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tonythompson

Melbourne Memories

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Back in the mid 70's, a friend of mine had been left some money and decided to buy a good system. We all went with him to the usual Melbourne stores (Douglas, Sound City, Penny lane, Tivoli and Encel).

But one unusal place we came across was called the Recorded Music Salon in Collins St. We never got to look at anything as the store owner threw us out the door as soon as we got there. He obviously didn't want five 16 year old boys playing with his stuff.

All I remember was that there was a counter at the front and behind this was shelves of LP's (mostly classical I think). But he also had some unusual equipment for sale. One was a wooden cased amplifier which I believe was called an "Armstrong".

Does anyone remember this place and can shed some light on what it sold and what happened to it. I was never game to go back and have a second look.

TT

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It was run by Mr Pinchewski and I think he owned the brown brick medium rise office building next door so he lived off the rentals and did not need to make money from the hifi shop.

He sold ERA turntables from France, Schaub Lorenz TV's, Sonab speakers, Armstrong amps and Empire cartridges from Switzerland that later became Benz Micro. He also had turntables from Rabco.

The shop was locked up and covered in dust for many years. About 10 years ago is was refurbished as a 7-Eleven Store but above it now is a cafe which is suitably called the Recorded Music Salon Cafe. However there is no memorabilia there as far as I know.

Shame this was not a trivial pursuit question.

Giving away my age here aren't I.

Warwick

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I can only recall Douglas, Tivoli and Encel.................:D

Spent many happy hours at each establishment, I might add :).

Russ.

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those were the days:)

I bought an ERA 555 turntable from him and an Empire cartridge too. The ERA has a strange H-beam arm with crossed leaf-spring suspension, my brother still has it. It started my love affair with French hi-fi gear (subliminal reminder here of YBA for sale).

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I drove down Collins St about a year ago and daw the sign still painted on the wall. Unfortunately no new hifi shop though.

There were a whole lot of hifi shops in the city way back then. Sound City and another one opposite side of Lonsdale St, maybe Intersound or similar, apparently owned by the same owner. Funnily enough Sound City is now where JB's sell their panels and low fi. Natsound in Swanston St, a pro gear in Russell St that had a great little hifi section down the back and down some stairs. Southern Cross records or similar which sold mainly music but had some gear. Of course Brashs and Douglas which had some good gear then as well.

Have I missed any?

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Hello Gat 474,

I think you were thinking about Instral Hi Fi going back some time.

Northern Electronics had a city store for some time as well.

Cheers Tony C

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Hi

I was sent there by my brother in law in about 1965 I think it was (because I could get a cheap student airfare) to buy from memory an Armstrong amp, labcraft tt and goodmans speakers. Great shop, but I got back to the airport with all this gear, and went to check that all was packed OK for the plane ride home to Hobart - only to find he'd given me the box for the TT with nothing in it - I can't remember whether I went back & got it or whether he sent it out to the airport in a taxi, but I got it in time to get the plane.

Cheers

mick

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Thanks Warwick

I knew someone would remember. Mr Pinchewski was horrified when one of us went behind the counter uninvited to get a closer look. He guided us all out the door saying that we could come back with our parents if we wanted to buy anything.

I bought my first speakers at Sound City. They were AR25's that were assembled in Sydney by Teledyne AR. I remember that the salesman was horrified when I chose the AR's over the Apex speakers he was desperately trying to sell me.

TT

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Somewhere in my archives I have an Empire Scientific catalogue that Mr Pinchewski gave me. Must look for it. As well as making turntables, tonearms and cartridges they distributed the Spectral brand from the USA in Europe.

Don't forget the other shops:

Contemporary Sound Centre in Riversdale Rd, Hawthorn (Ian Robinson, now Redgum).

Selim Electronics in Burke Rd, Camberwell, near Toorak Rd (Ennis Selimovic). Now lives at Gembrook and was a keen collector of Quad, Harman Kardon Citation Series, Radford, etc, and who first introduced me to Coral. Lots of audiophiles used to frequent this shop.

Warwick

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Thanks Warwick

I knew someone would remember. Mr Pinchewski was horrified when one of us went behind the counter uninvited to get a closer look. He guided us all out the door saying that we could come back with our parents if we wanted to buy anything.

I bought my first speakers at Sound City. They were AR25's that were assembled in Sydney by Teledyne AR. I remember that the salesman was horrified when I chose the AR's over the Apex speakers he was desperately trying to sell me.

TT

In early 1980 my folks bought those Apex speakers along with a Marantz 2238 receiver and a Harksound by CEC TT all for a princely sum of $1020. They've still got it today in as new condition with the packaging. The reciever is off at the Marantz doctors getting a noisy pot and some blown globes fixed. Looking after my inheritance.

Tony - I think you are right about Instral Hifi.

I still have the 1980 Marantz range brochure with some pricing written on it. The borchure features the big 2600 receiver, quad gear, the full speaker range and some great separates. Of course the reciever was the star of the series.

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And not for forget the west with the original JB's in the Centreway and before that in John's garage. They had some nice gear back then with realistic pricing.

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Another often forgotten shop is Intersound in Balwyn. They are still going I think but back then sold JBL, Electrovoice, Yamaha, ME, Mark Levinson, Linn, etc. A friend of mine bought Electrovoice Patricians, Mark Levinson ML2's and a Linn from them. Now that was one hell of a system in it's day.

Warwick

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And not for forget the west with the original JB's in the Centreway and before that in John's garage. They had some nice gear back then with realistic pricing.

I remember walking in there with my mate in the 80's and seeing a stand with classical cds when the shop was full of vinyl, and saying to him one day you will walk in here & it will be full of cds, no more vinyl. His response was bull s#*t

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There used to be so many HiFi shops around. I remember buying my Rectilinear speakers from a Dandy Sound second hand outlet on Whitehorse Rd somewhere beyond Box Hill.

I remember going past the Recorded Music Salon many times but never ventured inside.

DS

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Yes I used to drive over to buy TDK cassettes from JB's garage - somewhere near Essendon Airport I think. Don't forget Soundcraftsman in Caulfield run by Graeme Rodwell, they sold Linn and Naim, I bought a few pairs of Linn speakers there, Kanns and Isobariks, and also bought my wonderful Tandberg tuner there as well as the Sugden amp in my second system. They used to sell lots of English gear mainly but also Yamaha. Tivoli HiFi in Camberwell have also been around a long time too.

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I remember walking in there with my mate in the 80's and seeing a stand with classical cds when the shop was full of vinyl, and saying to him one day you will walk in here & it will be full of cds, no more vinyl. His response was bull s#*t

I worked there part time for a couple of years in 1987 and 1988. It was at this time that the cd area really took over the vinyl collection. It was still the only JB store and people used to come from all over Victoria to buy their gear and music as it was cheap. You couldn't move in there on a Friday night or Saturday morning.

John had sold out by this stage but still worked there pretty much running the cd and lp stock. .

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Moderator

what is Mr JB doing now?

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I was thinking about the CBD of Melbourne.

Remember Penny Lane, Symfonia Hi Fi, Absolute High End, Audio trends Lilydale,Soundcraftman, Peter (Sound images) in Dandenong by the station just to name a few.

Tony C

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Vince Testa ran Symphonia in Burwood Rd, Hawthorn and he sold Sota, Krell, McLaren (NZ), Apogee, The Arm, Madrigal and others. I think Vince runs an apiary now. Now that is a change of life.

Warwick

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Hello Warwick,

Add to that list Acoustat,Counterpoint, Air tight, Forte Audio, Aragon, Counterpoint, Dalquist, Castle, Magmun Dynalab, Cambridge Audio, Magnapan. Just to name a few.

Memories!!!!!!!!!

Tony C

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what is Mr JB doing now?

Retired down the Bellarine Peninsula but still has an active interest in hifi.

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Hello Warwick,

Add to that list Acoustat,Counterpoint, Air tight, Forte Audio, Aragon, Counterpoint, Dalquist, Castle, Magmun Dynalab, Cambridge Audio, Magnapan. Just to name a few.

Memories!!!!!!!!!

Tony C

Tony didn't you work at Symfonia ,Vince also made some very nice gear ,

there a complete Penny Lane system under a bed at the inlaws with a number of unopen UHQR's one day should dust it off.

How could we forget Absolute High End & Audio Toys .

Cheers

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Vince Testa ran Symphonia in Burwood Rd, Hawthorn and he sold Sota, Krell, McLaren (NZ), Apogee, The Arm, Madrigal and others. I think Vince runs an apiary now. Now that is a change of life.

Warwick

Vince was with Instrol before opening his own shop. I bought my Klipschorns from him in '76. I used to work at Southern Sound on Nepean hwy, Moorabbin with Andrew McFarlane who went on to Intersound in the earl 80's I think. Southern Sound also had a shop in LaTrobe street City as well. I think Vasey Stocks worked at Sound City. An unusual chatacter that one.

cheers

M

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