Track One Vintage Stereo owner David Prucha and Antioch resident Gig Gluck discuss Gluck's recent record purchase at Prucha's store on 348 W. North Ave., Antioch. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Track One Vintage Stereo owner David Prucha and Antioch resident Gig Gluck discuss Gluck’s recent record purchase at Prucha’s store on 348 W. North Ave., Antioch. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Traditional record albums find a market at local shop

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

When Salem resident David Prucha decided to leave the auto sales business 17 years ago to open a record store in Antioch, Ill., his wife Christine thought he was crazy.

With the rise of the compact disc and subsequent advancements in technology that allows people to download digital music, no one could blame her.

However, since Prucha opened Track One Vintage Stereo in Antioch, he has bucked the trend and reports business continues to boom.

“I have got customers that come from Indiana, Green Bay, Rockford and Madison – everywhere,” Prucha said. “It is hard to find a store like this.”

Prucha has about 8,000 records, mostly priced at $5, with the highest at around $40.

While he sells compact discs, he said customers still come in for records, citing 20 records for every CD sold.

“There is probably more customers now than when I opened. It is about sound quality,” he said. “Nothing sounds like a piece of vinyl. The nice thing about records is that you can’t beat it.”

Antioch resident Gig Gluck is one customer who prefers records over CDs, noting the sound has a wider range.

Contrary to popular belief, there are new vinyl records being produced, with an average price of $40, Prucha said.

The age of Prucha’s customer base is between 40-50, but he has a customer who is 11 years old, with his oldest in the upper 70s.

“An 11-year-old comes in with his father and they buy records,” he stated.

Another method to maintaining a constant flow to his business is his repair service. Prucha has an electronics repair certificate from Chicago’s DeVry Institute.

“I have evolved into a big repair shop because of my reputation and talent in the repair area,” he said. “Word started getting around about doing repairs well, and it took off.”

He said turntables on vintage record players are most durable, with the majority of repairs targeted toward replacement of needles and belts.

His most common repairs are for electronic receivers, with most needing basic cleaning of control switches.

“Most vintage turntables stand pretty good,” he said.

While he sells records, there are some he keeps, noting the rare quality. Among these are an album produced by former Chicago Mayor James Dailey.

Prucha also purchases records from customers, but has a high standard. He said those that have been stored in damp basements and garages for several years lose quality.

“If I can make a deal with them, I would take it,” Prucha said. “I buy as many records as I don’t buy, because a lot of people will store it in a damp basements or a garage, where the jackets get wet, I will not buy it.”

After nearly two decades owning the shop at 348 W. North Ave., Antioch, Prucha said he wouldn’t trade it for his prior job of selling vehicles. He also reported that he is still married.

“One day I left the car dealership, went home and told my wife I was going to open an electronics store,” he said. “She said I was crazy, but the rest is history.”

 
 

1 Comment

Post a Comment