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Defunct Hi-Fi Dealers


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On 14/12/2020 at 17:13, jobseeker said:

Sorry. Pasted the wrong quote! ūüėó.¬†
Pretty sure the shop opposite The Hyde Park pub was called ‚ÄėGoff and Jackson‚Äô. Those were the days!¬†

Edited by marko
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When I moved to Lewisham in 1980, it had three shops. One was opposite the long demolished pub and shops which is now the DLR- had one of those great double display windows, with almost floor to ceiling glass, either side of a passage entrance. Wish I could remember its name? The other one was at Lee Green, on a corner that's now an estate agents. It then moved to the old bank over the road, then closed down. I tried to buy a stylus in there once and the guy said that it was cheaper to buy a whole new cartridge. He showed me the price of the stylus, then persuaded me to buy the cartridge instead, which turned out to be better than what I had! Name also escapes me. The survivor is Billy Vee, who moved from nearer Lewisham to nearer Lee. The shop they moved into had been a Swap Shop, which had a manky selection of 60's guitars in the window- wish I'd bought some now- and a central rummage podium which took up most of the shop and was finger deep in greasy debris. The cleanup job must have been grim...... Billy Vee have had to close on and off due to lockdown, but still manage a cheery wave when they're in there. I've know Ian Ridge longer than I've known my wife..............

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Oh, the Lee Green Shop was Nicholl's Hi Fi- found a picture and it looks like it should be in Tottenham Court Road!

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Just checked, Chris Brooks Audio is still going in Stockton Heath, Warrington, though I don't know if he is still personally involved in the shop.  I remember going to his parent's house to demo equipment when he was starting up, and spending a lot of time (and money) at his Stockton Heath premises until I moved over from Linn to Meridian.

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On 16/12/2020 at 12:32, tkimages said:

Just checked, Chris Brooks Audio is still going in Stockton Heath, Warrington, though I don't know if he is still personally involved in the shop.  I remember going to his parent's house to demo equipment when he was starting up, and spending a lot of time (and money) at his Stockton Heath premises until I moved over from Linn to Meridian.

Yes Chris is there definitely not defunct. I was last there a few years ago, less than a mile from me.

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On 15/12/2020 at 12:11, Snoopdog said:

Most of my money went to the original Guidford HiFi at the top of the High Street in Guildford. Owned and run by a very nice Canadian, by the name of Bob Eubanks

You may know that @uzzy of this parish worked there.  I used to look inside occasionally, but it was out of my price range.  The Gale loudspeakers were a favourite.  I remember Bob demoing them with a DG recording of Rite of Spring - sensational!

I worked part-time at Aerco Records, in nearby Woking, for over a decade from 1974 onwards.  Despite the name, it expanded from records into Hifi, and later, video. Lower price range than their Guildford neighbours, and more in competition with the likes of Comet. It spawned several spin-off business, including a record label, and the original Cable Talk cable company.  It was sold to Bartletts in the mid-1980s, but subsequently closed after a few years.  Bartletts is still trading in London.  

Guildford was also home to PJ Hifi which is still going as far as I know. 

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1 hour ago, Nopiano said:

You may know that @uzzy of this parish worked there.  I used to look inside occasionally, but it was out of my price range.  The Gale loudspeakers were a favourite.  I remember Bob demoing them with a DG recording of Rite of Spring - sensational!

I worked part-time at Aerco Records, in nearby Woking, for over a decade from 1974 onwards.  Despite the name, it expanded from records into Hifi, and later, video. Lower price range than their Guildford neighbours, and more in competition with the likes of Comet. It spawned several spin-off business, including a record label, and the original Cable Talk cable company.  It was sold to Bartletts in the mid-1980s, but subsequently closed after a few years.  Bartletts is still trading in London.  

Guildford was also home to PJ Hifi which is still going as far as I know. 

1 hour ago, Nopiano said:
On 15/12/2020 at 12:11, Snoopdog said:

Most of my money went to the original Guidford HiFi at the top of the High Street in Guildford. Owned and run by a very nice Canadian, by the name of Bob Eubanks

Sorry that came out in the wrong order.  I was moved to Guildford for work in 1975 (March) and lived in a crummy hotel opposite the Civic Hall for three months until moving into a house outside Aldershot with my missus.  Whilst in the Hotel I used to peer in the window walking back from work (if the shop was closed) and ventured in to be warmly welcomed by the lovely Bob Eubanks.  Over the three months we became good friends and used to go and have a beer when he shut up shop.  At that time there was him and Ken working there and Ian who went to work for Linn (and strangely sold his Gale GS401s and was praising to us the benefits of Isobariks (made me and Bob chuckle lots - his summation the only speaker I know that takes your head of but has no top end detail).  When Ian left he was short handed until he recruited a newbie - so I said I would help out on Friday night (open til 8) and on Saturdays.

He taught me so much about hifi - but he was an enthusiast - when Unilet took it over in 1979/80 he had piles of stuff he had bought to try out that had not been sold (Futterman Valve amps and the like).   If Bob told me to listen to something I knew I had to listen to it .. in many ways we had the same "ears".  His customer service was immense - we had a great guy who used to come in in the late 70s to do repairs (magic chap who developed his own Valve preamp but I lost touch.

Bob was admired and liked by many in the industry - Peter Dunlop sent Derek down as a young lad (late teens early 20s) to stay with Bob and work in the shop for a week to get to see the industry from the other side of the fence.  I loved Peter Dunlop - a man like Bob full of integrity and great ears too.  He became a close friend of mine and I helped him at a few hifi shows back in the early years of Systemdek.   Derek became a very close friend too and later Ramsey .. It is not hard to understand how Derek and Ramsay make such great loudspeakers because believe me they have great ears and Ramsay just leaves me amazed with his construction skills..

If Snoop dog was coming into Guildford Hifi in the late 70s, on a Friday night or Saturday, I probably met him.   

Bob was American by the way - he was a computer whiz and had worked for the American Government and I think NATO for years but would not tell you what he had worked on as he was bound by their official secrets act. 

The Acoustat X were magic - almost - it was when he upgraded to the the 4x that I fell in love with them (they are to this day the best electrostatics I have ever heard - with bass and balls).  He used to use a big Paragon Valve amp on them and they had their own amps built into the base - and when I left to move to Northampton in 1980 he was using the Lux Vacuum turntable in his house.  Prior to the Acoustats he had a pair of Gale GS 401s either side of the chimney breast in the lounge.

In addition to the stuff Snoop Dog remembered, we stocked Dahlquist, Yamaha (including the NS1000s) KEF, Mark Levinson, Audionics, Paragon, Naim (until Julian Veriker got upset as Bob was selling second hand Naim stuff to a place in Germany so he cut off our franchise .. when Unilet took it over we had Naim back in again and Bob made a point of giving Julian a ring to tell him how nice it was to be back.  Unilet moved so much Naim no way was he going to cut them off).  Tim De Paravacini was a regular too when he was developing the EAR 509s (which we also stocked). Also the usuals were stocked from Technics, Lux, Nakamichi, Pioneer and Sansui and a host more - they were just getting Myst stuff in when I left.

I am biased because of my friendship and working there - but it is I think the finest Hifi shop i had been in .. and we had wonderful regular customers.  I fell out of touch with Bob when he decided to relocate the the USA but he will always be in my memories and I am so grateful to have known him and learned so much from him.   Thanks for making me think about it all and bringing back such fond memories.   Sorry for rambling on but it made this old git feel very happy for a few minutes reminiscing over lovely times spent with a lovely man (his wife and two daughters were lovely people too).

Edited by uzzy
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12 hours ago, uzzy said:

Sorry that came out in the wrong order.  I was moved to Guildford for work in 1975 (March) and lived in a crummy hotel opposite the Civic Hall for three months until moving into a house outside Aldershot with my missus.  Whilst in the Hotel I used to peer in the window walking back from work (if the shop was closed) and ventured in to be warmly welcomed by the lovely Bob Eubanks.  Over the three months we became good friends and used to go and have a beer when he shut up shop.  At that time there was him and Ken working there and Ian who went to work for Linn (and strangely sold his Gale GS401s and was praising to us the benefits of Isobariks (made me and Bob chuckle lots - his summation the only speaker I know that takes your head of but has no top end detail).  When Ian left he was short handed until he recruited a newbie - so I said I would help out on Friday night (open til 8) and on Saturdays.

He taught me so much about hifi - but he was an enthusiast - when Unilet took it over in 1979/80 he had piles of stuff he had bought to try out that had not been sold (Futterman Valve amps and the like).   If Bob told me to listen to something I knew I had to listen to it .. in many ways we had the same "ears".  His customer service was immense - we had a great guy who used to come in in the late 70s to do repairs (magic chap who developed his own Valve preamp but I lost touch.

Bob was admired and liked by many in the industry - Peter Dunlop sent Derek down as a young lad (late teens early 20s) to stay with Bob and work in the shop for a week to get to see the industry from the other side of the fence.  I loved Peter Dunlop - a man like Bob full of integrity and great ears too.  He became a close friend of mine and I helped him at a few hifi shows back in the early years of Systemdek.   Derek became a very close friend too and later Ramsey .. It is not hard to understand how Derek and Ramsay make such great loudspeakers because believe me they have great ears and Ramsay just leaves me amazed with his construction skills..

If Snoop dog was coming into Guildford Hifi in the late 70s, on a Friday night or Saturday, I probably met him.   

Bob was American by the way - he was a computer whiz and had worked for the American Government and I think NATO for years but would not tell you what he had worked on as he was bound by their official secrets act. 

The Acoustat X were magic - almost - it was when he upgraded to the the 4x that I fell in love with them (they are to this day the best electrostatics I have ever heard - with bass and balls).  He used to use a big Paragon Valve amp on them and they had their own amps built into the base - and when I left to move to Northampton in 1980 he was using the Lux Vacuum turntable in his house.  Prior to the Acoustats he had a pair of Gale GS 401s either side of the chimney breast in the lounge.

In addition to the stuff Snoop Dog remembered, we stocked Dahlquist, Yamaha (including the NS1000s) KEF, Mark Levinson, Audionics, Paragon, Naim (until Julian Veriker got upset as Bob was selling second hand Naim stuff to a place in Germany so he cut off our franchise .. when Unilet took it over we had Naim back in again and Bob made a point of giving Julian a ring to tell him how nice it was to be back.  Unilet moved so much Naim no way was he going to cut them off).  Tim De Paravacini was a regular too when he was developing the EAR 509s (which we also stocked). Also the usuals were stocked from Technics, Lux, Nakamichi, Pioneer and Sansui and a host more - they were just getting Myst stuff in when I left.

I am biased because of my friendship and working there - but it is I think the finest Hifi shop i had been in .. and we had wonderful regular customers.  I fell out of touch with Bob when he decided to relocate the the USA but he will always be in my memories and I am so grateful to have known him and learned so much from him.   Thanks for making me think about it all and bringing back such fond memories.   Sorry for rambling on but it made this old git feel very happy for a few minutes reminiscing over lovely times spent with a lovely man (his wife and two daughters were lovely people too).

David (@uzzy)

Our paths almost certainly crossed during your time at Guildford Hi Fi.

After my purchase of my black plinth LP2/Mission 774 from Bob, I later traded it in against an original Oracle turntable that Absolute Sounds started importing from Canada.

Bob also sold me the Mission 771/772 pre/power combination in 1979/1980.

I also used to clean all my vinyl on the shop's Keith Monks record cleaning machine.

Great memories!

Steve

Mission amp web.jpg

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I remember as a teenager spending many a Saturday afternoon in Comet in Chesterfield.. I brought a Pioneer SA706 amplifier after saving for months , at the time I was earning £32 a week as a junior chemist in a new paint factory .. I also remember them selling the Solovox range of speakers

kindest regards Julian 

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Such great stories.It’s not the same now is it.We have great forums like this for help and inspiration but those old hifi shops had a certain atmosphere and excitement that I miss.Even though back then I was never in a position to afford most of what I was drooling over I remember going away and dreaming if only........

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On 13/12/2020 at 16:56, DomT said:

Anyone know if Les ex-Walrus started up again somewhere?

No Les totally turned his back on hifi, won’t even discuss hifi. Spends his time now eating and writing reviews of bus stops on google, I kid you not.

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  • 3 weeks later...

.....and Chinese food. Blogging is a curse...........

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Wow uzzy , you sure have some amazing memories...fascinating 

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I suppose doing reviews of bus stops beats doing reviews of roundabouts :D

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