The high-end way... To go, or not to go?


Prominent Member
Hi there!
Last week I had a remarkable experience... I visited a high-end shop.
Apart from the gorgeous looks of their products and the names I didn't know, it made me think a lot.
First of all, the way I was treated was far better than in any other shop I visited, and I am not talking about this big shops like MediaMarkt. We spent more time talking than listening to anything, assuming that it would be needed a longer time for that, in a second visit. And all this after I told them I am just a poor PhD student that cannot spend 2000 euro in a couple of speakers. Say that in a regular shop, and the attention they will pay to you will decay exponentially.
I told them my situation, how I like music and what I want to get out of it, that I also want to benefit of the home cinema, but I consider music more important. I gave them all the ingredients of my personal tastes and situation, my room, etc. Now they have an idea of what I can and want, and gave me some advice on how to start.
This is not the end, because it is supposed that I will visit the shop at least once again, and they will show me how some speakers that I can afford work, and they will find my likings, being able to recommend me the best suited for me.
Of course any dealer's goal is to sell, and make money, but I really think that this guys have a different philosophy, and won't try to get me into something they should or need to sell, but really find out what pleases me, and go that way.
On the other side, of course the equipment they sell is more expensive than what you find in a normal hifi shop, but not that much, really.
You know, when I said "I don't care what kind of car I drive, but I want to listen to music as good as I can", they talked to each other "hey, this is one of the good ones". Of course you can interpret that as "we will make money with this guy", but I felt it like "he is like us, music lovers".
I asked this guys all questions that came to my mind, even getting answers that were "against them", like that B&W are very good and worth the price [he doesn't have them].
We were talking for 45 min, and after that (already 15 min passed the opening hours) he said I should just listen something for a while, to get a first impression. We went out of the shop almost 1 hour after it should be closed. That says a lot about this people, moreover because I started saying I wouldn't spend a lot of money.
Finally, they put a concert of The Corrs on a pioneer receiver (don't know which player) and let it play through some Triangle speakers, that I had already heard about, without subwoofer. Although the setup was far from ideal, the sound stage was nice and clear, everything detailed. Nothing related to the agressive sound of the Canton LE109 that I auditioned last saturday (well, the price was near 3 times more...). The only thing I was missing was some extra bass. Anyway, it was just for a first impression, and they said they'd set something up for my second visit (I have to make an appointment).
BTW, something also very pleasant was that they sticked to the budget I said, even though I commented I'd like to expand it afterwards. I said I want a couple of front speakers for 400 euro or less, and they didn't mention anything out of that limit. They said they have some Triangle, but they are bookshelf, and then showed me some Acoustic Energy Aegis Two floorstanding for 400 euro the pair. They also mentioned they are waiting for another speakers, and some are under 400 euro/pair, but they don't have them yet.
In addition, I liked very much what they wrote in the web site (sorry, it is in german!) about hifi and hiend, not to say that I got the feeling they know what they talk about.

Ok, I know I have written a lot... Now the question is... Do you think that you get better for the money, or everything is gone in fancy looks, when you go the hi-end way?

PS: I could see there some speakers made of stone (I started a thread about it last week), although I didn't listen to any of them. Nice stuff!! Maybe next time I get the opportunity to listen to them!

Phil Hinton

Staff member
It is nice to find dealers who treat you with respect and are not forcing sales on you. In my experience it is rare to find dealers that are as enthusiasic as you mention, I have a local dealer who are part of a major chain but who treat me very well indeed and as a result they get 90% of my business.


Established Member
Have to agree with THX. It's amazing how dealers differ in approach even when they are agents for the same products.

Personally mine is 70 miles away purely because he was the closest one who actually works with me. Even got the manufacturer to visit me at home with an additional engineer to resolve some issues.


Prominent Member
The dealers I have dealt with have usually been very helpful often giving you as much time as you need to make a decision on what equipment you'd like to purchase. Since they are privy to many makes and models of various products I feel they're in the best position to help you to find what will suit your needs.
Obviously some dealers could take advantage of this and push in house products onto customers but I've not come across this on the smaller independant dealers I've used.
For this kind of customer service and after sales help I feel it is worth paying slightly more than you would usually pay from an internet retailer.


I've found telling the truth, and creating a good system for the budget is a better repeat sales tool than any other selling method.
Every person I have sold a system to comes back and tries to find me for anything else.
Saying that it is probably less common for standard salesman to stay in the job long enough to reap the benefits of this idea, I plan to do this for a living as long as possible and will stay exactly where I am as long as the company continue in the right direction.
(I do not work In a high end shop but do work in a Hi-fi department).
You need to do something to make it worth the people buying from you and giving a good sales service is a good way. (If they don't take your advice away and buy from the internet anyway:mad: )

Phil Hinton

Staff member
Yeah, thats the way of the world these days, demo at a shop and then buy of the net. I would never take the risk buying online, instead i prefer to play with kit at home, take good knowledgable advice from my dealer and don't mind paying 5% more for the satisfaction that anything that goes wrong gets fixed ASAP by my dealer and i get a loan machine till it's sorted. Can't argue with that kind of service, although it would appear to be rare these days.


Prominent Member
I completely agree. And I think I couldn't betray a good dealer. I mean, good advice, time spent finding out what fits your budget, needs and likings, patience, etc... That is unvaluable!! (I mean "unvaluable" in the sense that it is so good you can't put a price, not that it doesn't cost anything... I don't know if it is the right adjective, I am not a native speaker... sorry if I made a mistake!).

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