Impossible to judge speakers at chain stores?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allen Longcor, Dec 9, 2001.

  1. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    I went to Good Guys and Circuit City today to check some TV's and speakers. I wanted to check out the Polk RT1000i speakers. At Good Guys they had three top of the line receivers in their sound room. One was a Denon 4800 and the other two were a Yamaha and a Sony. She started playing some CD's and I noticed a very audible hiss. I was like wtf is that? The speakers could not have that much of a hiss. I mean my Eosone speakers with a Technics receiver had less hiss than this even when I cranked it. I'm wondering if it has to do with all the speakers (nearly 20 pairs in the room) having to be set up to switch between them. I mean it was pretty bad. Then she couldn't get the subwoofer to work. I don't think I'm going to judge the RT1000i's performance based on that because I don't think they got a fair shot. I also wanted to try the RT2000i's but they didn't have any there or they were hidden very well. If only Fresno had a decent audio/video place where people will help you and not harangue you. That is one reason I like Best Buy. I wouldn't buy most of their audio stuff, but they don't harass you while you are looking around. I don't know if I can really judge a speaker's performance at these places, but it's my only available option.
     
  2. Greg Robertson

    Greg Robertson Stunt Coordinator

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    Allen, I agree that chain store demos should sometimes be taken with a grain of salt. But if you want a real audition of some speakers, you can take advantage of circuit city's 30 day return policy. (don't know how good guys works) Try them out with your gear, in your place, and make the decision.
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Auditioning speakers in most stores, chain or otherwise, is very difficult. Even if you don't experience technical difficulties ([​IMG]), you often find yourself comparing speakers in different systems within a store and possibly with varying room acoustics, making it difficult to draw conclusions. Then, you may have to go to more than one store to listen to all the speakers on your hot list, which means more different equipment as well as further varying room acoustics. When you go to different stores, the difficulty of evaluating speakers is further exacerbated by the fact that you have to try to remember what you heard at the last store (no convenient way to A/B test). Finally, little or none of the associated equipment that you use for any of the demos may represent what you have at home. In the end, you need to follow Greg's advice. If you find a speaker in a store that sounds good to you, buy it if they have a good return policy and demo them extensively at home. Some smaller stores will allow you to take the speakers home to demo after you put down just a small deposit. In some cases, a dealer will even allow you to demo speakers at home without asking for a deposit.
     
  4. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Auditioning speakers anywhere other than your own listening room will give you almost completely erroneous results.

    The listening room is one of the (if not the) most critical component of any person's system. It is so often overlooked, yet it is so important.

    Listening to speakers in a store setting will give very general ideas of their sound qualities - but they will sound quite different once you get them home. The trick is to find a dealer who is willing to let you take potential candidates home for listening in your own setting.

    ----

    Jeff
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    as a former gg/cc audio-dept employee, i can tell you those places are a bad choice for demoing speakers.

    i still remember how bad we sometimes were at wiring those speakers. we'd use whatever cables we could get, sometimes bypassing the switcher completely, sometimes jury-rigging the wiring under the display shelves, using tape to connect the wires, and all sorts of other "mickey-mouse" fixes. our goal was to sell...period.

    it's no wonder you heard the hiss.

    another problem is the display themsevles. those speakers are typically pushed right against the wall or riser-shelf. or they're put too high or low. you can guess how the sound will be affected.

    as already stated, both stores offer a 30-day money back guarantee. they're very forgiving...i don't know if they have any re-stocking fee now, but they didn't when i worked there.

    you absolutely have to get them home before you'll get an accurate feel for the speaker.

    if your bank account will allow it, buy two pairs at once and a/b them at home.
     
  6. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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