Tips for Auditioning equipment for low or zero expense

Other than making purchases for multiple units from multiple retailers and being responsible for return shipping and potential in transit loss/damages, how are auditions possible without a local brick and mortar?  Thanks.  I run an Ortofon OM40 through a Teccnics 1210GR into a Peachtree Nova 300 integrateds internal phono stage and I want to audition alternative phono pre amps.  Vincent, Rothwell, Ifi, Project, Sutherland and other under $1000 options on my radar.


Join a local hi-fi club and see if the members will bring their stuff over for an audition. Things like heavy amps and speakers are usually not going to happen, but a phono preamp is a real possibility.

a) Network/Socialize/Make friends with local audiophile in your area.

b) Audit gear in their houses, let them audit your gear/room (catch flaws with your setup, etc).

c) Start a gear loan program with such dudes. You loan him something for audit, he loans you something for audit. If he really likes what you have and you really like what he has, it may convert from loan to trade, etc.



If dude lives in a 1 horse town, he may be out of luck (w.r.t a through c). If he is very antisocial and introverted (a percentage of audiophiliacs), a through c may not quite work for him either.

I consider Phono Stages (and their comparisons, IN your system) the most subjective piece in the Vinyl chain.

Therefore, I always hope you can get a return option, new or used.

Just try, return, try, jump for joy, keep it!

This forum community would be a fine place to originate a loan/share program. With that said, who would like to loan me a demo phono stage?  Thanks in advance!

Lending equipment to a stranger- all risk is on the lender with no leverage to get it back.  Seems the OP is asking someone else to take the risk for his benefit only.

Well, the risk could be mitigated by deposits and virtual handshakes on a case to case basis.  The benefit to a lender could be a sale.  The idea was suggested by someone else and is somewhat fantastical in the current condition of this society as you point out.