What's your experience with snooty HiFi salesmen?

I began my Hifi journey in 1976 at a shop in Birmingham MI called Audio Dimensions. He was a Magnapan and ARC dealer who was kind to a 15 year old kid who bought a set of MG 1s with paper route money. The ARC amps he carried were about $4K back then- a LOT of money in 1976. In the beginning I drove my MG 1s with an old Fisher Studio Standard integrated amp. Since those lovely innocent days I have encountered some real buttholes. They act like they are doing me a favor as they quiz me about what gear I have and if I'm listening to "approved" recordings. Needless to say I don't buy from those guys. Several wives and businesses later I'm back into the hobby with a much vengeance as a 61 year old  can muster given only so many free hours in a day and only so much cash to apply due to my other vices: Classic cars and salt water fishing. 

Have you ever encountered a really good or really bad dealer (or employee) that changed your buying actions?

Darko posted a video on this topic which I found really enjoyable. Many of you have already seen it but for those (like me) who discovered it much later here's the link: 


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Thanks, I did have the 700B worked on once but it and the Infinities are in semi-retirement now.  I rebuilt my system a little over a year ago.  I was familiar with the Audio Center.and bought some things there over the years. I was in contact with them when I was first in the market a year ago but he had to move out, after the covid shutdown the landlord jacked up the rent so he had to move out.  I know what you mean about the changes here, between the taxes and the insurance we're contemplating a change.

Back on the topic, I rebuilt my system over the last year ago.  I had my Carver Siler7t amps rebuilt as the base and worked with the folks at Crutchfield.  They have knowledgeable experts in many areas and will spend the time with you to get to the right components plus they have a 60 day return policy. To start off I bought a Rogue Audio Sphinx V3 off of Audiogon to go with the Carver amps.  Then from Crutchfield I filled out the rest of the system with a Pro-ject Turntable, BlueSound Node Streamer and a pair of Wharfdales.  Everything was good but I was not totally pleased with the vocals on the Whardales so I returned them and moved to a pair of Martin-Logan ESL X speakers.  They are fantastic!

I'm now in the market for a tube based preamp but Crutchfield does not handle any tube equipment so I'm still doing some research and looking around. 

Great advice and trips down memory lane for Audio shops. I Miss Tweeter. Do not waste time with poor performance Dealers/Retailers. Eventually, those operations will fold. Instead, seek out Music lovers that are still into CD and Vinyl playback systems.  Servers and Streamers need not apply.

Second, steer clear of operations that engage in silliness such as Social Media scores. You know who you are.


Happy Listening!

My only negative experience was when I went to an audio store that had actually featured a bunch of Sony products at an event night, and I tried to buy a Sony HAP-Z1ES digital music player as an upgrade to my older Mac Mini.  This Sony item was priced somewhere between $1k and $2k, and I was ready to buy that day.  On both occasions, the salesmen acted like it was something they carried only irregularly and tried to upsell me to some kind of streaming system they couldn't explain to my satisfaction.  Zero dollars spent.  Mac Mini still working today, plus BluOS streaming through a Node.

If I am in a store to buy something expensive I expect to be treated respectfully.  No exceptions.  I will ask for the manager if the junior salesperson isn't courteous or acts out badly.  Same with being at a car dealership.  If it is a stereo shop and the manager or owner has a bad attitude I will just walk out.

First experience as a lad going into a Hifi salon looking for blown 12" woofer for my Sansui speaker: "Those aren’t worth the postage to send them over here from Japan."

Second experience presenting my little 25wpc Pioneer receiver to a "tech" at a Kenwood amp clinic. Me" "Is this amp any good?" Tech (snarky, dismissive): "I think you’re about to find out!"

Years later, life pointed me towards a career in audio. I went in for an interview with David Beatty in Kansas City. Mr. Beatty was "the goto guy" for quality audio in the region. The interview was conducted in the "mad scientist area" of the facility. It was at the exact moment that David first fired up an new Nakamichi cassette deck, which he messed with during the entire interview. The interview was interrupted with David’s comments (asking surprised): "This thing is good! This thing is REALLY good!" His enthusiasm was contagious and may have helped push me along into a making my hobby my career for 43 years.