Vintage Vendor: Eclectic Instrument Shop Output Audio Rides a Creative Wave | Music Stories and Interviews | San Antonio
A new retail store tucked away in a reborn stretch of the Fredericksburg Road Deco District is vying to become a hub for San Antonio’s creative music community.
Combining repair services, DIY electronics and vintage gear sales with electronic music workshops, live shows and a recording studio, Output Audio is emblematic of a wave of creative, independent South African natives. and optimists working to reclaim the city and create the world they want to see. .
“Our philosophy is: do it, do it yourself and if you can’t afford it, build it,” said owner Luis Faraklas Trevino. “And even if you can treat yourself, build it! This is one thing that sets us apart as a repair shop. If something is broken and there is an expensive way to fix it or a creative way to fix it that would be fun to explore, we go for the latter. We’re taking the creative route.”
This creativity goes beyond standard repair work. The store itself and the mall that houses it are Alamo City design classics. Trevino is clearly excited to use them again.
“It was the original Jefferson State Bank,” he said. “And that back room where the recording studio is…it’s the old bank vault. There’s still a six-inch concrete slab all around.”
The boutique’s studio, dubbed Countdown Sound, is run by Michael Goodwin, who started the boutique with Trevino.
“Above us was a 17,000 square foot bowling alley,” Trevino added. “It was turned into a ballroom at one point. And it’s still there! Truly amazing space. It would be perfect for a venue.”
Trevino isn’t the only young entrepreneur latching onto the potential of this part of Fredericksburg.
The Woodlawn Theater and its adjacent Woodlawn Mall, built in 1946, have long been considered neglected San Antonio gems in need of polish. Not for very long, however. The energy of youth transforms the space. Hello Tallulah Vintage, Black Gold Bike Shop and the recently opened Starlighter concert venue now occupy the complex, while Way Out Kombucha and Mexican snack bar Elotitos Corn Bar have sprung up across the street.
A recent concert at Countdown Sound by Oakland sound artist Evicshun felt like a turning point for the region, Trevino said.
“It brought in some of my favorite musicians from San Antonio, like Diego from AM Architect,” he said. “There was also a show next door at the Starlighter and, well, it felt like something was really going on here.”
It’s hard not to be struck by Trevino’s openness and infectious enthusiasm. The eclectic company is clearly a labor of love, and that love shines in every detail – starting with an open layout and a welcoming air of experimentation. All instruments sold are plugged in and ready to play.
“The Bauhaus has a huge, huge influence on our design,” says Trevino, pointing to the geometric shapes painted on the shop’s walls in primary colors. “And Matisse. My mother was an art student, so it’s all in my brain.”
The family inspiration doesn’t stop there. Trevino comes from a long line of San Antonio entrepreneurs.
“Growing up, my grandfather had an engineering business on Woodlawn [Avenue]”, explained Trevino. “He worked everywhere, he even worked on the Tour of the Americas and Hemisfair. And on my dad’s side, they ran Trevino Printing Press on the West Side for 60 years. I was a shop kid.”
An accomplished bassist, Trevino burst onto the San Antonio music scene, playing his first gig at the White Rabbit at the age of 11. After receiving a classical education and working as a jazz bassist for four years in New York, Trevino returned home. He was inspired by the changes taking place.
“When I came back, I fell in love with San Antonio,” he said. “So much exciting creative energy in this city.”
In launching Output Audio, Trevino modeled the vibe on the sadly defunct and now legendary Krazy Kat Music. As a young musician, he spent hours in the store filming shit with store clerk and the unmistakable “Bob Dog” Catlin.
“I once brought him a fancy pedal I had bought – he took it apart and showed me what a totally passive circuit it was,” Trevino recalls. “That flashing light? It literally did nothing. It was a prank. It really opened my eyes and it stuck with me. I just loved the openness of Bob Dog and Krazy Kat. We want to do that here.”
The audio output is packed with not only vintage electronics, but also inexpensive custom cables and accessories designed for budget-conscious working musicians. Trevino’s personal approach feels old school, in the best way. This stems, he said, from his focus on community and family.
“What’s cool now is that my nieces live down the street and they come hang out here after school. That’s the pinnacle for me – my nieces are excited to come hang out and learn something “, did he declare.
Through her nieces, Trevino learned the joys of passing her knowledge on to the next generation by teaching classes at the Circle School and the Young Woman’s Leadership Academy.
“It’s spiritually satisfying.”
Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.