Dismiss Notice
Attention AVForums app / Tapatalk users
Sadly GDPR means that, from 25th, we can no longer offer access to AVForums via the branded app or Tapatalk.
Click here for more information.

Good advice from dealers re: ASW750

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by TheSeer, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. TheSeer

    TheSeer
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +3
    I am looking to buy a good quality sub. As I have no experience with subs, I thought it would be a good idea to have one on home loan before committing to buy. Based on threads in this forum I was keen on trying a BW ASW750.

    So, this lunchtime, I went to two of the dedicated audio shops in the town (no names) to enquire after the 750. The first shop didn’t have the 750 but did have some lower-end BW subs. The second shop did have a 750 in stock. The advice I got from both was very interesting & surprising.

    The first shop told me that because the lower-end RELs were so good, they were going to cut back on their BW subs. Effectively, I was advised to try a REL – the 750 would have to be special order so a home loan was difficult.

    The second shop enquired as to what I was going to use the sub for (music & movies) and then went on to say that although the 750 was very good for movies, I would be much better going for a REL as this would allow me to use high-level inputs which would provide a much ‘fuller’ bass for music. Again, effectively, I was steered to the REL range

    I must admit, based on this forum, I had the impression that the 750 was an excellent sub able to compete with the best at its price point (SVS excepted, possibly). Or, might there be another reason why I was being steered to the RELs…………….?

    Was I given good advice? Was the dealer opinion reasonable?

    My room is 2700 cubic feet and I listen to music at -15 to -13db to reference on my system.

    Also, does anyone know how good the electronics are in the 750? Would it be a good idea to take the line-out on my stereo pre-amp and feed it into the 750 and then take the line-out from the 750 and feed my power-amp for stereo? Would the quality of the signal be preserved after using the 750 for filtering out the low frequencies?

    Any thoughts or opinions gratefully received.
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,628
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,905
    If you listen mainly to music I would guess that the dealer advice would be reasonable as a REL is very flexible in connection and whilst they may lack the ultimate depth and slam of the B&W it won't matter too much with music unless you listen to organ music.

    If you had told the retailers that you needed a sub primarily to watch films like Nemo, then his advice could be considered to be suspect.
     
  3. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
    Editor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2001
    Messages:
    10,105
    Products Owned:
    3
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    AVForums
    Ratings:
    +8,013
    Very few dealers in my experience would advise on buying something they didn't stock, some good ones out there will. The first without having too many details, appear not to be B&W dealers as a 750 is not a special order item at a dealer, they should be prepared to demo for you and carry stock.

    Subwoofers are the items which seem to cause the most arguements on this board. As a former Rel owner and having heard most of their new range I would only advise a second hand ST range sub if you listen to a lot of music. But there are subs out there which do the business for both and the B&W is a fine example.
     
  4. Nimby

    Nimby
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    9,204
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Danish Bacon Factory
    Ratings:
    +670
    I am shocked that you would be told that music needs fuller bass and that a REL would provide this. Richard Lord at REL would have probably have kittens if he heard this.

    His whole purist philosophy is that the subwoofer should merely underpin the stereo speakers. The subwoofer should provide a seemless extension of the the stereo speakers' natural bass roll-off. The signal feeding the stereo speakers must not be filtered in any way. No uneccessary analogue to digital conversion should take place in the whole reproduction chain from vinyl record (or CD) to the final sound coming out of the speakers. I hope I haven't misquoted him. But I think this is a fair summing up of what he posted on a subwoofer thread on another forum.

    It is a shame that the B&W's don't have high level connections. This is mainly what put me off them when I was doing my own homework on buying subwoofers prior to finally purchasing an SVS. Which choice was made precisely because I am a classical organ listener. (Amongst many other kinds of music and film too).

    Try and stick to your guns and find a dealer who supports B&W enough to allow a lengthy home demo of your chosen model. Unless you are very lucky most subs take time to set up to achieve an optimum balance on music with your system in your room. If it works it's truly magical. Improving the sound quality, adding authority and timbral clues to what's happening in the lower registers. This requires low distortion, considerable low frequency extension and a low cut off frequency for the subwoofer. Anything else just muddies the higher frequencies and will very quickly drive you mad.

    Nimby
     
  5. TheSeer

    TheSeer
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +3
    Many thanks for your replies, everyone.

    Well, after ringing around a few more dealers, it appears that this advise is in fact widespread. For some reason the ASW750 is considered to be better for movies and not really suited to music. Why it should be viewed that way I do not know. Maybe it is, as IanJ alludes to, that the REL ST range has the option of a high-level connection. One dealer even assured me that BW themselves wouldn't say that the ASW750 was really suited to music !!!:rolleyes:

    I finally managed to get a REL Srata 5 on home loan for the weekend and am finally finding out what real bass is like - and its fantastic :thumbsup:I still need to carry out a proper set-up and calibration but I will definitely be getting a sub soon. :clap: I like the fact that the Strata 5 has remote control, but I'm not convinced that at £800 it is really good value for money (only a 150 watt amp - although I realise that you need to be careful with wattage).

    Anyway, I am still going to try and get hold of the BW ASW750 for a while.

    Must admit though that my confidence in dealers has taken a bit of a hit..........
     
  6. Smurfin

    Smurfin
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    21,427
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,373
    I think mine hit an all-time low when a dealer said to me: "for the money you can't get much better than the KEF 5005s".

    That had me in stitches....:rolleyes: :D
     
  7. rags

    rags
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    4,161
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +324
    Actually your info is not far from thr truth. The dealer I buy my B&W stuff from always recommends Rel if you mention that you need/want to change your sub. It's not particularily biased against B&W but it just seems that Rel have in some way or another embedded themselves very well in the minds of dealers.

    Check em both out and see which one you prefer !
     
  8. TheSeer

    TheSeer
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +3
    Hello Rags,

    Yes, after mulling over this for a while, I have come to more or less the same conclusion as you.

    I don't believe the dealers have any subversive reasons for steering people away from B&W. I just think that, in some way, REL have managed to do a superb job of 'educating' the dealers to see the subwoofer world from the REL perspective. The end result being that a punter going into a dealership looking for a sub is going to be steered to REL. Fantastic result for REL but not necessarily for the punter who won't get to see the full range of options available to him/her. Makes you wonder how many other manufacturers might have been able to carry out this kind of 'education'......................;)

    Still, there is a lot of mis-information out there. One dealer told me that the ASW750 was really designed for American homes, where the flooring is usually wood................:rolleyes:

    Proves that you need to know what you are talking about before going into see a dealer. Otherwise, you are going to end up perpetuating his ignorance and have your world view restricted to his stock-room.
     
  9. Nimby

    Nimby
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    9,204
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Danish Bacon Factory
    Ratings:
    +670
    Would it be 'orribly crass to suggest that the mark-up is better on REL than it is on B&W? :devil:

    Nimby
     
  10. TheSeer

    TheSeer
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +3
    Hello Nimby,

    Yes, that was the very first thing to cross my mind !!:devil: And this was also the very reason why I thought the dealers might have ulterior motives in directing me to REL. I still think that it may well be one of the main reasons for the advice I got, but I'm not totally convinced. Here's why:

    I go into a dealer looking to possibly buy an ASW750 which the dealer is selling for £1,200 but the dealer points me to a REL Strata 5 which he is selling for £800. That's a big difference!! I can't imagine that, in this instance, the dealer would be making more on the REL than the ASW750 ?? Also, I would have thought that B&W's cost of production is less than REL's due to economies of scale etc.

    Having said all that, you could well be right - the dealers putting their profit margins before the punters' satisfaction. SHOCKING ! ;) Just another reason to be wary of dealer advice..................
    :(
     
  11. Pollywoggle

    Pollywoggle
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,451
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    South Shropshire
    Ratings:
    +81
    I think there must be something in this (concerning the mark up on Rel because I read in a thread here recently that someone said they bought a rel Q150 (retailed at £500) for some ridiculously low amount and when someone posted "where?" he answered that he'd got it at trade price. Now I don't know what the middle man normally makes on av gear but I paid £500 for my rel and was a bit miffed to see the mark up. Considering that so much of the stuff we buy is made in China with no doubt lowish labour costs, just how much do we pay for the brand name when a product manages to embed itself in the public's mind?
    I was very happy with my rel and they do make excellent subs but I think we are paying a premium price and retailers are very reluctant to discount them.
     
  12. rags

    rags
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    4,161
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +324
    I wouldnt expect the markup on REL to be significantly out of sync with other brands - they all range between 35-45%. Dealers do however get volume bonus, so given that most people in the UK looking for a sub think REL and end up buying REL, the dealer might as well join the crowd. If you walk in wanting a B&W sub the dealer might as well try to sell you the REL as although the margin is similar on both subs the volume bonus may be substantial.

    In terms of discount - you can get a substantial amount off most if not all brands. Most of us are however reluctant to haggle or do so innefectively.
     
  13. Daneel

    Daneel
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,843
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +8
    I think markup is typically about 45% but VAT has to come off this. There was a thread on this over at PFM a few weeks back.
     
  14. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    14,201
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Living in Surrey, covering UK!
    Ratings:
    +3,039
    Mark up IS NOT TYPICALLY 45%(at least it wasn't/isn't with the speakers I've come across in retail). It is as Rags said. For speakers it is 35-45%. For display devices the final resale can result in 5-35%. Or in some case 0%

    Dealers will often sell what they know. Some products are not available to certain dealers and some manufacturers expect a level of dem stock commitment before allowing dealers to sell certain ranges. So to do a dem of subx(which could be GREAT) the dealer may have to buy £20,000 worth of not so great stuff which no-one wants and the staff don't want to sell. Result is they promote the stuff they do stock and get to perform. Seems logical to me.
     
  15. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,628
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,905
    In this case TheSeer seems to have been given reasonable advice but one does hear of horror stories concerning the rubbish that some dealers have spouted about kit that they don't sell or grossly exaggerated claims for stuff that they do sell, with much of it being believed by a gullible public.

    Perhaps we should have a "good dealer" sticky :D
     
  16. rags

    rags
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    4,161
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +324
    Also some manufacturers will not allow/will discourage dealers from selling other brand equipment. Worst case is they wont let you stock a particular line if you stock a direct competitor. A clear example of this is the Kef Reference range Vs the B&W Nautilus products - there arent many dealers about that stock both !! It's partially to do with what Gordon was talking about above, but also a lot to do with the manufacturers themselves trying to restrict competition.
     
  17. avanzato

    avanzato
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,963
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Ratings:
    +82
    I went in my local dealer to ask about the new receiver from a 'large' UK manufacturer only to find that they don't stock the brand anymore. The salesman came round with a new contract with unacceptable minimum stocking terms. They told him to go away and replaced that UK brand with more imported products instead. Well done! that helped the UK HiFI industry. :rolleyes:

    In the same conversation they said REL had been round (This was about the time REL stopped internet sales) and their terms for bricks and morter sales had been made less restictive.

    I personally don't think that a healthy industry would need restrictive contracts and having them just makes things worse. In the end it upsets the customers who can't easily get to hear/buy what they want to. Like me who's now looking elsewhere.
     
  18. TheSeer

    TheSeer
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +3
    The other thing that has surprised me is the relative dealer ignorance I came across regarding the abilities/features of different products, even from large, high-end dealerships.

    Now I know that a dealer can't be completely au-fait with every aspect of all the products stocked, but I would much rather they simply admitted to not knowing than, in order to appear knowledgeable, spouting some rubbish which I have then independently discovered to be wrong. This just destroys my confidence in a particular dealer. Mostly, this is minor details but I have also come across situations where, if I had not checked the dealers statements about particular products, I would have ended up buying something other than what I was really after. In my experience, the internet has increased the incidence of this - its so easy now to download the user manuals for specific products in order to verify the details you are after and cross-reference to what the dealer said.

    Still, that's enough bad-mouthing of dealers from me. They are only human, after all (well, most of them.........). The moral is simple: Know what you want, do your research, don't get put off by what the dealers say and be stubborn in going after what you want. Oh, look!! I'm preaching to the converted.............. :blush:
     
  19. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    14,201
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Living in Surrey, covering UK!
    Ratings:
    +3,039
    Dealers are only human. Under pressure anyone can act stupidly and out of character. I'm sure I've done it myself and I've certainly seen colleagues do it.

    It would be great if all dealers just played their own equipement and let it do the talking rather than bad mouth the competition. Acting in this way is much more compelling than the other!

    I have never worked for a dealer who has been told by a manufacturer that they couldn't stock brand X if they already did Brand Y. I am unaware of any dealers who have had threats like this.

    Cheers,

    Gordon
     
  20. rags

    rags
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    4,161
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +324
    I dont think its a direct threat (EU regs come to mind) but it centres around things like unfavourable credit terms, lower margins etc.
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice