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admin's picture
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Auditioning equipment

 I want to go and audition some speakers over the weekend but I'm worried about the whole "I'm not actually here to buy anything but I will take up the next hour of your time and expertise" syndrome.

How do people get over this? I'd feel pretty guilty about going intot a store and using it's service without the intention of actually buying anythin

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Re: Auditioning equipment

This gets more like Dear Deidre every day...

(Adopts comfortingly matronly northern voice) 

You have to get over these feelings of guilt, luvvie - what you want to do is perfectly natural, as long as you keep it behind closed doors. Just relax and enjoy it, and don't feel pressured into doing anything you don't want to or don't feel comfortable with - who knows, you might find something you like, and feel your hand going into your pocket.

Mind you, if you're planning to spend time listening there and then nip off and buy cheaper online, then you are a rapscallian of the worst order, sir... 

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Re: Auditioning equipment

As a retailer myself (albeit selling the Sony product range and so mostly TVs etc.) I am quite happy for enthusiasts to come in to evaluate our product range without making any committment to buy. Time invested with any interested party can pay dividends for individual retailers and the industry as a whole in the longer term. This is the main intended difference between large scale box shifting operations and smaller, specialist dealers and any such dealer sho doesn't take the time to assist is only shooting themselves in the foot in my opinion.

However, I will second Andrew's statement about abusing the specialists by using our facilities and then buying online. If consumers continue to do this, the number of specialists will continue to dwindle and these facilities will no longer be available.

Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Graham Slee Gram Amp 1 - Rotel RCD965BX - Exposure 1010 amp - Dynaudio DM2/6 - Chord Co. Chameleon VEE3/Rumour 2 - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennheiser HD595

Anonymous
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Re: Auditioning equipment

 Wishful thinking.

 

The reason people visit this forum or buy WHSV is so that they can avoid going to retailers.   Hear the oracle from High Priestess Clare and read the Gospel according to Andrew and  click, click, click.    Presto !   Delivered to your door  the next day. 

 

 

 

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Re: Auditioning equipment

hi-fi is fun that's why we go out and audition gear.to evaluate and be informed of what's out there.a couple of beer's then a couple of demo's because not all brands are stocked by one dealer and away we go to the next one or to the pub to discuss the merits or pitfalls of said product and nine times out of ten we will buy from a specialist dealer because it has been a pleasurable experience but if said product is liked and is cheaper elsewhere we buy it because we are allowed to.there is no law that says you auditioned from us so you buy it from us.if i can save money i will.when we renew our insurance policies we shop around for the cheapest quote but basically they all offer the same thing,so we are all rapscallians are we andrew.

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Re: Auditioning equipment

But that isn't the point. Bricks and mortar specialist dealers have considerably higher overheads than the internet sellers. It costs money to provide comfortable demonstration facilities, products and knowledgeable staff. The internet sellers achieve their prices by being box shifters. Its all about turn-over. Specialists are never going to achieve this sort of turn-over so have to allow for bigger profit margins, a good percentage of which pays for the additional standards of service. In short, if the enthusiasts use the facilities but buy from the box shifters, the specialists will cease to exist and demonstrations will become a thing of the past. When that happens, specialist hi-fi is pretty much finished because, without proper demonstration, very few people are going to be lucky enough to put a rewarding system together. Comparing the situation to the insurance industry is irrelevant. Insurance is a completely different type of product. Specialist dealers are NOT showrooms for online retailers. Yes, everyone has the choice to buy where they want to, but at the same time, those people need to realise that the choices they are making are, in the long term, rather larger than just selecting that one component or system. You can't have it all ways.

Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Graham Slee Gram Amp 1 - Rotel RCD965BX - Exposure 1010 amp - Dynaudio DM2/6 - Chord Co. Chameleon VEE3/Rumour 2 - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennheiser HD595

Anonymous
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Re: Auditioning equipment

That's not my point either.

 

With magazines like WHSV and forums like these, people will not even need a showroom.  They do the auditioning for you !

 

Yes, there may  be some people left who would like to go to a retail store to socialise with real people or to entertain themselves by harassing them. 

 

Sad, but true.  We all have to face reality.
 

 

 

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Re: Auditioning equipment

how many specialist or independent record shops have closed down because of 3 for £20.00 deals you can get at the large retailers.is that a point.

Anonymous
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Re: Auditioning equipment

I shall beg to differ on the proviso that the argument is limited to what you have brought out as an example, ie specialist independent record shops vs large retailers discounting records.

 

I think the specialist record shops and independednt record shops suffered most from online traders especially amazon.com.  I don't think it was the price.

 

Yes you do get super deals from HMV, Virgin and Tesco, but on very limited, mostly chart titiles.  

The specialists, by definition inless they are a chart hit specialist will specialise in a particular genre most of which should not be found at those mass outlets.  How many jazz albums do you see in Tesco ?

 

But, amazon.com is a different matter.  They do stock what your AVERAGE specialist record shop cannot.  Yes, they do have discounted titles as well but those hard to find titles aren't necessarily cheap.  And furthermore, if you take out stocking from the equation, then you really would be hard pressed to find a reason would want to visit a real store rather than a "virtual store".

 

So, again I think it's more the case of internet trading bringing more benefit to the consumers rather than bigger stores being able to offer more discount.
 

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Re: Auditioning equipment

user="susanoo" wrote:

That's not my point either.

 

With magazines like WHSV and forums like these, people will not even need a showroom.  They do the auditioning for you !

 

Yes, there may  be some people left who would like to go to a retail store to socialise with real people or to entertain themselves by harassing them. 

 

Sad, but true.  We all have to face reality.
 

 

 

To be fair, What Hi-Fi has NEVER pretended to 'do the auditioning for you'. I've been reading the mag since the late 80s when I was only about 8, and go so far back that I can remember getting a free audio cassette with (IIRC) Andrew Everard amongst others (Paul Messenger as well?) talking about building a seperates system. All along, the mag has ALWAYS made clear the vital importance of auditioning. It is something that nobody else can do for you. Discussion and journalism can help to narrow things down, but the final selection remains a personal process.

And on the subject of independent record shops, there are far fewer than there used to be.

Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Graham Slee Gram Amp 1 - Rotel RCD965BX - Exposure 1010 amp - Dynaudio DM2/6 - Chord Co. Chameleon VEE3/Rumour 2 - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennheiser HD595

Anonymous
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Re: Auditioning equipment

 There being far fewer independent record shops, I can't disagree more.

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Re: Auditioning equipment

point made then.

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Re: Auditioning equipment

user="Andrew Everard" wrote:
Mind you, if you're planning to spend time listening there and then nip off and
buy cheaper online, then you are a rapscallian of the worst order, sir... 

er...Should I agree on that one? I did read your little moan about it in the mag and I can see why you think that. The point is in this competitive world with online discount to be had it is very hard to justify spending that extra £50 - £100 more in the hight street dealers. But then you wouldn't get the after sale service and the risk of shipping damage (yes, I know there is a insurance but did you ever have to go though it! what a pian!). I do a bit of both myself and never feel a shame of doing so afterall I kinna know what thier mark up is Smile

Anonymous
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Re: Auditioning equipment

what hi fi? give you their own subjective opinion which is a helpful guide but by no means an audition for you. You absolutely should demo any hardware you are planning to buyIi appreciate this is not always possible but I would never ever buy speakers without a demo.Doing so is just plain crazy.

Why would you think going to a shop for a demo is harassment? most staff in shops are more than too pleased to let you demo and some of the staff i know quite well in a particular shop often offer to let you hear stuff and will bring you in coffee and a cake while you do!

I was in ahi fi shop in glasgow yesterday and one of the staff said that although they sell budget kit like Nad,epos and mon audio silver and bronze range, they dont stock it.The reason for that is too many people demo it and then buy on the net.They only stock the slightly pricier stuff where people who want to buy it are not going to demo it and then get it elsewhere.

Anonymous
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Re: Auditioning equipment

I have an opinion on this subject becuase I went through a phase of wanting to hear what it was all about so to speak. So you have to brace yourself and go through that dealers door because inside you may find the sparkling sonic finery you've been hearing for!?!

Now, if you are just a window dribbler who cannot buy anything for whatever reason then you may have good reason to feel a little nervous cos you will be wasting their time and experience, not to mention your own.

However, you may have access to some money tucked away somewhere but would not think you wanted to spend anything ever, until that is you meet the really nice salesperson who seems to have all day to get you comfy and relaxed and intent on getting your ear holes embraced.

My experience here is when your ear holes do get thouroughly embraced, you may experience a manic inclination to throw all caution to the wind and find yourself buying seperates as if a baby in a sweetshop for the first time, without a parent to guide you (stop you!)

My real point is that you may well hear something you have never experienced before. With careful matching of products and results you just possibly had one of the best hi-fi experiences ever. The dealer probably knows that already too but even though you may not buy today, you may go back later again and again until you feel you have the cash and the genuine want to buy something. So, whilst it's really easy to read what others say about various products and best matches etc, it all comes down to what any particular set-up does for those ear holes of yours. You can't get that online.....yet!

So my best advice would be to read the ratings and experiences of others, especially from this site because I reckon it's the least pompous of them all and shortlist what you think might be the most of interest and then get a dealer to audition it all for you!

Where you eventually buy it is up to you and your wallet but I've enjoyed many a good couple of hours in dealer dem rooms and have on occasion come out with a box with something really special inside...

 

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Re: Auditioning equipment

I went to audtion some RS6 speakers last week at a Sevenoaks store. They linked them up to Rotel (I want to buy Pioneer and Creek) as they didn't have the cd and amp that I am buying. The speakers are £80 dearer than I've been offered by an online dealer. I therefore listened to them and said thanks and told him that I have a deal to get them cheaper. The salesman wasn't happy and he offered me 10% off if I bought the cd and amp as well. I didn't feel awkward or as if I was doing something wrong. They make a profit a lot of the time by selling to ignorant people who will buy whatever they are told is good. Just because we read WHF and visit this forum to gain knowledge it doesn't mean that we should feel obligated to buy from shops. As consumers we have carte blanche. That is life. We all want the best equipment we can afford. I bought my tv online six months ago and it cost me £1200. At the time, Comet was selling it for £1800. It now sells online for £850 and John Lewis sell it for £1300! You would be mad to pay the higher price.

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