If you're anywhere near Portland Oregon, I'd seriously recommend Audio Gallery in Lake Oswego. If on the East coast, try Overture in Delaware or Goodwin's High End nr Boston or Progessive nr Columbus, Ohio.
All have great expertise and have the speakers set up under optimum conditions.
I have to second Overture Audio. Terry Menacker, the owner
is extremely knowledgeable, and is as nice, and helpful a guy as you will ever meet in this business.
call carl or john at audio unlimited. you're not likely to find a better deal or more knowledgable folks. they're just down the road from avalon's hq.
BTW, there are three 2-ways in the avalon line: the avatar, eclipse and arcus. IMO, the arcus offers the most bang for the buck.
Sorry to disagree with Joe Abrams, but Audio Gallery in Oregon is the WORST store I have ever been in. The owner is rude and obnoxious. I would rather own Bose than buy anything from Gary. Most people here feel the same.
i live in a small south carolina town without much in the way of any quality audio dealers. about six months ago i contacted audio unlimited in the denver area about a used pair if radians that they has listed here on audiogon. carl jerrits was the gentleman with whom i spoke and he was certainly knowledgeable and helpful. i ended up buying a pair of opus from them and found their prices and professionalism to be to be unmatched anywhere. give them a call, i'm sure you'll be happy you did!
I've got to second (& third)a couple of the above recomendations. East: Terry Menacker at Overture.
West: Carl Jerrits at Audio Unlimited.
Both have been extremely helpful with products and advice.
That's funny Jtinn, I hear nothing but praise about the Audio Gallery. Maybe you two just didn't get along?
Cornfedboy,Ucmgr,and audiopman are right !!
You MUST contact AUDIO UNLIMITED tomorrow !!
It doesn't matter where you lived they can send it to you with cheaper and faster shipment than anyone.
John Barnes and Carl are the man !!
In the Bay Area, talk to Brian Hartsell at The Analog Room. Brian is a deeply committed audiophile as well as a great source of knowledge on analog audio. Personally I treasure the contacts, knowledge, and service at excellent small dealerships like Brian's over some of the larger audio emporia.
For those on the East Coast in the NC-VA-MD area, Audio Art in Richmond can provide an excellent audition of Avalon's Eidolon and Eclipse models. Tim Harrison is very knowledgable and helpful, but expect to audition the speakers by appointment only.
There is no denying John Barnes of Audio Unlimited has put together an unbelievable set up with the Accuphase/Boulder/Eidolon. The room this combo is in is state of the art as well. Absolutely amazing. I only wish they would have had a pair of Opus on hand for me to hear.
For an excellent sales experience, great products and an overall quality presentation, contact Everett Fuller at Sound and Cinema in Alpharetta, GA (near Atlanta). The shop is truly devoted to high-end 2 channel systems and features Pass Labs, making it (in my humble opinion) a real class act.
I would like to thank all of my fellow Avalon buddies for responding to my question. I bought a AVALON ARCUS, will have it in a week . A special thanks to GINO for helping me.Tweety