Dealer dems

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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How would you like your dealer demo to be? Do you like strong advise or do you prefer to be left alone and choose your options yourself. How much time would you like? Did you find the dealers helpful/unbiased or opinionated? Are you making use of a home trial if offered? Your views ...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
the demo's i've had at Loud and Clear have been perfect. No advice before while choosing the kit except if you ask what they think. In the demo itself basically jsut left to sit in the listening room with them popping back every 10 mins of so to check if you want to swap kit over or what have you (and of course bringing coffee).When i'd pretty much decided the guy just came back in for a chat while listening to the stuff some more. Much preferable to another Glasgow retailer where the guy was in the room with me most of the time!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I usually go into a demo with a list of 2 or 3 pieces of kit I want to listen to. That said, I'm more than happy to listen to extra gear suggested by the retailer, provided it's not way beyond budget. If I come to upgrade (just thinking aloud, darling, I promise...) I'll be stepping up a price point to maybe £600 per component, so I'd need a bit more guidance, as I'm ignorant of kit at this price point, beyond reviews.

With kit set up, I like to be left to my own devices for a bit. Ideally, the dealer would just toss me the key and tell me to lock up when I'd finished. Oh, and I'd like the moon on a stick. Ta.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
If I was testing 3 different speakers, how long would you advise me to spend in there? I don't want to be rude, but I also want to thoroughly get to know the stuff!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
This is a good question. I booked a demo at 7Oaks in Lincoln to hear the Proac Tablette Reference 8 Signatures (gasp) and trotted along expecting to have it wrapped up in an hour. After two hours of lone listening and two coffees I moved on to the gently recommended Spendor SA1s. An hour later I changed the Rotel amp to the Primare I30. Very good! Then I tried the Proac SC1s for 10mins, but these boomed in free space as far as I could determine, but that was after the Spendors! Then over a cup of tea I tried the Spendors again whilst the staff raised my order.

Four hours of listening to a couple of speakers went in a flash. Having taken a handful of CDs to test I even found myself rushing to check everything I wanted to check. The staff were great. They left me to it, kept checking on me every 30mins or so, brought me tea/coffee and were happy to swap kit around. They even let me play with their £20k MA Platinum, MF kW kit afterwards. Very good.

I think that a good dealer is willing to provide the time and space you need (and caffeine!) but you shouldn't expect to then negotiate a low price. Unless they're offering at a special price, consider the RRP as including a service charge. Some people will disagree with this approach and I always ask what they can do on the price, but if they offer A1 service then I'm happy to pay asking price.

Have others had different experiences to this? Am I on cloud 9?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I agree. I constantly advocate the need for a proper dealer demo of any prospective buy, using both your music and, where appropriate, your partnering equipment to try to create a sound that's as close as possible to the results you'll be getting at home (see the feature in the current Ultimate Guide To Hi-Fi as evidence). However, no matter how well set-up the dealer's demo room, it's highly unlikely that your front room will sound exactly the same. In my view, the best possible audition is in your room, with your partnering kit, with your music and (of course) your ears.
If you don't like your prospective buy after all of that - no matter how well-reviewed it might be - then maybe, just maybe, it's not actually for you!
I wonder if, in the years to come, this is how hi-fi retail will evolve: into a world of bespoke, 'personal service' style system design. In fairness, CEDIA dealers are there already -ÿbut I wonder if mainstream dealers need to think along similar lines, even if the customer they're dealing with is offering them less potential margin?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I have various experiences, doing demos:

One time, I came into a quite upmarket store (I'm still a student, and don't always get treated very well) I asked if I could listen to some speakers, the shopkeeper said I absolutely could, pointed me to his listening room . The listening room was upstairs and pretty remote, but he let me go about my business. I sat there for a long while, he brough me a cup of coffee, I listened some more and afterwards we had a nice talk about the various speakers. All in all, it was a very nice, unforcefull experience.

A different experience was a demo in quite a small shop, the store carries only a few brands, and it's quite small. I asked if I could listen to some stuff, and ofcourse I could. During my listening the shopkeeper sat next to me and talked throughout the music, making it hard for me to concentrate. Even though he was very kind, he did quite distract me. It was an odd experience, even though I was treated very well I find the whole experience anti-climatic.

These are just two experiences, but both felt extremely different. All in all, I can say I quite prefer to be left alone, though the salesmen should still show interest in my findings and help me in choosing a good piece of equipment.
 
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the record spot

Guest
[quote user="fast eddie"]the demo's i've had at Loud and Clear have been perfect. No advice before while choosing the kit except if you ask what they think. In the demo itself basically jsut left to sit in the listening room with them popping back every 10 mins of so to check if you want to swap kit over or what have you (and of course bringing coffee).When i'd pretty much decided the guy just came back in for a chat while listening to the stuff some more. Much preferable to another Glasgow retailer where the guy was in the room with me most of the time![/quote]

I'll second this (albeit at the old Hamilton Place shop in Edinburgh) - bought my P3 from there in 2001, although had originally tried out the then Rega Mira which didn't make too much of a change from my then Arcam Alpha 5.

Very impressed then and subsequently on return from time to time. Highly recommended shop.
.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="Jan Hibma"]
I can say I quite prefer to be left alone, though the salesmen should still show interest in my findings and help me in choosing a good piece of equipment.
[/quote]

What Jan said for me too.

I like to take my time, don't like to be rushed.

Most importantly - Please be helpful. Sighs & rolling of eyes don't help.

If I want to hear the 1st set of speakers again it's because I'm SERIOUS about parting with my CA$H, not just to give you a hard time.
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
991
21
18,895
My last recent demo took about 2 hours, listening to different B&W 5.1 setups (what I whittled it down to after a about a month of research and deciding what might and would fit in my front room). The dealer stayed in the room the whole time, but didn't talk unless I asked a question (perfect really). I also spent some time maneuvering the rear speakers around to different positions around me to mirror how they would have to be in my living room which is why I went (after a lot of careful listening!) for the M1 rears instead of the 686s - exactly what the guy recommended over the phone initially after telling him my setup, way before the demo!

Personally, I'd prefer someone in the room with me to answer questions on the spot, but I wouldn't be happy if he kept chattering away to me. I don't need to know the specs when I'm in the demo room, I need to listen to it - that's why I'm there!

Oh, during the sale, I negotiated effectively a home trial i.e. if the system sounded awful after the initial running in period, I could bring it back. One of the best ways I've found to get a good deal at a dealer is pay the full price for the system, but get the cables for free. On this occasion I got all the speaker wire (QED Silver Anniversary XT) and Airloc banana plug terminations thrown in for free - a saving of about £150 for me.
 

fatboyslimfast

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2008
158
0
18,590
I had my last demo about a month ago at Sevenoaks Bristol, and I have to say they got it spot on for me.

I was demming speakers, and they set up the first pair and then just left me to my own devices. They also made me feel comfortable enough that when I wanted to try another pair, and another, and yet another, nothing seemed like too much trouble. If I had any queries, I just popped my head out of the dem room and asked, and got a helpful answer every time.

Their effort was worthwhile, as after about 5 different pairs, I found "the ones" that were just what I was looking for and bought them.

I would also say that I prefer this to having someone in the room with me, as my music tastes can be a little (re: a lot) eccentric and if I thought I was going to get Rowan and Griff from the not-the-nine-o-clock-news sketch (you want a what sir? a gram-oh-phone? we don't sell gram-o-phones grandad...) I would probably have curbed the music I would take out of my manbag...
 

Thaiman

New member
Jul 28, 2007
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[quote user="drummerman"]
[quote user="Thaiman"]Drummer, Are you a dealer[/quote]

No

[/quote]

You can't be too careful in forum as dealers can always register and post some comments that could sway the decision to buy their products! It's not so bad if they were being honest but many HiFi dealers are not much different than 2nd hand cars dealers.
 

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