What happened to all the highend stereo shops


What happened to high end stereo shops I mean real high-end stereo shops. I am 78, my father bought me my first stereo when I was 12, I have been hooked ever since. I remember the days when you can go to a nice audio store and not just audition what they had in the store but if you saw a couple of tuners, preamps or some cables that you liked, you could give them a blank check and take the equipment home to audition on your system. Bring one or both back Pay for what you want to keep or get your check back. I don’t understand how someone can buy an expensive piece of audio equipment and not audition it in their system first. Many places today, you buy it and your stuck with it. OH yes you can sell it on Audiogon or eBay. Reviewers are nice and give good reviews but the problem I have is the equipment they are auditioning  is on their system in their treated music room which is going to be different than what you have. 
 

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I’m 61. I live in a smaller community in eastern Ky, population 25k maybe. Back in the mid 70’s Flatwoods had it’s one and only ever Hi-Fi Audio Store! It was called Sound Impulse. I was only around 15 when I first started going there. We walked, because we weren’t driving yet. We couldn’t wait to get there ! We oohed and awed and drooled over all the gear ! The staff and owner were extremely knowledgeable and friendly! They understood that we were financially challenged and sacked groceries at a local grocery store, but they still treated us with dignity. They had both new and trade-in gear. They’d let you layaway too. This younger crowd, they have no sense of worth, value, quality nor taste ! I ask you, what will they have to remember or cherish years down the road ? I believe that we were and still are much better off ! We lived the golden age of audio ! We were waiting for the next Led Zeppelin / Pink Floyd / Eagles albums to come out !!! Things are not the same, they never will be again. The best thing about the Internet to me, is the fact that I can hunt down the pieces I couldn’t afford back then. I can learn how to service and repair it and also find the parts I need ! We are much better off ! We had the best of both worlds !!!

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I'm 71 and I live in the suburbs of Washington DC.   We had Audio Associates and Myer Emco -- both now just a memory.  We do have Deja Vu Audio in  VA suburbs.

https://dejavu-audio.com/index.html

and in Baltimore suburbs we have Just Audio

https://shopjustaudio.com

Nowadays the millennials are consuming their music with Apple AirPods.  Portable and discrete.  But I think money has a lot to do with it.  Millennia's don't seem to have the disposable income that I we had years ago.

 

 

There are three reasons,whatever order you choose to put them in.  1.The economy. 2.On-line shopping. 3. Audiophiles dying.

@dill 

I used to live in Vancouver (I'm 67) and I remember Joe Weber very well! I bought several components from him including a pair of Mirage M3si speakers and a Tice power conditioner. He was sort of a curmudgeon but a great guy to deal with.

During that period in Portland (late 90's, early ought's) there were several good stores in Portland and I got to know a few of them well enough so that they would call me when something interesting came in or when they had a great deal on a piece they wanted to move. I bought my Krell KSA 300S amplifier that way. Krell was coming out with a new model and the dealer wanted to get rid of their demo. The store called me up and offered me the amp at a great price and I said, "Sold!" The good old days.....