Pulse Music closes for good after 25 years

·3 min read

Sep. 30—Pulse Music closed its doors in Logansport on Thursday after 25 years.

The closing of the shop at 220 E. Market St. follows owner Randy Varrone closing his Kokomo store about four years ago.

The store specialized in what anyone needed to start their own band.

Varrone and his crew sold guitars, drums, bass guitars, guitar multi-effects switching systems and lighting, and they also gave lessons in instruments.

He said he'll miss his employees and supporting a local community, but the store had not been making money for a while.

"The internet has killed every mom-and-pop music store there is, just about," Varrone said.

Even when Pulse's prices are the same or better than on the internet, people seem to prefer buying instruments online. He saw that happen with his Kokomo store, he said.

Other things have also changed over time.

Although guitar sales went up during the pandemic, guitar manufacturers had been seeing a drop in sales before that.

"When I was a kid, it was cool to play a guitar, a piano, an instrument," Varrone said.

However, things such as video games and what Varrone calls "the decompartmentalization of life" may have changed that.

"It takes dedication and time and patience — especially patience — to learn to play well," he said.

When the video game "Guitar Hero" came out in the early part of the century, people learned the game quickly and bought guitars.

They thought playing the instrument would be similar.

"Then they found out it's not quite as easy, and they quit," he said.

Other music stores like his in the area, such as the one in Peru, have already closed.

The only other music store in Logansport when Pulse was here was Weast Music on 22nd Street, between North Street and Broadway. That store specialized in high school instruments and closed in 2003.

Varrone said that the loss of such music stores means the loss of better-paying jobs, of belonging to the community and of getting personal service.

"Music is a personality business — at least it used to be," Varrone said.

The smaller stores wouldn't just sell a guitar off the wall, but assess what the customer needed.

"Why sell a beginner a $1,000 guitar when he needs a $300 guitar?" he said.

His shop also offered personalized lessons until Pulse lost all its teachers.

A sign in Pulse's window states it's for sale.

The business has also been for sale for about a year, but no one has bought it, Varrone said. And inventory is depleted because of that.

He's still willing to sell the name and reputation, but he thinks it's the building a buyer would want.

Manager Scott Cress said he'll be in the store Friday and Saturday finishing paperwork.

Although Pulse won't be officially open, "if somebody shows up and wants to buy something, I'm not going to say no," Cress said.

Reach James D. Wolf Jr. at james.wolf@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5117

Twitter @JamesDWolfJr

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