David Lewis Audio - Philadelphia, PA
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Many years back, I knew The Music Store in Greenfield, Massachusetts, to be a Joseph Audio dealer. Though I've not been there in forever, when I just now checked online, I found they still listed Joseph Audio among the lines they carry. (http://the-musicstore.net/home-video-greenfield-ma/) Might be worth a call or an email.
clearthink: it is a bit odd, and you'd think that the dealers wouldn't be too happy about it. Maybe it's part of their mystique? There is a thread, similar to this one, looking for dealers in the West, noting the oddness and difficulty of communication.
pinotphile: I wrote twice and I did check my junk folder; nothing. It doesn't really bother me. They can run their business any way they want. I've read that Jeff Joseph is a good guy and is responsive to customers, but it does seem esoteric to the point of invisibility!
In pursuit of a place I might audition the Pulsars I had sent a note to JA via their 'contact us' on their website. Been a bit ago, but believe I received a response within 48 hours from a someone addressing themselves as Mehran of SORAsound, which is apparently a sales rep for Joseph Audio.
He let me know that there was a shop in Chicago that carries the JA line, but also passed along that he was aware that Taylor of Goldprint in N.C. was in the process taking in a pair of Pulsars from a customer that was upgrading to the newer Pulsars. As a well cared for used pair of Pulsars was actually what I would have wanted anyway ($), I promptly contacted Taylor and discussed opportunities. The used (appear to be brand new!) Pulsars are now singing away in my living room. Even used they were not gotten what I would call 'cheaply', but were considerably less than those 'not used'. Generally not one to pop this kind of $ sound unheard, but very happy for have taken this risk. They do sound very nice. And Taylor of Goldprint was a pleasure to work with.
Try [email protected] and see if this gets you anywhere.
Todd: good man--thank you very much. I'll try that email. Your experience is ideal to me. I am not going to spend $10k on a new pair of speakers; that's not principle, that's reality. I hope to have a chance to listen at the Montreal audio show, though I'm not sure if that's the best place to audition speakers--and those will undoubtedly be the new Pulsars.
I've heard such tempting things about the Pulsars but I'm probably drawn to them in part because ... I can't find them.
Agreed, they do tend to be a bit illusive. Interesting (to me anyway) how the few high-end shops I've had the luck to visit are, all, aware of JA speakers, but none seem to have ever actually heard them?
Was an outfit out of upstate NY called 'North Creek Audio'. Though they did have someone local who would build a cabinet as per request, I believe their main thrust was selling kits. Enjoying woodwork myself, and willing to put out a little sweat in order to get this best bang-for-$ I could, built a pair of two-ways that I believe were called the 'Borealis' model. Either Vifa or Scan-speak drivers (?) with what seemed to be well put together cross-over, they are quite small, disappear and image like crazy, (especially with well recorded vocals), can actually fill a small room rather impressively and most important, appeased my better-half. Now in my office system.
The Pulsars are just a hair larger (but still rather small, relatively). Confess to be still a little bit more charmed by my DIY's in the imaging and disappearing dept. (for what ever reason, perhaps just that they are SO small?, they really do that well), but the Pulsars more than make up for it everywhere else. Quicker, more dynamic, great composure regardless of volume level, a sense of air and realism that my DIY's (much as I like them) just can't match. Never really been a planar speaker guy (just never had an accommodating space to give them their chance) so can not speak to their contrasts or similarities. You'll need resolve that on your own, unless someone can speak to towards this.
Don't know who told you JA is "responsive"...couldn't be farther from the truth. Jeff is a Flake plain and simple. Getting a response from his site is less than a 50/50 proposition. If your lucky enough to get a response chances are that less than half of your questions will get an answer. Ive owned the Pulsar's and currently have the Pearl's. Had I known the level of "customer service" (or lack thereof) I would receive I would have looked elsewhere. Now I understand why hardly anybody bothers with this brand REGARDLESS of how good they sound. If you start doing research you will see that MANY people have the same exact experience as me. I can tell you that they are VERY Strict about their dealer network and who you HAVE to work with in regards to where you are located. This is a major problem for me cause the dealer closest to me (David Lewis) I refuse to deal with based on prior experience not related to Joseph Audio products. Save yourself the Advil....look at other speakers
Being a businessman and owner of a small company, I find it's often a struggle finding a good balance in being available to your customers and cohorts, while also maintaining the distance necessary to allow you to actually get your business done and keep the company alive.
No idea how small or big Joseph Audio, Inc. really is, but given that he's seemingly been able to build a company that's capable of developing and manufacturing luxury products that that sell for several of thousand dollars each for a competitive market that is relatively tiny, is no small feat.
If deemed that his company's approach to customer service is inadequate it's certainly understandable that one would express that viewpoint, particularly when one has already made 'considerable' investments in the company's products.
But I'm just wondering (again, as a businessman and small company owner) if it's a realistic expectation that we should expect to have access, direct or not, to the company's owner (this is assumed?) and namesake?
I want to be careful: I'm new out here and I have owned gear made only by well-known companies (McIntosh, Magnepan, Bryston, etc) and sold by established dealers. This world of boutique equipment is new to me.
In fairness to Joseph Audio and for the Audiogon record: I sent an email to Mehran at Sorasound. He's a JA dealer in Chicago. I immediately got an enthusiastic and helpful response. He wrote to Jeff Joseph, who immediately emailed me the name of a dealer in Massachusetts, Perfect Note Audio (which has almost no web presence, as far as I can tell). The dealer immediately sent me a comprehensive, welcoming email about his approach and the Pulsars, and offered among other things the possibility of a home audition. Nothing aloof or non-responsive in the least. Quite ON.
All of it feels unusual to me but there is certainly a path forward. It just took a little work on my part--and some help from this forum.
Other than this, I can't say anything about the speakers or the company. But I am curious to hear how they SOUND....
Just to add another data point to the conversation.
My local Joseph dealer is excellent and I have had good communication with Jeff Joseph over the past two years while I contemplated buying the Perspective speakers. I’d even asked Jeff about getting a custom finish (ebony) because I like the deeper brown tones and he got back to me with a price. He even said if I bought new or used Perspectives he'd swap out the finish for one I wanted. (For a price, of course). He also went to the trouble of going through his wood finish inventory to take photos of some rosewood models that had a more brown-toned finish to see if they appealed more to me.
I had emailed Jeff various times with questions and he always got back to me.
In the end, almost by a bit of luck, I ended up buying a pair of demo Perspectives from my dealer which were the browner toned one Jeff sent to him.
So, my dealings with both my JA dealer and Jeff Joseph have gone quite well.
Glad you were able to make contact. Just speculation, but can't help but think there most be some opportunity to 'borrow' a pair of demo's for an in home test drive from either JA themselves, or one of their sales reps, for the small cost of shipping. Lilkey prove cheaper than your travel + you'd get to see how they behave in your specific environs.
What I had available locally in the size of speaker I sought and desired price range were Sonus Faber Olympica II's, B&W 805d3's, and Wilson Audio Duette's. Listened to some others as well, but those were just not in this league of play. Liked the Wilson's (used, as well) a lot. Have always found myself engaged in their presentation whenever I've had chance to hear them, regardless of model. But with their larger size and outboard crossovers, it was going to be a bit much for my smaller space. The SF's and B&W's were ok, but didn't really do anything more for me that than DIY's I already had. Again, I've never really been that infatuated with the presentation that planars paint, but then I've never really ever given them much opportunity.
In my set-up, the Pulsars kind of put you in the middle rows, which I prefer. They are not front row or 'in your face' speakers (least not in my space). My DIY's presented more of a back row experience, but again, they are really really good in their disappearing act.
Hope you get to hear the Pulars. Suspect you'll like.
Thank you, Todd, and thank you for facilitating the connection. I actually don't live too far away from the dealer (a few hours, which isn't bad) so I'll go down there in the next few weeks. If I'm reading it right, you had the experience I'm hoping to have, finding a used pair (of something) in excellent condition.
I haven't bought speakers in years--years!--so this is all fun and a bit daunting. I'm coming to terms with my compromised listening space and, as I've eclipsed the meridian of my 50s, my compromised hearing.
At the risk of wearing out my welcome here, I'm going to start a thread soon asking for recommendations for my specific needs/desires. I will say that this forum is (usually) good at listening and helping!
If you are in "speaker buying research phase" and considering the Joseph speakers, you may get something out of my speaker-mania search thread, where I described auditioning many speakers, narrowing down to Joseph or Devore: