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.



"There has never been a better time in history to get into this hobby."

Well stated, sir.  Couldn't agree more.

@cdc - this is exactly why as a manufacturer of audio components, we set-up our own Listening Room.  We encourage people to come here our systems and also to bring their own equipment so that they can hear what things could sound like in their own system.  We also get to hear things also.  We enjoy meeting new people and learning form each other.

We are in Northern New Jersey if anyone wants to come by and enjoy music.

I think the most difficult to project is the speakers.  My other components are highly adaptable (Peachtree Grand X-1 hybrid integrated with Sabre DAC on board) and turntables and other digital sources are easy to blend.  But not speakers.  And the shipping challenges, including the cost.  Even a local needs a fork lift and big truck to move some of these and 3 heafty movers to pick them up.  

Not for an audition!  After decades of chasing the sound and too much money spent on commercial speakers, I learned to build my own.  I began with 4 foot high cabinets sold as Inter-Audio A-4s.  These were built from the late 50s and into the '80s by Bose Corp and before 'direct-reflecting' sound.  They came with 2 tweeters crossed for a 'super tweeter'; a 6" mid and a 10" woofer.  A highlight was a second cutout below the woofer for a passive radiator that absorbes excess pressure.

I began by stripping all but the box and worked from there.  The turning point (Hey Archimedes, what's ypur point?)  was moving 3 sets of tweeters out and in, 3 different mids and 2 woofers and these in various combination.

I knew what I wanted to hear and built them to fit my smaller but open space.  And when I got the final set of tweeters (B & C with sensitivty at 108)  I put Mondorf hollow core silver foil resistors in to bring them down to the 95 sensitivity of the other drivers.

Anyway, I had a great time.  I learned a lot and proceeded with more certainty to build 3 sets of fine speakers for my adult chldren.  And I am mostly very happy with this system.  Sometimes I sit and think I should get all pure silver wire and take them apart once again.  Then I put on some vinyl jazz and pour 2-fingers and wait for the urge to go away.  

Close to $10,000 spent on components and then, 'home made speakers'.  And I could not be happier.  This one is too hot, this one is too cold, and this porrige is just right.

I wanted SET sound with Magnapan speakers (0.7 with DWMs are the biggest I can fit into my little 26-foot-diameter house.) I could not bring my amplifier to audition it because it has too many separate components: twin KV power supplies, cathode heaters that are filtered with 4 Farad capacitors, and two more chassis for drivers of the radio station transmitter triodes it would take to drive Magnepans. When I brought the speakers home, I got a better sound than the solid-state amplifier available at the store. Later Wendell Dillard and his wife came to the store and gave a seminar on the Magnepan speakers. I brought photographs of my SET with triodes the size of quart jars and he and his wife laughed their asses off calling it wild. His wife said that such a setup would have terrible wife acceptance factor. Fortunately, my wife let me get away with the Jules Verne style of stereo gear I build.

It’s high end in name only if the customer service is poor. Plain and simple