From tape reels to records: 20 years of audiophilia
Owner Ed Stone took over iconic stereo shop in 1998
Nearing the end of 23 years as a recording engineer, working with legends like the Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath, Ed Stone was in Executive Stereo dropping off empty tape reels one day in 1998 when owner Ervin Pahmer offered to sell him the store, which had been around since 1969. Nearly 20 years and three locations later, Stone is still the owner of Executive Stereo, 2076 Avenue Rd., serving a new generation of audiophiles. He talked to Post City about the return of vinyl and more.
Any memorable stories?
After Kahnert’s moved in beside us, there was a big demonstration against them for selling furs. We took two very powerful, 3,000-watt speakers outside. Kahnert’s asked me to really play them loud during the protest, but the protestors thought we were playing the music for them! I played the most obnoxious music I could find, like heavy metal and rap, but they loved it.
Why do you think vinyl records are still so popular?
We’ve sold vinyl records for about 10 years now. We’re getting 16year-olds, 13-year-olds coming in the door to buy records these days. Everything comes and goes and comes back again. Records do sound different than digital, but it’s also just having something in your hand to look at and feel and read. It’s just a lot more hands-on. It’s so different from slapping in a CD and walking away.
Any notable personalities walk into your store?
The head of the U.S. embassy in Toronto was a regular. The first few times he came in, a chauffeur would pull up in a black limo in front of the store, then his security team would come in first and “secure” the store. Then he would come in with another bodyguard and look at our offerings. Eventually he started coming in with just one security guy. He was very outgoing and had lots of anecdotes to tell us.
Owner Ed Stone (left) with employee Rob Tracy in 2013