Steven Mishoe opened In Living Stereo just a few weeks before 9/11, and it turned out to be the worst possible time to open a high-end hi-fi shop in New York City.
But ILS is still there on 4th Street, right across from where Tower Records used to be. And unlike the bigger, more established hi-fi shops, ILS sells music systems. Don't go there to pick Mishoe's brain about music servers or iPhone apps. No, In Living Stereo caters to people who listen to music at home. What a concept!
Over the years I've heard great sound there many times. Brand selection is choice, including tube electronics from Fatman, Leben Hi-Fi, Prima Luna, and Shindo Laboratory; speakers from DeVore Fidelity, Dynaudio, ProAc, Rega, and Verity Audio; and turntables from Rega and Shindo Laboratory.
Complete systems with a CD player, integrated amplifier, and speakers start around $1,200. Mishoe's an analog guy, so he stocks turntables starting around $400, tube amplifiers from $1,200, and speakers $500 and up.
Call ahead, make an appointment, and bring some of your favorite tunes to see how good they can sound.
Check out the ILS Web site to learn more about the store.