best buy or circuit city?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by bsiegert9, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. bsiegert9

    bsiegert9 Auditioning

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    About to move to Maryland and looking to upgrade the home theater system in the new house. Looking for a nice left/center/right speaker combo.

    I won't be far from Delaware (tax free shopping) and know that stores like best buy and circuit city are there. I also wouldn't be against getting some speakers with no interest payments... would allow me to spend a little bit more [​IMG]

    Just not sure which store would offer the best options?

    Thanks!
     
  2. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Well-- even chain stores differ.

    But I patronize four local stores. Here's my view of each:

    Best Buy:
    the main store is crowded and noisy. The speakers are not set up for any meaningful demos-- the aisles are too noisy. There's a Magnolia in the back which sells the good stuff, offers real demos in a sound proof room, etc. Best Buy sells Harman/Kardon, mass market Denon, Yamaha. Magnolia sells Denon, Pioneer Elite, Definitive Technology, Martin Logan, Boston Acoustics, among others.

    Circuit City:
    Varies a great deal. The demo room in my store is closed off to outside noise, but rarely is everything wired correctly. A little quieter than Best Buy. Sells Onkyo, harman/Kardon, lower end Polks, mass market Denons.

    Myer Emco: Expensive. Feels like a car dealership. The salesman knows you by name. Good quality gear. The listening rooms are closed off, and things are generally set up correctly. Sells Yamaha, Rotel, Pioneer Elite, B&W, Boston, Denon, McIntosh

    Tweeter: haven't gone there in some time, as it's out of my way. Has some expensive gear (Krell), closed off listening rooms, and helpful salespeople. Sells Pioneer Elite, Yamaha, Sony ES, Polk Rti/Lsi, Martin Logan, among others

    Basically it's a choice between doing your research beforehand, or paying someone to do it for you.
     
  3. bsiegert9

    bsiegert9 Auditioning

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    Thanks for the insight!!

    How would you rank the brands that Best Buy (within Magnolia) sells??
     
  4. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Just stay away from the Bose, and you'll do fine. [​IMG] Denon has got a lot of fans on this board.
     
  5. mazersteven

    mazersteven Stunt Coordinator

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    Try and stay out of Best Buy, and Circuit City. [​IMG]

    Find a good Audio boutique store. You can get the same deals, and get personal service that you can't get at BB, CC.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Circuit: sells Polk Audio, Bose, KEF and Boston Acoustics. I own Boston speakers myself for 10 years now but haven't really listened to the very newest models they sell & those Horizon series sold at Circuit are really ugly.

    Polks to me are very analytical & border on sounding harsh (much like Paradigm loudspeakers) so they only sound good with very-well recorded source material.

    Haven't listened to any KEFs long enough to form a solid opinion.

    Bose is.......Bose. The 201 and 301 models are the only ones that sound O.K. to me (unfortunately since its last recent redesign, the 301 sounds quite boomy now, I think because its 8" woofer is being forced to operate in a [now] too-small enclosure).

    Best Buy: don't much like the Klipsch models they sell, though the Reference series sold in the Magnolia section is pretty good.

    JBLs are decent. Punchy without being boomy like the Klipsch next to them & JBL's higher frequencies are sparkly (good for rock/pop music and HT) but not harsh.

    Some Sony speakers actually sound decent too, though build quality isn't at the same level as the other major brands (cabinets are usually the most expensive part of a loudspeaker, so that's what usually suffers first when a budget speaker is designed).

    Magnolia substore: all sound good but definitely sound different from each other, so only the buyer can decide which is best for him. Personally speaking for the best *HT* experience I would stay away from Vienna Acoustics and Martin-Logan: both of these have pretty laid back sonic personalities and with action/adventure movie soundtracks can sound too "veiled".
     
  7. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    A few years ago, for a short while, Sony speakers were actually quite nice. Good quality & sound, all at a great value. A friend of mine had a whole set of them and just recently he lost his center channel in a move. We went looking for a replacement, the Sony line is two or three generations newer at this point, and I wouldn't touch them now. Sony's obviously downsized the line and from the looks of it have gone as cheap as possible.
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    By posting your question towards BB or CC, I'm assuming that you have some kind of budget in mind as to what you'd like to spend. If that's the case, I wouldn't overlook the used market for gear. If you don't require the latest video switching capabilities to be built into your receiver, opt for something a few years old and save lots of $$ along the way. Put the extra funds into the speakers. Also, if you're considering a 7.1 theater system, you might initially go with a 5.1 and buy the 2 additional speakers later.

    As far as my thoughts on the Magnolias within the BB stores? BB seems to play around with the brands quite a bit. Over the course of a few years, Primare is gone, Boston Acoustics is gone, most models of Martin Logan speakers are gone, etc. The salespeople who run around with their clipboards are kind of funny, too. I use these stores to buy my CDs from - my gear comes from lots of other sources, instead.
     
  9. Ding Guy

    Ding Guy Extra

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    I would stay out of bestbuy, I like circuit city. I also agree that a independant stereo store will give good info and then find what you want and hit the web. You could save lost of money or not much at all.
     
  10. Kelly Payne

    Kelly Payne Agent

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    "...a independant stereo store will give good info and then find what you want and hit the web."


    Ethics?
     
  11. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I would try to find an independent dealer in your area. Many times they will price-match or come close to the big-box store prices.

    Independent dealers will offer better listening environments than CC or BB, as well.
     
  12. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    I second Myer Emco. I was just there yesterday looking at some speakers as I'm about to retire my Infinity Kappa 9s. Yes, they are expensive but they sell expensive stuff. But, they do have sales and you may find some floor samples or discontinued models for good prices. Can't hurt to look.
     
  13. Catman

    Catman Auditioning

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    I would avoid both ...neither carry much of anything I'd be interested in ...and you can usually do better on price elsewhere.

    >^..^
     
  14. mork

    mork Auditioning

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    Most definitely neither. The most they are good for is demoing models. But the best deals are usually online.
     

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