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People That Rock – Roy Griffith

Roy Griffith is doing something unique here in Indianapolis.

He takes items that have long been tossed aside and forgotten, and turns them into something special.

If you grew up listening to vinyl records you will appreciate the work that Roy does at
The Turntable Shoppe.
It’s located on E. 10th St. in downtown Indy.

What was old is new again and there is a growing market nationally for turntables and vinyl records.

However if you start looking into getting set up to enjoy music in this way, it can be difficult.

Not many phono amps out there. Very few new quality turntables are even for sale anymore around town.

Enter Roy Griffith… and the world of refurbishing classic machines that can play music the way it was meant to be heard.

He is also in a local band called Thee Pernicious Unicats. But it’s his restoring of turntables and vintage stereo equipment that makes Roy a person that rocks Indy.

Currently this is the most prized turntable in his Shoppe..

It’s a Rek O Kut N-34H.

I visited his Shoppe and talked with him about his love of music..

It’s a strong connection between family and music that lead him to start his own business, which helps others to enjoy his passion.

Here is my interview with a local pioneer of sound…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q- Where are you from?

A- Manchester England..

What brought you over the US?

A- I was offered an engineering job and I wanted a new adventure..

Q- Where did your love for turntables and audio equipment come from?

A- I remember when I was about 3 years old my Dad was a big audiophile type and he had a great collection from the 60’s and 70’s. We would have record nights with the whole family and I can remember him letting me put a record on…and I was like wow..From then on he would pick the records and I would put the needle on the groove for him.

Q- Did you ever go through a period where you didn’t listen to vinyl?

A- No. I embraced CD’s when they first came out…but I kept my vinyl..and eventually gave up on CD’s…recently I sold them all.

Q- Why did you start the Turntable Shoppe?

A- I was restoring turntables and selling them as a hobby, then I got laid off of my engineering job. I drove past this space and saw that it was for rent…and just had this epiphany…I can open a turntable Shoppe!

I noticed a trend of people getting back into vinyl. Musician friends and normal regular people starting talking about getting back into it…I thought this is my chance to do something.

Q- How are you marketing the Shoppe? I noticed things get posted on Facebook and they are gone the next day..

A- Yes Facebook has been really good for me…and just the sign on the window of the Shoppe, 10th st gets a lot of traffic… and word of mouth.

Q- For those that don’t understand the allure of playing records, what is special about it in your opinion?

A- CD’s are a compressed format. The reason they came out is not because they are better quality, its because they’re cheaper to make…less materials, smaller, easier to ship etc.…but it’s a compressed source of music and analog music is uncompressed and not converted to digital. With vinyl you get a much more accurate playback from how it was actually recorded in the studio.

Q- What should people look for when buying a turntable?

A- A lot of people make the mistake of buying the $120 Best Buy or Target all in one record player with the speakers and turntable all built in…and they are really cheaply made in China, no tone arms, a really big and not very good needle…you can’t adjust the tracking force. It’s ok for junky records but for sitting down at home and listening to quality hi fidelity music with friends, you really need to go with a separate system. You also don’t need to spend a ton of money either. …over there is a 1968 Rek O Kut that will compete with any of the new $1500 modern audiophile tables..the older stuff is made better.

Q- If you had to pick one record that you enjoy the most on vinyl what would it be?

A-I have a record that my Dad passed down to me from 1965…the genre is called freak beat and the band is called The Sorrows..Take a Heart is the name of the album. Its way ahead of its time…its “proto-punk”…kind of like Iggy Pop and the Stooges.. but before they were doing it and it just…when u consider bands like The Who and Stones were recording in 65.. as far as pure aggression and musicianship they blow them away.. but they were never popular.

Q- What inspires you as an artist and a person?

A-I’m obsessed with music…it gets the goose bumps on the back of your neck..my Dad taught me how to play guitar when I was 6..I always wanted to be a pop star/rock star and now I just do that for fun.

Q- Is it better to burn out or fade away?

A-I would look to the Stones and the Beatles to answer that..The Beatles were together from 1962 to 1970 and they ended and have a wonderful legacy…never put out any bad records. The Stones continue on are putting out more generic and boring records. That’s my answer.

If you liked this article….share this link….thanks for visiting!

For more info about Roy’s Shoppe visit www.theturntableshoppe.com

-Mark

2 Responses to “People That Rock – Roy Griffith”

  • Great interview, Mark. I LOVE this concept… keep it up. And I have never heard of The Turntable Shoppe… I love the idea, and I want to go check it out. A good friend of mine used to be REALLY big into this stuff; I am sure he would love that place. I love seeing you bringing the Circle City front and center. Good work my friend!

  • Aaron:

    Roy only sells a select number of items. I think you should do a follow up interview just asking questions about how you can get the most out of your record player setup. That would really be interesting, and he is pretty sharp!

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