Sony (some products only) Engineering & sound on a hand full of ES cd players. Love the old RR machines
Technics/Teac/Tanberg Outstanding engineering and reliability on all of their Hi end products.
Two companies come to my mind when I consider quality/sound, price and service. Grado - A little "Mom and Pop" as far as letting you know when you will get something back but they go the extra mile. Channel Island- I had read many positive comments about the company's founder Duster V. and my interactions with him and the company only reinforced those comments.
Sonus Faber - The sound is AWESOME & the look is FABULOUS!
VAC - The build quality & the sound - I have some of Kevin's best work ever.
Denon Receiver & Universal player for HT - They work great together.
Pioneer Elite Pro Plasma - Simply the best picture.
Eggleston Works - Great sound for HT & almost impossible to tip over.
Butler, Manley - Not often you can converse directly with the designer/cheif engineer
Oppo - Excellent customer service and bang-for-the-buck products.
Over the 15 years that I've used Naim products, reliability and service have been stellar. Sonically, the expense of each and every upgrade I've made has justified itself in clearly heightened performance. Though Naim's solutions to the challenges of high end audio are uniquely individual, the end application and use is gratifyingly simple. And the equipment's reliability lets me forget about it while I enjoy year after year of great music.
Great customer sevice.
ECM Records for the top quality sound on every release in the catalog.
Absolutely agree about ECM records. Also Speakers Corner vinyl releases sound stunning.
As for manufacturers--Audio Research for outstanding customer service over the years (I've owned one or more of their products over the past 22 years). Also recommend Quad for customer service.
Naim for sound, reliability and customer service.
Creek see above.
High End- VAC, ARC, BAT, Lamm, etc.
Popular- Sony, Denon, Marantz, etc.
Smaller- Walker, ZYX, Jade, etc.
Good reputation- Classe, Basis, DCCA, Jade, etc.
ProAc, yesterday, today and tommorrow
Coincident Speaker Technology. Israel is very personable, patient and responds quickly to inquiries. He has gone out of his way to make sure I'm MORE than satisfied with the dealings I've had with him since my first purchase in Sept/03. To boot he makes fantastic products for a fair price. I have purchased all my Coincident products directly thru him as apposed to buying them used. This is saying alot seen as how I try to buy used whenever possible.
I'm very fickle in general.
I suppose I've been with Ohm and Linn the longest. Ohm for service, sound and value and Linn for sound and quality/longevity.
I'm new to Audio Research but I could see becoming a minion there for quality and sound.
I'm still a mark for Tandberg and Carver though defunct in that they delivered me a lot of good sound and good value for many years.
I have a local dealer in the Baltimore/DC area that I have been loyal to for many years in that the stuff he sells always sounds good and he tries to deliver value as well.
I like the sound and quality of Dynaudio as well.
Naim for sound, service, reliability and just sounds like music
Many years ago Luxman had my undivided attention, after the Alpine takeover I moved on to Classe Audio and was very dedicated to this brand until just 2 years ago.
Right now my brand loyalty is being shared between Bryston and McIntosh....but it looks as though I'll soon have an all Mac system, other than speakers that is.
Well, since you asked, for me it would be:
Resolution Audio. (Providing free service to fix a problem, albeit a minor one, for an Opus 21 cdp, that I had bought used no less, puts Jeff Kalt as a truly stand up guy in my book!) So Kudos to R.A.!!!!
I have also recieved very good service from Ayre, for providing information about, and eventually upgrading, my K-1xe preamp. Good Job Charles and staff!
Honorable mentions go to Eggleston Works (Andra II speakers) and Lamm (M2.1 amplifier) for also providing me with information and advice when requested!
My two cents worth.
Thiel, and Ayre have really impressed me both with customer service and sound quality.
From my experience...for product quality and service excellence (if required):
KAB Electo Acoustics
Wright Sound Company
Resolution Audio and Thiel. Both for sound quality and customer service. I bought my RA CD-50 on ebay and when I contacted RA about a problem I was having with the remote control Jeff Kalt sent me a new remote control along with a new EPROM chip to accommodate the remote. Guess what he charged? Nada!
Similar service from Thiel for used speakers.
Klyne Audio Arts
Herbie's Audio Labs
A couple of Montreal dealers, including Son Ideal.
Arcadia Audio and Ovation Audio in the Toronto area.
Two Canadian distributors, Charisma Audio and Plurison.
Another vote for ECM. Also Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi, Analekta and Atma.
ACI (Audio Concepts) speakers are always excellent and well supported. Great price/performance ratio.
What no Vandersteen? Not only does Richard make great long standing products at real world prices but also is for the most part always willing to help via a phone call.
Mapman, what dealer?
Recommendations: Soundsmith (Peter Ledermann), Aesthetix (Jim White), Morrow Audio (Mike Morrow), CryoParts (Lee Weiland) , VPI (the fabled "Mike").
This list is not complete without a major shoutout to Bobby at Merlin. Talk about someone who builds a great product and goes to the ends of the earth to support his customers...
And Gordon at Wavelength is always right there if you need him. Superb, innovative products.
Lately I've been feeling the love from the team at NuForce. Great products at great prices and a real hustling organization to back it up.
BAT and Vandersteen for a lot of reasons, but mostly because of this. After making a modest purchase of a 2Wq sub, I had a question about crossover settings which I posted via a support email address found on Vandersteen's site. The next evening, my wife handed me the phone and said "It's for you. . . a Richard Vandersteen calling." Richard helped me with my question (and a couple of follow ups). Oh yeah, great sub!
I love my BAT gear for its no-nonsense design, build quality and musical performance. I've also had terrific customer service from them as well. They cheerfully replaced a remote--no questions asked and without waiting for me to return the original before shipping at their end.
Jeff Rowland has always been great with service and information. Real nice man.
Jeff Kalt at Resolution audio. Went out of his way to help me.
Living voice speakers. I blew a tweeter and they shipped out a replacement no charge even tho they don't have a north American distributor
Hey Street, what you do with your tweeters behind closed doors is your business:)
Just great sounding equipment and exquisite build quality (in my opinion).. and, call me old fashioned, but they answer the phone when you call and have always been polite and helpful.
Dyna-Kit, later Dynaco, of fond memory. Those were the days when a poor college kid could afford a SOTA system.
Good personal experience with Ayre and Aerial Acoustics. Both always give personal service.
Alon/ Nola / Dahlquist I owned a bunch of these over the years and still own Alon MK 5 speakers [ now in storage ] Ridge Street Audio is now the only cable I will own nothing is even close and if Robert keeps improving his cables I will be in the poor farm forever. The personal attention from Robert at Ridge Street is also very hard to top and one nice guy to talk to I have to here his speakers sometime. Marc
DeHavilland --- Kara is the VERY BEST
Atma-Sphere, VTL, Wavac
as you say: Sound, quality, service
Before that it was Jadis for the same reason.
Quad for many years.
Now: Sound Labs
Carts: Peter Suchy's offerings
All these combine for me in the best synergy to please my old ears.
Dodd Audio Ridge Street KCI Cables
They Rock !!!!
McCormack - Sound and build quality is top notch. I would buy another MCormack product without reservation.
Channel Islands Audio - Build quality and sound quality is exceptional for the price and the customer service is great.
Alon/Nola - Carl Marchisotta
Always willing to help with his products and it doesn't hurt that he has designed some incredible products. Bad products with good service is of no interest to me.
Some of the products coming out of the east are really getting good and they are really trying to step up the customer service. It's not easy to overcome language and cultural barriers and deliver some really sound products.
I think what is even more important is the company's
loyalty to it's customers.
John McDonald of Audience definitely fits the bill.
Heck, yes I forgot him. A great guy!
Audio Note. They make everything from source components to speakers and everything in between including amplification and cables. One of the few companies to do so. If you like their house sound you can create a very synergistic system amongst their offerings. The result may be that you are spending money on music instead of equipment. Of course there is the concept of upgrading within the line and there are parts upgrades available for most, if not all, of their components.
When I originally bought my gear more than twelve years ago the US rep at that time was always available to answer any questions. A fuse rated for 220v operation was mistakenly installed in my amplifier and the rep offered to come to my home to install the correct fuse (which was not necessary as I got the correct one and installed it myself). As an apology he sent me a set of power tubes. Any e-mailed questions or inquiries have always been promptly answered by the company's owner, Peter Qvortrup. I'd say that's pretty good service.
Tonian Labs is also very good. When you contact them you speak with the speaker designer/builder. Fortunately I am in the LA area and when I asked to demo a pair of speakers the owner, Tony Minasian, offered to bring a pair to my home and set them up for me to evaluate. I took him up on the offer and the result was that I became an owner of his speakers.
It should be a given that high-end companies have great customer service. It behooves them to bend over backwards to help people considering the cost of gear.Especially now with the economy in the tank, it's all the more reason to take care of the custoemr.
I'm a big fan of Tonian as well
I had his TL NFSM monitors and liked them very much
Tony M is a great to deal with on all accounts
Spectral - sound and an uncompromising approach to design. They won't release anything new unless it represents a move forward. They're pushing the state of the art. And they do this without stratospheric prices (compared to others, of course))
Steve McCormack is a great guy to talk to, and he has some great products too.
Thiel, for their innovation, refinement, and their sound.
Nelson Pass - he's produced great designs, and he's a great figure in the diy community
Ipod - just fun, especially with a pair of Grado 125s