A lot more than nostalgia is on sale at Spektrum Muzik, a store that specializes in vinyl records.
Yes, there are bins of old record albums produced in the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s, before compact discs took over most of the market. But about half are albums made recently, as vinyl has made a comeback.
“Indie artists like Jack White pump the heck out of new vinyl,” Spektrum co-owner Phil Ross said. “There’s a lot of music that’s extremely popular that’s coming out on vinyl. We get new releases every month.”
Ross and Adam Phillips started Spektrum Muzik two years ago in the Boulevard Shopping Center in south Wichita. They held a grand opening at their new location on Douglas Avenue in the Delano neighborhood last Friday.
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“Basically we did it for the exposure, and we needed more room,” Ross said of the move.
The two have been friends for years, meeting as members of the Wichita band scene, Phillips said.
Spektrum “kind of stems from all the passions we have. Phil and I both have very extensive record collections and weird tastes.”
Asked about the appeal of vinyl, Ross said: “Right now, it seems to be the most supreme and deluxe permanent format. It just seems that CDs for whatever reason are more disposable than albums.”
Ross, 29, and Phillips, 33, were hardly alive when vinyl was all but pronounced dead. But Ross said vinyl records “never really went away. They still made them.” But they made very few in the 1990s, he added, making albums from that decade “one of my favorite to collect.”
The larger format for cover art also makes record albums popular, the pair said.
The shop holds more than 5,000 records. Ross and Phillips also print T-shirts and band posters through a second business, Straight Printing, located behind the record shop. They hope to begin carrying a bigger line of used record players, cassette tapes and eventually musical instruments.
The two replenish the stock of older albums on a regular basis, using word of mouth and social media to find stashes of vinyl that owners are willing to part with. They have all the standard popular musical categories covered, with prices ranging from $2 up to over $100 for some boxed sets.
Among classic rock, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin are big sellers. The store also carries a selection of recordings by local artists and other bands that come through Wichita for gigs.
Ross said customers come from all age groups.
“We had a 13-year-old in here the other day who almost (passed out) when he saw a Nirvana record.”