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 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.


and in Baltimore suburbs we have Just Audio


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.


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.....

Hi rlj,

Don't miss out on JS Audio in Bethesda and Command Performance in Falls Church. Outside of NYC I think the DC Metro area has one of the best brick and mortar hifi showings in the US. Add to that having Capital Audio Fest I'm a happy lil' camper.