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High Fidelity is tucked away on a charming little alley behind the Temple Synagogue. And if ever a place seemed tailor-made for Kazimierz, then surely it's this cosy little den. Named after the cult Nick Hornby novel, High Fidelity is a very mellow place where you can pick up old CDs, vinyl, books and other enticing odds and ends. The welcoming, smiling atmosphere, coupled with the sofas to flop about on, make you feel like you've wandered into a very groovy friend's house who just happens to have a gargantuan music collection. Rifle around for those classic CD's that you never quite got round to picking up.
Editor & Krakow Local
The owner of this shop is among the nastiest human beings i have had the misfotune to meet. Bought records for well over 50 years all over the world, about 8 years ago my visit to this shop was the singular worst experience ive ever had in any shop never mind a record shop. I had planned this visit well in advance of a holiday we were having. It is one of my great joys visting record shops around the world.
On entering i said hello and good morning, the owner immediately told me to go away, he said this was his own private home with his own private records just for him and his friends, shocked i said i found this shop in a visitors guide to krakow. this guide says you are a record shop, he said i told you to go away, go go dont you understand english. I said i am english what have i done to upset you, all i have done is greet you, and i have hardly stepped through your door, he said stupid english stupid, the sheer level of hostility and plain rudeness emanating from this guy was alarming, i was dumbstruck, lost for words, angry all at the same time, i left and the experience stayed with me the rest of the holiday, just saw this thread while having a browse so felt compelled to put my experience in.
Arriving at the door we were blocked from entering by the owner,who said he wasnt quite awake yet and what did we want.after asking if we could come in and look through his records he stared at us deep in thought and told us we had to treat everything with respect regards handling and browsing.then he stepped side and let us in,asked what kind of stuff we wanted,he then spent some time looking out stuff,chatting with us and couldnt have been a better host.obviously he takes his love of music serious,like we all do.be polite,listen to what he asks and you,ll be fine.we spent a small fortune between the 3 o us,and i imagine he shut up shop for the rest of the week after our visit,ha ha .well worth a visit,but dont just barge in and start helping yourself.be polite and the guy will be a perfect host on your visit.
This was pretty much my experience also. Left the place with a fat stack of stuff he picked out for me. It was great!
Found this place and went for a visit. Was quickly and rather rude told this was a private place. So stay away. It's not worth the visit. Just nearby theres a place called Pauls Boutique that is worth a visit.
Such a pleasure tof ind this unexpected gem of a record store!
A wonderful place. You can find here the rarest LP. And the price, oh it is good!!
The owner, a special guy to talk to about really everything: music, politic, culture, travel. It was love at first sight! See ya soon, owner! Take care of your "balance".
Poor old guy who wants to show how less he cares about others. It's a pity. I guess there are some good records hidden in the cases but only for himself the godfather..
One of my favourite record stores in the world. BUT do NOT just walk in. This is not Tower Reckords. It's like being invited into someone's home.
When you walk in, introduce yourself. His English is perfect and you can have a conversation with him. Tell him what you are looking for and he will help you. Be courteous and you will receive help. Don't just barge in and start digging. This is one of the special places that record enthusiasts have heard of. A non public store. It's his place and he runs it in a very specific way.
I am lucky enough to have visited him on multiple occasions and I have build up a relationship now, but I still ask if it's ok to look around.
I have just been to this shop (Sept 2014). I read all reviews (before and after) and most make sense. The owner is very knowledgeable about music records and takes his business (?) very seriously. I had a fantastic experience, he advised on many records, put them on the player so I could listen to them, and ended up with about 6 rare records of polish jazz. Yes, generally, the records are somewhat overpriced but then you only buy if you want to. He has a very wide selection of polish jazz and as long as he understands your tastes and that you are serious about music he is very helpful. He did not push for buying and some he almost advised against. He seemed very sensitive to attitude, so I believe some of the negative comments result from negative attitudes at the start. He also said that was not a real shop but just for his friends but only in the end when I was leaving and asking him about his odd opening hours. Quite honestly, I found it very interesting and I will return every time I come back to Krakow (if it stays open).
Crazy guy with overpriced records!
Hmmm.....where to start.
This was one of the most disappointing (and unpleasant) experiences in any "shop" that I have ever experienced.
I entered the shop, saw who I assumed was the owner, who was in a conversation with someone, so nodded a 'hi' so as not to disturb them and looked around, making my way toward a side of the shop which was empty and where I could 'browse' in ease. I had no idea what to expect as had only searched out the shop once getting to Krakow. Some time after I started to look through a box I realised the owner was trying to get my attention: "......hellOOOOOOOOO, can you not hear me??? Did I say you could come in and look though the records???" I'm actually partially deaf so at first didn't notice he was talking to me. Also, once he had my attention I was so taken aback simply because I had no idea that I would have to 'ask' to look through the records. This has never happened to me before and I have been in record shops all over Europe, UK, North America and even Asia.
At this point my girlfriend who had been taking pictures outside came in and was thinking "what on earth is going on here?...what have I walked into and what has my boyfriend done to annoy this man???" She told me she was pretty shocked at how this guy was treating me and how patronising he was being.
And yes, he was patronising. Possibly the worst customer services I have ever experienced.
Anyway, after him saying I should ask before touching the records I (perhaps foolishly) said to him I wasn't touching the records and only the sleeves. This really pissed him off and he said "the sleeves are a part of the record". I wanted to express my ability to carefully handle records so thought I would tell him I was a serious collector and to share with him the extent of my own meticulous habits of buying polythene lined inner sleeves for all my vinyls as well as PVC protective outer sleeves for the majority of these vinyls, 7"s, 10"s and 12"s alike. But I got no further than saying the word "collector..." He cut me off saying, now you have said the worst word you could ever say to me. I was like 'what word?'. He said "collector" and proceeded to tell me that "Last week a German came in saying he was a collector and started looking through the records....and do you know what terrible sound I heard?" "No" I said. "I heard this (and he lifted up a record at the front of a pile about 6 inches and then dropped it back into the crate making a sliding noise which ended in a minor 'thunk', which I'm sure you're all familiar with)...and do you what I did? I kicked his ass out of here. Seriously. I kicked his ass out"
At this point my girlfriend and I were pretty uncomfortable, not for fear of violence, as I'm a martial artist, but just because all I wanted was to buy some records. I didn't want conflict, I didn't want to be lectured at, I didn't want to think about whether this guy was actually insane and possibly unpredictable and so on and so on.
He eventually let me have a look through some stuff but by that point my excitement at finding what looked like it could have been a good shop had waned. I barely looked through any boxes and was not really in the mood.
It was a bit of a shame really. I even thought to myself that had I found something I wanted I would not want to give him the satisfaction of buying it.
He was a really nasty guy basically. I don't know what was wrong with him but speaking to people you have never met in such a way is a very unappealing trait and I have no idea what makes him think he can do so. I was in Krakow for over a week. I visited his shop on the second day I was there and never went back.
What I did notice was that much of the stock was overpriced. There were many editions that you could buy second hand or in charity shops for less than half the price. This made my mind up that this was not a good place worth going to. I suggest you do not waste your time.
the owner told me upon entering the shop, that it was not a record shop, and that the records were for his friends only and were his personal records and not for sale, he told me to go away. i was utterly and completely shocked and left. 2 minutes i spent there, baffled and annoyed does not come close to what i feel about that man, i have never had an experience in any shop anywhere in the world like that. what a let down after the friendship of everybody else we met in krakow.
Some of my friends said it was the best place they've ever been to, then the others we shocked by the rude customer service?
Is the owner chap a bit bipolar then?
We wandered into this place following a recommendation from a friend, as it being like walking into a mans front room, and rifling through his vinyl as he drunk beer with his mates. So expecting big things we were greeted with an awkward and rude reception, as he didnt appreciate me not immediately reeling out a list of bands I was searching for, instead opting for the browsing approach. Stiff with fear in the knowledge that at any point we would be ejected for not immediately buying something I began to peruse his records. The owners ignorance of customer service aside, the records appeared overpriced, and slightly limited in various genres. Im willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was caught on a bad day, but it still left a sour taste in our mouths, especially with everyone else in the city being so friendly and with Krakow being one of the best European cities visited so far.
I visited the man after reading these reviews. Went in with two friends, showed him we were not some random guys searching for the rolling stones and treated him with respect.
The guy is a legend. He showed me more good records in a few hours than I have seen in my whole life. He suggested a few bands to me that were related to my musical taste and I had never heard of them before but can't stop listening to them now.
Finally, I purchased 6 amazing records at a very decent price. They're in mint condition.
Don't be a fat tourist searching for lady gaga vinyls and treat him and his records with respect and you will see that this is a very friendly man with an amazingly wide knowledge of the musical scene.
I also failed to mention that I wound up purchasing 5 hard to find vinyls.
I found from another person's review that his name is actually spelled Piotr.
John Hutto - Seattle, Washington
My girlfriend and I visited on 7/29/11. After reading previous reviews, I will admit to us being a little nervous beforehand. However, the owner, Peter (correct spelling???), said we could look around, but asked us to please handle his vinyl with care. He asked what type of music we were looking for and I said punk and / or power pop. He showed us the sections where it was located. He was extremely cordial and helpful. I found him to be knowledgeable in all genres of music. I'm sorry to hear that some others did not have an enjoyable experience, but feel he is receiving an undue bad rap. He even allowed us to make photos of him and his store - cool guy!!!
John Hutto - Seattle, Washington
Very nice place to go to, don't tell the man any nonsense and he will be good to you. I walked in the shop and came out at least 3 hours later, with a great deal of nice Polish beat music. Meanwhile playing records we discussed the Polish soul (not the music) world matters and of course music, a warm and friendly man. Only jerks with Che Guevara shirts should stay away.
Found the shop, definitely within opening hours, only to be told by a gruff man smoking at the door that this was 'not a shop' and to 'go away'...when it was clearly the store, considering it had 'High Fidelity' and lots of records glued to the shutters and an open sign in the door with the times of opening. We noticed when speaking English together around the city (even though we made an effort to use all the Polish we knew when speaking to locals and to use our phrasebook), people were generally unpleasant to us, but none more so than this.
Awesome place for cds and records. the man who owns the place is a legend. really passionate about music. great to have a chat with about your tastes in music. check it out!
piotr is up for trades / if you know him it is ok !!
He can appear hard to get on with,talk to him,be polite and all will be good !!
I have visited twice now and had no problems at all
I've visited the shop in 2005 and this year I want to go back to Cracow to buy records. Does some-one have the e-mail adress of the shop ?
Good Place, i have found many interesting vinil, good person and last but not least near a good pub.
Brilliant, zany and crazy place - cool for all you surfer dudes. I found lots of old vinyls here that made my day a good one. Peace.