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  1. #1
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    Looking for Store

    Can anyone recommend an decent audio dealer in Orange or LA County? Maybe even San Diego? Not looking for Circuit City or the Good Guys.

    Thanks,

    Art

  2. #2
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arturo7
    Can anyone recommend an decent audio dealer in Orange or LA County? Maybe even San Diego? Not looking for Circuit City or the Good Guys.

    Thanks,

    Art
    Let's see, you can go to Sound Factor which has stores in Encino, Santa Monica, and Pasadena. Also in Pasadena is GNP audio. In Woodland Hills you have Shelley's Stereo populated by moronic salespeople. There's LA Audio and Video in LA on Western. There's also Magnolia Audio Video in Santa Monica and the Valley, but I don't think they are much better than Best Buy, although they do carry high end speakers.

    What I recommend is visiting a manufacturers website of a product that you either would like to buy or is in the class of products you want to peruse and do a dealer search for your area.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular risabet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arturo7
    Can anyone recommend an decent audio dealer in Orange or LA County? Maybe even San Diego? Not looking for Circuit City or the Good Guys.

    Thanks,

    Art
    Try Systems Design in Redondo Beach. The owner, Jerry Axelrod is a seriously knowledgable dealer and a good guy. 310 370-8575

    Linn LP-12 (Origin Live Advanced PS w/DC Motor) Benz "ACE" medium output*TAD-150*Tube Audio Design TAD-1000 monoblocs*Parasound CD-P 1000*NAD 4020A Tuner*Velodyne F-1000 Subwoofer*Toshiba SD-4700 DVD*Motorola DTP-5100 HD converter*Pioneer PDP-4300*Martin-Logan Clarity*Audioquest cables and interconnects* Panamax 5100 power conditioner

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Some high end dealers in Orange County there that I know for sure are still in business include Genesis Audio in Irvine, and Audio Video Today in Westminster. You could also check out Ken Crane's, which mostly carries video gear, but has some decent audio items as well. Magnolia Audio Video is owned by Best Buy, but independently operated. They carry a lot of very nice items, and I think their service is a step up on Tweeter.

    Best thing to do is look up some of the companies whose components you want to audition, and check their website's dealer locator. That's by far the best way to put together a list of stores to visit.

  5. #5
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    The Digital Ear in Tustin is a very cool place. Nice, knowlegeable salespeople and very low pressure. Some of the lines they carry are Martin Logan, Theil, Wilson, Magnepan, Audio Physic, ARC, Krell, Wadia, and Music Hall.

    There's also a place right off the 73 in Newport, just down the street from the Virgin Superstore but for the life of me I can't remember its name. Check the Dynaudio website as they are a dealer and also carry Sunfire, Vienna Acoustics, and Sim Audio.

  6. #6
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Audio concepts in Long Beach. on pch 2nd streey and bellflower,closer to 2nd street. Supergo in Cerritos. They have some seperated listening rooms,kinda like living rooms. Ken Cranes in orange county and a new one in Long Beach towne center on carson. Frys. Wow which is a GG but i like it better,its bigger on pch and 2nd street.
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  7. #7
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    Thank you, everyone, for the suggestions.

    Art

  8. #8
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    Tweeter & other options

    I've had good luck with Tweeter (sorry Wooch). They have several stores, including one in Newport Beach, next to Triangle square. It's not super high-end, but they do have great specials. I found a knowledgeable sales rep and have sent several friends to him as well with very positive feedback.

    Magnolia caries Martin Logan and several higher-end brands, but like most stores, they are really pushing TV's over anything else, which is really grating to those of us who appreciate good sound. Apparently TV's is where stores get the biggest comissions.

    I also regularly talk to a friend of mine who is a custom installer and he tells me he has access to some very high end equipment (Aragon, Canton, Parasound). I bought a used Perraux amp from him several years back and it was perhaps the best unit I have ever heard. Anyhow, a custom installer may be another option for you, if you're willing to have them install it. The nice thing is that they will provide support over time because they want to keep you as a customer, and they sometimes have great used gear.

    I have to disagree with Fry's though. Those stores are possibly the worst place to shop. Trying to get someone to help you is nearly impossible, they always push Bose and Sony, and they resell returned equipment as new. Speaking of returning equipment, don't even try. I've been going there for years to buy computer stuff, but the only thing I buy there is software because as long as it still has the license, I don't care if it's been used.

  9. #9
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Ain't that the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    ...like most stores, they are really pushing TV's over anything else, which is really grating to those of us who appreciate good sound.
    I was at the Central Coast for a brief vacation a few weeks ago and stopped by one of my favorite audio stores, Audio Ecstasy, while I was there only to find they have completely shifted their focus to video. Instead of rows of ML's, Vandy's, Paradigm's, Mission's, Gallo's and Pinnacle's, everything had been replaced with flat panels! Their main sound room, which used to have the big guns from each manufacturer's lines supported with racks of Theta, Adcom, high end TT's, etc., had been all but gutted, replaced by a monster Hitachi LCD and Paradigm Studio surround system. I don't blame them for shifting their focus to where the market is moving (and is most profitable), but that certainly doesn't do audio guys like us any favors.

  10. #10
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    internet seller

    undefined
    Quote Originally Posted by Arturo7
    Can anyone recommend an decent audio dealer in Orange or LA County? Maybe even San Diego? Not looking for Circuit City or the Good Guys.

    Thanks,

    Art
    I went to a few places and then onto the internet for the best deal. I bought my Klipsch speakers from Acoustic sound disign. They have an informative web site with an 1- 800 number. They had great communication, the iItems that I bought were as described. They had fast delivery and low shipping rates. They were great to work with and were very helpful on any questions I had.
    I hope this helps

  11. #11
    Forum Regular risabet's Avatar
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    Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by rsteele502
    undefined

    I went to a few places and then onto the internet for the best deal. I bought my Klipsch speakers from Acoustic sound disign. They have an informative web site with an 1- 800 number. They had great communication, the iItems that I bought were as described. They had fast delivery and low shipping rates. They were great to work with and were very helpful on any questions I had.
    I hope this helps
    Please tell me I'm wrong.

    So, you went to a few dealers, listened to the products that you were interested in, took up their time and expertise, as it is, and then purchased from an online dealer who gave you NOTHING except the lowest price and chatted you up on the phone. And we wonder why the true high-end dealer is a dying breed. No loyalty or reward for the work they put in.

    Linn LP-12 (Origin Live Advanced PS w/DC Motor) Benz "ACE" medium output*TAD-150*Tube Audio Design TAD-1000 monoblocs*Parasound CD-P 1000*NAD 4020A Tuner*Velodyne F-1000 Subwoofer*Toshiba SD-4700 DVD*Motorola DTP-5100 HD converter*Pioneer PDP-4300*Martin-Logan Clarity*Audioquest cables and interconnects* Panamax 5100 power conditioner

  12. #12
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Oh,ok. I'll gladly pay more when i could pay less. Thats BS to the max and thats how it works. Give me the lowest price and if you cant,see ya. Dont give me that,support your local cr$p. Now i'll give the local a chance to get close or match the internet but thats not going to happen much.
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  13. #13
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Oh,ok. I'll gladly pay more when i could pay less. Thats BS to the max and thats how it works. Give me the lowest price and if you cant,see ya. Dont give me that,support your local cr$p. Now i'll give the local a chance to get close or match the internet but thats not going to happen much.
    In all likelihood, that Klipsch vendor mentioned was an unauthorized source since they no longer carry Klipsch. They're even pushing some brand I've never heard of, claiming that it's "better than Klipsch." That alone should be a red flag.

    Klipsch has been cracking down on unauthorized vendors for the past year and this vendor could have been one of the ones caught in that crackdown. Several other manufacturers have started doing the same. Basically, if you buy from an unauthorized vendor, you lose the warranty. Klipsch has a limited number of authorized e-tail partners, and they generally charge around the same prices as their retail stores.

    Giving a local store a chance to match an online price is fair, but it's also unreasonable to expect them to go all the way on the price. This is because a product with a known chain of distribution and a factory warranty is NOT the same thing as a product that has been diverted from the normal distribution process and has no warranty attached. In economic terms, it's called value added, and it comes on top of the value provided by the commodity itself. The warranty, the aftersales support, the return guarantees, the upgrade offers are all part of the value added equation, and typically online vendors provide that in a much more limited capacity. Expecting to buy something with a greater value added for the exact same price as something with lower value added just doesn't compute.

    I try to support my local stores wherever possible because they are part of the neighborhood, and frankly I don't want to lose places to try products out. Several stores in my area have already closed in the past couple of years, and that limits my choices as a consumer, and provides fewer places to try things out and comparison shop. Given that friends of mine have had to make a living working at audio stores, I personally think that people who use a sales rep's valuable time at a store and then turn around and buy online without even giving them a chance to come down in price are scumbags.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular risabet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Oh,ok. I'll gladly pay more when i could pay less. Thats BS to the max and thats how it works. Give me the lowest price and if you cant,see ya. Dont give me that,support your local cr$p. Now i'll give the local a chance to get close or match the internet but thats not going to happen much.
    To each his own I guess, I factor in the support, service and experience of the dealer as a part of the price. Most shops I've dealt with can come close to the Net price but you're right, they can rarely match it. My point isn't to buy from the dealer all the time but not to waste his time auditioning and then to buy from some web rat.

    Linn LP-12 (Origin Live Advanced PS w/DC Motor) Benz "ACE" medium output*TAD-150*Tube Audio Design TAD-1000 monoblocs*Parasound CD-P 1000*NAD 4020A Tuner*Velodyne F-1000 Subwoofer*Toshiba SD-4700 DVD*Motorola DTP-5100 HD converter*Pioneer PDP-4300*Martin-Logan Clarity*Audioquest cables and interconnects* Panamax 5100 power conditioner

  15. #15
    nightflier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Klipsch has a limited number of authorized e-tail partners, and they generally charge around the same prices as their retail stores.... Several stores in my area have already closed in the past couple of years...
    It's my understanding that Klipsch only permits the sale of their Synergy models online. If you want Reference, you have to buy from a store. I do wish that Klipsch would sell from their own website. I've become a big fan over the years, and have come to trust them enough to buy w/o first hearing. It's a gamble, to be sure, but I have never regretted purchasing a Klipsch speaker. I have, however been quite disappointed in the markup in stores like GG where the service from the commission-driven sales reps doens't warrant it at all. And don't even try to return anything to them...

    But what you're saying about stores closing, is sad, but still a fact. Even local CC's and BB's are having a hard time selling audio gear. While I agree that we need to help local stores stay in business, it does seem to be a loosing battle. I still like to spend as much time in a good audio store as I will spend in a book store (and I have been known to "waste" whole Saturdays there), but I will always buy something if I do that, or at the very least, come back later to do so. But I also think that if that store does not have an online presence, they will eventually go out of business. While the web had noble beginnings, it is now the new marketplace and there's just no way to survive outside of it.

    I think what we are all so frustrated with is that stores that don't sell perishable goods and services are going out of business. Even window shopping is now a crime called "loitering." I used to spend hours in software stores like Egghead and Software Etc., and now there aren't any software stores anymore. The only place to browse for goods is online. And it's just not the same as comparing the specs on side of the the box, reading about the author on the back of the novel, or hearing the crispness of a tweeter. Shopping with my kids on Saturdays has turned into finding the latest trendy disposable stuff. I'm just fighting to find something that will last as long as possible. It's sad to say, but I don't go out "shopping" as often anymore and I think this trend is making us all a little less social and more insulated from what is happening "out there."

  16. #16
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    I dont need to help a local shop stay in business,thats up to them to get my business. If a reciever online is 700 bucks and the store has it for 900,i'm all over the internet. Now within 50 bucks or so,maybe the store but then the tax kills it.
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  17. #17
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    I dont need to help a local shop stay in business,thats up to them to get my business. If a reciever online is 700 bucks and the store has it for 900,i'm all over the internet. Now within 50 bucks or so,maybe the store but then the tax kills it.
    And if the receiver breaks and none of the factory service centers will accept the unit because it was sold through an unauthorized vendor, then you've just bought yourself a $700 doorstop.

  18. #18
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    And if the receiver breaks and none of the factory service centers will accept the unit because it was sold through an unauthorized vendor, then you've just bought yourself a $700 doorstop.
    You never saw me talk about an unauthorized vendor and i would never tell someone to buy that way. Whats next?
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  19. #19
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    You never saw me talk about an unauthorized vendor and i would never tell someone to buy that way. Whats next?
    And good luck trying to find an authorized online vendor that will discount that much more than what you can get at a retail store. If the status of the online vendor is not at issue, most stores will match the price. Just about every time I've seen a steeply discounted price from an authorized online vendor, that same price is typically what you will either see posted or can negotiate at a local store. It's only the unauthorized vendors that will post prices that retail stores will not/cannot match.

  20. #20
    nightflier
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    Tweeter is getting rid of it's Higher end B&K line

    Went back to Tweeter this past weekend and got a tip that Tweeter is discontinuing its B&K line in favor of some new lower-fi stuff. Anyhow, it's likely that there will be some good deals to be had on B&K amps and preamps. Of course, this it not a a good thing for Tweeter, in my book. Anyhow, I thought people might want to know....

  21. #21
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    here's one

    I bought my NAD turntable here. Owner is a terrific kid.

    https://dmc-electronics.com/Default.htm


    Quote Originally Posted by Arturo7
    Can anyone recommend an decent audio dealer in Orange or LA County? Maybe even San Diego? Not looking for Circuit City or the Good Guys.

    Thanks,

    Art

  22. #22
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    Unauthorized dealers

    I've heard this warranty thing several times. My question is simply; where do unauthorized dealers get their inventory? The implication is that they get it by some illegal means, if true the manufacturer would quickly be in touch with the police. Stolen from retailers one at a time? Made late at night by unauthorized employees? Come on, this is perfectly legitimate merchandise.

    If the "unauthorized dealer" bought it at a distress sale from some authorized dealer then the original manufacturer sold it at their normal price and it was built in the normal way so how exactly does this justify cheating the final owner out of a warranty? Exactly who is being punished and for what?

  23. #23
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermanv
    I've heard this warranty thing several times. My question is simply; where do unauthorized dealers get their inventory? The implication is that they get it by some illegal means, if true the manufacturer would quickly be in touch with the police. Stolen from retailers one at a time? Made late at night by unauthorized employees? Come on, this is perfectly legitimate merchandise.

    If the "unauthorized dealer" bought it at a distress sale from some authorized dealer then the original manufacturer sold it at their normal price and it was built in the normal way so how exactly does this justify cheating the final owner out of a warranty? Exactly who is being punished and for what?
    Typically, these unauthorized retailers get their inventory from authorized vendors. The authorized vendor might have some extra inventory, or they purposely order extra units knowing that they will unload a lot of them out the backdoor. But, these units can also come from any number of other sources -- overseas, b-stock, stolen merchandise, etc. You really don't know what you're getting until it arrives, and you have no idea if it was obtained legitimately. That's the risk, and the reward is the lower price.

    A lot of unauthorized units I've heard have the serial numbers altered, so that their point of origin cannot be traced. Other vendors sell gray market units designed for overseas markets, so they might use different power supplies or other internal components than the North American market units.

    For the manufacturer, they have a reputation to maintain and their retailers have contractual obligations for customer support, promotion, repair, etc. Supplying unauthorized vendors is a breach of that contract, and invalidating the warranty is one of the methods of enforcing. For the manufacturer, it's also in their self interest to enforce the warranty policies. When a consumer buys from an authorized vendor, the consumer knows for sure that the product came to the vendor directly from the manufacturer's designated distributor. When purchased through an unauthorized source, then the product passed through an intermediary -- no idea how the unit was stored, whether the factory seal was broken, how it was transported, etc. That's why the factory can invalidate the warranty, because they have no idea where the thing was before it got to the consumer.

  24. #24
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    B stock

    originally posted by woodchifer
    For the manufacturer, they have a reputation to maintain and their retailers have contractual obligations for customer support, promotion, repair, etc. Supplying unauthorized vendors is a breach of that contract, and invalidating the warranty is one of the methods of enforcing. ...................................... That's why the factory can invalidate the warranty, because they have no idea where the thing was before it got to the consumer.
    Invalidating the warranty does not punish those who provided the merchandise to the "un-authorized" dealer. There is a kind of embedded implication that the manufacturer was never paid. As to where the unit was; if there was for example flood damage the manufacturer could and would reject the claim on a unit by unit basis. This seems reasonable to me but the blanket rejection smells of illegal price controls.

    I do understand that it may not be possible to trace origins of the un-authorized units. I don't see where this effects the reliability and thereby the suitability for warranty. I keep coming back to "where did they come from?" My whole problem is the assumption that a manufacturer makes large numbers of alternate somehow "lesser" version of a given model. I don't think the discounters would bother for a unit or two that slipped through the inventory control cracks.

    Yes there are units marketed for different power line voltages but these simply would not work here so those units don't seem to be likely candidates for these un-authorized dealers. Other than the power voltage, don't the units made for overseas markets also come with warranties? I'm reasonably sure they have different models numbers if the internals are different.

    So I'm forced back to this concept that a manufacturer intentionally makes a large volume of units that are not intended for their normal outlets. Exactly who were these units then intended for? Although there may be models the so called B stock that have some surface defects this doesn't effect the operation or reliability so that need not effect the validity of the warranty. The number of small dealers going out of business would hardly supply the un-authorized market, the sheer cost of tracking those dealers down would outweigh the savings

    Is it possible that the manufacturers are co-conspirators in the whole discount un-authorized dealer thing? The basic question remains where did this stock originate that makes it invalid for a warranty?

    Do you think they are copies made by a third party? This seems unlikely and illegal a good way to incur massive losses as a seller.

    As far as the manufactures reputation, you seem to assume these things came out of a wormhole or somehow miraculously appeared when it is far more likely that they were made on the same production line with the same people and parts as every other unit that was sold.

    I have worked in manufacturing electronic devices my whole life I don't recall ever seeing a special run that meets the conditions implied, the cost is just too high for the manufacturer.

    I do not know the answer, but I obviously have a hard time accepting the party line.

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