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Is there anyplace that has a proper DVD-A/SACD audition room? (1 Viewer)

gene c

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I've been into numerous stores/AV shops in the last month or two and although they all know about hi-res m/c music, not one had a proper setup to listen to. They all had this model or that model to look at, but none of them were hooked up! The little kiosks at CC are laughable and at Fry's, there were three sales people trying to figure out why they're DVD-A demo disc would not play in a Sony SACD player. "It must be working. There's a picture on the screen but why is there no sound?" Because there wasn't a digital or Coax cable connected for DD/DTS playback. Only the 6 ch cables. Un-believable. The AV shops were no better including the mid-level Good Guys and Magnolia HiFi. Nothing to actually listen to. If these places had a room setup to compare hi-res m/c to stereo maybe more people would hear what they have been missing and jump on the band wagon. With the total lack of support these formats are given by all aspects involved, software-hardware-retail, I'm surprised things aren't worse than they are. Anyway, thanks for listening and IS there anyplace that has a good auditioning room? Anywhere?
 

John Garcia

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Shoot me an e-mail. My place can be made available for auditions :D

Most places will only be set up for 2ch. I have yet to see any shops that have a proper m/c DVD-A/SACD rig set up. Magnolia in Santa Clara wasn't bad, but I had to bring my own software. All the other places you mention, I wouldn't even bother trying to audition at them, and certainly not for Hires. As for the average consumer, I don't really think hires is a big selling feature for the mass market yet.
 

gene c

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I agree the big box stores wouldn't work, too noisy. But The Good Guys could easily exchange the standard dvd player in their dvd audition rooms with a uni player and give people a chance to hear the difference. I think the surround sound part would give the greatest impact. And you would think high end stores would want their customers to hear the best sound possible. Especially for the prices they charge for their admittedly better products. I don't know, maybe I'm asking for too much. Anyway, I like the idea someone else came up with here a while ago. Use movie theaters to compare 2 ch to hi-res m/c. Large captive audience, nice sound systems, target clientele glued to there seats. Would be nice. But there should be someplace a person who is interested can go for a good demo, aside from "John's Place" of course (nice of you to offer though :) ).
 

gregD

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gene c... next time you're in San Francisco, visit Performance Audio on California St... they've got at least one great room with a hi-res setup... all high-end: Lexicon, Vandersteen... in a proper 'shoebox' room with treatments... sounds every bit as great as you'd imagine.

They have some less expensive gear (Pioneer Elite, Denon) but no entry-level... there is no discounting, it seems... but they're nice folks; I was encouraged to spend time in the hi-res room, even though I insisted I couldn't even consider this equipment.

I imagine most of the several boutique shops in the Bay Area have something set up by now... but the big box shops will never make the space for hi-res.
 

Garrett Lundy

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The studios can't even decide what kind of surround speakers to use, let alone make a standardised system.
 

John Garcia

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Tweeter is not in the bay area, Magnolia HiFi was part of them and carried the identical equipment (and identical store layout), but they are now owned by Best Buy and have started to carry different brands.

All of the stores that I frequent in the South Bay still have mostly 2ch setups for hires.
 

gene c

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Chain stores are good for keeping prices low if nothing else (although I enjoy browsing around in them), and since 95% of people shop those places, if a new format is going to sell enough to survive they have to be involved. It's sad, I know, but that's the way it is. I just think it would help if people could hear some of this stuff no matter what store they shop in. After all, how many people would have bought one of these new TV's (Plasma-LCD-LyCos-RPTV) if none of them in the stores were plugged in and turned on?
 

John Garcia

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I've had a number of people say they've heard hires and could not tell the difference, but I have not had a single person come over and listen to my system and not hear the benefits of SACD and DVD-A, whether they are a music fan or not.

The reality is, I don't think the average consumer even knows what to listen for, and many really can't tell the difference. I was talking to one of the salespersons at Magnolia, who I feel has a decent knowledge of equipment, and he said even on their nice gear, he could not hear the benefit of SACD (2ch).
 

gene c

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I agree completely that the difference between standard and hi-res is not that noticable to most including me. But the difference between 2 ch and m/c is pretty big and even the average consumer would surely notice. remember how noticable the difference was in sound between 5.1 DVD's and 2 ch vhs tapes. That was a bigger selling point to me than the better picture quality. Maybe it would work for music as well. Or, maybe not. But if any store, high or low end is going to try and sell these things, you would think more than just a few would be able to demonstrate them. A uni player sitting by itself on a shelf isn't going to get anyone's attention. It can't sell it's self with the customer just looking at it. They need to hear it. But, as someone in another thread said, DVD recorders are the hot ticket now anyway. DVD-A/SACD players are getting ignored or pushed aside. How about this for the next uni player: DVD-V, CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, JPEG, WMA, MP3, HD-DVD, DVD-A, SACD, DirectTV TIVO, etc. etc, and a DVD recorder all in one?
 

JoeHard

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gene c
I couldn't agree with You more. I,ve had my DVD/A player for over 1 year and the A/V store where I bought it stll doesn't have a multi channel demo.I've been to plenty of other shops in the SW Ohio area and have yet to find a single place to listen to multi channel. While I enjoy DVD/A in my own home,there is no way it will ever be mainstream without a push from retailers. I already regret choosing DVD/A instead of SACD, but I'm starting to believe both formats will be the audio equivalent of the laserdisc,a big improvement for hobbiest but ignored by everyone else.
 

Mike Keith

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I never understood auditioning true Hi-Fi in a store, why? In home auditions are the only way to truly tell what will sound's good on your system. Buy from someone who has a good return policy.
 

mike>r

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Gene c ,
There is a hi- fi store in Saratoga, on Saratoga Ave. I believe the name is Century Home Theatre, or Century something,can't remember.they are located in the shopping center,on the corner of Saratoga and Hamiliton.There listining rooms are set up very nice with alot of High end gear,been a few years since ive been in there ,sales personnel were very arrogent but they still let you listen to everything.
 

gene c

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Mike R, thanks for the info. I live in the East Bay but get to the South Bay often. I'll have to check them out next time.
 

John Garcia

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Since you are in the East Bay, check out Music Lovers in Berkley.

I avoid Century Stereo, knowledgable, but WAY too snooty and I just don't have time or patience to deal with people like that, especially when I am looking to spend $$. Have not been impressed with them since they moved to Saratoga.

A better store in the same area, Bay Area Audio on De Anza near 85, and Laserland Home Theater just a few miles away. For B&W, San Francisco Stereo in Palo Alto.
 

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