BEST ELECTRONICS (AUDIOPHILE) - 2004
Hifi Sound Electronics
On the afternoon we visited, Finding Nemo was being thrown from a $22,000 CRT projector onto a 92-inch screen, which we momentarily mistook for a huge aquarium, so vividly rendered was the coral. (Best to leave the littler fish at home unless you're ready to take the plunge, that's for sure.) What we've always loved about this classy playroom (est. 1951) is the staff's willingness to take seriously even toe-dippers into the big-bucks pond of rarified audio and video, as well as the store's discerning combination of high-end toys (e.g., the $3,000 DVD player from Arcam) and more easily affordable A/V gems. Matter of fact, HiFi Sound has recently sought to distinguish itself from other "ultimate electronics" purveyors in the real and virtual worlds with a charmingly quirky round-the-corner collection of refurbished goods--reel-to-reel tape decks by Teac, sturdy-looking turntables (ranging from $100 to $650 and up), classic tube amps (with the tubes showing!), even that old late-20th-century relic known as the VCR--that are plenty enticing, and a little more within the clock-puncher's reach. And speaking of anachronisms, HiFi is building a mighty fine collection of vinyl, too: Duck in some day and grab an unopened copy of Prince's Purple Rain on wax for a mere 12 clams--or a Mobile Fidelity ("mo-fi") pressing of the Doors' debut platter for...uh, $150. This is still our first scheduled stop after picking up the lottery check.