Magnepan dealers

I have owned Maggies in the past and went to their website tonight. This is probably old news out here and I'm sorry if this has been discussed at length but it looks like they're trying a different marketing model. All sales are direct from Magnepan. The dealers (it's the same bunch, at least here in the northeast) are "showroom only." You can go and listen but you can't buy from the dealer, only from the company. (See below.)

I'm interested in this in part because of the many threads on the declining market, the rise of online sales, possible strategies for marketing, and alternatives to brick-and-mortar stores. I'm also very interested in what this means for Magnepan. I hope it works for them. I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts, and I apologize if I've missed any threads on this. Here's the description from their website:


"Magnepan is beginning a pilot program to address a problem facing many consumers. With the decline in the number of 2-channel dealers and the proliferation of high-end audio products, many consumers have no opportunity to audition Magneplanars (or other good audio products). As stated on our home page--- "Why in the world would anyone want a 6-foot tall panel speaker? They probably wouldn't......unless they heard it."

The Showroom Only Dealer is being well-compensated by Magnepan to provide a service to consumers in their market area. The Showroom Only Dealer is not permitted to sell Magneplanars. And you are not under any obligation. The dealer is simply providing you with the opportunity to hear Magneplanars in the dealer's facility. Later, if the customer chooses to buy a Magneplanar, they would contact Magnepan directly for the purchase."

Is there something new here? Magnepan has been doing this for years with their entry-level products. I applaud them for it - it's a win-win-win for the customer, dealer and Magnepan.

Disclaimer: I am not a Maggie guy

And yet I bought my old Maggie 3.6rs from a Maryland dealer. 
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the website, which is not an especially attractive or helpful one. Because they make no distinction between who is a "showroom only" dealer and who is a conventional dealer, the site gives the impression that they're all showroom dealers now. And they apparently are offering in-home trials through the company, etc. But perhaps this is a way to get Maggies into *more* stores, even if they're not selling them. In that case it's a confusing website.
It looks to me that the Dealer page on the Magnepan website clearly states which dealers are showroom only...I guess I'm assuming the other dealers are sales dealers, I know my local one is...I think only the LRS is available only from Magnepan, and has a long waiting list...I got one last summer and it is terrific...
Not sure where in the Northeast you are looking but I know Natural Sounds in Framingham Ma and Audio Connection in Verona NJ sell Maggie's I think there are other stores in CT and NY that do also. As others said it maybe hard to find the LRS at a store but worth calling.
Good luck.
Johnny Rutan has the LRS at Audioconnection, or at least did when I last visited. He said they were selling like hotcakes. At $650, there isn’t much money a dealer will reap, but, hey, it’s business.
If you do go, check out the Vandy VLR's. Though a bit more money, they can really rock with a Belles Aria integrated.
I don't find the website confusing. The dealer page clearly states which are conventional stocking dealers and which are showroom only. It seemed pretty clear to me. I talked to one of the latter. He was informative and accommodating, but didn't have demo .7 for me to hear.
(((The Showroom Only Dealer is not permitted to sell Magneplanars. And you are not under any obligation. The dealer is simply providing you with the opportunity to hear Magneplanars in the dealer's facility.))) this isn't directed to folks with local Mag dealers
 Freedom of choice.
 Wendle is just trying to reach more fringe area dealers for the convenient listening experience and then able to ship to you. Of course, If you want to hear them, purchase them at a full-service shop like Audio Connection NJ you can. In our area many folks can easily reach us listen to Magnepan LRS, point 7, 1.7,3.7, etc make the right decision then, easily buy them from us, drop-ship available, or we can deliver and set up, or you can too, which is all offered with our intense support, top-level valued equipment and expertise you deserve.   Best, JohnnyR
I just bought my Maggie's in early spring from Upstairs Audio in Columbia SC Went to their store and had a listen to a demo pair of .7's then ordered a pair in the color and trim that I wanted
Returned to Upstrairs audio 4 weeks later to pick them up
The policy referenced by the OP is being rolled out only in some areas:
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Suffolk, Virginia
  • St. Louis, Missouri
Elsewhere, the status quo remains.  Most "regular"dealers don't stock Maggies due to the plethora of finish options, so the effect is still that the buyer after the demo has to wait for a pair to be produced and shipped.  The story with LRS's is different b/c the markup on that model is much lower than that of the other models.  Many retailers won't touch 'em.
Dealers like this plan, because it allows customers to listen to good speakers to be compared with Maggies.  Plus, I suppose the service work is lucrative, although when i had them, I never had issues other than the only slightly upgraded BOSE 901 sound.sound.
I purchased my 3.7i's less than a year ago from Natural Sound in the Boston area.   They were great to deal with.
I'm sorry, guys. My eyes missed where they list the showroom dealers, which is down the page mixed in with all the others. As @crustycoot points out, there are only four of them. I apologize for spreading my confusion out here.

And thanks for the other posts! I bought my past Maggies from Take-5 in New Haven, now gone/moved, but I do know Natural Sound pretty well, having lived outside Boston for a decade. I LOVE the Maggie sound but, yeah, well, they are big and I have a few things to consider with this next purchase. (If I go that route, it'll probably be the 3.7i.) But I need to hear Vandersteen, so I'll find a way to get down to Audioconnection ... and hear both.
I just received my 1.7 I. April bought from audio classic in vestal ny...

Very close to Macintosh laboratories...
Did not have in stocks had to order direct from Magnapan....
Anything that gives people a chance to audition live is welcome. I can’t imagine buying speakers without hearing them first. Audio Concepts in Dallas had .7s and even the Rogue Sphinx amp I was interested in. Once we got a source I liked tapped in over the course of two separate listening sessions I ordered both amp and speakers from them and picked them up a couple of weeks later. Fine for something I expect to own for years.