Do you have a local audio shop that you like?

Do you have a local audio shop that you like?
53% (102 votes)
Pretty much
17% (33 votes)
They're okay
9% (17 votes)
Not really
13% (26 votes)
Absolutely . . . NOT!
8% (16 votes)
Total votes: 194

One of the keys to enjoying the tweak audio hobby is having a good place to learn about the art of sound. A good dealer can also help you make good choices for your personal needs when it's time to buy.

Al Sekela's picture

The Boise shop insulted my wife, then insulted my intelligence and ruined their 'high end' room by wiring it with co-ax for speaker cable through the walls because "it has constant impedance." The clue meter is reading zero (thanks to Scott Adams for popularizing this phrase!).

Jason Flammond's picture

A good dealer is always searching out the best products to sell, and will know the best way to find what your looking for.

Kevin Owen's picture

They have the equipment, but not the welcoming attitude. Snobbiness, with an unwillingness to bargain even a dollar, keeps me away.

Roger Hochschild's picture

Can't trust them---they're always just trying to sell.

DJG in Cali's picture

A good dealer is a consultant who understands what I am trying to build in my system. There are many dealers who are simply product pushers who don't really care if I am satisfied with my system. In order to avoid the product pushers and promote the consultants, I spend my money and send my friends to the consultative dealers

E.  Casey's picture

There is no replacement for a good audio dealer. The paradox is that you must check out everything you hear independently. I've never heard a full story on anything in an audio store.

Thomas M.  Walker's picture

If a place treats me right I keep comming back to do more buisness: it's that simple.

Michael Franks's picture

The guys at Sounds Like Music in Phoenix, Arizona make the hobby enjoyable and accessible. They don't talk down to customers, incorporate voodoo into great sound, or make upgrading gear a hassle. Highly Recomended!

Alex Polinsky's picture

Stereo Unlimited, San Diego: has good choice of equipment, competent dealer, and a LOT of patience.

T's picture

You can only trust a dealer who has evrery product there is. Who would recomend a product you don't have, even if it is better?

Steve Guttenberg's picture

Here's a novel idea--trust your salesman! The good ones have your interests at heart, and besides, they want you to come back. Hifi magazines are full of opinions that may or may not have any relevance to your needs.

Stephen Fabian's picture

Rich and Jason at Longplayer Stereo in Goshen, NY have been terrific. They provide REAL answers to my questions, and genuinely care about their customers. I'll just walk in, sit down, and hear great music there. They don't get all uptight about just going in and listening. Some places I've been won't listen to why you're there. They'll keep pushing you to buy something and won't even let you into the expensive rooms, so that you can construct a sonic goal to work toward (don't worry, our lips are sealed). Also, it's important to realize that, as a customer, you need to know what kind of sound your dealer is trying to achieve. There doesn't only need to be a synergy among your equipment, but also between you and your dealer. I have found this in Goshen. Thanks so much, Rich and Jason, for opening my music to me.

J.  Clements's picture

Frequently, audio shop personell are required to a know a little bit about a lot of products...this makes them almost useless a resource or sounding-board (pardon the pun) for asking questions about high-end products - they end up quoting specs from a manual, as if that's what I wanted to know? However, on occasion, you'll find a non-chain-store that has knowledgeable and very helpful people working there that not only understand high-end audio, but will take the time to discuss it with you rather than just trying to make a sale as fast as they can. There is one such place in the city where I live and I take at least 90% of my audio/video business to them for two reasons: 1) they know high-end and are willing to talk about it (without resorting to quoting product specs only) and 2) they will allow me to try out equipment in my own home for several days to see if I like it (requiring a small deposit). Point being, they care about the customer and the satisfaction thereof, not just about making a sale.

Bob's picture

I'm really turned off by the high pressure, snooty salesmen, and gouge 'em at all costs attitude here in Michign.

Marc Phillips's picture

For me, there is no equal to Gene Rubin Audio in Ventura, Ca. I've been dealing with Gene for years, and his extraordinary customer service and his dedication to getting the best sound for his customers, rather than getting the most money from them, is a welcome change in this day and age. He's given me so many great deals on equipment that every time I venture into another dealer just to see what else is going on, I feel like I'm being unfaithful!!!

Mike Parenteau's picture

Audio One in Concord, ON (northwest Toronto) is a top-notch high-end retailer. They have a good trade-in policy, allow equipment loans for home audition, and have only high-quality gear in their store. Another store in my area does not allow in-home auditions and will only grant a credit toward a future purchase if you don't like the piece you buy. Needless to say, I don't buy anything from that store. I always tell people who ask me about stereo that they should listen to some of the best equipment available before they make a decision. You can do that only at a good store. Of course, Audio One is a Linn dealer. I have always found Linn dealers to be the most knowledgeable and easy to get along with in the business. I have confidently recommended Audio One to friends.

Michael Berkeley's picture

There are several stores that carry really great gear, however, their service and ability to educate the customer about the products is abysmal.

Dustin Golat's picture

depends on the sales person working's picture

I live in a small town in Oregon, where there are few shops at all, let alone great high-end stores. I have no one store from which I do business; however, I do have one store which will NEVER earn my business. The staff is not helpfull at all, and the sound rooms are so poorly designed that even their flagship equipment (NHT/Aragon) sounds horrid. I for one am more likely to decide the merits of a store by what it does WRONG vs. what it does RIGHT.

Micheal A.  Natbony's picture

I believe the folks at Home Theater & Sound Concepts in Roswell, GA epitomize the finest in knowledge and customer service. My hat is off to Scott, Jennifer, and now Kevin. Please keep up the excellent work!

Lou Walters's picture

Definitely! Being able to trust some suggestions delears make is vital to starting off in the right place. It also makes purchasing the "system" much easier, and can save many years and alot of money spent in the wrong equipment. If A good dealer should be able to put together a system with synergy based on the likes / dislikes of the audiophile customer!

Emmanuel Fonte's picture

The Dealer has the advantage of hearing a multitude of components. They can narrow things down for you, BUT! If you don't trust your ears and know your room, they are only a source. You have to be the final judge on equipment. I go to Christopher Hansen in L.A. they are very helpful. Find a dealer with as wide a selection as possible or you may find that you won't have enough options.

Justin Rhodes's picture

Love Magnolia Hi-Fi

Mark Hoffman's picture

Front Row Center in Ft Lauderdate, Florida

Stephen Schwinn's picture

They are mostly uninformed and not properly educated to satisfy my needs. Way to opinionated too!

Brian Boehler's picture

Denver, Colorado has three local audio shops that do a good job of representing quality audio products: Listen-Up, Cherry Creek Audio, and Soundings. Each store has some great salespeople who can do tweaks and help serious consumers make good choices with good products.

JKH, Santa Clara, CA's picture

I have really enjoyed my relationship with Bay Area Audio, and regularly pay "social calls" independent of a specific item of interest. Our association allows them to know my tastes, my interests, and my pocketbook, and they make recommendations on equipment and tuning based upon that association. About the only reservation I have is a wish to carry a couple more product lines: while I have interest in trying other pieces of gear, I would miss the understanding and fun of visiting the "Boys @ BAA."'s picture

NYC is a great place to listen to and buy audio gear. Among others, Lyric Hi-Fi has great equipment and rooms (almost too good---it makes me want to gut and renovate my apartment), and Sound by Singer has the competing brands.

Brad Parsley's picture

Of the handful of dealers that we have here in Memphis, only one is halfway dedicated to pure listening systems. Underground Sound is an audiophile's heaven, and their staff is more than willing to preach & teach the finer points of good sound and how to achieve it (no, I am not employed there). They are the only shop here that is still dedicated to analog, and they have a fabulous dedicated listening room!

Bill Schuldt's picture

Audio FX in Sacramento, CA is and has been an excellent dealer for me.