1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

When did you last visit a HiFi Shop for a Demonstration?

Discussion in 'audio' started by G T Audio, Nov 10, 2019.


When did you last visit a HiFi Shop for a demonstration?

Poll closed Dec 10, 2019.
  1. During 2019

  2. During 2018

  3. During 2017

  4. During 2016

  5. During 2015

  6. During 2014

  7. During 2013

  8. 1 decade ago

  9. 2 decades ago

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I went this year for an open day at HiFi Corner’s new location in Edinburgh because they had brand Dems of stuff I was interested in- Harbeth and Chord. I’ve not been for a dem beyond that for about ten years.
  2. Richard Lines

    Richard Lines pfm Member

    Most recently Cymbiosis to hear an LP12 with assorted upgrades and a Klimax streamer. Couldn’t help hearing it through a pair of 808’s.

    Before that would be the Sound Organisation in York in 1999 and then Audio Projects in 1996/ 1997.


  3. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Pre 2103 but less than 10 years ago. I went in and asked for demos on phono stages, gave them a shortlist, they said they would ring back when they had them in. They never rang back, I never went back. Sod 'em. Bricks and mortar shops are a thing of the past and those that can't be bothered to organise basic customer services can go faster than the rest for all I care.

    Last thing I bought in a hifi shop was 10 years ago, double stacked ESL 57s in Fanny's in Hull.
  4. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    I ticked 2019, but that was a lucky (unlucky?) coincidence as prior to that not for at least 10 years. I went to collect some LP's, but took the opportunity to audition some speakers that I thought were potentially an improvement on those I had. The demo was useful in indicating that they were worth pursuing, but it was the willingness of the dealer to set them up at my home and allow me a long audition period that finally sold me on them.
  5. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I asked a Tom Evans Groove dealer to let me hear one. Oh yes we’ll be getting one in, so went back and asked if I could hear it, “ ah yes I remember you, well you see , ah, um, maybe next week”. Meanwhile the dealer a mile from him had given me a comparative dem of four phono stages, brought two to my house to have for a couple of days and I chose one and bought it- at a higher price than the Groove. The first guy, I was effectively in his shop as he sat behind his big desk, waving a bundle of cash in his face and only asking if he’d get off his arse for five minutes and bring me a small box from out the back to try.

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    I wonder what percentage of pfm are DIY audio types. These days people like myself, sq, MrDog etc. Build most of our own gear, or heavily modify second hand gear. So the only bits of my current system that I bought were my amps (when I was in the trade), my speakers (second hand), my arm (direct from the manufacturer) - not a single bit came from an actual shop as a retail sale. Oh, I did buy my class D amp - but that was also through a frown in the trade. I didn’t demo a single piece at a shop (though I still managed to hear most of it at home before purchase).
  7. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Fairly similar to my experience. While I was in there there was a guy came in panting with excitement at the prospect of buying another Naim power supply, he was practically soiling himself with anticipation. Clearly that's why I didn't get a lookin.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    My guess is this and what I do (vintage kit that I rebuild/restore) amounts for a fair bit of the site, maybe 40-50%. The amount of knowledge in the public domain is simply huge now, plus so much amazing kit from all eras available second hand make it a very sensible and enjoyable way to approach audio.
  9. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

    The last time I went into a shop for a pre-arranged demo was about 30years ago - Infidelity in Kingston-on-Thames. I was working in Germany at the time and my wife and I came over for a few days and stayed with my wifes parents in Weybridge. The demo was to hear the latest Naim CD players to see if CD could at last cut the mustard. The day before we went to see Christine Collister with Clive Gregson at the Barbican so was delighted to see a CD by them in the shop demo collection that we could listen and compare. I think the first player was a CDI and it was dreadful and we told them so. Next up was the new CDS that they had borrowed from a 'friend' and at last CD could compete with the LP. The guy then connected the new NAC82 and boy the improvement was immediate. So I asked them to give me a 'good price for a CDS, NAC82 and some other bits and they said that they'd let us know.

    They telephoned while we were not in but my father-in-law took the call and duly jotted down the prices of each item. Everything was at full price not even a hint of a discount - they already knew we lived in Germany and that I'd be taking the boxes over myself so no installation was necessary. We never went back.

    It wasn't until I found pfm that I started the upgrade path again mostly through s/h but also the dealers allowing home demos of kit.


    Nytechy and hairyderriere like this.
  10. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Probably true, but what age range are doing this? I suspect on average well above 50 plus? What happens when we all 'kick the bucket'. Will HiFi as we know it just die out?
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That’s a whole other question, but I suspect not. There seems to be quite a bit of interest in vintage audio from younger folk on YouTube etc, many folk in their 30s etc restoring nice silver-face Japanese receivers etc. Plus I suspect the situation is skewed in the UK as house prices are so insane huge numbers are living with their parents far too long. The market seems a little more sensible in the rest of the world. The requirement for high quality audio in the home certainly hasn’t vanished, it is only economics and a hopefully passing fad for a bare estate agent brochure minimalist aesthetic that has changed. The vintage audio market seems buoyant, I suspect the new market is at the lower ends too (e.g. Ritcher will be doing fine I’m sure). By saying that there is a surprising amount of competition at all price points, e.g. check out just how many options exist in the quality LS3/5A size sealed-box mini-monitor market. Probably more than ever before!
  12. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo I prefer spots.

    My last shop demo was Ceritech Audio In 2017. I wanted to change my speakers and said I had a budget of £2k. I was interested in Dynaudio at the time. The 3rd pair they brought in were nearly double my budget. .?? I didn’t end up with anything as a result.
  13. Chops54

    Chops54 pfm Member

    I reckon that as each generation passes the numbers interested in hifi will seriously diminish.
  14. Wobblybob

    Wobblybob pfm Member

    1994, went to Brady’s when it was still in Liverpool. Came away with a pair of Royd Minstrels. I remember going there in the late 70s and asked to audition an LP12, the owner’s mum worked in the shop and she told me to clear off as I obviously couldn’t afford one! I could but my lifelong scruffiness put her off.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    Nytechy and BrianPK like this.
  15. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    2015; I went to Audio T in Bristol to listen to some speakers. I heard four pairs* and felt quite guilty about not buying any of them. Each pair seemed slightly worse than the previous pair, or maybe my ears were getting tired.

    *From memory, they were NEAT, Kudos, B&W and something else.
  16. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I disagree. I know lots of people in the 25-40 age bracket and they have settled for a "good enough" music system consisting of a phone, tablet or computer and a BT speaker. These sound remarkably good, for loose change. For under £100 you can have music as good as we were getting in the 80s with our Dual/NAD/Diamond or similar, and they have access to more music than anyone can listen to for loose change.
  17. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Very few I suspect. I'm a very minor DIY bodger and I like what I (try to) do but it's a different activity to going shopping. If I want a piece of equipment it's generally cheaper to buy a used one than to build new. A case, heat sink and mains transformer will cost more than many complete items. That's before you get to the stuff coming out of China for just nothing. I got a Tripath amp in a metal case for under £20. That wouldn't buy the box.
  18. wow&flutter

    wow&flutter pfm Member

    I’d be curious if any members have let one of them youths of today listen to an old school system. I suspect they’d be “very nice grandpa but I’ll stick with my phone” but I may be wrong.
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Remember quality audio has always been a specialist interest. Back when I was a kid most homes had something pretty naff, e.g. a cheap Fidelity of Bush brand record player and a couple of transistor radios. Every now and again one would find say a mid-range Pioneer receiver and Ditton 15s or ARs and I only knew one school friend with real high end (TD-125, SME, V15, 33/303, Ditton 66).

    The low end is definitely better today, e.g. a typical wireless soundbar or whatever and streaming beats a Dansette, Fidelity, Amstrad etc for sure, but a lot of folk will want more. Also factor the headphone market, that is a massive growth area at present and very much hi-fi. It very much suits listening in a cramped family environment too (i.e. my point earlier of folk staying at home far longer than my generation did).
    Nytechy likes this.
  20. vinylslug

    vinylslug Making Tweaks

    I'm not sure it's a generational thing - there are plenty of people of my generation (late 40s) who don't have the slightest interest in listening to 'good' sound. I got into hifi when I was in my late teens and would flick through the magazines in WH Smith occasionally buying a copy of something (probably Hi-Fi News & RR), and I'm sure that still happens today; with the internet taking the place of the magazine shelf, there's perhaps more scope for younger people to get hooked. It's perhaps seen as a middle-aged pursuit because that's when most of us actually/finally have enough money to spend on hifi?
    hairyderriere and wow&flutter like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice