Question What's your favorite shop for hi-fi equipment?

SHaines

Administrator
Staff member
Aug 26, 2019
32
26
70
Greetings audiophiles!

With so many folks around the world staying inside these days, it got me thinking about the days when you used to have to go into a specialty store to get the real info on good hi-fi gear.

What are your favorite shops of all time? These can be big chain stores, if that was the place you first discovered your love for quality audio equipment, or a local shop owned by your town's resident audio expert. Every story will likely be different, so let's hear them!

For me, it was Gemco. This place was so bizarre to me since it had a grocery store in the back and a department store up front. In the back, before the grocery area there was the electronics department where you could crank up the display equipment. I used to bring mix tapes I made myself and would put them into the display units to have my favorite songs playing while my parents did their shopping.
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
58
19
4,545
The small independents seem to have disappeared, ditto local Sevenoaks a few years ago. I have great resect for how Richer Sounds operates, and eBay is a source of great stuff if you are careful.

Taking my eldest to Richers to buy his first stereo was quite a sentimental rite of passage!
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
628
222
5,270
Not sure I'm allowed to say this but Musicraft in Derby would be mine. Always top service from Rick and he's a great chap. Should it not be for difficult 18 month of my life I'm sure I'd be there often. Really lovely guy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gel

knaithrover

Moderator
Nov 24, 2013
125
46
10,620
I've had mixed experiences with my local Richer sounds so only go in when I absolutely have to - a real shame as there's nothing else in a 40 mile radius.. Loads of research then eBay therefore is my preference
 

matengawhat

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
653
4
18,895
Been buying kit from Peter Tyson’s for last 10+ years, always been great with me and really looked after me. Also had 2 things break over the years whilst under warranty and their customer service and back up has been 2nd to none
 
  • Like
Reactions: gel

SteveH72

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2020
27
12
45
I find Richers to be hit and miss. It’s not their fault that there shops are increasingly far and few between and they do offer good prices but they never have any stock to listen to. I was after some speakers and an amp. although they stocked the models I wanted to audition, they weren’t prepared to open any for a listen. Conveniently the stock I could audition was twice the price..... If I knew what I wanted, I’d always check their prices but they seem more interested in AV and home cinema.
Our town, like most, had its own independent HiFi shop - System Sounds. Floor to ceiling separates. Just pick and choose what to audition and take it to the listening room. Loved it.
 

Leon Martin

Active member
Mar 19, 2020
18
2
25
Richer Sounds for me. I was setting up my first HiFi system and wasn’t really sure where to start apart from What HiFi reviews - gotta start somewhere, right ? Anyway, I already had a CA CXN V2 streamer (playing through a soundbar) and wanted to try a CXA 81 amp and Dali Oberon 5 speakers. They had the CXN V2, CXA81 and Oberon 5 as demonstrators so they set up the lot for me to audition. They also swapped out the speakers for a couple of other sets as alternative suggestions. Nothing was too much trouble and they even suggested I have a think about it and come back at a later date if I wanted to audition anything again.
 

simonali

Well-known member
Aug 8, 2006
105
21
18,595
I remember when every town had two or three hifi shops but now they're few and far between. I don't have a local shop and have to travel to Bath where there are one or two and a Richer Sounds in addition to the indies. Haven't bought any kit in ages anyway apart from the odd pair of headphones.

Fond memories of a family run chain from when I were a pup called Fraser's, who were in Slough and Windsor...
 

TheJoker

Active member
Oct 30, 2019
17
11
25
I remember Tandy used to have a nice selection of gear many years ago and the Sony shop had there separates and stocked technics separates as well, i now shop in Home Media (Maidstone) for all my hi-fi equipment.
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
58
19
4,545
Coincidentally, I had a missive from my least favourite retailer today. I've tried to get off the Russ Andrews mailing list, but to no avail. I have had positive experiences with good cabling, but am also a believer in the law of diminishing returns - I view RA with the deepest suspicion. Only cable I ever had from them was markedly inferior to the one I compared it with, and they were slow and grudging to refund in stark contrast to how they say they'll be if you aren't completely satisfied.

Never again...
 

Friesiansam

Well-known member
Feb 3, 2015
27
7
10,545
Coincidentally, I had a missive from my least favourite retailer today. I've tried to get off the Russ Andrews mailing list, but to no avail. I have had positive experiences with good cabling, but am also a believer in the law of diminishing returns - I view RA with the deepest suspicion. Only cable I ever had from them was markedly inferior to the one I compared it with, and they were slow and grudging to refund in stark contrast to how they say they'll be if you aren't completely satisfied.

Never again...
If you want to be removed from the Russ Andrews mailing list, they are obliged to comply. Check the GDPR regulations and quote from them to remind them of their obligations. If they still don't comply, go to the Information Commissioner's Office and report them. You have the legal right to be removed from mailing lists, at your request.
 

Romulus

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2014
34
8
10,545
For me HiFi Dealers are like pubs, toyshops and libraries, I love majority of them the moment I enter the establishments. The HiFi Dealers from which I have bought equipment have been friendly, helpful and professional (after all they want to sell their products). My favourite HiFi Dealer would be the one which stocks the brands I am interested in buying, and that sort of establishment is hard to find.... At the moment I am interested in Naim Audio, Hegel, Simaudio Moon and ATC. I don't think there is a dealer which stocks all these brands in one place in UK but with present world situation who knows which brands will still exist on the other side.......?
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
58
19
4,545
If you want to be removed from the Russ Andrews mailing list, they are obliged to comply. Check the GDPR regulations and quote from them to remind them of their obligations. If they still don't comply, go to the Information Commissioner's Office and report them. You have the legal right to be removed from mailing lists, at your request.
I went through that with Carphone Sh*tehouse a couple of years ago. In fairness, I didn't try too hard with RA. Having given me crap customer service I figured they were welcome to spend money trying to sell me things that I was never going to buy! I guess for the sake of the environment I should get deleted.
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
451
207
11,270
As with many most of the independents closed long ago. Mainly use Peter Tyson and Sevenoaks now, excellent service from both. Prefer a physical store but like most things everything seems to moving online now, our loss due to our shopping habits.
 

jonathanbruce@me.com

Well-known member
Apr 16, 2010
21
0
18,520
I'm very happy with Richer Sounds. They are very helpful and I really appreciate that, plus they don't mind at all that I'm not always buying stuff from them all the time, although most of the time I do anyway!
They even suggested I contact you folks on here yesterday when I phoned about the Dali IO-6 headphones I'm interested in buying.
 

The Dodge

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
8
0
18,520
It has to be Active Audio in Derby until it closed in the 90's, great service, top notch knowledge and a wide rage of equipment.
I remember when looking for new kit they let you have 7 day home demo.
Unfortunately after many RAM Raids they eventually closed.
Never had a decent shop in the city since and have to go to Nottingham now if I want anything
 

simonali

Well-known member
Aug 8, 2006
105
21
18,595
It has to be Active Audio in Derby until it closed in the 90's, great service, top notch knowledge and a wide rage of equipment.
I remember when looking for new kit they let you have 7 day home demo.
Unfortunately after many RAM Raids they eventually closed.
Never had a decent shop in the city since and have to go to Nottingham now if I want anything
I think it very apt that shops in Derby get ram raided. ;)

 
  • Like
Reactions: jjbomber

east_eight

Member
Mar 30, 2020
3
0
20
Always used to be Sevenoaks when they were still just hi-fi. Spent hours in their listening rooms 25 years ago. Stopped using them when they shifted their focus to AV.

Fanthorpes were very nice to deal with when I bought a pair of PMCs last year.

Vickers can be a bit hit and miss - depends what day you get them on.

The Cornflake shop was good in its original guise but they're a bit up themselves these days. I got short shrift trying to buy speaker cable from them - they would't sell me cables alone, I needed to buy complete terminated sets,

I had meant to visit Audiobarn after they were really helpful over email and phone but I never eventually tried the Audiovectors I'd long-listed.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts