I have been very impressed with the service at Upscale Audio in Upland. Kevin Deal has some great gear, and is very knowledgeable.
Ambrosia in Bel Air is also very good.
Ambrosia in Bel Air is also very good.
You might want to check out Tonian Labs in Glendale. They make some very good speakers using a Fostex full range driver and their own super tweeter. When they demo'd at the Arcadia VTV show, everyone asked if the sub was turned on. It wasn't. It drew in people form out in the halls. I sat there, dumbfounded at how good the sound was for the price. I had just bought some speakers for $200 less than what the asking price was and kicked myself in the butt all the way home. They go for about $1500 and seem worth every cent. That should leave you with more than enough for the rest.
You could also visit 3 stores in Pasadena: 1. Sound Factor:http://www.soundfactor.com/; 2. Audio Concept on Rosemead Blvd.; 3. GNP Audio Video Inc. 1254 E. Colorado
Pasadena CA 91106 USA Phone 626-577-7767.
Those stores are withing 15-20 minutes drive from you, and carry different brands, so maybe worth your visit. I am not going to comment their service, as some I have not visited for a while.
Speaker City in Burbank makes their own speakers using premium parts - like scan speak woofers and tweeter; the same parts that go into Wilson and other top notch speakers. Their prices are much much lower, so I would check them out.
This is their web sight.
If you want traditional hifi shop, I like GNP of Pasadena.
GNP Audio Video
1254 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106
But I would seriously consider buying them here on the audiogon - you would end up with a considerably better quality for the same bucks ! Also when you upgrade, you can sell them here again and not lose too much - if you keep them in a good condition.
Used is the way to go - most people who buy at this level take good care of their gears, and it's safer than Ebay. No, I don't work for them, but since we are using their sight, we should give them something back too.
Used is the way to go.
i'm a customer of all three dealers above and they are all great. upscale has the biggest selection. call him see what he reccomends then go in for a listen. brooks and randy cooley are awesome, although brooks usually has guys hanging around that make it hard to listen. may i also reccomend katli audio in chino hills. lots of gear in all price ranges. super guy with A++++ ears. best deals probably from kevin at upscale or fred at katli.
Brooks Berdan, LTD in Monrovia. Optimal Enchantment in Santa Monica, be aware that parking can be difficult here. These are probably the two best sources close to you as far as friendly, knowledgeable owners go.
LA Audio on Western in Korea Town has one of the largest selections of the most brands in LA but, you won't get the personal treatment that you get from the first two.
Upscale Audio is not very close to you but, has a very large selection and often there is no waiting for shipping. You pretty much need to know what you are looking for when dealing with Kevin, though. Because he does so much mail order he sometimes is short on time and can be difficult to work with.
Brooks is very personable, and knowledgeable. There is usually a large group of guys just hanging out and talking audio at the shop on Sat. There is no pressure to buy and all questions are welcomed. Plus, he delivers and sets your system up as part of the purchase.
Randy is also very personable and knowledgable, witha good ear for music. His loyality to equipment brands is very narrow but, it is based on his own listening skills and taste. You won't find the brand of the month there.
I have visited Randy Cooley and though he is quite knowledgable he carries limited brands to choose from. Brooks Berdan is another good store but I have found no bargains there though you will get good service and advise.
I don't care for the Sound Factor. The owner Jack is a very opinionated guy that will tell you he wrote the book on High End audio and that he is leader of the pack. Not my style that's for sure. You can get good selection and good prices from Kevin Deal if you know what you want. But don't expect much service from them he doesn't have much patience for talking to customers. L.A. audio has the best selection of speakers in the city but there located in Koreatown so don't expect valet parking or champagne when you go there. Most of there clientele is asian so if you can get past that they are ok to deal with. Your best bet with them is to talk to Richard the owner and let him no your coming down. They have always worked with me on price and I like how they do business. There is no snobbery there which I like. I don't have much experience with Katli Audio but I have heard there very fair to deal with. There is another dealer that works out of his house named Elliot Midwood that carries some very unusual brands. He loves music and doesn't mind spending time with you. His company is called Acoustic Image in Studio City.
I should say though that if you are looking for the latest wham bam home theater or stereophile reccomended/audiophile approved product, then some of the other suggestions are probably better. However, if you want to cut through the BS and just enjoy a musical system, then check out Brooks Berdan. I've only visited once, but it was very enjoyable. He carries brands like Rega, Naim, and Vandersteen, that, unfortunately, aren't more widely found here in LA.
Closer to your Burbank/Glendale request - Acoustic Image in Studio City.
Elliot Midwood is a terrific guy and has a selection of components that will absolutely knock your socks off. He has a big specially built listening room in his house. By appointment only, but guarantees you will have plenty of time to listen in comfort. Bring your own vinyl or cd.
11124 Sunshine Terrace
Studio City, CA 91604