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Little wonder some are turning to online buying!

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53 replies to this topic

#1 of 54 OFFLINE   StevenK


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Posted March 20 2002 - 04:31 PM

I stopped by one of very few stores in Sac that carries NHT in hopes of getting some cheap surrounds to go with 2.5i's. I should have known since i've had bad experiences with these guys again. For my efforts to support the local businesses, this is what I get. 1) Being completely ignored until I started fiddling with some of the expensive gear...that got their attention fast. 2) Basically had my equipment laughed at..."Newcastle? Well, if you want to drive your NHT's with Japanese electronics that's your choice. But here we only run American and British amps. Japanese amps are only good for Japanese speakers." BTW, isn't Sherwood Newcastle designed in the US, built in Korea. And isn't Marantz USA actually a Japanese company...I ask, because I was fiddling around with a Marantz receiver when the salesman came buy. 3) Complete refusal to sell me a pair of SuperZeros (which are discontinued). They said they only sell them as part of 5.1 systems. 4) Having another "audiophile" customer tell me I should just go to circuit city since they have harman kardon receivers and that would be the level of speakers I want (I intend to use a HK as a pre/pro for me system). 5) Was told I couldn't bring my NHT 2.5 in if I had any warranty issue, even though I bought it from an authorized dealer and they were an authorized service center. This one I didnt' really care about...and it might be normal store policy to only service their own stuff...but I thought it was odd. So, I left speechless and without speakers. And let me state I was very well dressed and completely ready to purchase the speakers at MSRP as my HK just arrived today. Maybe age had somethign to do with it (I'm only 26)...but it shouldn't in my mind. BTW...sometimes the audiophile community seems so elitist. Instead of encouraging others to join in the fun, they sometimes seem like they try to keep others in the dark so they can maintain their perceived superiority. It's only human nature I guess.

#2 of 54 OFFLINE   Saurav



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Posted March 20 2002 - 05:06 PM


Maybe age had somethign to do with it (I'm only 26)...but it shouldn't in my mind.


It definitely shouldn't. I was 26 when I bought my first stereo, and I walked into the store in jeans and a t-shirt. The salesman showed me all their speakers, hooked up the 2 that I wanted to compare, showed me how to switch between them, and then left the room saying "play it as loud as you want to".

It's amazing how snobbish some people can be. If I were in your shoes, I would be pretty upset too. Find another store, or, if you're willing to drive down to the North Bay (Petaluma), I can recommend the store I bought my stuff from - they carry NHT. You could try giving them a call.

#3 of 54 OFFLINE   StevenK


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Posted March 20 2002 - 05:16 PM

Hey Saurav, What store is that? My g/f's parents live in Santa Rosa, so maybe the next time we visit them, I can swing by. Thing is...I want those surrounds pretty badly.

#4 of 54 OFFLINE   Ricky T

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Posted March 20 2002 - 05:21 PM

Steve, I have a pair of 1 month old NHT superzeros in black for sale. Email me if you are interested.

#5 of 54 OFFLINE   Kevin Webb

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Posted March 20 2002 - 06:46 PM


I know what you mean. I've been looking to upgrade my speakers and going to separates. I went to one of the other 3 high-end audio stores. I was told that my $2,000 budget wasn't enough to go into separates (although an Outlaw 950 + Rotel RMB-1066 (at MSRP) is only $1600). Then they showed me some nice M&K's, but told me that they would only sell me the fronts, as they would come out to my home and determine whether they would sell me the surrounds. I wasn't necessarily bothered by that, but just by the attitude. It just came off as eliteist and that I didn't know anything. The bad thing is that they are the only Rotel dealers in town (No Adcom, only Good Guys for Parasound) and I don't know if they would sell me the 1066 (of course they have to carry it first).

I'm sorry to hear about the experience you had at the other store. I've been in there a couple of times and had some nice conversations.

This town is devoid of a decent high-end audio store. I won't even get into the store that is the only PSB and Accoustic Research dealer in town (hint for you Sac people: they also carry appliances, burglar alarms, and cameras and the place looks as junky as a flea market).

I think that I will be taking a trip to the Bay Area to find the gear to match my forthcoming 950 Posted Image

#6 of 54 OFFLINE   Stacy Huff

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Posted March 20 2002 - 07:08 PM

These stories are really unbelievable! Do you have to fill out an application to buy? Do they have a panel review it first to see whether or not you would be a suitable owner? Do they charge you when they come to your house to see whether or not you are worthy of surrounds? Oh, for the day when you win the lottery. Dress in shabby jeans and a t-shirt, go in and poke around with the most expensive stuff in the store. After they chase you away, pull out a wad of cash and start counting it in front of them. Then go buy the same thing from somebody else. Drive back by and wave to the a-holes. Ahh...priceless!
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#7 of 54 OFFLINE   Mike_Ch


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Posted March 20 2002 - 07:12 PM


That was a pretty bad experience- probably a worst case scenario though I think it really depends on the dealer and their staff.

I've had a similar experience. I'm only 20, and got into audio when I was 18. A local dealer selling Rotel and M&K stuff was arrogant, ignored me completely until I actually went up to a guy and demanded he serve me, and offered me a "special deal" that was about 5% off MSRP. I think they equated young = stupid. They also refused to set up something for me to listen, even though I said I was serious about buying the amp.

Conversely, other dealers have been a pleasure, and don't mind that you have a limited budget to work with, and are quite generous with discounts. In fact, one dealer offers impecabble service, offering free tea or coffee from the cafe next door, and proper time to audition equipment with your music. For the Melburnians out there, this shop is Carlton Audio Visual. I know which audio shop I'm going to buy from next time I upgrade Posted Image



#8 of 54 OFFLINE   StevenK


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Posted March 20 2002 - 07:29 PM

I will definitely have to agree on the Sacramento hi-fi shops suck super monkey balls. Also...you know that shop that sells PSB...they're also the only Integra dealers in town. They recently had a gigantic sale on all Integra receivers. The sale price? MSRP!!!! I can only imagine what the price was before the sale.

#9 of 54 OFFLINE   Saurav



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Posted March 20 2002 - 07:48 PM

California Audio Video - www.caav.com. I've had excellent experiences in all my dealings with them. They gave me a decent discount on Paradigm gear with no hassles (this was over a year ago), and it seems that is something of a rarity among Paradigm dealers. Once I called them up to ask for their price on a Paradigm crossover, without identifying myself as a customer of their store, and got a price that was well below MSRP.

#10 of 54 OFFLINE   Han


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Posted March 21 2002 - 06:07 AM

Age or look should not be an issue, but it always seems to be for me. Not that it's like that at every store, just a couple high end stores in my area and the majority of BB/CC. I'm 29, but a lot of people would look at me and not even think I can legally drink yet.

There was a time, before marriagePosted Image , when I had the money to throw at things like a Lexicon MC-12 if it was available back then. Some of these salespeople didn't even glance over at me whenever I walked into their stores. I had to always proactively ask to demo stuff, and I could always feel the, "This guy isn't going to buy anything anyway." thoughts in their heads.

#11 of 54 OFFLINE   Earl Simpson

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Posted March 21 2002 - 06:16 AM

I have had good experiences with REXES, but they do not carry high end stuff. Internet is my only option where I live. I live in LA!!!!Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Lower Alabama/North Florida
SHARP 52" 1080P
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#12 of 54 OFFLINE   Thomas_A


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Posted March 21 2002 - 10:26 AM

We have One High end Store here in Town..and its a large city! If I go in there in my shorts and t-shirt.. I basicaly get no help...but jeans/slacks and polo... I'm king. Amazing... they carry a great variety of speakers..but only couple amps... wish they carried more!

and they are MSRP dealers..unless its the usual...we did not sell it due to price..so we have to now sale...Posted Image

#13 of 54 OFFLINE   Ray R

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Posted March 21 2002 - 12:58 PM

My salemen test. The more money I plan on spending, the more I dress down. I want to see how the saleman treats a person when it is pretty clear that they won't make a sale. If a salesman is willing to put an effort into building a relationship that may only pay off in a sale years from now if at all, then I'm willing to give him my money. I went car shopping with this approach. Shopping in a tie-dye shirt, shorts and sandles. The look I would get when I asked to test drive a new subaru legacy wagon was pretty funny. I was so pissed about how I was treated at one dealer I actually drove my new legacy wagon back to that dealer just to let him know that he missed the sale.

#14 of 54 OFFLINE   jeff lam

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Posted March 21 2002 - 01:38 PM

I live in the bay area and have a hifi store very close to my home. Sometimes I walk there. Magnolia HIFI, they are a west coast chain(about 5 stores I'm guessing). I am only 22 and walk in there with a t-shirt, jeans, and a cap and they have always treated me with respect and demoed anything for me I wanted to hear/see. Well, most of the stuff they sell is mid-fi but they do carry Krell, McIntosh, Martin Logan, M&K, Sonus Faber, and several other brands. I am very pleased with their service and professional appearance. Look them up if you're ever in the bay.

#15 of 54 OFFLINE   Bob-N


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Posted March 21 2002 - 01:39 PM

I've had pretty good luck in electronics stores whether it be Circuit City or the local hi end stores. When I was looking for speakers last summer, I always had on shorts and t-shirts wherever I went. It must of been that bag of money I was carrying around...Posted Image

Anyhow, I did get the runaround when I went to buy my car (330i sedan) when dressed this way from my local San Jose area dealers. So I hooked up with a dealer in Santa Barbara (5 hr drive) to get a nice discount ($4k off MSRP) and outstanding sales service.

So work at it a bit and if you have to drive a bit, you can get what you want at a decent price.


#16 of 54 OFFLINE   CurtisBilly



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Posted March 21 2002 - 01:46 PM

Might I recommend the NHT 1.5's from www.soundcity.com for $299. It is my understanding that the 1.5 and 2.5i's are identical except the 8" sub. This should make a perfect match. Also, if you don't have a center onecall.com has the Audio-Center 1 on sale.

Good luck,


#17 of 54 OFFLINE   StevenK


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Posted March 21 2002 - 01:53 PM

CurtisBilly, Thanks for the input...but I decided the 1.5 weren't suited for my surrounds needs. The angled front makes it difficult for me to properly position in my living room.

#18 of 54 OFFLINE   myke



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Posted March 21 2002 - 01:59 PM

I suppose I've been lucky! I'm 23, and I always dress down when shopping for expensive items, usually t-shirt and shorts! But I've had much better luck with salespeople. Almost all of them have been extremely helpful, providing good suggestions, staying 1/2 after the store's closing time to demo just 1 more pair of speakers they think I might enjoy.

I had a different experience when I bought a new truck, though. I was completely ignored at one dealership. Somebody finally approached me when I was climbing around inside the truck (it was inside the showroom), but only to tell me that that truck was 'just sold' to somebody who called in a credit card number to make a deposit. I gave them my number so they could give me a call if the telephone sale fell through.

I drove from there to another dealership about 10 miles away, and they had somebody meet me at the door, show me the truck, toss me the keys to take it out for a test drive, etc. We agreed on a price, and I got to take it home that night! I went back that weekend to take care of the paperwork, payment, etc. Great service, IMO (things went sour with that dealership later, but it was a great buying experience).

The monday after, the first dealership called to tell me that their sale had fallen through, and asked me if I was still interested. I got to tell them about how much they suck, and how they lost a sale to their local competitors. It was fun Posted Image

#19 of 54 OFFLINE   JohnVV



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Posted March 21 2002 - 03:26 PM

In regards to the quality of Sacramento dealers, I have to agree. I am in the process of assisting two family members upgrade their homes with new HT setups. Both homes are in the most exclusive community in the region. The jobs are not large, but should be around $10K for one and $30K for another, 50% equipment and 50% labor. I can barely get the local HT installers to follow-up their onsite meetings with bids. And the bids they send in look like something little kids put together and are full or errors. Incredibly lazy... I'd buy all the components online but I need somebody to install! I'd probably be better off to get some high-school or junior college kids to do it. They would certainly be capable technically... Unforunately, I need a real contractor for work in these homes.

#20 of 54 OFFLINE   Cam S

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Posted March 21 2002 - 03:41 PM

I must say that I've had nothing bu good experiences at my audio dealer (Andres Audiotronic's). I know the owner well, but the sales person I was dealing with didn't, but he treated me about as good as I could have hoped, even though I had a bunch of questions and made a few trips for demo's before I bought my Klipsch speakers. Gave me a smoking deal too, Cost+ %5, not too bad Posted Image

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