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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. h.g.

    h.g. pfm Member

    The last scheduled demo at a UK dealer I went to was about 4 or 5 years ago prompted by an intended move (that didn't happen) to a significantly smaller living area and work that would consume too much time for any significant DIY activity. The demo was close to ideal: the room was of a reasonable size with OK acoustics, was given a cup of coffee, a few boxes of CDs and the dealer left leaving me to get on with it. The result of the demo was not the positive confirmation I had expected and I didn't buy the speakers. I did somewhat impulsively buy some of the drivers from the dealer for a DIY project to investigate what I had heard. They are still in their boxes.

    Due to DIY leanings I have only had a handful of demos at hifi shops and the ones that have happened have always been positive in the sense they have added value to doing business with the particular shop. In all but one case I did business with the shop. The one case I didn't the demo was successful in confirming the hardware did what I wanted but after some reflection I couldn't justify the expenditure. The only significant negative experience I have had was shortlisting 2 headphones, going to the only hifi shop in the city that stocked both and being refused a demo. I went to a hifi shop a short distance away that stocked the cheaper of the two, listened to them against few others and bought them. I don't know if the first shop thought I wasn't going to buy or that the markup on headphones wasn't worth the time for a demo. They did say they would sell me either of the headphones in unopened boxes so they physically had them in the shop. Perhaps they didn't want to be left with an opened box of headphones for the one that wasn't chosen. It was odd.

    Demo rooms in hifi shops will be missed but we live in changing times. I have never had a home demo of speakers but should I buy rather than build in the future I suspect this is how I will confirm what to purchase.
  2. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member

    2014 - when I last bought a product after the demo - a TRON Seven Reference phon stage for my Decca C4E
  3. kjb

    kjb pfm Member

    A friend and I were chatting about demoing kit recently. We've both, over the years, borrowed things out of curiosity or taken up quite a bit of dealers time either calling in or phoning to talk about kit that we're, realistically, not in a position to buy. One dealer got quite crabby with him for not buying an amp he'd borrowed for a home demo and then the manufacturer phoned him directly and berated him quite aggresively for wasting peoples time and not buying the amp which he insisted was the best on the market!

    I was saying that we need to remember that dealers are trying to make a living and have an increasingly pressing bottom line. Dealers are all - or nearly all - passionate about what they sell but they are there to sell. A hi fi dealer is a store not a place that exists to discuss our hobbies, same as a car dealership or a bookshop. There must be increasing pressure to convert conversations to sales in a market where many people don't like being pushed to buy.

    It must be increasingly tough balancing out the fact that great customer service does build a sales base and the need to secure a working profit in an increasingly tight market. It must be a massive risk letting stuff go out for home demos - I know I've spoken to one dealer of hi end kit who will bring stuff round to demo but not let customers borrow it even if they pay up front as a deposit after getting a few pieces returned in less than pristine condition.

    I've always been incredibly grateful to dealers who let me borrow new or pre loved kit to try at home after a store demo. In a few cases this has made me realise the kit is not right for me and has cost a sale but I've nearly always gone back in a year or so and bought something else.

    poco a poco and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  4. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    I last visited a hifi shop to demo MY DIY loudspeakers (Ergo E-IXs) about seven years ago.

    My last proper demo of SHOP products was at least 15 years ago, when I heard a pair of Naim SL2s.

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