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Does anyone ever demo anymore??

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Brox, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. Brox

    Brox
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    I have a strong feeling that very few people actually demo anything anymore and just rely on what people say on sites such as this and what the hi fi press says.

    Has anyone recently demoed a receiver and compared it to another, i'm interested to know your thoughts on what you heard.
     
  2. Sunday Ironfoot

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    I recently demo'ed an amplifier before buying it (Arcam A65 plus) but since I don't know much about HIFI or what is suppose to sound good, I have no way of determining if it sounded good or not. That's why I went with HIFI reviews for that product and bought it. Although to me it sounded good and I suppose that's what counts in the end.

    BTW I'm considering Bi-amping but I would like to get a demo of this before I buy anyway, I want to actually hear a difference on this and not just trust HIFI mags saying it sounds better.
     
  3. perrdl

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    Yeah I demoed the Denon 1803, Marantz 5300 and Yamaha 630 in December before I committed myself to buying one of them.

    Went for the Denon in the end, although I thought the Marantz was also very good.
     
  4. Brox

    Brox
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    Perdl

    Were the differances obvious - was the Denon a clear winner and in what way was it better? did you demo in AV and/or stereo.

    Cheers
     
  5. Ricky27

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    Yes i demo kit,went for a demo of a few amps last year at sevenoaks,yamaha,denon and marantz,did the same this year and decided on the SR5300 so Marantz it was again.

    When i bought my speakers from RS it was handy, i could demo them at home,had one pair of speakers,took em back,then another pair,didnt like them so got back my first set :)
     
  6. alexs2

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    I wouldn't buy anything of any serious expense I couldn't listen to in my own home for a reasonable period of time.....all of my local dealers(Rayleigh HIFI and Audio-T etc)have been very helpful in this respect and as I've said before on this topic,any dealer who's prepared to take serious amounts of your money but not offer a demo in your own home,doesnt deserve the money...IMHO.:cool:
     
  7. perrdl

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    The Denon and Marantz were Very Close IMHO

    I demoed them both in AV and stereo.

    I think the Marantz may have had the edge on stereo, although they were both great in AV.

    I think the Denon was a little more In your Face than the Marantz, which is something I like, but others don't.

    I also wanted a variable xover upto 120hz, this combined with a lower price tag were other factors in my decision of the Denon over the Marantz.
     
  8. gazzerr

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    I must admit that I have concluded that it is very difficult to arrive at a clear answer. Mostly you have to listen to various bits of kit to hear a difference and then if it takes too long to swap over you have lost your reference point. I have never listened and thought wow this is fantastic but I have had a demo and immediately listened to another set up and could clearly hear which was better. It does make me wonder if spending the extra money is worth it but...
     
  9. sounddog

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    I've demo'd yes.

    Was buying a integrated stereo amp ...

    If I hadn't demo'd would probably have gone out and bought an Arcam A75+ or NAD C370 ...

    Well cut long story short I ended up demoing Rotel RA02 and RA1060, NAD C370 and TAG 60i. Of course you need to try to get speakers as close to you own as possible (I have B&W 602s2 but the shop only had 602s3)

    Well I started comparing the Rotel RA02 and the NAD C370, decided the RA02 was the better so compared it to the RA1060 ... which was again better and for a finale compared it to the TAG 60i. I found this made more sence than trying to compare all 4 at once.


    Victoria.
     
  10. NicolasB

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    I've demoed Arcam AVR200, Denon 3802, something from Rotel, Denon A11SR, Denon A1SR, and Pioneer AX10. Heading up into separates, I've heard the Cyrus AV8, Linn 5103, Naim AV2, Tag McLaren AV32R, Arcam AV8, Meridian 568.2, Bryston SP 1.7, and Lexicon MC-1 on the processor side of things. On the amp side I've heard various little Cyrus things, Parasound HC2205, Arcam P7, Tag McLaren 5x100R, Bryston 9B THX, Meridian 558.2 and Krell Showcase.

    So yes, some people do demo things.
     
  11. Noodle

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    I recently demoed four av amps.

    Marantz 7300
    Onkyo 777es
    Sony 555es
    Arcam AVR200

    I demoed them all in multi-channel first and enjoyed each and every one. You have to bear in mind that this was my very first experience of home cinema.
    I then demoed them all in Stereo (which the system was also going to be used for) and found the Onkyo unlistenable, the Marantz adequate but nothing special, the Sony had lovely treble but booming bass and the volume control was too sensitive and finally the Arcam blew them all out of the water in Stereo mode.
     
  12. Brox

    Brox
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    NicolasB

    So what were your thoughts on what you demoed?
     
  13. Phil_Yeoman

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    I always demo but you realy must do it in your own enviornment. Remember speakers, amps, processors and transports all have characteristics that change over time. Speakers can often sound very different when used over a period of weeks. Amplifiers will take several hours of continous use to begin to reach there true sonic character!

    You could go on and on but surfice to say that alexs2 was write, you need to demo in the home. The amps needs to be placed on the support you will eventually use and the system should be left to run in for several hours before you sit down to make a judgement.

    I buy a lot of kit from the states and have relationships with several dealers in New York. I have in the past borrowed stuff from them for a period of a month before making my decision. If they can provide that level of customer I am sure going to say loyal :)
     
  14. Brox

    Brox
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    I understand what you are saying but it seems that a lot of people come up with reasons for not demoing, not sure why but at least if you compare a number of systems at at the 'same' time you should be able to work out which one you prefer. Sure it may sound a bit differant in your own home but I doubt if it will be that differant to the sound in the shop, i mean if it has no bass in the shop then it's unlikely to find it in the average living room.
     
  15. pointon

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    I think you'll find the best and most common advice anyone ever receives around here is to make sure that they do demo stuff.
     
  16. mjn

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    always demo where possible, especially if you're going to spend more than £400 on any 1 item
     
  17. juboy

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    I take your point mjn, but putting an actual price figure down isn't too helpful... a £400 amp to some people would be absolutely the best thing in their system, to others it'd barely buy them the power amp to run their main amp in 6.1

    Price/cost of equipment is always relative.

    Oddly, I have demoed all my hi fi kit to almost insane levels but when it comes to AV, I'm pretty happy to read some mags, correlate their views with those of forum members and generally on the Net, ask a few dealers and then make my choice. I think this is due to my (possibly completely misguided) belief that AV kit tends to have 2 or 3 'must haves' at a given price point and those items of kit usually have a very high performance/price ratio.

    I'm also quite happy to admit I bought my new sub from Uncle Eric without ever having seen, let alone heard, the brute (the sub, not Eric!) and it has proved to be better than anything I'd have picked out at demo myself, in all likelihood.
     
  18. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I have done the same thing and so have many others on this forum. They trust the judgement of someone who obviously knows what he is talking about.

    Unfortunately this is one of two subjects that Brox brings up regularly so expect a thread soon about how everyone buys Denon & Yamaha without bothering to audition Harmon Kardon. :D
     
  19. mjn

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    ah...but i didn't EVERYBODY should only demo when spending more than £400. I was using it has a general rule that i use myself.
     
  20. juboy

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    I could never imagine myself asking my dealer to demonstrate something that could so easily be misheard as Hard-on.
     
  21. pointon

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    How about, then, we say that if you're spending any amount of money you would not otherwise like to see shredded, burned and flushed down the toilet, then perhaps you should try demoing before effectively doing just that? ;)
     
  22. juboy

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    That doesn't make any sense, unless people who demo kit always end up buying completely different kit to those who don't demo kit.

    Someone who spends all day demoing 10 amps may well buy the very same (for example) Denon 3802 amp that some other guy who just saw it's good reviews, found a good online price and ordered up without ever hearing it.

    Would the two amps somehow perform differently when each person got them home?
     
  23. pointon

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    I think you missed the point. The guy who spent all day and demo'ed ten amps took home the Denon, that for him was the best.

    The guy who read the review may have demo'ed the same ten amps and decided he liked the Denon least of all and would have rather bought the one the other guy liked least, because it's his personal preference.

    Only God ( ;) ) and Gandalf the Great, and a handful of auidophile AV genius' know which one is truely the greatest of them all. All other people should trust their judgement and not What HiFi or Home Cinema Choice (I'm not saying there's anything wrong with these mags! OK?) magazines.
     
  24. juboy

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    I would agree absolutely Pointon, if people genuinely do 'blind' demos then, yes, they may well establish which item performs best to their ears/eyes.

    Somehow, I doubt that many people do that. I suspect many have, maybe even subconsciously, made up their mind pretty much before the demos commence. Based on price, reviews, brand name, previous experience, friend's experience etc. people can well already 'know' which one is going to sound best.

    As Ian has commented, I also would prefer in most cases to trust the judgement of someone far more experienced and knowledgable than I. I demoed subs and ended up with what I thought was the best one I'd heard, the Rel Q150... Eric's recommendation blew it clean out of the water and my local dealers wouldn't have had a Velodyne to demo even had I asked.
     
  25. pointon

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    I would hope people don't just settle for what is available for them to hear. Do your research, ask people, read reviews, and then demo. But in the end, it's your decision to make, so make it yourself.
     
  26. juboy

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    100% agree with that, no 'buts' :)
     
  27. Phil_Yeoman

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    Blind testing? hmmm lets not go their. The point of a demo is not to compare 10 diffent products and pick a winner. Take that route and by the time youve made your choice the manufaturers will have changed the model.

    The point is you do the research (mags, forums, friends etc) then have a demo if you like it, buy it. You can get very confused trying to find the "best" out of a group of similar spect equipment. In the end you will problebly convince yourself to buy the one that you most fancied before the test :)

    Phil
     
  28. sounddog

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    I don't always thing you end up buying the one that you intended to.

    I went and demo'd the NAD C370 thinking that was what I wanted from reading reviews, having a C320 and from reading other people's comment. I ended up buying a Rotel RA1060 having also demo'd a Tag that I **thought** would be a lot better but wasn't (IMO)

    So it's not always true.


    Victoria
     
  29. juboy

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    I don't suppose I can disagree with that...

     
  30. juboy

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    I don't think anyone's suggested that 'always' happens. I think we're suggesting that it might happen more than people might themselves be aware.
     

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