From tape reels to records: 20 years of au­dio­philia

Owner Ed Stone took over iconic stereo shop in 1998

North York Post - - News - By Jes­sica Wei

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

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