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Speaker Auditions - Not as easy anymore

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Back in the 80's it was fairly easy to find a audiophile store to really really audition speakers. Today, with the internet, at least here in the Houston area, there are more and more dealers reducing inventory because of the internet, thus just repping vendors. I ws told by one high end outlet here that they carry almost no stock, so how can I audition. He plays it up to the internet. People coming to audition then buying ff the internet. For quality equipment, I am not seeing price differences on the internet vs brick and mortar stores, aside from perhaps no sales tax, but then shipping usually would offset that.

So what is a person supposed to do today to audition great speakers. As someone posted on another thread, almost everybody loves something about the speakers they own, so it is extremely difficult to judge by reading posts. And the few remaining stores that you can actually audition in may have amps etc better than what you have, thus making the speakers sound better in the showroom.

So any help around this dilemma would be appreciated.

A for instance a local store has Sonus Faber, Martin Logan, Vienna, Revel, paradigm, klipsch, psb speakers, but they are driving them all with amps/pre-amps that are way over $5k Not taking anything away from those speakers, but it is not realistic.
post #2 of 6
You can always ask them to hook them up to only the receiver or ask them if you can bring your own gear in.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bohai View Post

A for instance a local store has Sonus Faber, Martin Logan, Vienna, Revel, paradigm, klipsch, psb speakers, but they are driving them all with amps/pre-amps that are way over $5k Not taking anything away from those speakers, but it is not realistic.

Its also not realistic to think that those speakers are going to sound the same in your room as they do in the stores highly acoustic treated room. Amps make very little difference in the sound of a speaker. Blind tests have shown this over and over. As long as the amp isn't going in to clipping then a $1000 200watt amp isn't going to sound worst or better than a $15,000 200watt amp.

This is why I like ID brands 30day, 45day IN HOME TRIAL not a quick demo in a fancy stores treated room that is no where near what the listeners room is going to be like.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bohai View Post

He plays it up to the internet. People coming to audition then buying ff the internet.

I buy off the internet because there are no stores to buy from where we live. As to the comment above, one buys on the internet because of price and store owners expect consumers to want to pay the additional costs and find out, consumers don't feel obligated to do so and the store ends up going out of business.

Quote:
For quality equipment, I am not seeing price differences on the internet vs brick and mortar stores, aside from perhaps no sales tax, but then shipping usually would offset that.
So what is a person supposed to do today to audition great speakers. As someone posted on another thread, almost everybody loves something about the speakers they own, so it is extremely difficult to judge by reading posts. And the few remaining stores that you can actually audition in may have amps etc better than what you have, thus making the speakers sound better in the showroom.

So any help around this dilemma would be appreciated.

Read reviews, go with affordable choices of quality and buy in a leap of faith. Last audio related items purchased in this fashion, an AVR and a center channel. Possible item to be bought in the near future, a five channel Amp. All un-auditioned, buyer's leap of faith.

cool.gif
post #5 of 6
I agree that this is a sad fact. Growing up, this is how i got my appreciation for the higher end of equipment - spending hours in my local hi-fi shop and demoing things. The folks that ran the place (which is still open and operating well btw) were super friendly to me as a teenager. They'd hook up anything I'd ask for, and give you a good amount of time to soak it in. While i was a "poor" teenager, i did manage to save enough to buy 3.1 set of Snell Acoustics (center, sub, and Type E).
I knew that the demos in these rooms would exceed the performance I'd get at home, but I was able to really find the sound I liked after going through dozens of speakers. So, nearly 20 years later, I am still very happy with those Snells i got, with little desire to upgrade unless i build a dedicated theater. I've gone through several sets of source components in that time, but at each upgrade the speakers just sound better and better!

I miss a good hi-fi shop. Nothing like that in the area I live now...
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bohai View Post

.........
A for instance a local store has Sonus Faber, Martin Logan, Vienna, Revel, paradigm, klipsch, psb speakers, but they are driving them all with amps/pre-amps that are way over $5k Not taking anything away from those speakers, but it is not realistic.

If you have all those brands of speakers under one roof you are in an enviable position of being a very fortunate customer.
I agree with gtpsuper24 on the amps, if the speaker is rated as 8 ohms by the manufacturer you will be fine with any mid / high level AVR.
The environment you put the speaker in will affect what you hear far more than any amp or fancy speaker wire / interconnection cable.
So go audition with confidence and buy some speakers.
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