Best Places For Vinyl In Washington DC

January 14, 2014 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Despite the growing popularity of digital downloads on iTunes and music apps like Spotify and Pandora, vinyl records still hold a place in people’s hearts. In a day where even tapes and CDs feel old, vinyl records can be hard to come by, as the number of vinyl player owners has vastly decreased. That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t local businesses who share the vinyl passion with others. Visit these local shops to compare and contrast inventory.

CD Cellar
2607 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 248-0635

Visit the CD Cellar in Arlington or Falls Church. The first store opened on West Broad Street in Falls Church in 1992 and has since grown a vinyl collection of nearly 20,000 records. Although the Arlington location has a larger selection of vinyl, the entire second floor in the Falls Church store is dedicated to vinyl and vinyl accessories, which include two beginner model record players by Numark. Regular records range from $3 to $10, although prices can be as low as $0.50 and as high as $300. There are hundreds of uncommon records in all genres: jazz, classic rock, electronic, classical, modern, indie rock and more.

Crooked Beat Records
2116 18th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 483-2328

The friendly, buzzed-about record shop holds thousands of records – new and used, independent and mainstream artists. Crooked Beat Records boasts a passionate and enthusiastic staff that has proudly served DC since 1997. After watching many friends and competitors close their doors, Crooked Beat is happy to remain in the neighborhood and offer the community a vast supply of music.

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Joe’s Record Paradise
8216 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 585-3269

A store that claims to have the largest vinyl collection in town, with tens of thousands, Joe’s Record Paradise carries all formats – from vinyl LPs and LaserDiscs to 78s and 8-tracks. The store opened in 1974 as a hub for music and culture and now resides in downtown Silver Spring. Stock is rotated daily and the average album price is $4.50. There is stage space in store for music and discussion.

Som Records 
1843 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 328-3345

The owner of Som Records started collecting records in 1980 and in 2005 decided to turn his collection into a shop. There are over 10,000 records to choose from on the store floor, and even double that in storage. It will be hard not to find the record you’re looking for at Som. The collection includes rare jazz, soul and international records. Records range from $4 to $15, plus a more expensive section of vinyl. To listen to your new records, you can even purchase a vintage refurbished record player.

The Record Exchange
8236 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 21701
(301) 495-0766

The Record Exchange replenishes its extensive vinyl inventory daily – over 8,000 records per store. Records are new and used, costing $1 to $5. If you don’t see a record you’re interested in, the staff will happily special order the vinyl. Also for sale are vinyl record players as well as replacement needles and belts. At The Record Exchange, die-hard 60s garage and punk fans can find vinyl still in great condition. There are two locations in Maryland: Silver Spring and Frederick. Customers can also sell unwanted records for cash or store credit. Sales take place around three times a year, each on Record Store Days in April and Black Friday.

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Kelly Johnston is a freelance writer living in D.C. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Fashion Retail and Merchandising and a minor in Journalism. Her work can be found at

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