

    I've got nearly 300 vinyl albums. I'm not in the "vinyl's better than CDs" crowd (necessarily), I just don't want to indiscriminately throw them out. I bought that music for a reason, and I don't want to or can't replace it all with CDs.

    After looking at various turntables in the "under $200" range (not the DJ variety), I've concluded they're mostly junk. They've got plastic bases and look like a lazy Susan on a square frame. My Pioneer PL-50A turntable is 8" high (with dust cover) with a solid wood cabinet. It looks like a good piece of equipment. I just took the platter off and discovered that one of the reasons it doesn't work is that the old drive belt just cracked and turned to crumbs. Well, guess what? That can be replaced for under $30 bucks. A good new amp/receiver/tuner (with phono connection) can be found for $150.

    It's still possible to keep an old stereo system up and running, looks like.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Posts
    7,327

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linkmeister
    After looking at various turntables in the "under $200" range (not the DJ variety), I've concluded they're mostly junk.
    Well, I'm betting you're probably right in terms of the "look," and the cabinet, and the craftsmanship and how it matches your other stuff. But, still, there are well regarded new turntables out there for reasonable prices... they just won't look like your solid-state TEAC unit or anything.

    My coworker sent me a link to this unit. As looks go, it probably won't match anything in your house (though actually, you can just get it in matte black), but as far as components and quality, it apparently gets high marks.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Oooh! Purty!

    I just took the platter off and switched the Pioneer on. Motor pulley runs fine, so the belt seems to be the big problem (the stylus needs replacing, too, though).

  9. #9

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Here's what the Pioneer looks like; you can see why a plastic base doesn't appeal.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Oahu now part of the traffic problem in lower Puna
    Posts
    8,415

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Pioneer! OMG I would never put that name amongst even mid range audio gear.

    If you're going high end you need to consider Micro Seiki on the lower end of the high end stuff.

    And TEAC's professional line is of course TASCAM.

    Forget Sony. That's consumer stuff when it comes to audiophiles.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe
    Pioneer! OMG I would never put that name amongst even mid range audio gear.

    If you're going high end you need to consider Micro Seiki on the lower end of the high end stuff.

    And TEAC's professional line is of course TASCAM.

    Forget Sony. That's consumer stuff when it comes to audiophiles.
    Pioneer's speakers were highly regarded in the early 1970s. The turntable didn't come up to the Duals, Garrards and ARs, but it served its purpose well.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Please don't call it "Frisco"
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linkmeister
    Pioneer's speakers were highly regarded in the early 1970s.
    Hope this isn't too off-topic, but anybody know a website or online marketplace of some type for vintage audio gear? I inherited some Pioneer speakers from my dad from the early 70's and just don't know what to do with them. They sound fine to my non-audiophile ears, but they're just too big for me. When I say big I mean BIG; probably 24"x42" or so, solid wood, and over 25 lbs each. I hate to just dump them; they're so nicely constructed and you really don't see anything like it nowadays. But, I have absolutely no use for them and they're just taking up room in my garage.

    I just figured there must be some collector's marketplace or something where I could find somebody that would value these.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    NoCalBoy, do they look like this? That's an 80-watt Pioneer.

    I'll come back with an idea for auction (other than E-bay, which has a thriving audio sales section).

    OK, here's a forum which has a section for buy-sell-trade. It's a bunch of audiophiles, so they'll know what you have, I imagine. You might have to post pictures. Do you have any idea whether they still work?
    Last edited by Linkmeister; February 8th, 2006 at 08:12 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Oahu now part of the traffic problem in lower Puna
    Posts
    8,415

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linkmeister
    Pioneer's speakers were highly regarded in the early 1970s. The turntable didn't come up to the Duals, Garrards and ARs, but it served its purpose well.
    Pioneer was never highly regarded by audiophiles back then. Now Garrard turntables were good stuff such as their SL95B and their Zero100-C turntables and Atlantic Research speakers as well. Dual was good along with BIC.

    But Pioneer was known back in the 70's for their huge megawatt receivers that ranked along with Sansui, Optonica (Sharp's high end stuff) Technics (Panasonic) and Kenwood. Pioneer had their 12" monster tower speakers with the LED bargraph displays built in. More for power than performance Pioneer was favored by overseas military men and women who could get the bells and whistle equipped Pioneer, Nitto, National (Panasonic), Sansui, Sharp and other cheaper in Japan than in the US.

    Even today Pioneer's home theater line (Elite) can't compare to the 70's Southwest Technical's Tigersauris 001 monoblock solid state amplifiers with a THD factor of 0.001% or even my Marantz 2050 pushing 0.08% THD.

    Pioneer's amps were running around 0.8% THD with even higher IMD percentage factors, nothing to brag about.

    Some of the really high end stuff included Mark Levinson discrete amplifiers, Magna Planer linear speakers, Micro Seiki turntables, Nakamichi Dragon cassette tape decks, McIntosh tuners and Teac/Tascam reel to reel tape decks. That was high end.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    High end wasn't affordable for most WestPac enlisted folks in the 1970s, even if it was available, which it mostly wasn't. I was making about $200 per pay period in 1973 when I bought my system. The Navy Exchange in Japan sold (as you might expect) mostly Japanese products for far less than you'd pay for the ARs or Duals. So most of the guys I knew bought Pioneer, Sansui, and Teac.

    NoCal, I found another site you might try. This is the ad section of AudioKarma, where you can list your equipment for sale (buyers seem to be willing to pay shipping). You could also list them on Craigslist, of course.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Audio Directions is the place to go with Stuart Ono. I myself have a Linn Sondek LP12 with Ittok tone arm which I bought from The Audio Shoppe on Beretania St. near the new police station. The Audio Quest cartridge alone cost me $500.00 back in 1990. Stuart was with the Chinese guy at Manoa Market Place years ago. I still have the Nakamichi CR-3A cassette deck but I bought that from Honolulu Audio & Video that used to be on King St. across from McCully Chop Suey. Can't beat the tube amps like Conrad Johnson or Quick Silvers. I run the soild state amp and pre-amp Adcom. My neighbor ran the PS Audio pre-amp and amp. I have over 1000 LPs and majority are bought from Goodwill or Salvation Army. It was the late 80s and early 90s when Stuart Ono told me that if you're gonna buy vinyl then you better buy now. I picked them up for 50 cent a piece and in execellent condition. It was a time when CDs was coming on the market and many where dumping the LPs.
    Last edited by na alii; February 9th, 2006 at 05:06 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Please don't call it "Frisco"
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linkmeister
    NoCalBoy, do they look like this? That's an 80-watt Pioneer.
    Link, they look just like yours, except the model is CS-63DX. That's so funny you have the same ones. These are 80 watts too and they work just fine. Thanks for the good ideas; I'll check 'em out. I just wonder what I should expect to get for them.

    I should look into testing the Ebay market for some of my old vinyl too. My mom just delivered all my stuff from her house, much of which I haven't seen in 20 years! It was a kick looking through my old 45's!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Waipahu area
    Posts
    237

    Question Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Ahhh. The Audio Shoppe (on Beretania opposite the HPD station--1st place to see Krell, and their gorgeous CD player when it first came out, my first foray in high-end with my purchase of Luxman products back in early/mid 80s), Sounds (in Iwilei--which ran out of an electronics store where I purchased my Superphon Dual Mono made by Stan Warren--the 'S' in 'PS Audio' and modified Hafler products by Musical Design), Stereo Station (where HPR is located and where I first saw and heard their Acoustats in their two level store), Honolulu Audio & Video (mauka of So. King just past McCully St), 20/20 Audio and Video (former co-owner of Audio Design before the split and where Audio Lab is now located) and Audio Design (upstairs in the Manoa Marketplace) !!!

    Yup, there are far and few high end audio dealers...

    I haved stuck with Stewart Ono of Audio Directions (formerly co-owner of Audio Design before the split) since 1984 (I still use my Spica TC-50s purchased from him back in 1985 as my reference speaker). A one man operation in which a newbie who walks in may find/be slightly rattled if he/she doesn't get attention right away because the service 'shall we say, is one person at a time'. If you are a regular there, you'll come to understand and feel comfortable in his store.

    Stewart is very low key and will not sell you anything like what a department store salesperson would try to do...feel free to browse the shop...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoCal Boy
    Link, they look just like yours, except the model is CS-63DX. That's so funny you have the same ones. These are 80 watts too and they work just fine. Thanks for the good ideas; I'll check 'em out. I just wonder what I should expect to get for them.

    I should look into testing the Ebay market for some of my old vinyl too. My mom just delivered all my stuff from her house, much of which I haven't seen in 20 years! It was a kick looking through my old 45's!
    I don't know how active it is, but that Record Collectors Guild site has an entire section for record trading/selling/buying.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Does Ono do repair work? Does anybody do repair work?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Waipahu area
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    yes, he (Stewart) does---but prepare to wait...i mean wait (with patience)...one month plus is standard...

  22. #22

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    I think Stuart does repairs. I know for sure he does modifications. He must of modded my Harmon Kardon CD player about 8 times.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Thanks, folks. I'll give him a call, then. After not fooling with the system for 15 years, another month wouldn't rationally be a problem. Irrationally, though, having decided to focus on this, I want it done NOW!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    For speakers: Genelec.

    They are self-powered and the amps are matched to the speakers. The crossovers are active. Among discerning audio engineers who do critical work, these are among their top choice.

    Keep in mind that room acoustic characteristics are just as important as speakers and other components.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Oahu now part of the traffic problem in lower Puna
    Posts
    8,415

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992
    For speakers: Genelec.

    They are self-powered and the amps are matched to the speakers. The crossovers are active. Among discerning audio engineers who do critical work, these are among their top choice.

    Keep in mind that room acoustic characteristics are just as important as speakers and other components.

    Don't forget the age of the discerning listener.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •