- Stereo Exchange
627 Broadway, near Bleecker St.; 212-505-1111
It’s no surprise that James Gandolfini and Jennifer Connelly shop at Stereo Exchange. The cavernous lower-Broadway emporium sells all the swank audio and video gear a Hollywood A-lister demands—$25,000 Fujitsu 61-inch plasma TVs, $20,000 Meridian 800 DVD players, $25,000 McIntosh XRT30 speakers. What it doesn’t have is attitude. Sure, the staff can spout specs all day about the store’s 100-odd top-shelf brands, but they won’t push you to buy something you don’t need or can’t afford (you can pay as little as $300 for bookshelf speakers from B&W). Mostly, they ask questions: What kind of music do you listen to? How tall are your ceilings? What’s your budget? During what seems like a pleasant little chitchat about your music and decorating tastes, the sales guy has in fact built you a sweet custom system in his head. And if you don’t pull down seven figures per picture plus 5 percent on the back end? No worries. You’ll be treated exactly the same as if you did.
Best Sound Systems
From the 2003 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).