Just like that SoundFX, one of Kansas City’s two remaining high end audio video stores closed it doors recently. No fanfare, no fond farewells, just rumors of an ugly split between owners who reportedly were family members.
“Not sure if this is the right place for this, but does anyone know if SoundFX in KC, MO is shutting down?” asked one visitor on the blog the audiokarma.org “Their building has been for sale for awhile now, but now it also looks like the business is dark, and the website simply links to email. This was owned by a guy who worked for (David) Beatty at one time.”
“You know, there’s good competition and there’s bad competition and SoundFX was good competition,” says A/V Design Studio staffer Janet Young. “They were knowledgable; they were professional and they were a good competitor and they told the truth and knew what they were doing. And so the city has lost yet another good audio store.
“I’m sorry to see them go,” says Kiefs main man John Kiefer. “(Robert Bruce) was a good kid and he worked hard at his business. But he had a very small facility – but very nicely done – and he had some good specialty lines, but you know, they weren’t mainstream lines and they were not well known to most people.”That leaves A/V Design Studio at 90th & Metcalf as the last local high end retailer (aside from Kief’s in Lawrence).
The bottom line: “They didn’t (really) have good lines – sellable lines at a good price. They had lines that they were the only ones in Kansas City that had ’em, so nobody could price shop them. They were good lines, but if you took all their lines, I don’t think they had a single one that was in the Top 5 in any price class…I mean, how do you make a living selling one of something every six months?”
“You know, audio is like a step above Blockbuster Video,” Kiefer muses. “And who the hell cares about Blockbuster Video anymore? Quite frankly I don’t know what’s going to happen to the audio industry. And quite frankly, I don’t have a lot of hope for it.”
“Right now, it’s tough,” Young concurs. “And you know, I think it would be helpful if people like you would help bring about the awareness of what people are missing if they’re just listening to MP3 music on their cell phones. It’s incredibly compressed with no dynamic range, no detail and no resolution. And if more people would become aware of what they’re missing, there would be more support for brick and mortar audio stores.”