Jump to content
IGNORED

Go to you HiFi Dealer !


PeterSt
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

Wanted to post this within another thread, but thought it might encourage for many shootings, possible discussions and even shoot outs, so thought it was better to create a thread for it.

 

Best place to go is your local HiFi Dealer who will be able to advise. (from Eloise)

 

What many people may not realize, is what this means to different parts of the world;

Eloise, you are lucky to live in a country (call that UK) where audio is historically part of living. I would call my country the same (Holland), though less I guess. Anyway, what follows from it, is that even in the country (side) you will find a respectable audio shop within each 40 square miles or so, and then I mean lead by people who did something for the audio industry (like featuring an own line of product, being a producer (past or present), and for instance the sellers in Pro shops themselves play the instruments or are on stage otherwise).

 

Now people in the US. Wow, are they glad something like NewEgg (or whatever) exists. Apart from the real larger cities, there is no such thing as a "local Hifi Dealer" or the shop will sell washing machines at the same time and won't know a sh*t about audio. Of course, here and there you will be able to find one, but for sure it isn't like it is overhere. This is not about everything being somewhat larger (what about a Walmart every 20 miles in any direction you like and a Waffle House every 5) but it is about all being different. Shops are large scale (and therefore not specialized) and one of the better options (I think) may be Best Buy with quite enthusiast personnell, but still not selling the numerous high end products/brands we find here.

 

People from the US may think that I don't know what I'm talking about, just because you are used to what you used to, and have no problems with it. That's ok of course, but it doesn't mean that you know how things are overhere. I tell you : walhalla in comparison.

 

I can add that this is the general difference I see with most of the countries : the larger the supermarkets, the fewer the small shops. Here in Holland we don't have one single Walmart like thing, and the largest are still smaller and the number of them can be counted on both hands plus feet. The UK (or at least England / Wales I must say) is a bit of a mixture, with the malls along the highways, and sufficiently enough small shops in the cities. In comparison again, in the US you can drive 1000s of miles and see malls only, the cities and villages just depending on those malls. To understand this better : don't look for a cosy restaurant there, because it's only the big companies having the exact same formula everywhere, and an "individual" is the most rare. Same thing that is.

 

For sure it won't be as bad as I may have implied, just because the people living there will know their ways. But I think it is not as easy as it is overhere.

 

Thoughts ?

 

Peter

 

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very good point Peter - I forget how fortunate we are in the UK with still having the small HiFi specialists. Unfortunately they are becoming a dying breed.

 

What does really wind me up, is people who use dealers facilities such as their advice, time and demonstration facilities, only to then go off and buy on the internet to save money. Yes often you can get better deals on the internet, but without supporting shops (where they exist) they will cease to exist. Usually prices are higher in shops because they spend the money on providing the demonstration facilities, staff who can give advise, etc.

 

Well thats my little rant for the day - not that anyone here was suggesting otherwise.

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

yes, very interesting Peter.

 

I live in perhaps the most audio savvy city in America, New York City.

 

It's barely a long par 5 from my apartment to Stereo Exchange. I used to work even closer to Sound by Singer. Yet, I've not visited them in years. When pressed to recommend a local shop to friends, I point to In Living Stereo, based on their friendliness and being the first dealer to offer Devore Fidelity speakers.

 

I bought my current speakers from John Devore when he was salesman at Sound by Singer. Now, he manufactures my favorite speakers, the Devore Super 9s and the Silverbacks, which is his own full out effort based on the design of the speakers he sold me - Audio Physic Virgos.

 

I bought my Nelson Pass Aleph amp via mail, on a 30-day home trial basis. I bought my pro audio DAC at B&H (14-day return privilege). See the trend here? The last place I go to for audio info/advice is the local dealer, even though I live in one of the most concentrated audio areas in the world.

 

I wonder how much that has to do with the proverbial NY Audio Salon attitudes? ;)

 

 

 

cheers,

clay

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although it is going (in so many ways) in the direction of the US, it is in certain respects even worse for audio. There are a reasonable number of good audio shops in the major centres, but what it lacks (from what I can tell) is a critical mass of online retailers for audio.

 

Take the MF V-DAC for example - in the US I can buy it off amazon.com and probably have it plugged in within a day or two. I suspect it can also be bought at some retailers. In Canada - no online, no retail availability. (I confirmed this with the distributor, KEF) The distributor will arrange purchase, but it's by no means a conventional e-commerce or retail transaction.

 

I can't complain really; we still have some good audio shops in the major centres but I really wish they would embrace CA a little. I that think this is more than a fad and it may be in their best interests to engage.

 

Rant:

I recently went to an audio shop here in Ottawa that seemed to be the only one selling the DAC Magic. I had called ahead the previous day to express interest in listening to it. I brought my MacBook along so I could get a real sense of it. Well, when they found the thing it was still boxed up and the sales guys seemed more interested in sitting on their a$$ watching baseball in HiDef than helping me. They had no cables and were, quite frankly disinterested. This was a highish-end shop with lots of expensive MacIntosh and other gear on the shelves. So I put the DAC back in the box and walked out. It put me off the DAC Magic entirely. I wouldn't buy one now at any price just because of that experience. (yes, I am that petty) And I certainly will never buy anything from that shop.

 

 

Software: Rip for Mac -> FLAC -> MAX -> AIFF -> iTunes

Hardware: Mac Mini -> Lifatec TosLink cable -> Technolink TC-7510 -> Unity interconnects -> Primare A20 -> (basically lamp wire) -> Mirage 290is

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peter,

 

I always push people to go to dealers. Heck as a small company it would make more sense for me to sell direct. But I think that it is the dealers that really can make or break a purchase. Also I think it is more healthy as a company to give money into the dealer network. People who sell direct are only robbing themselves because audio as whole has to survive to keep everything going. If they take a part out it effects the entire system.

 

So many people go to audiogon and buy something that does not work in their systems. They think they are saving money but they are not they are actually losing money as they pick it up and have to sell it for less and so forth.

 

There are a lot more dealers than people think. You just have to look... most now will ship to you for trial if you are not close to anything.

 

Thanks

Gordon

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The negative experience you get from a patronising, condescending dealer who looks at you as some kind of annoying interruption, dragging the sales-avoidance-person away the important jobs of making coffee, chatting to their friends, txting their girlfriend and not tiding the shop is enough to turn you away from all dealers.

 

Bright, attentive and switched on dealers suffer because they are judged by the standard of a shop where there's an inch-thick layer of dust over every loudspeaker on display.

 

vel, Zaphod\'s chust zis guy, you know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's unfortunate that the number of brick and mortar shops are declining, let alone those who don't provide the customer service needed to assist a client in making an informed decision about a particular product. Although Eloise is correct in saying that a local dealer can be beneficial, it isn't always practical depending on where one lives.

 

Here in Nebraska where I live (middle of the USA), there aren't many specialty hi-fi shops. There are a few in my city but most of them are geared toward hi-end home theater. Even those that sell true audiophile items are limited in what they offer. To visit a better-equipped hi-end store, I would need to travel anywhere from an hour to three or four hours and that isn't always practical. Even with that, they may not have the exact item I need. Some of these dealers can order a specific item for you but I hate for them to go through the process only to have me listen to it and discover that it isn't what I want.

 

What to do..what to do!

 

With that, I would like to extend this thread to include thoughts and opinions on hi-end companies who deal exclusively (or in-part) with mail/on-line orders. I'm not talking about some guy in a basement selling used iPods through a cheesy website but true and legitimate virtual hi-end establishments. It can be exclusively on-line (Audio Advisor, Music Direct, etc.) or a real audio shop that does mail order as well as direct sales.

 

The one thing I would like to say is that with some mail order companies, you may have the opportunity to listen to a product before buying it if the retailer gives you a 30-day window to try it. However, I also believe if a product is available at a local shop, you should definitely consider doing business with that establishment, price be damned. I think it's unethical to listen to a product in-shop only to buy it on-line just to save a few bucks. And relatively speaking, it IS just a few bucks.

 

There's room for everyone.

 

Sources: iPad Air 3, iPhone 8+, Asus Chromebook C201-PA

DAC/AMP: Hidisz S8, Astell & Kern XB10 Bluetooth module

IEM's: Fiio FA1, Hidisz Seeds, Fiio FH1S, Shouer H27, BGVP KC2, KZ ZS10 Pro's, (and several lesser iem's and earbuds)

Accesories: Various MMCX and 2-pin cables.

-----------------------------------------

Professional pianist, composer - master improvisationist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

omahapianist said "Although Eloise is correct in saying that a local dealer can be beneficial, it isn't always practical depending on where one lives."

As I thought to myself, if not actually said out loud, I forget how lucky I am where I live ... within a half hour drive there are 3 HiFi shops I'd actively visit for advise and have bought from, 4 more that have pleasant staff though they've not been able to help me in the past with my requirements and 1 which has some good deals and are helpful if you know what you want. Between them I think they could demo most of the mainstream and some of the less well known brands. If you increase journey time to a hour (excluding traffic delays) ... well I don't know how many there would be ...

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apart from that it would be the same overhere as what Eloise just described, I have an attitude which is the other way around of most (I think);

 

Most of the time I kind of know what I want (after Googling the hell out of me), and next have the obession of wanting to get it in a shop somewhere. This doesn't count for audio only, but for nearly everything, including fridges etc.

Apart from just liking to cruise around a bit and meet some people, it's always in my mind that if I would change that behavior, within some time there are no shops left to go to.

 

Only a litte related, I think it is good to know that internet shops -when organized good- just don't do anything but keeping an assortment and make it available to the public. Really, that is all to earn money. It just requires a sufficient ERP system (which is my other life) that :

 

1. Fully integrates with the webshop (and fully is 100%, so *no* maintenance on the webshop);

2. Put the orders from customers through to the suppliers;

3. Let the suppliers deliver directly (drop ship);

4. Let the suppliers electronically communicate the delivery has been done (EDI);

5. Invoice the curstomer by email (this is allowed here since a few months), if the cutsomer didn't pay in advance already);

6. Let the supplier invoice you electronically (EDI again);

7. Pay the supplier automatically by agreement, which the bank can do for you.

 

This is better than Amazon, although it looks like the second hand stuff you can buy there. Anyway ...

is this off topic ? sure not. You'll have no shop, no floor space to rent apart from the bedroom you already had before, no stock (!!), and no work. Just plain nothing, except from keeping that assortment up to date. But this will be history in no time, because the trend already is that suppliers do that themselves (yes, in your system). So :

 

a. Costs are virtually zero (maybe pay someone to do the actual book keeping as far as not done by the system);

b. You will get discounts all over from the suppliers, because you turn over large quantities; you are thus cheaper than anyone else;

c. How the heck can you know about the stuff you are selling; you never even saw it.

 

Additionally : this is really threatening, because one company being able to do this (the first) for his market environment will vague out all the competition in no time. Why ? well, because they become one stop shops. Not much different from Amazon, so it's easy to understand. Only Amazon has stock. Not a wise thing and nothing much to do on your own.

 

So, looking a bit blackish, this is what we're heading for I'm afraid.

 

 

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well personally I can't wait for the day when I can get my entire salary paid directly into the Apple store, giving me peace of mind that it will be well looked after by people much more deserving than myself. Then, if I behave nicely and don't think any impure peecee thoughts, small amounts of my money will be issued back to me as iPocketMoney, for me to spend on carefully selected Apple approved products, thus injecting true meaning and childlike wonder into my otherwise empty existence.

 

Until that happy day... Actually I share the desire to support the small hifi dealerships, and think I'm lucky to have several to choose from where I live. Also I recognise AudioElf's comments about people who habitually get their shopping advice and auditions in the real world, but then think it's ok to go online to actually buy and congratulate themselves on saving what is usually a relatively small amount. In fact I believe many people take this further and return to the high street dealership for help when they have problems with their internet purchase. So it can't be easy to run a physical shop these days, and I think both they and we will benefit from supporting them.

 

Having said that, I can't resist adding my own unpleasant shopping experience: Most hifi dealers in my area have a B&W Zeppelin in their windows. Granted it's not a high end audio product, but it does raise the bar considerably for that class of product. Now as I'm sure most of you folks know, it has the same dual function mini jack input at the back as your macbooks - takes analog and optical inputs. Very handy if you want to stream via an airport express for example.

 

So you'd think that a specialist hifi dealer salesperson would know all about this, and more importantly, have a suitable optical cable to sell to make the connection. Well think again - the guy in the shop just looked at me in utter disdain and said, "no, it's an analog minijack - there's no such thing as mini toslink". Stupid, stupid me. I suspect my delusion of the mythical mini toslink has taken deep hold, because I since dreamed that I crossed the road to a branch of Maplin, bought one, and have ever since been fooling myself that I hear digital music coming from my Zeppelin.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

they due serve a purpose and they are people to! Now, I live in a large city that for all practical purpose is like being in the country. My dealer is pretty far and I plan trips to visit....heheheh. I try and support, but sometimes my needs don’t match the product line and I seek other products. I think it’s natural if done tastefully.

Ps Its not cool to waste the dealers time, but nothing wrong in not liking what they sell and looking for something else.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

vortecjr say... "Its not cool to waste the dealers time, but nothing wrong in not liking what they sell and looking for something else."

I dont think anyone, certainly it wasn't my intention if I did, to say you should always buy after a demo - just don't go and demo, etc., then buy off the internet because you save $50.

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...