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

Neil Gundel's picture

I sure hope the trend doesn't continue. Fortunately, from western CT, I can still find quite a few real showrooms, but they're gradually disappearing.

OvenMaster's picture

The last time I visited a high-end dealer was about four years ago with a friend who bought a used Yamaha digital tuner. All the new gear was laughingly overpriced.

Dyan's picture

If only there were more choice in Adelaide...

ben dover's picture

Audio Perfection in the Minneapolis suburbs: great store with good people running it.

Gene Williams's picture

There are no high-end dealers in Kentucky. At least, not high-end by my definition.

hifidan's picture

It's the only place where I can dream in the flesh.

Kal Rubinson's picture

Gotta see what is going on in the trenches.

Jeff D.'s picture

I'm always checking out the used equipment.

freddy's picture

There is not a dealer for 50 miles from where I live.

Jim Grelkman's picture

The dealer model doesn't work. If I buy a $10,000 preamp, the dealer is not adding $4000 of value to my purchase. But the dealer needs this money to survive—few are getting rich. The system doesn't work. Certain aspects of buying online are broken as well. Why should a vendor make a $2300 profit when they sell a $5000 cartridge? The online vendor does not provide me with useful advice and does not even mount my cartridge. There is no value provided to me for the additional mark-up earned by the vendor.

Brian's picture

I would love to, but there are no dealers within two hours of me! I used go with my father every month, but those were pre-Internet times.

Fred's picture

I live in northern BC. The only time I get to visit a genuine dealer is when traveling to a larger city. I have recently been surprised how good mid-fi is getting, though. I recently listened to some of my downloads through a decent Onkyo Receiver in Dolby-surround five-channel, and was blown away by the musical involvement it provided. This was all done with Fostex full-range drivers in simple boxes and a Klipsch 15" sub.

Ron Ramsey's picture

I used to visit the two local high-end dealers 5-6 times a day. I never bothered anyone; I wandered around touching equipment or listening to whatever music was playing. Each time I went in was like being reborn. I'd gasp at the planar speakers like I'd never seen such a marvel. Or I'd exclaim: "Oooh! Look! A Stereophile Recommended Component!" When one dealer closed this spring, I simply transferred my loyalty completely to the other shop. He finally asked me to stop coming around. It's not like I never bought anything. I bought a nice 1/4" to mini-plug adapter. Instead of going in, I had to hang out on the sidewalk all day and peer in the window. I brought a bag lunch and a thermos. Eventually the owner got a restraining order. I still surf their website.

Bill Peace's picture

Arrogant elitist snobs they are. Selling snake oil at outrageous prices. They are killing high-end audio.

Mark Evans's picture

These days, it is hard to find a dedicated high-end home audio store. They seem to be geared to home theater. What ticks me off, is when I do visit a store, the dealer tries to steer me toward multichannel amps and home theater stuff in place of dedicated home audio by saying home-theater gear is better. Sheesh!

caroline memek's picture

I visit Madisound and Partsexpress at least twice a day. Mmmm, drivers...

Jerry's picture

With one exception, I have found the high-end showrooms snobbish, condescending, and only driven by the high-end sale. Good quality sound never should have a starting price of $5000-10,000. I had a dealer in Milwaukee, WI that stocks a new entry level (now considered a good starter integrated) shove me at a display model at his front counter and then drift off never to be seen again. I was looking for something while working on a contract living in temporary quarters. Too many similar experiences while window shopping and trying to decide what direction to take. There has only been one exception, Primus Audio Pleasure in downtown KC, who appears to have been forced out of business by the economy. The staff at Primus cared about what your needs were, not the highest profit generating sale. Due to what I have experienced with a couple of other dealers in KC, a trip to Salina, KS is planned in the near future.

R.  Grost's picture

Why would I? Name a good one...

Louis P.'s picture

When I started out out in the world of high-end audio over 20 years ago, I typically made one major and one minor purchase each year, so I spent a lot of time at my dealer. But as my purchases moved up on the audio food chain, there were fewer opportunities for tire-kicking. As my next system overhaul isn't going to be for a couple of more years (ie, when I stop paying tuition), I don't bother visiting dealers for the time being.

Gary's picture

Only when I need to buy something. And my systems last 10-20 years.

Fred's picture

Like to browse the "trade-ins."

Andrew S.'s picture

I love to stop in on a regular basis. This is motivated purely by my interest in the gear, new products, the desire to talk with dealers about installation ideas, potential changes to my set-up, or anything else that might have come up.

Jim's picture

Can't find one within a 100 miles from home. If I go to NY or a big city, I will search one out!

Greg E.'s picture

I dropped into a few local audio dealerships, but I didn't buy from them. No, I purchased my audio components from online dealers: Audiogon, and eBay.

Dan H.'s picture

There are no high-end audio dealers in Knoxville, TN. That stinks.

PKS's picture

I just don't have the cash for all the fun gear these shops have.

Anonymous's picture

We have only one in Birmingham, AL.

Anonymous's picture

Never really feel all that welcome to just take a look and demo equipment.

Kevin O'Toole's picture

The good people at Goodwin's High-End in Waltham, MA are very gracious and welcoming. They leave me alone in rooms with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of the finest equipment imaginable, even though all I've ever bought from them is a used pair of speaker stands for $45.

Jeff W.'s picture

Like the stores, but hate the appointment-only shops. I feel required to purchase something even when I do not like the equipment.