Mdrummer01, I would also recommend that you visit Audio Consultants, either the Evanston or the Hinsdale shops, and if your enamoured with tubes, besides Holm Audio, Quintessence Audio that is located in Morton Grove.
I have great respect and like personally Mark at Promusica, however their other people at that store that think Audio started and ended with Naim, and have an arrogant attitude towards anybody else who does not see it that way.
Finally, there is a very high end shop called Ultimate Audio, I have never been there, that is a MBL/Rockport/Brinkmann dealer, that is an appointment only salon, but might be alot of fun to visit. I have talked to one of the owners over the phone who was very friendly , just have not had the time to go over to visit. The number is 847-977-0220.
www.SaturdayAudioExchange.com in the city
www.HolmAudio.com in the SW suburbs near Woodridge
I have done buisness with both and they are great to deal with.
Bizzy Bee Audio is in Naperville. These are the guys that brought us the modified Cayin TA-30 and now the TAD line of tube pre-amps and amps. I know if I were going to be in the area, I would call paul and arrange a time to stop by.
You can visit Music Direct also. It's in a strange part of town and they have no sign because they're an internet company, but it sure is fun to browse their vinyl selection. No need to visit Audio Consultants.
Holm Audio is nice but is about 1 hour from the city of Chicago
I highly recommend "Quintessence Audio Ltd." in Morton Grove. Mick has a great mix of equipment(very strong on speakers) and has stood the test of time(25 yrs.). Also, Mick has always impressed me as a music lover more than an equipment lover. Telephone (847)966-0932
Glenn Poor's in Champaign has some very nice components! Well worth looking into. Also, not sure if they're still around, but Red Rose (I think it's the more affordable Levinson line) was good as well. Not as big selection, but some very aesthetically pleasing items.
Milwuakee, only 1.5 hours away, has Ultra Fidelis, which carries some brands (Vandersteen, Rogue, ProAc) which I didn't see in Chicago; the Vandersteen 5's are worth a look. (doesn't mean they're not there, I just didn't see them).
There is a Glenn Poor's in Chicago on Grand as well. I Second Music Direct. You can listen to gear there as well as check out music and accessories.
Why not contact Brian at Essential Audio...I think he has an 'open house' that weekend....good guy. He also has used inventory.. lookit http://www.essentialaudio.com/demoused.htm
Thank you all! All of these suggestions are candidates, as I will be driving in from the west (Minneapolis) and can visit the Naperville / Woodridge area on my way to downtown. Glenn Poor's?...I actually lived accross the street from their store in Urbana when I was a student at the U of I in the 70's. The Milwaukee store is also game as I head north to Green Bay after leaving Chicago. Again, can't tell how much I appreciate your input. Think Spring! - Steve
What happened to Paul Health Audio?
Up Michigan IIRC.
Quintesense is the place to go,they have a nice room.
They also do have a good selections.Mick is a nice
person.They always try to make their costumer happy.
I recently auditioned some equipment/speakers at Ultra Fidelis in Milwaukee. Dave Mitchell of UF spent a good chunk of time helping me sort through number of options, didn't rush me or press for a sale. Very nice guy. The shop is an old home, not unlike the listen areas that many people have. It's worth a stop.
Yes, the guys at Ultra Fidelis are excellent; I've bought several pieces from them over the years. For those curious about convergence and HT, they have a device called Music Mountain which is hard drive based music/video system. Not cheap, but puts out some of the best tunes and video I've seen anywhere.
I second Brian Walsh as a suggestion for a place to stop in Chicago. Just email him first, he has a lot going on that weekend....also, why not try the Chicago Audio Society meeting on the Sunday?
Have fun, see you up in Green Lake.
Goto Clark street and Diversy.
Start at Saturday Audio Exchange (open on Saturday and Thursday night only). They are just north of Diversy on Clark. They don't have that much high-class merch but sometimes they do.
Next, go out the door (of SAE) to Clark St.
Go South about 1 mile to Pro Musica i.e., "Naim Country" (across the street from Tower Records -score!).
Next, go out to Clark St. again and go south 1/2 mile to Paul Heath Audio (MBL dealer).
Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo across the street.
After the petting zoo, go back to Clark St. and go south again about 2-3 miles to Audio Consultants (not their best store but on the tour).
After, go south a few blocks on Clark to Chicago Ave. Turn right (west).
Go about 2-3 miles west to Milwaukee Ave. Turn right.
Go down a block or two to Superior Audio.
Joe G. is a true sound/music fanatic and will do you right. There is no store sign so call ahead.
Next, go outside and go south on Milwaukee to Ogden Ave (very close). Go down Ogden 1-2 miles to Karen St. (just past the train trestle).
Go right about 1/3 mile.
This is Music Direct.
Again, no sign so know where you're going and ring the bell.
Next, Next? What are you? Some kind of fanatic?
There is (was?) a Red Rose store pretty close to Chicago Ave. and State street I believe if you've got to have more.
Yes you can go to Barrington to Brian's house.
It is a long drive (an hour or more depending on traffic).
Holm is also a long drive from downtown Chicago but a pretty cool store.
The Chicago Audiophile meetings are always good and sport the nicest guys in Chicago area (Brian used to be president).
The "tour" is all from memory so do your home work as far as addresses and to find out if store(s) are still there (I haven't been there in a few years).
forgot to mention Decibel Audio. North
When in Chicago, visit our store in Wicker Park at 1429 N. Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60622 Hrs:
Mon - Fri 2pm - 7pm, Thur 2pm - 9pm, Sat 12pm - 6pm
New/Used. Nice guys to work with.