How often do you visit a high-end audio dealer?

It's no surprise that high-end audio dealers are getting thinner on the ground. Even so, how often do you visit a high-end audio dealer?

How often do you visit a high-end audio dealer?
Several times a week
1% (5 votes)
About once a week
3% (11 votes)
One or two times a month
11% (44 votes)
Every few months
28% (117 votes)
About once a year
25% (102 votes)
Almost never
31% (130 votes)
I am a dealer
2% (7 votes)
Total votes: 416

Jim M's picture

A couple of times a month, depending on what new gear has come in or how seriously I am looking to upgrade.

Stephen Curling's picture

Not nearly as often as I'd like. There aren't many around and they don't sell the brands I'm interested in.

Al Earz's picture

Maybe once a month, for sure. I like to stop in and see what my dealer has brought in new or used. But mostly to argue with him about politics. I am quite positive he's a commie—but he sells and services great gear!

tonyE's picture

A waste of time, I'm afraid. The prices are out of reason, so I buy used. I do use a particular dealer to maintain my tube amps, but as I sold one of them and will likely sell the other, that drive will cease.

WSE3's picture

The only local high-end outlet available now is a nice fellow working out of his home. I am not apt to just drop in. Three or four good dealers over the years are now out of business. Last visit was in 2005 to another city to buy an amp.

D.A.B., Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

I'm fortunate enough to have a brick-and-mortar high-end dealer just across the canyon from where I live. Located in Woodland Hills, Shelley's Stereo has provided my high-end (yes, expensive) audio needs with honesty, integrity, and knowledge. I am able to buy everything from Grado 60s to a Koetsu Bloodstone at Shelley's; everything is usually in stock! Alon also does magnificent turntable setups. And no, I am not an employee, trustee, nor shareholder of Shelley's.

Jim's picture

About as often as I visit high-end auto dealers, which is never-have, never-will.

Dismord's picture

How could those whose visits are two or three times a year manage to vote? I visit a quite a few in Hong Kong whenever passing through, but the number demonstrating high-end gear is shrinking. When home in Australia, I'd, on average, visit two or three dealers. In the UK, you can't keep me out of them, especially in London where I find the level of knowledge and service is very high. Problem is, so are the prices. I've yet to buy a new piece of gear on the Internet.

Max L's picture

One place I used to visit is now open by appointment only, as it seems most of their business is now home AV installations. The day of the local local hi-fi shop is pretty much history.

canyelles's picture

I don't like them.

Lucas's picture

I only just started being interested in audiophile stuff, so my answer is "almost never" (yet).

Hal's picture

There are not any in my area.

ThinkBrown's picture

If there was one more locally, I would go every week, but because the only one I know of is 25+ miles away, I don't get there often. I have to make do with putting on some music on my home system and looking up products online. It's a sad world

Nosmo King's picture

Last time I went, I wanted to see some high-end Mac gear. They had nothing on display save for a MC275 reissue on a shelf. Nothing hooked up to listen to. I went home and doubt I will be going back anytime soon.

DMolisher's picture

I used to visit my favorite dealer at least monthly. Since they closed, and since I stocked up on almost everything I wanted, I'll probably only visit others annually now.

Matt's picture

I would like to visit more often, but I feel like I am wasting the dealers' time when I have no real intention of buying anything right now.

L.  Johnson's picture

I live in the middle of nowhere and the closest high-end dealer is at least a 2.5-hour drive. Being on disability makes it difficult to travel. Though I do contact dealers by phone and email.

Tiger's picture

The problem is that most shops do not have any marketing strategy, ie, I don't have a reason to go (no demonstration, sales, audio club meeting, etc). So I just go once a year and hear some new stuff's picture

I shouldn't count, as I'm a rep and try to see dealers all the time. But if you're not in this biz, why would you go if you're not looking to buy something? If you're always looking to buy something, god bless you.

Nick .'s picture

I love walking in and browsing, but I recently walked into Sound by Singer, walking through every room admiring the gear when suddenly the sales rep came up to me and told me that unless I had an appointment or was accompanied by a sales rep, I was not allowed to come in and look. They were polite, but it hardly makes you want to walk in and just look, like in the good ol' days. Hi-fi retailers don't seem to grasp the concept of walk-in clients, at least not like it used to be in the good ol' days.

Will W's picture

It's a good thing I live out in the mountains and showrooms are not readily available.

fabio's picture

They're all dead...

djl's picture

Some folks here in SW OK think that Pioneer is an American company! So there's not even a decent mid-fi shop around here. Boo hoo...

Doug Bowker's picture

I'm pretty settled with my system and upgrades will likely be incremental and online. Plus, no dealers are nearby! When there was one less than 20 minutes away, I went about once a month or two, just for fun. He's gone, as are so many others. Too bad really—as a younger audiophile, having a good store nearby was invaluable for my journey.

jim Tavegia's picture

I hate going in when I know I am not buying something. I don't like wasting people's time.

Bob's picture

And normally it is not a great experience, even though each time I am ready to buy.

Jimmy's picture

Sticker shock keeps me away!

Jay's picture

It just seems wrong to go in unless you are seriously considering purchasing something (unless they are holding a demo).

m's picture

And always the same one.

jason's picture

Terrible attitude: Arrogant, condescending, and sneering if you disagree with them!