I've been truly blessed by a lot of fine guys in the audio business! And I know that may not be everyone's experience. So I wanted to create this post to shout a few of them out and maybe you may want to give them a try?
First, here in Atlanta, one of the absolute BEST guys to work with is Scott Carpenter at Evolution Home Theater! They sell Sonus Faber, McIntosh, Gryphon Audio, Dynaudio, B&W, and others! Great service! Great person, period! He will explain and let you compare without being harassed or hassled. You'll make a friend for life!
Next, Ken Davis at Brooks Berdan in L.A. is one of the finest audio guys I know! A consummate professional and a better person. He will spend the time until you "get it!" And he is very knowledgable. A great person to bounce ideas off of as well! I was very impressed with the advice and perspective I gained.
Thirdly, Alan at Audio Excellence in Phoenix, AZ. Alan is a distributor for a few brands such as the Audioharma Cable Cooker and Black Cat line of cabling as well as the Oyaide, Pranwire, and others! His knowledge and advice are spot on! He's extremely helpful in trying to help "you" specifically get what you need to fine-tune your system and to maximize components!
Fourthly, I'd like to give a hearty shout out to Paul in Maple Grove, MN at Analog Audio! Another wonderful salesman and distributor or fine audio equipment like Brinkman, VTL, Luxman, Nagra, Rockport speaker, and others! He will give you a very candid opinion on what he believes you need! And he is very patient and detailed!
Fifthly, I want to recommend Suncoast Audio and Mike in Sarasota, FL! A great guy who takes personal care of his customers and goes over and beyond to make sure you're satisfied!
And lastly, but certainly, not least I always have a great experience with Upscale Audio in Los Angeles. Their staff is truly the best! I have never called and asked a question where I felt they were pushing one product on me over another. They are very laid back and will do their best to help you. I highly recommend them and their extensive product offerings that include Focal, Anthem, Rega, VPI, Naim, and tons of others!!
I'd love to hear your experiences with dealers/distributors too! Hopefully, we can spend our money and time with these great brick and mortar audio stores across the country alive!!
1- The whole crew at Brooks Berdan Ltd. in Monrovia, CA, starting with Brooks' widow Sheila as manager, shop tech Tom Carione, and tube expert/collector/dealer Joe Knight. Great people, great shop.
2- Brian Berdan at Sound Elements in Pasadena, CA. Sheila's son and Brooks' stepson, trained by the master himself. Great guy, superb sales and service.
3- Randall Cooley at Optimal Enchantment in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, the shop mere yards from the cliff overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean. Randy always has one of the best sounding rooms at the Southern California Hi-Fi Show.
Quintessence Audio, Morton Grove Illinois. Great store and family owned, Mick and his son Patrick are two of the nicest most qualified people. They are always at Axpona with 3 huge rooms and big supporters of this crazy hobby we all love. They deliver to your home and set up everything including TT setups.
Bruce at Stereo Unlimited in San Diego, Bruce is the kind of guy who would give you his arm, and then give you the other arm. He is the dealer that will recommend the best equipment for you... even if it is not a product he carries!
not in order but personal relationships with each, wine, music, cars, tubes, racing and of course audio gear...
Johnny R at Audio Connection Bruce at Stereo Unlimited, San Diego, Robert is turntable guru Alan at Hi-Fi buys Atlanta Victor and Bob at Advanced Audio, Tacoma Eric and George at Gig Harbor Randy and George at Optimal in SantaMonica and Tom the super tech at Brooks Berdan in Monrovia
While I almost always buy locally, I could not pass up on something I had been wanting for a while that I saw online.... That said I purchased a new pair of Klipsch HP 3 at a great price from Tom at Big Ear Stereo in Tempe AZ. His prompt and professional service was first rate. He is obviously passionate about audio, I highly recemmend checking him out.
I ordered a cartridge today from Echo Hifi in Portland and Kurt (the owner) personally called and we shot the you know what on the phone for a while. He also gave me free shipping and thanked me for my repeat business. He also shared a pretty funny video with me. He's talked me out of buying things more than once and I've enjoyed some really awesome listening sessions at his store. Gig Harbor Audio and Desco in Olympia deserve honorable mention also.