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best buy or circuit city?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 OFFLINE   bsiegert9

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Posted January 20 2008 - 03:23 AM

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 Posted Image

Just not sure which store would offer the best options?

Thanks!

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted January 20 2008 - 04:41 AM

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 of 14 OFFLINE   bsiegert9

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Posted January 20 2008 - 05:44 AM

Thanks for the insight!!

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

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted January 20 2008 - 06:04 AM

Just stay away from the Bose, and you'll do fine. Posted Image Denon has got a lot of fans on this board.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   mazersteven

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Posted January 20 2008 - 07:18 AM

Try and stay out of Best Buy, and Circuit City. Posted Image

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 of 14 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted January 20 2008 - 09:11 AM

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 of 14 OFFLINE   Zack Gibbs

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Posted January 20 2008 - 09:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceJ
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).

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.
"Because he's the hero that Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now... and so we'll hunt him... because he can take it... because he's not a hero... he's a silent guardian, a watchful protector... a DARK KNIGHT."

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted January 21 2008 - 04:04 PM

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.
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#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Ding Guy

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Posted January 23 2008 - 10:19 AM

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 of 14 OFFLINE   Kelly Payne

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Posted January 28 2008 - 04:06 AM

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


Ethics?

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted January 28 2008 - 07:54 AM

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.
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#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Michael Harris

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Posted January 28 2008 - 08:08 AM

Quote:
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

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 of 14 OFFLINE   Catman

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Posted February 11 2008 - 04:46 PM

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

>^..^<

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   mork

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Posted February 12 2008 - 01:54 AM

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





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