NHT Returns to a New Marketplace?

'New Marketplace', Is that our future?

There is an interesting writeup on Stereophile about NHT's return with a new business model that eliminates brick and mortar retailers. On line, their own and some other names will be used. It states that there are only about 40 of these retailers left, so with the fall off in audiophile interest it didn't make sense to use that channel of distribtion. It cites Martin Logan and Gallo as now using the online mode.

So, all you need is good writeups in the audio 'rags' and the orders will be coming in, they think. My quess is no. What do you think.

Yeah. Martin Logan available from Audio Advisor. Who'da thunkit?
I have to agree with you Buconero, I know this is the "new model" of business for many but I for one will not rely on the audio rags opinion for an unseen product purchase. How many posts on this site do we see of interested parties for a product they cannot access and rely on others opinions and not their own eyes and ears. Can you really trust the opinion of someone who puts out thousands of dollars for a product to be unbiased. If the product was to be a negative experince would we expect people to tell us how unhappy they were with the purchase then try to re-sell it and get a good price for something they don,t want? For the record I own a complete set-up of high end NHT speakers for Home Theatre and a set of NHT 3.3's for two channel. So even knowing how good of a product they did make and could make , I still would not buy without being able to evaluate a products performance to my tastes , needs and expectations. My fear is the reality that this will soon be the "norm". Cheers....
On-line is the new reality. Has2be you must live in one of the few areas that has retailers left. Other than big box stores with mid-fi gear there is really no way for the vast majority of Americans to evaluate something in person. Even large cities like Nashville TN no longer have high end retailers.
I'd guess that a lot of the speakers that change hands on Audiogon are purchased "blind" ("deaf"?). If NHT's on-line distribution allows value unavailable from bricks and mortar (i.e. remove the retail mark-up), they'll find some market share. A fair number of high end buyers seem to know what they want, even if they've never actually heard it.

>So even knowing how good of a product they did make and could make , I still would not buy without being able to evaluate a products performance to my tastes , needs and expectations. My fear is the reality that this will soon be the "norm". Cheers....

You don't have to move very far up the food chain to where it becomes more economical to fly to audition speakers (perhaps to a showroom, perhaps to a show) than to cover brick-and-mortar markups.

In high-end territory the savings almost cover a nice three year old car plus you're getting a made-to-order product with potentially unlimited materials/finish options.

My favorite example is Siegfried Linkwitz's designs.

His Audio Artistry Beethoven Elite (with the merely bi-amplified version declared 1998 Stereophile Loudspeaker of the Year) sold for $37,500 in 1998 dollars through retail channels.

He said that his Orion is superior in all areas but maximum output at low frequencies; where a pair of Thors fix that deficiency.

The Orion starts around $6500 a pair without amplification ordered direct and built by an American furniture maker in your choice of hardwoods+veneers. Thors add $2150.

I just read the Stereophile article


and then went to "www.amazon.com" and searched "anthony gallo speakers",


I got no results that pertained to "Anthony Gallo Speakers", but Martin Logan did come up. I'm not sure where the additional info came from(?)
Yes Herman there is no less than a half a dozen high end retailers within a 2 hour drive for me. Even still though the brand or model may not be sold by any of them. I can,t argue with any of the points made here regarding speakers being bought blind on the gon or Drew's point of the cost savings. The logistics of shipping and the costs and risks of doing so have to be thought of as well. If warantee or service is required how will that be done? Will there still be authorized service offered outside the manufacturer themselves to reduce transit costs and time. I do however think that most people would prefer to see and hear a products performance over blind but those days as some have stated are going, going, gon ! If this new model of business still has the customer themselves in the equation and not just the dollars and sales it would be good for all, except the brick and mortar guys. I realise this is going to be the future for alot of business but It does not mean I have to not have concerns about it as the consumer. Cheers

In your response, you mention shipping as a negative aspect of the direct model. Fact is, the product needs to be shipped to your dealer, and there really isn't any difference in how the packages are handled, whether they're shipped to you or your dealer. The costs of that shipping are also built into the price you pay at the dealer, that's one reason that products sold direct are advertised at lower cost, shipping is usually added on at the end, rather than bundled into the initial price.
Sorry Barry, Your wrong !!! Are you saying you would buy goods damaged in transit from the dealer .The dealer won,t offer them and you would be relieved of the problem. Of course shipping is built into the price of anything and has nothing to do with protecting you , just the cost to get it to you in one or numerous peices. If you buy it and it arrives to you damaged , YOU are in the seat for returns , insurance claims, your money tied up and still no product to listen to but paid for.And you would be dealing with the shipping company not the manufacturer for any claim of damage. And there is a disticnt differance in shipping with dealers and direct to you. The dealers product would of been part of a bulk load sent to a warehousing facility centrally located where damaged goods are returned to the manufacturer. Then from a central location sent out to the dealers where if received damaged is refused and sent back. I,m really amazed that people can,t see that, at least until it happens to them then its a different set of veiws they have. I agree that mark ups are the norm but also know that hi end audio would never of advanced as far as it has without the brick and mortar guys that supplied inventoried and backed the products they sell. So under this new model that claims the dealer and the disrtibutors mark up products in the 40 % range then we should expect prices to drop 40 % and quality be maintained. Don,t hold your breath on it!
Barry,I find it interesting you would also give advice here in your answers , " to talk to the DEALER, send the unit to them and let them deal with Mac. Problem solved". The new business model kind of omits that problem solving option. Not to mention shipping cost,s both ways and 2 more chances for the shipper to damage and you to have the headache of dealing with them. And as others have found even after getting a return authorization to send it back to a manufacturer outside your country having to pay the duties again and the headache of straightening that out.Returns and repair are not the priority of a business that manufactures and sells. Making and selling are their priorities first before fixing something they already have the profit from. The ones that will survive will make returns warantee and repairs as much a priority to maintain and grow customer base. Those types of companies seem to be fewer and farther in this day and age. Cheers
Sorry if I hit a nerve, you should read that whole thread from which you quoted me, the dealer wasn't of much help to the person in that thread were they(?) My most recent purchase was an Oppo BDP-83, MFR Direct, no problems. Prior to that was a pair of used speakers (Gallo Reference 3.1), which I picked up within a 90 minute drive. Before that was my projector which I purchased from a dealer new over the internet. I guess I don't find a ton of value buying "Brick & Mortar" myself. The last set of speakers I purchased new from a dealer (Gallo Reference 3.0), were unopened until I got them home. So the dealer had no idea as to their condition before he helped me load them into my car. If there was I problem I would have had to load them back into my car and bring them back to the dealer. The dealer could of then claimed any damage (there was none) was my fault. I guess I'm just not sure of how much (40%, $1000(?)) added value a purchase through a dealer makes. I've read about "in home auditions", but never had one offered to me, and equipment never sounds the same at the dealer's as it does in my home. YMMV
A life-long musician and an audiophile since I soldered up that Dynaco in 1975 I have come to respect the dealer demo less and less. Same as tryin' out an instrument at the music shop... I get an impression but I don't understand what I've got until I've used it for a couple of months. Demos are kinda limited to sortin' out horrible junk. The good stuff always makes a good first impression.

Pretty girls were always great for the first half of the first date... Some ended up easier to live with for the long run, but you had to put in your time and money to find out...
So, all you need is good writeups in the audio 'rags' and the orders will be coming in, they think. My quess is no. What do you think.

Good writeups are worthless primarily because 99% of writeups are strongly favorable

How about word of mouth - one respected professional to another - no paid advertising - now that really works but ONLY if you have a really good performing product rather than something that just looks good.