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Meet Todd Drootin of LP Guru in Granada Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Todd Drootin.

Todd, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Music has been a huge part of my life since I can remember. I got my first turntable when I was eight years old and have been collecting records ever since. I took a job with an audiophile record dealer in the mid-2000s and learned a ton about how the sound quality of records can vary between different pressings. This made a massive impact on the way I went about collecting and appreciating the vinyl experience.

After a decade at the job, I decided I wanted to try to put my own spin (pun acknowledged but not intended!) on things and apply the concepts of high-end vinyl to a wider audience. Not everyone has the time or money to put together a heavy duty hi-fi system, but anyone who is serious about vinyl can benefit from getting great pressings of their favorite albums.

So in 2017, I started my company LP Guru, dedicated to finding superior pressings of great albums. I started as a strictly direct-to-client business and launched my website LPguru.com in May of 2019.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’m a person that thinks nothing truly good comes easy. So I’m OK with a somewhat bumpy road and learning lessons along the way. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t try to do everything yourself. Reach out to friends, enlist your family, find good employees — whatever it takes! At the same time, I do think it is important to put as much of yourself into a new business as possible. But recognize the areas that other people can help you with and empower them to do a great job.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about LP Guru – what should we know?
LP Guru is an online record store specializing in sourcing exceptional pressings of great albums for what we call serious listeners. That includes audiophiles but also any music lovers who are looking for the most from their vinyl experience. Streaming services are great for throwing on songs in the background, but it’s not ideal for really taking in and appreciating the craft. Vinyl requires extra effort and expense, but the improved fidelity helps bring us closer to the music.

I like to make the most of my listening time by making sure the records I play are great sounding copies. And with LP Guru I am making a curated selection of excellent pressings available for anyone who wants to elevate their own listening. We clean and evaluate every record before considering listing it on the site and offering it for sale. This means you are guaranteed an excellent sounding pressing and can spend your vinyl time just enjoying the music.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My wife Kerri Drootin is an absolute rock star of a person and helps support my business in more ways than I can begin to list. My good friends Zac Cohen and Josh Jacobs (www.trustnomad.co) were hugely instrumental in helping me figure out so much at the beginning but along the way as well. They came along to help with branding but have played a much bigger role than that. And a business is nothing without good clients who spread the word to friends, and I’ve been lucky in that sense too.

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Image Credit:

Photos by Genevieve Marie and Todd Drootin

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