Support Local – 9 Music Tech Retailers to Support this Winter
Some things are worth keeping around. Los Angeles has entered another week of restrictions and lockdown and businesses are feeling it. The pandemic has been especially hard on small and independent retailers. To keep alive the communities these retailers foster and the legacy gear they preserve, we have put together a list of 9 Music Tech Retailers here in Los Angeles worth your support this winter.
1. Perfect Circuit
Located in Burbank, Perfect Circuit is an independent music retailer that carries a wide variety of music tech from modular synths to Drum machines and sequencers, to streaming and DJ equipment. Before the pandemic, PC hosted multiple community events a month including manufacturer demos, community discussions, and in-depth clinics but has since moved these events to live stream on their Youtube Channel. You can still have a chance to win one of their giveaways on Instagram @Perfect_Circuit.
Support this retailer by following their socials and Youtube channel, plan a visit to their showroom (open Mon-Sat 12-8 PM at limited capacity), and by ordering your next music purchase from their online store.
Instagram – @Perfect_Circuit
2. Analogue Haven
Located in Santa Monica, Analogue Haven is a gear head’s modular dreamland. Originally started back in 2005 at a different location this inconspicuous establishment came about at the dawn of the Eurorack Modular explosion (according to the successor of their previous location Noise Bug). The two owners pride themselves on carrying the highest quality gear from synthesizers, effect processors, sequencers, control interfaces, audio recording gear, and even build it yourself items (DIY kits). Their showroom has been shut down since the beginning of the pandemic but you can still snag awesome and rare finds through their website or schedule a pick up via appointment.
To support this retailer take a chance exploring their online store, share their links on your socials, and follow them on Instagram.
Instagram – @analoguehaven
3. Big City Music
Located in Studio City, Big City Music is referred to as the “speakeasy” of synthesizer retailers. Their shop, described as a ‘hole in the wall’ that opens up into a rare and plentiful synth wonderland, entry to this rare Narnia is made by appointment only. Their shop floor is known to have some of the rarest and widest range of synths in town, with special attention on modular. If you are trying to stay home this winter, check out the amazing selection on their online store.
Instagram – @bigcitymusic
4. Noise Bug
In the Downtown Pomona Arts District in Pomona, California, Noisebug is an independent online electronic music shop, synthesizer showroom, and event venue. The room was the original location of Analogue Haven, which began in 2005, back in the early days of the Eurorack Modular explosion. Noisebug was born when the original AH partners broke up in 2008 and has housed Plan B operations, stocked the Moog Guitar and Franz K Itar, and served as the only U.S. showroom for Buchla product pre-BEMI. It has hosted an array of concerts for local electronic music artists. Their online store is extensive and focused on new products (within the last 10 years). The showroom is available by appointment only and for pickup.
Instagram – @noisebug
5. Custom Vintage Keyboards
Established in 2012, Custom Vintage Keyboards specialize in repairs, restoration, parts, and custom building & modifications for vintage keyboards & synthesizers. In other words, they have some of the most beautiful custom vintage keyboards on the market. Located in North Hollywood, they offer secure storage in addition to their customized keys. They are the type of business that has nearly 40k Instagram followers with only 6 yelp reviews. That is to say, they are passionate about their craft and have carved out a niche of beautiful creations worthy of a following. To see their showroom, please book an appointment through their website.
Instagram – @customvintagekeys
6. LA SynthCo (Future Music)
Located off of York Ave in Highland Park, LA SynthCo (aka Future Music), is your neighborhood music repair shop and vintage synth store. Established in 1999, they specialize in musical instruments made before 1983, repairs and restoration of vintage instruments, and Rhodes, Wurlitzers, and guitar repairs. The shop owner, Jack Waterson, is a bit of an impromptu celebrity at the store and curates their Instagram with classic gear and analogy tech repair videos. A native of Long Island, Jack credits his childhood music store as the source of his craft and hopes to give back to his community. Before the pandemic the shop hosted Swap Meets every second Sunday of the month, but has since cut back their hours to 11 am-3 pm. This shop is definitely worth a visit, and in the words of a friendly yelp review, ‘Don’t shop online for your music equipment, come to Future Music for a tactile shopping experience and to support a worthwhile local business.”
Instagram – @futuremusicstore
7. Caveman Vintage Music
Located in Lincoln Heights, Caveman Vintage Music was established in 2011 as a buyer, seller, and trader of all types of vintage musical instruments and vinyl records. They have a decent inventory of modular and vintage synths and it’s worth the periodic check-in to see if your dream sound might be lurking in their collection. They also have an interesting selection of vintage microphones that could add a new vibe to your sound. While the storefront is closed since the pandemic, you can schedule an appointment to see any of the online gear by reaching them through email/phone. To support this store, I recommend following their Instagram to keep an eye out for new, strange, and unique gear as it rolls through the store.
8. Rosen Sound
Located in Burbank, Rosen Sound is a synth repair, retailer, and rental shop specializing in vintage gear from the ’70s and ’80s. Founded in 2014 by Rob Rosen, Rob started his music career in 10th grade after dropping out of high school to pursue music. He has since found his niche as a technical expert and in 2017 expanded his team to include some of LA’s best synth technicians. Their shop has a room referred to as “The Cabin” — a prime collection of vintage synth gear all wired to a common patch bay that is connected to high-quality DI boxes before hitting Apogee preamps and converters. If your old gear is failing you, this place will have it up and going in no time.
Support this shop by following them on their socials and checking out their online store.
Instagram – @rosen_sound
9. Vintage King
Located in Echo Park, the first impression I get from Vintage King’s website is that of a highly successful megastore. With further digging, we find that Los Angeles is one of two showroom locations, the other being in Nashville, Tennessee. Yet with the news of retail giant Guitar Center filing for bankruptcy this last week, I find it hard to take any sized business for granted. Started in Nashville in 1993 as a vintage gear refurbishing business, Vintage King expanded to LA in 2012. While they offer a wide range of digital recording and music creation technology, VK has stayed true to their legacy of classic gear. They also offer in-home studio services to make sure the gear you purchased in-store is put to good use at home. While their LA showroom was officially closed in September this year due to the pandemic, VK is on track to re-open at the beginning of the year.
We can support this retailer by visiting their online store, following them on their socials, and by sharing links to their online shop.
Instagram – @vintagekingla
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