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Car Stereo Shop Makes Big Noise
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Brian Coutrakis, manager of the newly opened Audio Plus, shows off one of the stereo components featured in the new store. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader
Whether you’re looking for a little thump in your trunk or just some crisp, quality sound, chances are Audio Plus, the new shop on West F Street next door to Pizza Plus, will have it.
Owned by Jack Linford with a sister store in Modesto, Audio Plus is managed by native Oakdalean Brian Coutrakis, with all installation being performed by Kerry Pence.
Although Audio Plus is new, this isn’t the first time Linford has had a shop in Oakdale. In 1987, Linford started his audio store business in town and Coutrakis came in looking for a job. That started a fast friendship and Linford, Coutrakis and Pence have been working together for many years since.
But the timing was right to return to the town that started it all.
“Jack liked Oakdale so much he wanted to come back out here,” Coutrakis shared of the decision that brought Audio Plus to the Railroad Junction shopping plaza. “The people in Oakdale are so friendly.”
Audio Plus has something for every budget, from high-end, competition level sound, to family-friendly units that offer good sound without breaking the bank.
With 20 different brands to choose from, it’s likely anyone in the market to improve the sound in their car, boat, RV, and whatever, will find it at Audio Plus.
“Whether you’re wanting to change out the stereo or go balls-to-the-wall, we’ve got it,” Coutrakis said, smiling.
The big thing in car audio seems to be units that are Bluetooth-equipped, or with iPod slots.
“Bluetooth is definitely a big thing and everything is gearing toward the iPod era,” Coutrakis said. “An AM/FM radio with an iPod stereo is big for boats because you can’t use CDs. We even have stereos that have a USB port for a memory stick.”
And the sound quality isn’t what it used to be — it’s better, said Coutrakis.
“Equipment nowadays is a lot more powerful than it was and the sound quality is a lot better than it used to be,” he said.
Traffic in the store has been mostly adults and eight out of 10 have trucks, said Coutrakis.
“But it’s Oakdale so we expected to see a lot of trucks,” he said.
Business has been good thus far, in spite of the sluggish economy.
“It’s been better than we anticipated and we have a really relaxed environment here. You don’t have to yell over a bunch of music because we have adults running the store instead of teenagers. So far, the clientele has been very receptive to the shop.”
In addition to audio components, Audio Plus also offers a variety of alarm systems that range from complicated to basic.
“We carry the basic alarm to the remote start equipped with GPS so you can track the vehicle at anytime and if the vehicle goes over a certain speed limit it will send you a text message,” Coutrakis said, adding this was a great way to keep new teenaged drivers driving responsibly. “It’s almost like a Lo-Jack. It’s an incredible alarm.”
Of course, that alarm will set you back a couple thousand, he said.
But there are plenty of middle of the road units that get the job done.
Audio Plus, located at 1214 West F St., offers full installs on their units and is open seven days a week.
For more information, call 322-3484.