Our guide to the best music stores around the city. Here you’ll find everything you need to know to start the year off on the proper musical foot whether you’re an aspiring musician, a vinyl geek or simply a music aficionado.
Where to buy gear:
1. Italmelodie (274 Jean-Talon E.): Having recently expanded, this Little Italy music store offers a well-rounded selection of musical instruments and electronic gear. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and the space is free of the artistic pretension that is often found in other music stores.
2. Steve’s Music (51 St-Antoine W.): A Montreal staple, this music store has been around since the mid-’60s. It boasts numerous floors of musical equipment and a well-informed, albeit sometimes unhelpful staff.
3. Studio Ã‰conomik (215 St-Augustin): Known for its extensive collection of high-end electronic equipment, this place is a must for any recording enthusiast. They also rent their gear at reasonable prices &- great for anybody with a limited income.
4. Moog Audio (3828 St-Laurent): Located in the Plateau, this is the spot for all your electronic music needs. They stock some recording equipment but are better known for their vast collection of synths, drum machines, samplers and the likes.
5. Archambault (500 Ste-Catherine E.): Generally pricier than other stores but still has a good selection of musical instruments and equipment. This store also doubles as a bookstore and a CD heaven.
For the vinyl junkie:
1. Au 33 Tours (1379 Mont Royal E): This new and used vinyl record store may be on the pricier side, but everything here is guaranteed to be in pristine condition. The new arrivals rack is a must-browse, as it’s always filled with rare gems. This store also boasts a great jazz selection.
2. Primitive (3828 St-Denis): This basement shop has a great selection of punk and garage classics and usually carries all the basics for a great record collection. Their prices are excellent ($8-12 per album), but the records are often in questionable, though still playable, condition.
3. Beatnick Disques (3770 St-Denis): Just a few steps away from Primitive, this shop is the spot for rarities and forgotten ’60s treasures. It also has a great classic rock selection.
4. Cheap Thrills (2044 Metcalfe): Located in a dusty second floor hole in the wall, a short walk from Concordia’s downtown campus, this store is not to be judged by its appearance. It is stocked to the brim with rare collectibles that are kept in good condition and is a great place to buy tickets for most local shows.
5. MarchÃ© du Disque (793 Mont Royal E): Known as a must-see for any vinyl geek, it is important not to be deterred by the wall of CDs in the entrance. For a great collection of decently priced albums, the basement is the spot to visit. Here you can get used Beatles and Rolling Stones records for $6 as well as new album for $20-30.
1. L’Oblique (4333 Rivard): The spot for newly released indie rock that can be bought in CD or vinyl format.
2. Sound Central (4486 Coloniale): A small and slightly intimidating record shop, it stocks mostly metal and hardcore groups. This is also a great spot to find albums by local underground acts.
3. HMV (1020 Ste-Catherine O): The go-to, all-purpose music and DVD franchise. Here you’ll find all the latest releases from radio-friendly chart-toppers to an extensive world music collection.
4. Archambault (various locations): The alternative to HMV, this is the spot for all your francophone and anglophone musical needs.
5. Phonopolis (5403A Parc): The best place to find current indie and local acts. It’s not a very large store but it does have a good collection of CDs and vinyls, mostly from underground bands.