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Meet Eric Johnson of Electric City Repair in Historic Downtown Westminster

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Johnson.

Eric, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It all started with a Betamax…
For as long as I can remember, all I wanted to do in life was to repair electronics. And by the time I was old enough to get a job, mid 90’s, there were absolutely no jobs available in my chosen path. None at all. So, I tried the IT route. Computer repair, programming and web site design. I was good at it but none of it really made me happy and I just wanted to be hands-on troubleshooting and repairing audio equipment. But again, there were no schools and no jobs in that field at all. So, I settled on Laser Printer and Copy Machine repair.

I enjoyed the challenges of the job but the satisfaction of making a piece of paper come out of a machine with clear, readable text not crumpled up was just a little unsatisfying. But I ran that business for about ten years until one fateful day when a customer asked if I could fix his Betamax player…

I said yes because I still tinkered with audio and video equipment in my spare time and I figured I could take a look at it. At that time, I shared a commercial location with a Computer Repair company and when I came back with a Betamax player the Laptop Tech for them took one look at it and his eyes lit up! “That is my toy,” he said. I looked at him in confusion and asked if he could fix it. In about 20 minutes, it was fixed and that is when I knew that instead of looking for a job repairing audio equipment I would just set up shop.

With the help of my technician, whose name shall remain anonymous at his request, Electric City was born. We started out fixing anything electronic but soon realized that the vintage audio gear from the ’70s was the most popular. Particularly turntables, receivers, amplifiers, reel to reel tape decks and guitar amplifiers.

We started out in the back corner of a Computer Repair shop in Wheatridge and very soon after that we had to expand to a bigger location across the street on 44th Avenue still sharing space with the Computer Repair shop. As word got out that there was an actual repair shop that could fix your Pioneer receiver or Teac tape deck and that it was a retail shop with regular hour AND they did good work for a good price, we were overrun. We made it work for a few years with the help of storage units and creative shuffling but we needed more space.

In 2017, we found our home. A 7000 sq ft building in the historic Westminster Downtown that was formerly a Pawn Shop. With the bigger location, we were able to set up the tradition stereo HI-FI shop that was common back in the ’70s. The current Electric City features a showroom with stereo equipment that you can see, touch and listen to. A great selection of vinyl records and cassette tapes. A full-service center that can take care of anything from a stereo receiver, your favorite turntable all the way to your Marshall amplifier. We have assembled a great team of people that do this for the love of the electronics and the music. I wish I would have done this a long time ago but… I was waiting for that Betamax.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh, it has not been easy. If I was looking for easy, I probably would have gotten a real job like normal people. Running a business that has not been a real business since 1982 has had its share of challenges for sure. I can’t really call Marantz or Pioneer and request a part number. No, those days are over. I tried to build a time machine to go back and order parts but that is still in the development stage and plutonium is harder to get than you think these days. But we work every day to come up with solutions to keep vintage audio alive and well, that challenge is what keeps our coffee maker working overtime every day.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
Electric City has become a specialized company for vintage audio HI-FI equipment. That would be stereo gear from the ’60s and ’70s that has THAT sound known for very good music reproduction. Our customers trust us with their beloved and irreplaceable equipment and hold us responsible for making it sound amazing. What sets us apart from any business in Colorado is that not only do we repair and restore vintage audio equipment but we also sell refurbished items in our showroom as well. Not only that, but we also have a full-service guitar amplifier repair department for the working musician or musical hobbyist.

What were you like growing up?
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to do two things… be in a band and repair electronics. Done and done.

Pricing:

  • Repairs on vintage audio start at $60
  • Repairs on guitar amps start at $60
  • Friendly conversation is free for the first ten minutes.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 7225 Lowell Blvd
    Westminster, CO 80030
  • Website: www.electriccityrepair.com
  • Phone: 303-431-6499
  • Email: electriccityrepair@gmail.com
  • Instagram: electriccityrepair
  • Facebook: electriccityrepair
  • Yelp: you can find it

Image Credit:
Misty Walls Photography Co Inc.

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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