You Can Save the World. Just Buy Used Gear

Save the World - Buy Used

You can save the world!

All you need to do is buy used gear.

I know it sounds simple, I know it sounds basic, but here is the catch….. It is simple and basic!

Global warming is a fact. Pollution, Smog, Co2, Oil, Gas and more are all being produced or used by our daily choices. Obviously when you drive to the store to buy your groceries it uses gas in your car, which produces bad byproducts that heat the earth and ultimately have a negative effect on life. Of course, you can always buy a new shiny electric car, but that doesn’t truly eliminate the problem. See, any new item that is produced requires all sorts of negative actions to build. Transporting new items across the ocean via boat (using gas/oil/coal/etc.), creating the metal or plastic that goes into the item (new materials required, and often heat…where does that heat come from?), or packaging the item in wasteful, colorful, and pointless cartons, boxes, labels, etc, your new item is far from eco-friendly.

I like to call this problem “the used vs. prius conundrum”. See I first started noticing this problem when people started selling their old cars in order to buy a new “eco-friendly” and “money-saving” Toyota Prius. The problem with this reasoning was that it really wasn’t money-saving, and it can be argued that it really wasn’t eco-friendly either. The Prius gets roughly 45mpg across all generations, and costs about $25,000. So when owners sell or trade in their older model of car, that say gets roughly 25mpg, they are saving about 20mpg thanks to the swap.  Time for math.


Average Miles Travelled per Year per car 10,000 miles

10,000 miles / 45 mpg = 222.22 gallons of fuel per year

10,000 miles / 25 mpg = 400 gallons of fuel per year

1 gallon of fuel costs roughly $3.00

Difference in gas savings per year: $1200 – 666.66 = $533.34

Say you sold your old car for $5000, so you need to make up $20,000 difference to have “saved” money.

$20,000 / $533.34 saved per year = 37.49 years to save enough money in gas to cover the difference.

The average timespan of car ownership is 71 months, so just 378 months shorter than you would need to make up the cost difference.


Add to this the fact that your Prius had to be made with all new material, toxic batteries, shipped across the ocean via heavy polluting ships, transported via train or truck, before finally being sold to you, and you can see how it might not be the most eco-friendly, and DEFINITELY not the most budget friendly.

So what is the solution? Buy USED. This applys to both large purchase items like a car (hey, why not buy a used car for $9,000 that gets 40mpg like a used Prius!, then it only takes 7 years to make up the cost saving!) and small items. See buying used both prevents new material from being used to make the item, plus the shipping etc, and you save money because it’s cheaper. If you really want to be eco friendly why don’t you just keep your older car that gets 25mpg and donate money to plant some trees. It takes roughly 240 trees to offset the average cars C02 Pollution. The cost of 240 trees would be $240. For every $1 you donate to the National Forest Foundation they will plant 1 tree. 



Pretty Cool! Let’s see, 1 car offset = cost $240. Savings over buying a Prius $24,760. Saving enviroment from pollution of new car creation? Priceless.

Anyway, what does this have to do with Outdoor Gear and Audio Equipment?

Well, for one, if you save the enviroment it means you can actually go hiking, backpacking, swimming, etc. because the outdoors will be beautiful! Moreso, the same idea applies.


Every used item you buy saves it from a landfill, gives it a new life, saves you money, and doesn’t kill any trees to make, or require metal to be mined, or plastic to be made from oil.

Audio Gear is full of toxic stuff; capacitors, diodes, transformers, etc. are all filled with chemicals, minerals, and toxic material. Buying used means we aren’t creating MORE toxic material.


So, how are you going to save the world? Easy, just buy used stuff!






Are we “the” Seattle Nerd Store?

Is Turntables & Trails “the” Seattle Nerd Store?




According to a large portion of our customers we are the perfect ecclectic blend of Seattle interests. This was put most apptly by a customer who stated, “You are the Seattle Nerd Store!” Personally, I disagree, we aren’t the Seattle Nerd Store.

We are the Northwest’s Nerd Store!

It seems that the Northwest has attracted the curious and unique crown of folks from around the world who love all the best things. Hiking, Biking, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Travel, Camping, Climbing, Disc Golf and other outdoor activies seem to draw people to the NW like fish are drawn to… well, whatever magic lure you happen to have. We love to get outside and go outdoors in the Northwest. Maybe it’s the beautiful green colors that thrive around us, or possibly the large expanses of lakes, rivers, ocean, streams and other bodies of water. Whatever it is, we love it. Does it make us nerds? Maybe.

We also love music. When I say love… I mean “love”. We aren’t some group of people who are content to listen to the latest boy band (do those still exist?) playing through our cell phones built in speaker. We demand an audio experience. We support our local artists at gallerys, coffee shops, theaters, on-stage, at the farmers market, or even in our own living rooms. So, what do we want when we choose to listen to music that isn’t live? Only the best (within our budget, of course!). We might not have the room for massive 3 way tower speakers, a seperate subwoofer, and a full rack setup, but we certainly don’t want to listen via generic headphones, or our built in laptop and cell phone speakers. We want simple, well built, (and typically wallet friendly) setups that allow us to be invited into the music. As one customer put it “we want to hear the depth of sound in music.” We choose vintage gear, or Made in USA products. We want Marantz, Sansui, Kenwood, Dynaco, Heathkit, JBL, Advent, Polk, Infinity, Acoustic Research, Thorens, Technics, JVC, Hafler, and other quality pieces of gear. We don’t settle for your “all-in-one” speaker-tuner-ipoddock-cd-player type devices. We realize that power of a small bookshelf set of speakers, 70’s receiver, and a U-Turn or Pro-Ject Turntable is more than adequate to fill our house, apartment, or office with encompassing music. Does this make us nerds? Most likely!

What else? How about board games? Yes! Cartridge Video Games like the N64, NES, Sega and Gameboy? YES! We want to create experiences with our friends when we get together; have nostalgic feel good times. Let’s play Settlers of Catan, Small World, Dungeons and Dragons, or Killer Bunnies when we get together. We want to build lego structures that are unlimited in their scope. We want to play pokemon on the original Brick Gameboy. Are we nerds? Yes.


So maybe we are the Seattle Nerd Store. Maybe we are the Northwest Nerd Store. If liking adventure, fun, high quality audio, well made outdoor equipment, nostalgic games and toys, and good times with friends is being a nerd. . . we will glady be nerds, and Turntables & Trails will gladly be your Seattle Nerd Store.


We Sell Nostalgic Toys, Games and Fun for Seattle

Turntables & Trails – That’s us! At first glance we might appear to sell only Audio Gear and Outdoor Gear, but it isn’t true! Turntables & Trails is the Seattle Go-To spot for Fun of all kinds! We have vintage toys, games, board games, video games, role-playing games, books and more! Obviously you can grab a turntable or vinyl at the store, but you can also get Pogs, Micro Machines, or a Classic Brick Gameboy!

Zbots, Micro Machines, POGS


If you remember Micro Machines you probably also remember their Zbots. These tiny little action figures were super well designed, bright colors, strange appendages and they were tiny! These fun little toys fit in every kids pocket, and still do! They also make GREAT keychains, just drill a hole and attach a chain and you have a unique and classic keyring! Of course we also have the actual Micro Machines cars, planes, tanks and more!


D20 Dice and More Roleplaying Books


Of course, we also carry a small amount of board game, and roleplaying dice, along with roleplaying books. Whether you want some unique D20, D12 or six-sided Die, or a cool D20 system Roleplaying game, we probably have them!


Classic Handheld Games Retro Video Games


And of course, what toy/game/nostalgic section would be complete without Video games! From NES, Gamecube, Playstation 1, Xbox, N64, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, 3DS, Nintendo DS, Atari, Sega Genesis and more we have games and systems. It might not be a video game shop, so our selection is small, but we do have some! Take a look!

Of course this isn’t all we carry, don’t forget the large quantity of Record Players, Backpacks, Hiking Shoes, Rain Jackets, Sleeping Bags, Receivers, Amps, Speakers, Snowshoes and more that we have!

I think the biggest takeaway is this: We Sell Nostalgic Toys, Games and (all sorts of other) Fun for Seattle. No matter when you come to Turntables & Trails near Greenlake in Seattle, we will have something fun and entertaining for you. We want you to leave with a smile! So come stop by!


The Pain of the Poor Volume Knob Placement, And Other Assorted Knob Issues

Vintage Stereo Systems can be beautiful. No matter how many chrome faced, wood cased, and green back-light receivers or amps I see, I still love them. Case in point, this beautiful Kenwood KR-6400 currently in the store!

Kenwood KR-6400 Vintage Receiver in Seattle


Such a beautiful receiver! In fact I can’t say I’ve seen an ugly power amp or receiver yet from the 1950’s-1970’s. Sure there are some oddballs, but they all are unique and lovely in their own way.

Nonetheless I will tell you what I HATE about some of these vintage receivers and power amps.


I hate vintage stereo knobs.

It seems simple, it seems obvious, but apparently not… we want SIMPLE, CLEAR, and FUNCTIONAL knobs.

Here are the 2 main issues I have.

Problem 1: Where is the VOLUME KNOB? All sorts of old receivers took massive liberaties in where the volume knob was placed. It could have been above the power button, on the right side, the left side, or God-Forbid… the middle? The size could have been larger than the rest (yes please!) or smaller. More often than not though they seemed to be THE EXACT SAME SIZE. How am I supposed to grab the right knob? If it’s the knob on the far right or far left at least you know that always. But, what about that stupid placement 2 in from the left side. More often than not I end up grabbing the wrong knob and crank the balance to the right, or turn the input knob. FAIL.


Case in point: Which knob is the volume knob?

Kenwood Knobs Fail


Problem 2: Where is the notch/selector indicator? Ok manufacturers, I get it! You want a sleek simple clean design, but where is the notch that lets me know where I am at for volume, where I am at for balance, or where I am at for bass or treble! I’ve seen too many knobs that have the notch roughly the size of an amoeba! If I have to pull out a magnifying glass to tell where that notch is, you failed.

Exhibit A: Harman Kardon 430….. see that little notch on the left side… get the magnifier




Have a particular knob that you hate? Other issue with your vintage design? Share it!

NEW Outdoor Marmot Apparel and Thule Backpacks

turntables and Trails Marmot and thule Outdoor Gear


We are overflowing with NEW gear!

Need a backpack? We have Thule Capstone and Guidepost backpacks from 22L to 88L. Perfect for dayhikes, weekend trips, or your full weekly getaways. Some of my favorite features about these Thule packs are related to the comfort they provide. The Thule Guidepost series has tilt belts so they shift with your movement, and also have massive adjustment for the perfect fit. Shoulder height, shoulder width adjust, hipbelt sizing and more are all built into these packs. If that isn’t enough the Thule backpacks have a large quantity of easy accessibilty features such as a removeable top that turns into a daypack, large elastic side and/or front pockets, plus a front accesspoint via zipper. A lot of bags don’t provide a front zipper but it really is a necessity for those of us that care about easy access. When you get to camp, or show up at your Hostel there is nothing more annoying than having to remove everything from the pack to reach that item on the bottom. With a large front zip such as the one on the Guidepost you can set the bag flat and then open it wide to pull from anywhere in the bag.

The Thule daypacks are also packed with features and are very comfortable. The Thule Capstone is Lightweight and the perfect size to hit the trails around Seattle whether hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, or via some other method.

Of course, that isn’t all. We have Marmot Jackets, Fleece, Down, Raincoats and Stretch tops! Brand new! Whether you want a 800 fill power down Marmot Puffy for extreme expeditions, or just a basic down filled jacket for your urban nights out, we have both! If you’ve lived in the Northwest for long you know 1 thing…. it rains! So having a high quality rain jacket is critical. I hand picked the perfect NW rain shells. Lightweight, waterproof, breathable, the jackets are a mix of Gore-Tex or Marmots proprietary membrain system.  If you are an ultralight backpacker on a budget, I have the jacket for you, the Marmot Mica (women’s version Crystalline). This incredible rain shell is only 7oz, but due to its MemBrain Strata fabric and taped seams no water will get through. This thing also packs small!! Just think of it this way…. this will pack smaller into your cup of coffee! Plus I have several more options, some come take a look!

U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus Turntables In Stock in Seattle

In Stock Seattle U-Turn Orbit Plus Turntables Trails


We have U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus Turntables in stock in our Seattle store!

The Orbit U-Turn Plus is Made in the USA in Boston and have everything you could need in a HiFi turntable.

Come take a look. These are simple, clean, beautiful, and fantastic sounding tables. These retail at $309, but we can make a package deal if you need speakers, and/or  a receiver to go with your turntable. These come with an excellent sounding Ortofone OM5e cartridge that excels at creating a crisp clear sound. The simple design means there is minimal amount of components that can fail, and the solid acrylic platter, with a sturdy solid plinth excel at giving your records rich sound.

If you aren’t familiar with the U-Turn Orbit here are some specs:


  • Unipivot tonearm
  • MM cartridge
  • Manual belt drive
  • 33/45 RPM pulley
  • Adjustable VTF
  • Machined MDF plinth
  • Vibration damping feet


  • Dims: 5 x 17 x 13″
  • Weight: 12.5 lbs
  • W&F: 0.125%
  • S/N ratio: -79 dBA
  • Rumble: -63 dBA
  • 115V/60Hz
  • AC synchronous motor

The U-Turn Orbit tables are very similar to Pro-Ject, Rega, and other high end simple tables. Come listen to the massive soundscape that the Orbit Plus can produce.

The Perfect Stop Before Chucks Hop Shop

Do you love Chucks? Do you have children? Do you enjoy hanging out at the land of 1000 beers but find your children get restless? Meet Turntables and Trails, AKA: “The Perfect Stop Before Chucks Hop Shop”!

If you have children and plan to go to Chucks why not swing by Turntables & Trails to pick up an inexpensive toy for them. We have legos, Pokemon cards, gameboy games and more! Let them come pickup a small item that they can play with while you enjoy your adult beverages!

This is a win-win for all involved. 5 reasons why we all win!

  1. You support a new local business, Turntables & Trails!
  2. Your children stay entertained and enjoy their evening out at Chucks.
  3. The other visitors to Chucks have a great time because your child isn’t “that kid” who is causing a scene.
  4. Chucks sells some extra beer.
  5. You get to spend your time drinking adult beverages and enjoy yourself!


Sounds like winning all around!

So Stop by Turntables & Trails before going out for the night! Your kid(s) will thank you for it!