Hi-end audio is a big zero

This is no knock on dealers, It's just how hi-end audio is.

I go listen to some speakers. He has them set up like crap - jammed between 3 other pair. Running on electronics I would never choose so I have to try and compensate for what I imagine they are contributing to the sound. Then after 30 minutes, I am expected to shell out the $4,500.00.

I narrowed it down to two transports from an online retailer. And who knows if those 2 are even a good choice?  Told point blank, I am not allowed to buy both and return the one I don''t want. Just pick one and buy it. Shell out $1,000-$3,500 based on what?

One e-tailer will allow purchase 3 speakers totally $12K and return the two I don't want. Sorry, i have a conscience and can't do it to him.

Read all you want. Talk all you want. Listen at dealers all you want. But unless you listen in your own room, it's all meaningless. I'm talking even just 5 to 30 minutes can be all it takes. But that is basically impossible.

Sure you can buy and sell on A-gon or Ebay if you find what you want have the time to go through the process.

If the prices weren't so high or I did not care about sound quality maybe it would not matter.



The logic of your premise is a bit like saying: "I’ll never own a smart phone because Steve Jobs was a mean boss and a terrible father." It’s a little bit complicated, and you have to weigh the pluses and minuses and how they affect your life. It seems as though your waiting for all the stars to line up and present THE ideal scenario before you’re going to be satisfied.

It appears that the dealer you mentioned is leading more towards a mid-fi approach, and not an audio salon. This is neither a good thing or a bad thing. But, don’t go to a fast food restaurant and expect them to tend to your water glass or brush the bread crums off your table mat. "Service on demand" has it’s challenges as a public servant and it’s not easy when you’re required to be spontaneous one moment, then nurturing the next.

I would make the following recommendation in handing your dealer. IF they check any of the boxes where they have something of value to offer you, then proceed as follows:

Call/text/email ahead and define the experience you are looking for and set up a time to make it happen. If you get a "yes" then try this: Ask the dealer/saleman why they got into the business. Then, ask them about their favorite concert. When you turn the conversation around to THEM, you might just open up some avenues of respect, humanize the experience and develop a relationship built on trust. A professional level of commitment to a fair exchange will insue where the dealer feels a level of moral obligation to take care of you, his customer.

I live in a smaller market (major cites 2 hours north and 3 hours south) and find myself dealing with, lets say, fairly unsophisticated merchants. To get what I want, I often have to train THEM on how to sell to ME. It’s well worth the effort. It not only saves me a 4-6 hour round trip, but maybe pushes them a long just a tab in their careers?

If you love this hobby as much as it appears that you do, be prepared to do some of the heavy lifting yourself -- even when others let you down.

-- from a retired audio dealer

I suppose I was spoiled in that I had local dealers that were willing to give much time to a young fella trying to learn and without the money to purchase much of the equipment I was listening to. I also had local dealer who sold new and took used on consignment, this inventory extremely large. I developed friendships with some, got to hear personal setups. All in all this was golden age of B&M for me.


Local B&M today mostly about home theater, and the audiophile brands they carry mainstream brands, over priced, don't interest me. I was kicked out of one local emporium for the mere mention of internet sales, loudly berated in front of other customers, that was final straw for me.

Seems to me, the companies should invest in their dealers by providing one unit that is only for demos in the store or customer's home.  Paint it purple as a not-for-sale unit.  If the purple people pleaser satisfies the customer, they can order a non-purple unit through the dealer.  

@electroslacker ,

There are 27 cities over 1 million people in North America. Let's say you have 3 products with an average price of $4,000. That is $300,000 in inventory. Many of these companies are small.