“I don’t think there’s any other place in Australia where you can try out this amount of the gear we’ve put in that room"
It’s a new era for Turramurra Music, after extensive renovations have finally been completed.
The business, which started in 1976 by Rob Stevens as a small shop in Sydney’s North Shore selling records and equipment. A 21-year-old touring musician, he had minimal business knowledge and even less money.
But what he had was a lot of passion for music, and instinct for what musicians and music fans – experienced and newcomers – wanted.
Turramurra Music then focused on guitars, synthesisers, keyboards, drums, bass, recording software, and pro accessories – and gradually expanded to the two stores next door.
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“We had the vision for the renovations about 10 years ago,” says managing director Mat Stevens, Rob’s son, and also a musician.
“The renovations started about five years ago. It was getting close to being ready when COVID hit which created problems with getting building materials, stock and (construction) workers. We’re so excited that it’s finally over.”
The amalgamation of the three stores gives a space of 871.46m², which means space for four times as much stock. For instance, there are 700 guitars with 327 guitars on the floor to try out, and 800 guitar pedals with 450 unique pedals.
The revamps were driven by key staff in different product divisions – like what gear they would have on display and how they would wire it up. Feedback from customers included: “Wouldn’t it be great to have a ton of mics to test, or be able to switch between speakers in real time to compare.”
The financial and emotional investment in the expansion goes back to what drove the business when it started 46 years ago.
“Our core vision is to give our customers the very best in-store appearance in Australia,” Mat emphasises. “People are obviously shopping online these days and we sell a lot of stuff online ourselves, we put a lot of investment in our website and online sales team.
“But with music gear it’s more special to come into a store, be able to try out the gear, look and compare, have a chat face-to-face with an expert, and work out what’s the best for them to get.
“For example, with mics, everyone has a different voice. Every guitar feels different and responds differently to someone’s playing, and it’s hard to buy one based on an online review.
“The whole renovation was done to give customers a reason to drive all across Sydney to visit our store, and make sure they have such a great experience that they can’t wait to come back.
“Or they’ll tell their friends, ‘If you want to get a guitar or a keyboard or microphone, you have to go to Turramurra Music because it’s a fantastic place and it’s worth the drive.”
A key piece of the puzzle is the Studio Room, a dedicated space away from the sales area, and set up to look like a recording studio.
But where a studio would have barely a handful of monitors, the Studio Room has a wall of them – ATC SCM25, Neumann KH310 & KH150, Barefoot Footprint 01, PS1 A21, Yamaha HS8, Avantone Mixcube, and KRK V8 S4.
For signal processing, there are 2x Avalon 737, Neumann V402, Peach Audio M196, API The Channel Strip, Warm Audio WA73 EQ, Emperical Labs Fatso Jr, Lindell LIN76, Warm Audio Bus Compressor, and Echofix EF-X3R and EF-X2
The microphone collection includes Neumann, beyerdynamic, Universal Audio, RØDE, Soyuz, Austrian Audio, Shure, Warm Audio, and Sennheiser.
“I don’t think there’s any other place in Australia where you can try out this amount of the gear we’ve put in that room,” Mat suggests.
“Customers can try these out with an expert to guide them through with the set up and everything. It’s a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else.”
The new expanded space means more in-store events for product launches and masterclasses.
Turramurra Music hosted the launch of the Moog Mavis on its global day, with a demonstration from a Moog representative on a product no one had seen in Australia.
The store most recently hosted a showcase for the DiGiCo Quantum 225 mixing console, following it up with one for the Midas Heritage-D HD96 on Wednesday November 30.
With the chance to test these hands-on and with extra tech info from brand reps and Turramurra Music staff, customers can work out how suitable these are for themselves
Many Turramurra Music staff are key experts in their fields as producers, mixers, and players. But Mat has a strict policy.
“They have to be musicians, of course. But they must just as much be friendly, reliable, and grow relationships with people who walk in through the doors.
“The wider industry has this caricature of guitar stores with an intimidating sneering scruff on the front counter, and we’re trying to blow that stereotype away. Yes it’s important to know your product, to be able to tell a customer, ‘I use one of these myself’ rather than quote from the brand’s website.
“It’s always been about giving customers the greatest experience and providing the best support. If we look after people so well from the first time we meet, they’ll always want to keep coming back.
“It’s never about being pushy and selling things to customers, it’s about looking after them really well, and at some time if they want to buy something, then that’s cool.”
Long time customers have been The Angels (who played at Turramurra Music’s 30th birthday party), INXS, Midnight Oil, The Wiggles, Gordi, and Flume.
“Some customers from the ‘70s are still coming back, some with their kids and grandkids. We know them personally and they’re regarded as extensions of our broader family.”
1267 Pacific Highway
Turramurra NSW, 2074
PH: (02) 9449 8487