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Purchase and insurance advice please - £1500 to spend



Hi all - first post here.

I'm afraid I have several questions. Firstly wondered if I could have your thoughts on what to replace a stolen hifi (and integrated dvd/surround amp) with.

Original system (approx. 3 years old) was:

CD player: Teac PD-H500s (reference 500 series)
Amplifier: Teac A-H500
Tuner: Teac (unknown model number)
Speakers: Mission M71i with Arc 360 stands

DVD was similar to this model - Pioneer NSDV99. A DVD player, separate LCD screen, subwoofer box containing amp, 5 satellites.

With about £750 to spend on each of the hifi and dvd setup, and the insurers wanting us to deal with Empire Commercial (part of Empire Direct apparently), what sort of kit do you recommend we go for? What's comparable today?

Couple of notes here -
I'd like to move to a DAB tuner - I think that should be easy given the budget.

We'd like to put the Sky Plus digital optical out into whatever 5.1 system we end up with.

Composing our own home cinema system would be preferable for me - buying receiver, speakers, dvd player separately. TV is a rented flat 32" widescreen Sony CRT.

The £1500 spend need not necessarily be evenly split between the hifi and the dvd setup.

Does anyone have any experience with Empire Direct (service, quality, warranties, prices etc) - how do they compare with say Richer Sounds (our favoured dealer) or a more "serious" hifi shop?

In your opinion, do you think we would be within our rights to choose our own retailer for obtaining the kit, rather than being forced into buying through a company that we don't know at all by the insurance company? What about not being able to audition the kit before purchase?

Many thanks in advance



Sorry to reply to my own post - but I've done some quick research on products from Richer Sounds.

On the hifi side, I like the look of:

Amp - Marantz PM7200 £243
CD - Marantz CD7300 £200
DAB - Cambridge Audio DAB300 £120
Speakers - Mission M73I floorstanders £120
Total for hifi - £683

And for the DVD:

DVD player - Cambridge Audio DVD57 £100
AV Recevier - Cambridge Audio Azur 540R £250
Centre speaker - Mission M7C1I £50
Front speakers - Mission M73I £120
Rear speakers - Mission M71I £60
Sub - Gale Storm 10 £80
DVD total - £660

Any obvious problems with any of that?

That leaves about £100 for interconnects etc. Recommendations?

Oh, and some stands of some description for the rear Mission M71I's. Forgot those.

(The thieves left most of the original good speaker cable behind, along with one of the original satellite speakers lol)

Thanks again.

Jules Tohpipi

Well-known Member
When I used to work as a retailer, sometimes I would be faced with the unhappy task of having to console customers who had been burgled - customers who had bought their systems from me.

Naturally, the insurance companies try to source from the cheapest outlets. But this doesn't always suit the customer.

Therefore, we (customer + shop) used to mount a vigorous defence with the insurance companies based on the following principle. You may be interested to know that this defence worked 9 times out of ten, allowing my customer to buy from me again (via the insurance company). Here goes:

We are a specialist hi-fi shop with demo facilities, free installation making sure all works perfectly - opportunity to correct any mis-matches, blah, blah, blah. My customer is local and paid X pounds for his system. Alternatively, he could have paid X minus 25% (a not inconsiderable sum) had he picked up the phone and bought it from Tottenham Court Rd or other distance seller. Please note anyone can do that - because picking up a phone and browsing through adverts is a very easy thing to do, don't you agree ? My customer didn't do that because he was getting extra value by buying from me. That value being the opportunity to audition all kit before buying, a refund option (BADA), free installation, face-to-face discussions, and all the other things I do to make sure he is happy with his purchase - including being able to return his equipment locally should something go wrong. My customer valued that as an approximate 25% discount surrendered (insert your own figure here). Your settlement thru Megadiscount Ltd (whoever they may be from instance to instance) who are 100 miles away, does not reflect this. Anyone can get a discount by calling around, but my customer didn't, meaning he paid considerably more - to obtain a much better local service. This value can only be returned to the customer by your allowing him to deal with us again.

As I say, I found this worked on 9 out of ten occassions with the insurers.

Of course, this defence only works if you can demonstrate the above to be mostly true in your case...

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