When it comes to vinyl records, the best selection of LPs in the South Sound can be found at Turntable Treasures House of Records, according to store owner Pete VanRosendael.
A sign right by the front door states emphatically, â€œAUDIO Yes. VIDEO No.â€
â€œPeople still buy a lot of records,â€ said VanRosendael, pointing to the over 120,000 LPS and 5,000 sealed LPs stacked neatly throughout the store.
â€œThis didnâ€™t happen overnight. I accumulated it over the years,â€ he said of his stock, adding that the vast majority of vinyls in the store sell for under $10.
VanRosendael said that a lot of his inventory comes through the front door of the Tacoma store. â€œI used to go to estate sales and yard sales, but now I buy directly from customers,â€ he said.
Turntable Treasures has regular customers and a jam-packed inventory just about floor to ceiling, and walking through the door is like walking back in time.
LPs are a passion for VanRosendael. Retired from the Air Force, he purchased House of Records on Sixth Avenue in 2000 and moved right around the corner seven years ago.
â€œWe had two separate locations and then combined the two. House of Records started in 1988 and Turntable Treasures in 1996. Iâ€™ve been in business just about 20 years now,â€ he said.
He knew he wasnâ€™t going to spend his retirement playing golf, and acknowledges that retirees need something productive and fun to do.
â€œI consider this my second career that I can ride off into the sunset on,â€ said VanRosendael.
The business has regular customers who appreciate the world of vinyl. â€œAnyone who is into this scene knows we are one of the biggest and the best,â€ said VanRosendael, adding that Turntable Treasures stocks vinyl and equipment only.
The shelves host a wide variety of turntables and speakers, priced affordably.
VanRosendael grew up in New York with a love of music. â€œMy favorites in the â€˜60s were Jefferson Airplane, the Byrds, Bob Dylan. Now my favorite music is classical. I want to discover something new,â€ he said.
He gives out free audio advice, too. â€œMove your speakers around, try different placements of your main speakers as described in your manual, and the results can be staggering,â€ he said.
Turntables start at about $100. VanRosendael said for $200, he can get an entire system up and ready for customers.
â€œCome on down,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™ll sell you merchandise or good advice. Free advice is always here.â€
VanRosendael acknowledges that his operation isnâ€™t really a viable business model if you want to make money, but added, â€œThis is my retirement and it is a labor of love. My advice is to find a passion that you love, and if it is at nobody elseâ€™s expense, go for it.â€
Turntable Treasures is located at 608 N. Prospect in Tacoma. Hours are Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 5 pm. The website is turntabletreasures.com, and the phone number is 253-272-9229.
Joan Cronk, who wrote this article, is a freelance writer from Puyallup.