Hi Fi Dealers in NYC - where to find them?

Here's a phenomenon I want to share with you. I'm not far from NY City but had a hard time finding decent hifi dealers where I can audition different gears (speakers, pre, power amp, turntable, etc) for buying in the future.

I know hifi dealer is becoming a rarity even in big cities like NYC. The two dealers in NYC I visited were snobbish, pushy and money-oriented. They were not willing to demo equipment that a customer is not buying on spot. I admit I'm not nearly as knowledgable as them. But a potential buyer needs to be educated by ways of auditioning.

Maybe they already have plenty of business. Aren't they loosing potential buyers because of the way they treat customers?

Anyhow, do you know any decent and friendly dealers in NYC, NJ and CT?

Thanks in advance.
It's been years, but Singer and Lyric were always about qualifying the customer. As several have recommended above, wearing $400 shoes will go a long way towards getting you good service at either place.

Lyric was famous for guarding the vault. In the 1970's (IIRC), they had the Magnepan Tympani set up somewhere in the dark recesses of the store, and it was kind of a quest among audiophiles to see if you get a look/listen. I was in my twenties and never got close.

Many years later, I bought both Verity Parsifal/Encores and a Krell KSA50s from Andy Singer over the period of a couple of years and still got sized up every time I walked in the store.

In their defense, I suspect that both places get many hobbyists who have great curiosity about the exotica in these stores but no intention of/ability to purchase. As nice as it might be to see them nurture these potential future customers, I gather that both stores have concluded that it's not practical to do so. In the end, they run their businesses to make a buck. Both places have been around forever - surviving some pretty severe economic ups and downs that have wiped out many competitors - so maybe their judgement is (pardon the pun) sound. Though definitely unpleasant for those in less exotic footwear.

Audio Connection, by comparison, went 180 degrees the other way. Very nice, very helpful. Vandy centric, but I find that almost all Vandy dealers are.

Caveat, all experience are from the last millenium.

Martykl and others,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I think I'll stick with the more friendly dealers. While I understand the dealers' practice of qualifying customers, I just don't feel fairly treated when I have the intention to make purchase from a dealer who doesn't care about its potential customers.

Building a personal hifi system should be fun. We don't have to take the 'audio abuse' from those arrogant dealers.
Innovative Audio is great. I stopped by there on a visit about two years ago. I spoke with Elliott for some time. He was really a good guy. I stopped by another shop but they have since closed. I really can't remember the name but I auditioned the Magico M5 and V3.

Here's another nod to Innovative Audio. In my search for just-right monitors earlier this year, Bruce Deegan was informative and very accommodating. I did three separate, 2 1/2 hour auditioning sessions alone with the equipment and my own music, and, when I sought it, with Bruce's very perceptive insight into my listening preferences and guidance. It was customer service the way it should be. Indeed, I ultimately did not purchase from Innovative; but only because I decided on a speaker they don't carry, and Innovative was not put off in the slightest. We discussed the decision and they understood and endorsed it. When the upgrade urge next hits me, I will certainly return to Innovative; Bruce earned it.

Park Avenue Audio is still very much in business (a poster above wasn't sure). In fact, they are moving across the street to larger digs early next year, which will greatly and expand and improve listening room capacity. Glenn and Igor are good guys at Park Ave.

As others have noted, Stereo Exchange is approachable and has some good people working there. They also have interesting used equipment on the floor at fair prices. But the store gets very heavy foot traffic, and the staff is often distracted and pulled in different directions. Better to make an appointment.

I have been to most of the other NYC stores mentioned in this thread, and it's true that customers are too quickly sized up as either "ready cash," or not. It's unfortunate because in this town, the cover often does not reveal the book. My guess is that these stores needlessly are off-putting and lose sales to audiophiles who are serious buyers, albeit not hedge fund types.