New High End Audio Dealer in Midwest

Hello everybody. I’ve been a part of the Audiogon community for a number of years as a consumer, where my old username was thiefoflight. Some of you may remember some of our discussions.

I wanted to let you know that I recently started a high end audio company called Bliss Hifi located in the Minneapolis region in the upper midwest. Part of my business is dedicated to guiding people in their journeys and helping build their dream hifi systems. As such, I am now an authorized dealer for a few notable brands, including T+A, Aurender, Audionet, DH Labs, and Tri-Planar tonearms, and I’m also reaching out to more manufacturers to secure a relationship with them. I also offer very attractive trade-in value towards equipment. If you are in need of guidance anywhere across the US, or if you are in the upper midwest and want to have an appointment set up for a demo or consultation, I’d be happy to chat more. This is a true passion project of mine, and I love to network with audiophiles, so no pressure to buy - I just love to listen and help where I can.

In addition to services for audiophiles, I also have a >20-year career in product strategy, product design, marketing and user experience. I have been working with a few audio companies the past few years to help them bring new products and features to market, and I am helping them to understand which people are best fit for their products. I hope this can be seen as a valuable service to the audiophile market as well, as it means more relevant and valuable components that drive greater value to you at the end of the day.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to post them openly to facilitate discussion on this thread or PM me directly. Would love to hear from you!

Thank you!

Juan Charvet
Bliss Hifi


128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xblisshifi

I'll just express one thing which has meant a lot to me as a consumer -- the ability to try gear in my home. I don't know if that's what you'll do or if it's practical for all gear, but it has made the difference for me every time. Good luck!


Don't you think you are asking a lot from a new store with just a few lines?  Way to go.

I remember your username and good luck it's fantastic to see new brick and mortar audio stores opening!

@hilde45 and @stereo5 - Neither of you are off. Bliss Hifi’s business model is more on the boutique and consultative side, especially with the particular lines we are carrying and pursuing. While Bliss Hifi offers sales to customers across the country, we’ll ensure that customers who order from afar are absolutely sure about the products they purchase.

That said, we already do offer in-home demos for people in the Minneapolis region. I agree that hearing a product in your own home is the best way to make a surefire decision, but for now it will be limited to people who are within a reasonable distance and are interested in products whose sales will justify the effort. In the process, I provide guidance on room setup and treatments, along with other optimizations that come to mind.

Thank you both for expressing your support and perspective!

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It sounds like you plan to be a dealer who cares more about his customers and their satisfaction than you do about making the highest profits. You are in rarified air.

@aewarren That made my day, seriously, thank you. If it means anything, I can actually recollect a few instances where I’ve had potential buyers interested in an item I was selling, and I had to talk them out of buying something because it was obviously not going to take them where they wanted to go.

In all honesty, this business is currently not yet my primary source of income. I’m hoping that means that I get to conduct the business in the way that I want, with integrity. What does that mean? Well, the high end audio community is dwindling, and there is a massive generational gap. I believe I have the passion, knowledge, and empathy to help people fall in love more deeply with audio in the way that THEY will want to. Doing so is my best chance of helping keeping the torch lit for this industry and pastime for the generations to come. If I can’t make this work to support that purpose, I will probably just close up shop and keep at my current career.

If it’s of any interest to anyone and any clout, my seller feedback on this marketplace might be an attestation of how I worked with buyers in the past before starting this company.

@anotherbob Good feedback. There is a specific reason that has been holding me back from doing so, but I’m working around it. 

Great to hear someone with the b-lls to open Brick and Mortar HiFi!

I visited an audiophile friend last Sept in Minneapolis. We toured the

ARC factory and visited 4 retailers in the area.

I was very impressed with 3 of the 4 stores. The blind guy,

the warehouse and another spot.

I will tell my buddy Dave to stop by!!

@jeffseight The balls aren’t quite there yet. I am working out of my home, giving demos in my homes and peoples’ homes. I do keep a bunch of floor models to swap around and some inventory, but it’s not a public retail location and as such by appointment only. Still - always happy to accommodate your friend as I believe it leads to an even better experience than typical retail. Should the business be successful and is able to scale, I will absolutely expand into more of a retail storefront.

Best of luck to you. In this age of video games and multi channel HT, your path is welcomed. I wish there were more. I live in a major city (Atlanta) with very few dealers and none that don’t require a 40+ mile slog through horrific Atlanta traffic. 

A word of advice. Be careful not to fall into a pure audiophile mode as many of us will make you crazy with equipment loans, consultation,  etc. You will need to make money to survive. It’s a business first. Good luck!

Best of luck!  You are close to two of the best manufacturers in the business.  If you have the right credentials, you can carry their lines in your store.

BUT, you have to have sufficient capital to qualify.  Contact both Magnepan and Audio Research Corporation down the road from you and see if you qualify.


Nice website! You carry some really nice stuff! Just remember to be kind and patient to audiophile newbies. Some folks can be really intimated by super hifi equipment, particularly expensive equipment. Best of luck!

@chocaholic and @bluorion - I appreciate the guidance. It will have to be a careful balance for sure. Luckily, I am genuinely interested and fascinated by other peoples’ current and envisioned setups, as it is an opportunity for me to learn as well, and I feel purposeful if I can consult and guide along the way. That said, being able to read people and understand if they will actually invest in gear or if they’re just taking advantage of a free service will be the key to maintaining some sanity!

@richopp I have a huge affinity for both brands. One thing I’ve come to realize and respect, however, is dealer territory. I’d like to ensure that I am not infringing on anyone’s market share in selling the same product lines as them, and some very notable dealers around the twin cities have been carrying both ARC and Maggies for years. I’m not ready for any type of war, and from what I’ve seen and heard from veterans in the business, infringing on territory can get politically ugly. Most manufacturers of high ticket gear also try to set their dealers up for success and won’t bring new ones on who are too close to existing ones. I am in talks with a number of equally incredible audio brands, so I’m hopeful it will turn out just fine.

Good luck! I live in the twin cities. Possibly looking to trade in my Klipsch Cornwall for something better/different. Curious what brands you have! If you have a shop I will definitely drop by. 

Hope you are able to open a showroom in the near future. As you know, many sizable midwestern cities have none at all these days. Minneapolis is within reasonable driving distance for me. Best wishes for new success in this old-fashion business.

@hickamore Happy to accommodate you by appointment, and a phone convo makes the most sense to make sure your time here would not go to waste if the drive is long. I can follow up via PM. 


Will advise next time headed your way. Need to determine how far up the Aurender line I may need to go for the right fit. No urgency; Summer 2023 is the likely time.


All the best to you on your opening. May your business expand to a second store 500-600 miles south of your current location.


@curiousjim Ha! Are you in KC then? Perhaps Hickamore and you should come up for a road trip later in the year. :)


lol, I was until just recently, but now live on the other side of the state. 😁


I have a couple of local/semi local dealers who have been successfully working out of their homes for many, many, many years.

-Acoustic Image (Elliot Midwood sp?), Studio City, CA

-Gene Rubin Audio, Ventura, CA

Not certain about Gene Rubin, but seem to recall Elliot having a retail space a long time ago.

Elliot (who's a 15 minute drive away) home demo room is awesome (only spoke to Gene once and never visited as I have not driven highway/freeway for 20+ years -  except in a few emergency situations).

Anyway, just to say that this business plan can succeed, plus you have the outside work for additional income.

Commercial rent is insane here (private as well), no idea what it's like in MN.

I grew up and lived in Iowa until 1977 (Des Moines/Iowa City) and visited Minneapolis/St. Paul on numerous occasions during that time (especially after I35 was completed - lot's of great/memorable concerts and a much nicer drive than that to the Crown in Chicago:-).




Hi Juan,

    Nice website. I followed the link to leave you a message on the contact page but that doesn't seem to be functioning well. At the risk of leaving you redundant notes, I'll message you from here too.

Regards, Oran

Congrats. Fyne Audio speakers would be an interesting brand to add. Don’t think TC has a dealer yet. Same with Aqua audio or Playback Designs.


Other brands not covered by existing TC dealers to my knowledge: Krell, Joseph Audio, D’Ag, dCS, gryphon, boulder hmmmm


maybe Yamaha for a budget brand


yeah, don’t pick up Maggie or ARC. That’s be awkward. And for sure not Mc - everyone else already has them!

best wishes to you towards success in this endeavor juan

the industry needs good retailers who serve customers well and can educate and guide them when needed

@dekay Thank you for the vote of confidence. I’ve heard of Gene Rubin Audio and it is reassuring that others have been successful. Let me know if you ever make it back to the Midwest!

@kren0006 You’ve made a number of very thoughtful manufacturer suggestions, thank you. I actually haven’t heard the Fyne speakers personally, though I am intrigued by some of them when I see them on the market. 

@blisshifi Got it.  I know it well.  At my shop in SO FL back in the day, we were able to get both lines since no one else wanted them.  Jim Ryder (yes, the truck people--the son) had McIntosh and had been with them for years.  Even though he was in Miami (Hi-Fi Associates), we could not get it, but my other store in WPB had it.  No worries--it wasn't that good other than local doctors LOVED it and were in competition with each other to get the newest pieces.  Those were the days!

Anyway, we even had Fair Trade back then.  You probably know what that is, and it was difficult to deal with in a competitive environment.  Our local discounter back then, Luskins, was buying train-car loads of overruns from Sony and selling them for less than our cost.  Even though this was a fairly small market back then, it was VERY competitive.  Very esoteric lines like Sequerra and Nakamichi had no issues putting product in every shop, even though we only had a few area shops back then.

I am sympathetic to the situation there with these lines.  The best you can do is quietly work to have the best possible physical environment for maybe one or two items--home theater from Magnepan comes to mind as a niche product that you might be able to set up in your shop in a way that attracts them and gives you a small entree to the larger line with a well-set-up, dedicated space that differentiates your shop from the others.  With ARC, well, sales are sales at that level, so you will have to prove yourself to them over time with QUALIFIED sales people, I guess.  Back in the day, Bill would visit our shop and yell at us about pretty much everything.  Wendell is with Magnepan last I heard, but he must be ready to retire soon if he is as old as I am! 

Whatever, best of luck.  It is both a rewarding and very difficult business!


@richopp Your experiences are very valuable, thanks for sharing. If it’s okay with you, I might reach out personally to chat with you one day soon and pick your brain!


I just left Minneapolis last week to visit relatives. Wish I would have known about you then. Back in Arizona now.

@mr_m Do keep me in mind next time you’re in town. I also offer shipping services on equipment so if there’s anything particular I carry that you are interested in, definitely get in touch. 

Coming in late here, but good to hear Juan is going into business.  He's one of the smartest guys--and one of the nicest guys--I've run across in audio over 40 years.  Total straight shooter.  Best of luck to him.


Great to read about your new store. Best of luck. My systems have more or less been purchased from a boutique shops and is currently heavily Linn centric. Small speciality dealers are the only why to fly. I got into Hi-Fi in my late middle school and early high school and have only worked with small dealers ever since. 



Hi Juan, Good Luck, and welcome to the neighborhood. I was born and raised in south Minneapolis, and now live just south of the river (Eagan). I have had a passion for audio gear for about 50 years, and have finally gotten to the point of a true Audiophile. I went through probably every phase of Audio/Video from way back when. I have always honored the new additions of Audio Salons in the Twin Cities area. So Please keep us posted as I would love to consult with you in person. I'm sure you could teach an Old Dog some new tricks. I do have an extensive setup and could learn a thing or two. Hope to hear from you soon. Terry.