This is yet another episode of our never-ending series of tips for Prague shopping. Did you know that the Czech Republic is a global superpower when it comes to turntables and records? If you visited several summer houses or old apartments in the Czech Republic, you would undoubtedly see many variations of a single theme: the reliable Tesla turntable. Sold in many Western European countries under various brands (including such hi-fi names such as NAD), the original design has survived to this day and, slightly improved, is still sold under the Austrian Pro-Ject brand whose products have won many accolades throughout the worlds (just search Pro-Ject reviews on the What Hi-Fi site, you'll know what I'm talking about).
Where to buy vinyl records in Prague?
We understand that a turntable is not the most convenient of souvenirs to buy, but a vinyl record or two? Why not? It's definitely a gift that will keep on giving through many repeated listens. The quality of the records is decent, and the prices are very reasonable (unlike in, let's say, Berlin). So where do we go hunting for a vinyl record or two?
This small shop in the shadows of the Tyn church focuses mainly on 70s rock, 80s pop, CDs and posters. Don't go searching for rarities here, but it's fun browsing the shelves, and we often walk home with a guilty pleasure or two.
This very little shop in the Lucerna palace next to the Wenceslas Square is out favorite. Owned by a girl vinyl enthusiast, the shop offers a smaller, but high-quality collection of music, with a separate section for soul, funk and jazz. In addition to records, the shop sells Czech fashion accessories and refurbished old Czech Prim wristwatches (Czechoslovakia was only the 7th country in the world to master the manufacture of the automatic watch). Highly recommended!
This shop near the National Theatre offers a great collection of records throughout all genres. In addition to records, the shop sells (and services) old Czech and foreign turntables and other rare hi-fi equipment. The shop is often busy with DJs searching for new records, and it's clear this is a shop for vinyl nerds.
What to buy?
A Czech turntable, of course! OK, we do understand that a turntable may be a bit of a hassle to transport back home, so we suggest that you buy an old Czech vinyl record instead. But how do you know what is good? Here are some tips:
If you like rock and new wave, we'd recommend, among others, Straka v hrsti by Prazsky vyber (if you can find a pressing - it's a legendary album, banned by the Communist government for years), anything by Vladimir Misik & Etc., Flamengo, Olympic, or Blue Effect.
Or perhaps a Czech chanson? Then go for Hana Hegerova, Marie Rottrova, Eva Olmerova, or, picking among newer ones, Richard Muller (ok, he's Slovak, but it still counts).
Looking for jazz? Choose anything by Emil Viklicky, Jan Hammer, Jan Spaleny & ASPM, Collegium Musicum, or Miroslav Vitous.
And if you're into old, Communist, mindless pop, definitely try Michal David, Kroky Frantiska Janecka, Kamelie, or Dalibor Janda. But you've been warned.
Karel Gott and Helena Vondrackova form a separate category. Great singers, great performances, loved by the nation, but carrying a heavy burden of collaborating with the previous government.
Finally, try to find an album by Michal Tucny. There's nothing like the sound of Czech country & western (really).
Mon-Thu 12-19, Fri 12-18