• 05-21-2011, 03:04 PM
    Byron4
    Shelley's Stereo or How I Spent My Day Off
    My wife was out of town so I took the opportunity to visit Shelly's Stereo in Woodland Hills, CA. I have not been there in a few years so this gave me the opportunity to hear some of the new speakers out there such as the new Magnepan 3.7 and the new Nola speakers and electronics such as McIntosh and Rogue Audio.

    The owner Alon Moscovitch was there and this reminded me why this is such a great place to shop for audio gear and so much better than going to the chains. I have bought a number of items from Shelly's in the past including our family room home theater, however, today I was there just to browse. Alon still personally to care of me including answering all of my questions and making sure I got to hear the Magnepan 3.7's which were hooked up to all McIntosh gear. He put a record of Tchaikovsky on the McIntosh turntable and all of sudden it seemed like there was an orchestra in the room. I can now fully understand why the Magnepans 3.7 were getting all of the accolades. He also played the Nola boxer speakers connected to a Rogue Audio amplifier which also sounded great.

    After listening I realized this is why it is still worth it to patronize the boutique brick and mortar high-end stores. Alon even gave me recommendations for my current set up at home.

    For those on a budget, Alon pointed out they carry a number of inexpensive products such as the Magnepan MMG's (599/pr). These are set up and you can buy them right from their store so you don't have to take anyone's word (including mine) about how
    great they are. You can go listen for yourself.

    What a great day off.
  • 05-21-2011, 04:15 PM
    Ajani
    Cool... That sounds like a fun time...

    Sadly, that seems like the kind of dealer most likely to struggle in these times... According, to a blog I read on the Stereophile website a few weeks ago, It seems that most dealers are moving more towards the most expensive segment of the market or towards Home Theatre and just entry level stereo gear... As the middle of the market is the least profitable in hard economic times...
  • 05-22-2011, 06:16 PM
    Woochifer
    Excellent way to spend a day!

    Shelley's has seen the industry through plenty of changes over the years, and has outlived just about all of its contemporaries from its early days. My parents bought a BIC turntable from Shelley's more than 30 years ago.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ajani
    Sadly, that seems like the kind of dealer most likely to struggle in these times... According, to a blog I read on the Stereophile website a few weeks ago, It seems that most dealers are moving more towards the most expensive segment of the market or towards Home Theatre and just entry level stereo gear... As the middle of the market is the least profitable in hard economic times...

    Yeah, it's no secret that's what has happened over the past decade. The fact is that the home audio component market is shrinking, and has steady declined since its peak in 1992. Since that time, the trend towards the portable and car mobile markets has accelerated. Right now, sales from the iPod alone are more than triple the combined sales for the entire home audio component industry. And sales from car audio more than double the home audio sales.

    Quite a few audiophiles don't know this, and seem blissfully righteous to continue blasting away at anyone who buys "midfi" gear, thinking that the demise of the middle market means more buyer moving up to the high end market. In fact, it was the "midfi" market that provided the supporting leg that kept a lot of audio retailers in business.

    Nowadays, most audio retailers can hardly keep above water just selling components. For most of the stores in my area, they make their money on home installation or warranty repair services. And those stores that carry car audio products can make their money from installation services.

    But, another angle that I would offer up is that the quality at the lower end of the market is now far superior to what was available 20 years ago. People looking for a certain level of performance don't have to pay very much nowadays, whereas previously, you had a much lower level of performance in the lower price point.
  • 05-23-2011, 01:11 PM
    pixelthis
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer View Post
    Excellent way to spend a day!

    Shelley's has seen the industry through plenty of changes over the years, and has outlived just about all of its contemporaries from its early days. My parents bought a BIC turntable from Shelley's more than 30 years ago.



    Yeah, it's no secret that's what has happened over the past decade. The fact is that the home audio component market is shrinking, and has steady declined since its peak in 1992. Since that time, the trend towards the portable and car mobile markets has accelerated. Right now, sales from the iPod alone are more than triple the combined sales for the entire home audio component industry. And sales from car audio more than double the home audio sales.

    Quite a few audiophiles don't know this, and seem blissfully righteous to continue blasting away at anyone who buys "midfi" gear, thinking that the demise of the middle market means more buyer moving up to the high end market. In fact, it was the "midfi" market that provided the supporting leg that kept a lot of audio retailers in business.

    Nowadays, most audio retailers can hardly keep above water just selling components. For most of the stores in my area, they make their money on home installation or warranty repair services. And those stores that carry car audio products can make their money from installation services.

    But, another angle that I would offer up is that the quality at the lower end of the market is now far superior to what was available 20 years ago. People looking for a certain level of performance don't have to pay very much nowadays, whereas previously, you had a much lower level of performance in the lower price point.

    AND then again there are such developments as "sound bars"
    and three piece systems ....
    We recently lost the one serious audio retailer we had in town,
    and this is a university town!
    AUDIO used to be a big deal, watch any show from the eighties,
    everybody had a trick stereo, now there is just too much competing for attention.
    THE NET, small portable devices, etc:1: