Has anyone found a good way to listen to speakers on the used market before buying them?


I live in the LA area (La Crescenta), and have not had much luck auditioning speakers I'm interested in buying used, through Audiogon or other sites.  Have others found a way to do this?  With rare exceptions (like Vandys), well-respected speakers selling for <$3K on the used market have been discontinued, and cannot be found at local dealerships.  For example, there seems to be a community of Thiiel owners who love their speakers, but I haven't come across any opportunities to listen to them in this area.  I don't know many people who have invested in mid or high level audio, so I haven't had many opportunities to compare speakers in my price range other than at dealerships; is there another avenue I haven't heard about in or around LA? 

Understandably, Agon members often warn us that we should let listen before we buy, and let our ears be the judge; but does that only apply to new/demo speakers found at dealerships?
cheeg
At this point, I have reconciled myself to only buying from US sellers, and being willing to fly anyplace in country to listen in person.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

That being said, I have some idea of what I want, so my traipsing around the country is not browsing, but more like test driving as a last step before purchasing.
I think you're overthinking this.  If you buy for a good price in the used market from a reputable seller, you can likely resell the speakers for little or no loss if they don't work out for you.  That's precisely the beauty of the used market.  Yes, it takes a little effort to box up and send the speakers to a new owner if necessary, but in the scheme of things the used market, used wisely, is an extremely cheap way to audition speakers in your own home and in your own system.  
It is difficult to audition used equipment especially speakers, let alone discontinued models. One reason why there are so many for sale - people buy unheard and then have to sell. Selling speakers can be a pain, depends on what you sell, the price, your feedback etc.
When you figure this one out let us all know.
Realistically, for pre-owned, out of production speakers, the best you can do these days is to find reviews of the speakers and try to make sense of what the reviewer thought they heard, given their system context, and then make a decision based on that. Probably not what you were hoping to hear, but it can help narrow down the choices somewhat. Even at the peak of the brick and mortar heyday of the late 90s, there were still severe logistical problems. I am still feeling "burned" by a Vandersteen dealer in San Francisco when I listened to badly implemented demo in the shop while evaluating a pair of 3A Signatures. Whatever preamp and amp they were using had the volume all the way up, and yet the speakers weren’t even cracking the 70 dB SPL. So when I ponied up with a credit card requesting they let me home demo that same floor pair, the owner refused, citing prior damage experience. So I called and spoke to Richard Vandersteen, who was nice and helpful but simply shrugged and told me that, "yeah, some dealers are like that." And this dealership was the ONLY Vandersteen dealer in the entire Bay Area. No wonder (&^^[email protected]#^%&^! excuse the French) brick and mortars are going down rapidly. Sorry, I have to vent this experience for the hundredth time. I ended up with a pair of Dynaudios from a competing dealer that did let me home demo them before purchase. Ultimately, I too became part of the Thiel family where I have remained since.

Speaker selection in this day and age is very risky. There is simply no way to know without listening, and there are few listening opportunities. These days you have to pretty much begin by "listening" with your eyes and try to translate that into a quasi-visio-sonic experience, in silence. Not good.

And then there are great, intelligent companies like PS Audio, Schiit and SVS that let you home audition for a period of time before permanently keeping the purchased product. More need to adopt this practice; it’s the only way they will ever succeed in this day and age. If I were in the market again, I would gladly check out the SVS Ultra towers.
+1 to soix

I bought used Lyngdorf 2170 without auditioning intending to sell it if I do not like it.

But it turned out to be keeper.
Just about all of the local Audiogon sellers I have purchased from allowed me to audition before I bought.- And, this is the NYC area.
B
Thanks for your responses -- nothing too surprising here (other than nhodge's willingness to fly for his auditions - that's commitment!), but it was worth a shot.   I'm a little surprised there aren't more audio clubs that fill this niche.  Maybe I need to start one...

@stevecham -- you said you ultimately became part of the Thiel family; which Thiels do you have, and how would you compare them with other brands (that I might be able to find and audition)?
I only have the CS2.4s now, I sold the CS7s and CS6s as I was downsizing. They are keepers for life and fit my needs completely. I run them full range and supplement them at the lowest octave with two SVS SB2000 subs and the combination works for me. I also owned Vandersteen 2ce Signatures and they were great, except they didn't have the same dynamic oomph of the Thiels. I also own a pair of Vandersteen 1Cs that work well in a smaller room. Trying to find a home for them.

Time and phase correct, 1st order, dynamic designs are what work for me so that means Thiel, Vandersteen, Meadowlark or Dunlavy

Other brands/models I owned before the current Thiels include:

Parasound Reference 100 V1
Dynaudio Contour 3.0
Meadowlark Kestrel 2

Thanks Steve -- did you mean the CS 2.7s and 2.6s?  also, you said you were downsizing to the 2.4s; which of those was your favorite, if size were not a factor?
No, I never had the CS2.7s, only the CS2.4s. The CS 2.4s are smaller than the 7s or the 6s. The 2 series are all about the same size. CS2.7 owners applaud their performance uniformly so if you decided to get a pair, if you can find them, I am confident that you will be very pleased.