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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. cooky1257

    cooky1257 pfm Member

    On a recent visit to a well known northwest dealership with another fishy to listen to the larger Harbeths and suitable class A amplification- we were rather disappointed with the sounds we were getting and faced the grumbles and a rather disturbing personality change in the somewhat abrasive staff member when we asked for some alternatives . Just as we were leaving I was stunned to hear the sales person read off their computer screen the number of demos/equipment my friend had previously had going back over 15 years. The implication was we were time wasters-I will never set foot inside that place ever again-normal social interaction from this person was an act, he was clearly a bit mental.
    Nytechy, hairyderriere and Wobblybob like this.
  2. pjdowns

    pjdowns Living the Hifi dream

    2019 I went to collect my upgraded streamer from Coherent Systems.
  3. Shane2468

    Shane2468 pfm Member

    You should name and shame!

    hairyderriere likes this.

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    I think you misunderstand my intent. Neither my friends nor I indulge in DIY to save money as such. Most of the DIY audio hobbyists I know do it for the love of learning about the subject and building something custom to ones specific needs. Of course there are potential savings to be made but only when building components that aspire to the state of the art - £20.00 chip amps are best left to those who already do them best.
  5. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Sadly DIY is the best way to lose money known to man, any modification away from stock subtracts from resale value. Exactly the same with guitars etc. It is one reason I only do high-quality refurbishment/restoration.
  6. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    There are only two Harbeth dealers in the North West, and one of them is very well-known...

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    I quite agree, though most of the DIY I know of is entirely custom from scratch or never intended for resale.
  8. booja30

    booja30 pfm Member

    I think the last time I bought new and/or from a dealer it was a NAD 1600, 2100 and a pair of B&W 600i. That was in college. After that I don't think I bought anything new or in person (except maybe something like an AV receiver from a chain store).
  9. Shadders

    Shadders pfm Member

    I do exactly that - build my own to save money.

    I last demo'd a piece of hifi in 1990, and before that 1984. Someone on another forum (could have been this one) opened up their expensive speakers and found a £20 tweeter. I don't begrudge a manufacturer making profit, but when i read the hifi press wax lyrical about a speaker whose components are off the shelf, and cheap - i do think it is not worth it (same for amplifiers). DIY means you get the best components instead of investing in relative vast profit margins etc.

  10. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Back in the day... hi fi was so much more "important".. it was "a thing".. and there was no internet and I was like 18.. All the newsagents had rows of hi fi mags and every town seemed to have a hi fi shop or two. It was the only place to see and hear the anointed gear we read about and we had no lifetimes worth of kit in cupboards and garages with which to system build/mess about/sell/trade.. all the mags were full of ultimate VFM "budget giant killer" gear like NAD 3020's and Heybrook HB1's.... nirvana was just about affordable and with no ebay, Amazon etc a trip to the hi fi dealers was in order.... Times change...
  11. Shane2468

    Shane2468 pfm Member

    Go on name them! Don't be a silly coward.

  12. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    @ Shadders, I quite agree and there’s nothing wrong with that. In addition, once you start building your own it opens new levels of understanding just not available to those who only have an open cheque book. However, as the bug bites, you end up pushing harder and further and your DIY expenditure grows exponentially and then you realise you are doing full on R&D and you aren’t saving money any more unless you are aspiring to extremely expensive levels of performance. Still worth it though ;).
  13. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Good post!
  14. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    I didn’t visit the dealer so I can’t comment who it is, I just Googled ’Harbeth dealers North West UK’ and there are two.
  15. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I think you just reach a level where it becomes financially injurious to go any higher or you find another hobby which brings perspective.
    hairyderriere likes this.
  16. Shadders

    Shadders pfm Member

    Although this is off topic - if you examine the PMC IB2 Se they sell for £16k. If you use Volt drivers for Bass and Midrange, this is £1.5k and SB Acoustics Satori tweeter, then this is another £250. I used 25mm MDF, CNC cut, for £280 including wood. Assume £300 for crossovers and £300 veneer, then the total cost is £2,630 for an equivalent £16k speaker. The £2.63k spend on DIY will purchase a much lower specification commercial product.

    For class A/B amplifiers - you can meet commercial performance easily - for much less than purchase price.

    I tend not to go off at a tangent, so costs are as small as possible.

  17. jackbarron

    jackbarron Chelsea, London

    I kind of know what you mean. A couple of years ago I went to a well-known hi-fi shop in central London for a demo of the latest McIntosh products. I'd bought an EAR integrated valve amp from the place a few years earlier.

    The demo was in a largish room in the basement. Various McIntosh units were lined up and plugged in. There were two other potential customers. One of them had bought a McIntosh from the shop before.

    There were more than enough seats and I put my parka on a comfy chair nearby. I asked the McIntosh rep a few questions, at allotted times, as the demo went on. The rep then walks over, grabs my coat and puts it in the adjacent room. It had money and my cards in it. I was stunned by this. Plus the coat is a Stone Island down-filled parka and they cost the best part of £900.

    A couple of minutes later I decided to leave, went next door and had a quick chat with the guy who sold me the EAR V20. The McIntosh bloke, who was in his early thirties and had a beard, finished the demo and plonked himself down. He asked how I enjoyed it. I mumbled something or other, but in my head I was thinking: Why don't you f^^^ off and die, you ****er.

    It has put me off going back into the shop and also buying McIntosh products. Employ idiots and your sales will go down.

    Nytechy and hairyderriere like this.
  18. Shane2468

    Shane2468 pfm Member

    KJ West One.

  19. seethroughyou

    seethroughyou pfm Member

    2015 and 2016. I visited near two dozen dealers in their shops and homes. Was on the whole a pretty miserable experience except for the gear itself. Audiophile vendors can be a lunatic, insane and dogmatic bunch. There’s so much dogma, ideology and downright bias to wade through you have to sit through a lot of irritating guff. You have....your tube fanatics who think that anything made after 1960s is useless, the vinyl fanatics, the Japanese hifi fanatics who poo poor valves and vinyl and idolise Esoteric or nothing, the dealer that obsess about Japanese silver point to point and has never heard of room correction and room treatment but will bang on about capacitor sounds, the lunatic subjectivists that swear by CD demagnetisers and can hear difference in cable lifters, the ones that scoff when you tell them you heard a piece gear that you like that they don’t sell, the autistic dealer ice cold aloof and rectilinear that struggles to speak at KJ West one, the dealer that will ONLY play their favourite tracks, the car sales man who now knows everything about DACs better than the digital engineers, the dealer that keeps you waiting for an hour despite making an appointment at KJ West One, the dealer that rolls out the sales patter and points out why your ideas on what you are looking for are all wrong wrong wrong and he knows best really he knows best and he will tell you that he knows best, the Nottingham “scrumpdiddlyumtious midrange” dealer for whom it’s all about the valve midrange, the valve midrange, the valve midrange, the valve midrange who insists you need to spend at least £30k on each component before you can get going in hifi otherwise it’s all “prosaic”, the dealer who helped record a few records for x,y and z and now knows everything about recording and mastering, the Beryllium dealer, the paper cone and whizzer dealer, the high efficiency dealer, the class A or nothing, the valves have to be in the cartridge feeding the tone arm powered by valve, on turntable powered by valves and transformers, with tubes everywhere anywhere and all over and transistors are Satanic, the antisocial and near psychotic Zanden Audiofresks dealer in South London dealer who started shouting at me when I asked how I go about arranging a demo....I could go on and on. Clucking bells, give me strength.
    Nytechy, TimF, Riotvan and 6 others like this.
  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    In fairness this is the first report of unsolicited parka relocation I have heard relating to McIntosh dealers in 20 odd years of running an audio forum.
    effinity and seethroughyou like this.

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