Despairing! can't believe anyone could actually purchase without listening/comparing, and that'll eradicate/tweak the basics before money is handed over.
Agree totally about Arcam and Creek being the benchmarks at that price.
Not sure that I totally agree. I've always found listening to stuff at a dealership to be an overated, inexact science. Even when you've spent hours (as I have ) comparing multiple components/system set-ups and finally decide upon a component, convinced at that point that you have made the correct/informed decision for youself/system, you then take the component home, plug it in and are then intstantly underwhelmed. Over time, you then find out, whether or not you have made a mistake. If you have, the informed wisdom is that you need to start all over again, only this time listening even more carefully. Actually, I now believe it doesn't really matter what you choose, after all they all HiFi and ought (within reason) to work perfectly well and be suitably compatible. Generally, I feel, it is best to purchase all of your HiFi in one go (ie amp,source,speakers) and keep it for a considerable amount of time (ie when it breaks) before changing anything and don't (most importantly of all) waste time and money upgrading anything.
I agree with much of cse's post. I too find that auditioning in a listening room at a hi-fi shop is ultimately of little help. Room acoustics play such a large part in how a system will perform that hearing a set-up in a foreign environment isn't likely to give an accurate idea of how it will sound at home. I do think more dealers should offer home demonstrations, particularly where people are considering speakers or complete systems.
Sources: Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Roksan Kandy K2 CDS Phono Stage Cambridge Audio 540P
Amplification: Exposure 1010
Speakers: Dynaudio DM2/6
Listening to MUSIC!
IMO. Buying blind any old components that happen to be the first thing you stumble on (that come under the heading of hifi) and then "sucking it up" if it all sounds nasty......is not a great idea.
I'm sorry that your demo experience has left you so disillusioned, but choosing the right list, going to a good dealer and not then not putting pressure on yourself by assessing too many choices in one go, is key. The winner should then be home demoed if possible.
IME. A system that is good for classical music requires even more care when it comes to the choices you make.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Yeah thats why you need good dealers , I have spent many hours spinning discs after we already knew which kit I'd buy but , and I've had speakers on loan for 3 month switching every couple of weeks from another dealer , and I was not going to pay of thier mortgage off on the sale , you need to listen and not then buy online
Airport express > NAD C390DD > Dali Evidence 470
Sony BDP-S790 > Pioneer vsx 922 > KEF 2005.3 > Old Sony 32" widescreen CRT
all kinds of stuff in the attic
The winner should then be home demoed if possible.
Obviously, I assume that you are joking!!!
Absolutely. But most of this can gaged from reading good reviews, especially those in Gramophone magazine. You will find that most people who spend a lot of time listening to classical recordings and have a large collection, spend little time thinking or worying about HiFi. Mostly, they bought very good kit that was recomended to them and purchsed in one go.
Fully agree that some shops have crummy acoustics, nevertheless, I'd rather compare two or three different components in a iffy room than just buying blind. Even with ropey acostics it'll give you some indication.
The only time I've purchased blind ended in disaster.
Amp: Leema Pulse; Source: Naim CD5i-2, Denon 260MKII, Pro-ject XP I; Speakers: PMC TB2i
Formerly known as plastic penguin
I assume you are not.
Actually, I now believe it doesn't really matter what you choose, after all they all HiFi and ought (within reason) to work perfectly well and be suitably compatible. Generally, I feel, it is best to purchase all of your HiFi in one go (ie amp,source,speakers) and keep it for a considerable amount of time (ie when it breaks) before changing anything and don't (most importantly of all) waste time and money upgrading anything.
I like that.
I've not just become disenchanted with shop demos but actually experience discomfiture at the idea of them.
I think this has happened for longer than I realised and has - probably / possibly - been the reason for a couple of unsatisfactory systems in the past.
I now seriously pity someone who plans to 'tour' a number of shops, over a long period, to try and get to hear all of the possible combinations (or partial combinations) of seperates that may / may not work for them. Obviously they aren't me and they might even relish the prospect!
I chose my Marantz all-in-one based on almost every criteria other than having heard it in a shop and it's the best choice I made in many years. (Since 1996 to be exact).
It was such a relief to not really have any other choices at the time (based on functionality, connectivity, size, price and looks).
I think it would be unfortunate if people were put off doing dealer auditons by what they read here.
People are just different. For my part, I enjoy the whole process (and certainly don't need any pity). And it's not just a matter of relishing the prospect: I find the event itself interesting on several levels. I even quite enjoy talking to the dealers, who are often informative (albeit sometimes in ways they don't intend).
What classical music are you listening to?
* * * * *........ ..........
Done that. (Listen to and compare a list of stuff in a shop, then try out the 'winning combination' at home.)
The problem was that (at least once) a component, even whole systems, sounded the polar opposite in the shop to how it / they sounded back at home. So any short-list would have been totally skewed to stuff that sounded better in the shop and so would the 'winner'. The only solution would be to listen to every permutation of possible components / systems at home and that is impractical on many levels. (Unless you have an infinitely patient local hi-fi shop and stacks of spare time.)
I may be odd, but I don't want to be the sort of bloke who is spending large chunks of consecutive weekends hanging around hi-fi shops getting my head in a frazz over which combination of - say - four amps, four sources and four sets of speakers is best.
I think that's 64 possible combinations to listen to! (And some people consider four choices of speaker, amp and source to be a pretty restricted choice.)
It gets even worse if every one of the 64 possible systems has to be compared (and not just listened to) and downright insane if some of those combinations are split between two (or more) shops.
You're certainly not odd, more like in a minority. You won't dem because some systems can sound the polar opposite? That's like saying I won't test drive a car because the roads are different where I live. I'll just buy the Reliant Robin and take a chance. Mmmm....
You won't dem because some systems can sound the polar opposite? That's like saying I won't test drive a car because the roads are different where I live. I'll just buy the Reliant Robin and take a chance. Mmmm....
Best if you and I don't talk. (I am 5 minutes away from a ban if I say what I really want to right now without calming down first!)
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