SNOB Factor?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Evan S, Nov 30, 2001.

  1. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    The other day I was at my local B&M to audition some Paradigm speakers I was considering (along with some B&W's as well). The guy at the shop asked me what I was going to be driving the speakers with. I told him that for the time being I was using a middle of the road Harman Kardon receiver, but was upgrading to separates in 2002. Seeing as I am putting together the best possible "budget" separates system I can for about 5K, I was considering the Odyssey Amp or the Outlaw 750 (or 770), probably in combination with the Outlaw 950 Pre/Pro. The guy looked at me like I had 3 eyes. (never tell a B&M guy you are considering an on-line company). He told me that instead of the Outlaw, I should consider a Rotel receiver instead to drive the dimes.
    Rotel is a great name, but I don't want another reciever. My question is this. Can't the B&M guy take my business on the speakers and just deal with the fact he's not going to get all my business for the entire system? He had to knock the Outlaw as crap. Now, I know I can't afford Classe' or Krell or such, but the outlaw gets great marks both here and at Audioreview.com. I do get a full refund if I don't like the sound, so why not give them a shot and see what they are made of? I think my system will sound pretty damn good when I'm done until I can afford a Classe' or something of similar ilk.
    Why is there such a snob factor amongst audiophiles if you either don't go with what they suggest or if you decide to do the on-line thing?. I let my ears do the listening and decide for myself what good value is. Doesn't anyone realize the law of diminishing returns is in effect and you don't have to knock someone's system because they don't have the "label" you like? (Unless it's BOSE!)[​IMG] Seriously though. I don't knock people who drive Toyotas if I like Hondas. Be thankful I'm in your shop in the first place. Totally turned me off. Guy lost a potential 2K sale.
     
  2. Mike OConnell

    Mike OConnell Second Unit

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    The guy lost a sale, but the tactics are used in many stores and for an uneducated consumer it may have worked.

    Don't berate a poor salesman for trying his best to get the whole sale. He made a gamble and lost.

    In addition, don't take this as a snob factor, but if an entire new speaker system (5 or 6 pieces) is in the $2000 range you probably won't get much of an advantage using separates sound wise over a receiver.

    Now if your goal is to pay for great amplification and buying a pre-amp for the ability of upgrading, then you are on the right track.

    If you are looking at separates and really want great bang for the buck consider used! Look at audigon.com or another site. I saved over 60% from retail for a system made up of an Arcam CD player, Arcam pre-amp, and a Bryston amp (yes this was a stereo only system).

    Especially for the amplifiers, used can be a great bargain.

    Good Luck,

    Mike
     
  3. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    i totally agree. i think you should let someone in there know that you're taking your business elsewhere. that guy isnt a very good salesman; he's trying to sell you something youre not interested in and blasting your opinions at the same time. i say call up a higher-up exec and tell him you're going elsewhere so they can 1) talk to that guy and 2) maybe give you an incentive to return [​IMG].
    i'm going into sales (of hifi gear! [​IMG]) this summer and i know fo' sho' that this salesman doesnt know what he's doing-- the customer is always right [​IMG].
     
  4. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    There have been a number of threads in various forums about the rampant elitist attitude in High End "salons". Typically, the salesman will instantly prejudge the potential customer based on dress, car, etc. If the right predetermined "profile" is not there, it's brushoff/ignore/I'm better than you time.

    Complaining to management may or may not work, depending on the origin of the "attitude".

    Another reason why shopping at B&Ms isn't a thrill for me.
     
  5. NathanP

    NathanP Supporting Actor

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    Most B&W salesmen are HUGE snobs!

    I went to a very nice high-end audio store here in St.Lou (they only sold B&W, Mission, and NHT) and was comparing the Paradigim (Sp?) Titans to B&W DM303's..

    Here's what he said:

    "Pardigim is a terrible company, they're just sweadeish cabinet makers who stuff speakers into cheap cabinets"

    The Pardigim dealers were MUCH nicer, they even said that B&W's were good speakers.

    So,

    When going to high-end audio stores, bow down and worship the $16,000 speakers and the $2000 record player!

    Now that's another story.

    Nathan
     
  6. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    If you get snobbed just look for some of their equipment to trash. The "snobs" always have outdated equipment. I went in looking for to audition some Paradigm speakers and the guy trashed the line and tol me the B&W Nautilus were far superior. I saw the pricetag and thought the guy was an idiot of a salesman. So I requested Toy Story and kept showing him all the dvd players had an issue w/ the reds in the menu and in Ch.4 (Thank You Secrets). I then asked if "They had a decent dvd player in the store." [​IMG]
    I felt bad b/c the guy was nice after awhile, he was just in love w/ the B&W's which were clearly out of my price range. I found out later the place had a reputation for great service, but ridiculous prices, guess that's fair. I'd rather go net.
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Here's another "let's bash the brick-and-mortar stores" thread. The last one was closed earlier today. [​IMG]
    I avoid shopping at brick-and-mortar stores if at all possible because of their high prices. Also, I find that salespeople in stores either know very little about their products or are snobs, depending on the store. It is all too common for salespeople to bash brands they don't carry. My local high-end dealer bashes Krell and Mark Levinson, two brands they don't carry. Give me a break.
     
  8. Karim Nogas

    Karim Nogas Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, at the high-end shop where I bought my EAD player, the salesman actually steered me away from Krell amps listing several reasons ... and the store featured Krell amps.
    Maybe he was just being honest or maybe it was just because the managers had already left for the day. [​IMG]
     
  9. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Or maybe he took one look at you and decided that this isn't where my Krell sale is coming from and tactfully directed you else where. If that was the case, then he has a good eye for sales potential or he got lucky. In either case, B&M profiling sucks regardless if they get it right or wrong.
     
  10. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    If one goes into a B&M with a plan of what to audition, then some of the garbage they spew can be minimized. Of course, I often like to hear what a salesperson has to say about his likes, dislikes, etc, and to what extent they try to steer you towards certain products. One can also go on the offensive a bit when a dealer makes some negative claim about some gear that they don't carry (in which you said you had an interest), such as "Oh, you don't like {manufacturer's} gear. Which models have you listened to? What characteristics of that model did you not like?"

    In contrast, I tend to get the salespeople who do more head nodding. After listening to a couple of different systems and proclaiming that system 2 was more pleasing to me than system 1, the salesperson jumps on the bandwagon, even though he was praising the virtues of system 1 when I first walked in.

    In all, I tend to take their opinion on gear with the appropriate grains of salt, but I do note the differences between those who provide opinions versus those who actively try to steer my buying decision away from something I claim to like. Bottom line, though, I'm more interested in what they have to say about purchase policies, package deals, post-sales service, home audition possibilities, and the like.

    Doug
     
  11. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    I'd like to give the salesperson the benefit of the doubt and guess that his attitude was just due to his inexperence with the lines you mentioned. When I got my SVS Ultra, a friend manager at a local Tweeter actually asked me to bring in my Ultra so he could hear it. After closing on a Saturday night I did, and we hooked it up in his high end room, calibrated it, and watched the Matrix.

    He, and two other salesmen who watched with us, were sold.

    Although I doubt he would go out of his way to recommend an SVS over a sub that he does sell, he would no longer vote thumbs down to a customer who said they were going to buy one.
     
  12. Tyson

    Tyson Stunt Coordinator

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    Evan,

    The Outlaw is a pretty average amp, sound wise. The Stratos is in a higher class, IMO (I just picked one up on the used market & am VERY happy with the sound - for reference, my last HT amps were the Bryston 5B-ST and 3B-ST, and the Stratos is easily better).

    I'm also a big fan of nOrh speakers & SVS subs (like, who around here ISN'T a fan of SVS?). The nOrh marble 4.0's w/a pair of SVS subs makes an amazing HT combo, one of the best I have heard. The marble and ceramic 4.0's are amazing speakers - their unique imaging and soundstaging abilities make them close to ideal HT speakers. Sonically, they are very similar to Dunlavy SC-1 speakers (which are about $1500/pair). I've compared the 4.0's to some other pretty pricey speakers & the 4.0's almost always came out on top. For example, the Dynaudio Audience 40 & 50 & Contour 1.1 & 1.3 were not as good. Neither were the Paradigm Mini-Monitors or Studio 20's, or the PSB Image speakers (but take in to consideration that I find Paradigms and PSB's bright). NHT 1.5's (which I used to own) cannot hold a candle. Sorry to ramble, but I have been doing some more A-B comparisons between the 4.0's and another internet direct companies speakers (that are more expensive), and the 4.0 is just suprising me with how good they are sounding. . . .
     
  13. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Tyson: I might agree that the Strato HT5 sounds better than the Outlaw 750, I say might since I've never heard one, yet, at double the cost of the 750, it should sound twice as good. Additionally, I don't even know if Klaus has made/sold one of these yet? Has He?
     
  14. Tyson

    Tyson Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think the HT5 is available yet. You gotta get the HT3 and stereo stratos for a full 5.1.

    One amp that I think can give the Stratos a run for its money is the Aragon 8008ST and 8008x3. Yawa audio has these on sale for 40% off, because these particular amps are now "last year's models" since Aragon is introducing all new amps. . . A friend of mine has the 8008 & is borrowing my stratos for a few days. I am going to head over there in a few days & do some blind comparisons & see which I like best.

    One thing is I am suprise how poorly my old Bryston's have done against amps like the Stratos, the Aragon, even the nOrh LeAmp. I remember when I bought the Brystons I compared them extensively to Parasound, ATI, Marantz (monoblocks), Rotel, Acurus, and a couple of others that escape me at the moment. The Bryston was easily the best of the bunch. For it to do so poorly against the Stratos and Aragon is really illuminating to me. . .
     
  15. ToddJoseph

    ToddJoseph Stunt Coordinator

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    Tyson,

    Have you ever listened to an Outlaw amp? Just curious, I m assuming you did since you said that it sounds avg. Did you do an A/B comparison? Give me your impressions of the outlaw (because I am thinking about the 770, but will wait for the reviews)

    I talked to Klaus about a month ago and they have scrapped the HT5 due to the proto type was 17" tall. He said that they are not even considering doing a 5 channel amp at all.

    So if you where going to buy a 5 channel amp, which one would you purchase?

    Thanks in advance
     
  16. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    This all makes me think of the scene in "Pretty Woman" where Julia Roberts goes to buy clothes from a fancy Rodeo Drive bouteque. I just hate sales personnel who try to intimidate me into buying something they want to sell. I love sales personnel who take the time to help me make a wise decision. And yes, there is a distinct difference. After all I've heard about Outlaw, it is one fine amp, even given its wonderfully low price tag. I also think there is something cool about owning a product that the common man on the street doesn't even know exists. I bet you'll end up loving it.
     
  17. Tyson

    Tyson Stunt Coordinator

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    ToddJoseph,

    Nope, not a side by side comparison, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    What price range are we talking about for a 5 channel amp? For $2400 yawaonline is selling the Aragon 8008x5. That would probably be my choice if I had to get a single unit. In a couple of days I will be doing some A-B comparisons w/the Stratos, an 8008, and an Ayre V-5.

    If we are talking about a 5 channel amp for under $2k, well, I really haven't heard one that I would want to live with over the long term. Some are definitely better than others though, but I haven't really put in enough time on any of the recent models to form a real solid opinion in this particular price range. . .

    If price were no object, I am not sure which I would pick, mainly because I would like to hear the new BAT 5 channel amp, even though it is out of my price range, as are most of the "price no object" amps.

    Which reminds me, why can't anyone produce an HT processor with tubed outputs? Now that would be cool. . .
     

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