Few are the places of business where you want to linger. Fewer still are those where you’d like to kick back, close your eyes and just luxuriate. But the new Déjà Vu Audio West on Herschel Avenue in La Jolla is one of them.
Josh Turney’s 2,000-square-foot audio boutique, which opened in December 2016, sells high-end audio equipment and systems, but when you walk in you’ll feel like you’re in somebody’s state-of-the-art living room, and it’s wired for sound. The store is composed of four spacious, contemporarily furnished listening rooms, each adorned with artwork and equipped with music to hear — generally jazz at its purest sounding — and Déjà Vu Audio West’s sophisticated components on which to hear it.
Turney, who owns Déjà Vu Audio West and runs it with his fiancée, business partner and cofounder of Deja Vu, Victoria Vulaj, will tell you “Music is my life.” Turney, who himself plays tenor sax, means it, too. “There’s nobody more serious about music than I. I know how important it is to our history and to our spirit.”
Unfortunately, said Turney, “Mainstream sound doesn’t (let music) sound the way it does in a club or in a live performance. We sell the technology that makes music sound its best. That means tube amplification, vinyl and reel to reel.”
The customer experience at Déjà Vu Audio West is no hard sell. “When customers come in the first thing I do is get to know them. This is about music, and music is about people coming together. Then we’ll listen to some records. My job when you come in here,” Turney said, “is to show you the type of sound that is possible.”
If a customer takes a shine to a certain sound system, Turney makes sure that the person listens to it in his/her home before buying it. He’ll even do the setting up for them. “We help customers tune their room and hear music the way it’s meant to be heard,” he said.
According to Turney, a good, basic beginning investment of such high-end equipment would be around $5,000. “I recommend you start with baby steps, acclimate your ear a little at a time. You can’t just get right into a Ferrari 458 if you’ve never driven a car.”
Of course you can spend a lot more than $5,000, and some customers do. “My hardcore clientele,” Turney explained, is “the ‘Woodstock generation.’ They’re in their prime earning years now and have the money to sink into this.” Though they may be of the Woodstock generation, most audiophiles, he added, tend toward jazz and classical music.
Turney’s only been open a couple of months, but already he’s looking ahead with ambitious plans: stocking both vinyl and headphones; and hosting live music nights, listening parties and music education events.
“I want within a year,” he said, “to be known as the place to go if you’re a music lover.”
• Déjà Vu Audio West, 7855 Herschel Ave., Suite 100, La Jolla. (858) 412-4023. dejavuaudiowest.com
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