I would like to contribute to the discussion about Dave, the “Audio Doctor.” I live in California but, after many phone conversations and texts where he provided advice about my system with no promise of any return, we decided a trip here from New Jersey would be worthwhile and worked out an arrangement. Dave brought a lot of accessories for me to audition. First, we repositioned my speakers (KEF Reference 5s), which really improved the sound. We tried a DAC (Aqua) to compare with my current Auralic Vega (first generation), wireworld interconnects and several other things. I already had purchased an Innuous Zenith server from Dave and we set that up. Dave was very enthusiastic about my speakers (which he sells but I already had purchased elsewhere) and my electronics (Audio Research amp, pre amp, phono stage) and never suggested buying new ones.
At no point did I feel he was pressuring me or trying to sell me something just to make a sale. My system is definitely sounding better now and I may move ahead with some other improvements he recommended. Of course, Dave is in the audio business and makes his livelihood that way but I think he was genuinely interested in helping me get better sound. I know that some have objected to him and other dealers posting on this board. Personally, I have found his postings very helpful. Those who don’t can always skip over them—no one is forcing you to read anything.
Finally, I met Dave for the first time when he came here and have no connection other than as a recent customer.
Having read all of the previous posts about the Audio Doctor, I took a lot of the concern to be that it seemed they used Audiogon to advertise their wares in the middle of threads about equipment. I am not a fan of that practice as A'gon should be for enthusiasts to discuss relevant audio issues without self-serving dealers chiming in to promote their wares. Not an accusation from me, rather an observation of previous posts regarding them.
I'm glad to hear you had a positive experience! It's always beneficial to the community to share positive interactions such as your's. Thanks for posting!
Hifiman, there is a fine line between promoting your products for the sake of promoting your products and the possibility that said product in discussion is being offered as being perhaps a better or well suited product for that person.
You will note that when we discuss products that we carry in a post we tailor the product we are suggesting to the discussion, this is very different than many posters who are always suggesting the same product in every situation.
We carry many different loudspeakers, Kef, Quad, Elac, Paradigm, Dali, Legacy, ATC, and a few others for that very reason. Each person has an idea of what they are looking for which includes, finish, bass output, total spl output, resolution, imaging, etc.
In one contentious thread Troy our weekend help, mentioned how the Persona 9H sounded fantastic in a small hotel room because it has room correction and that speaker was $30k less expensive than the other set of loudspeakers the gentleman was considering.
Boy did we hear all sorts of nasty comments from people who said we were trolling a "Wilson thread."
Hifiman we can all learn from one another we just picked up the best vibration/isolation product we have ever tested because one of our clients was raving over it.
If we didn’t have an open mind we would never have gotten to the Critical Mass Center Stage footers which are just plain amazing!
So Hifiman don’t judge an Audio Doctor by just what you’ve gleaned on a forum.
Tomic it has nothing to do with Alma, it had to do with our gracious offer of doing a full system setup and tuning session for free if the client paid for our expenses, plus a few other reasons as noted below.
Alma audio is an 8 hour drive from San Francisco, the distance is rather long, San Diego might as well as be in a different state from San Franciso.
Also Brownsf reached out to us with specific questions based on reading our posts and being a full line KEF dealer with experience with his KEF Reference 5, which started the process and we also gave him a nice trade in on an older Naim serer which Alma may or may not have done, the bigger of the two distinctions is we are KEF dealers, and Alma is not.
Would have Alma packed up a giant assortment of tuning products: Isoacoustics footers, Stein Harmonizers, Acoustic System resonators, Audio Magic power conditioner, Isotek Syncro power cord, Wireworld interconnects, Audioquest Power cabling, does Alma even sell all of those products?
Lastly how much experience does Alma have in system tuning?
Just because you sell expensive gear doesn't mean you have the experience to tune a system correctly.
We personally like Alma and have nothing but respect for them, in Brownsf's opinion we were the best place to assist him in his quest to get his KEF Ref 5 sounding great.
Gpgrblu, even in the face of numerous clients having more then positive experiences with us, your negativity is a wonderful example of how petty some people truly are.
It is not a matter of self promotion facts are the facts either we deliver on creating superior sound and our products are tools we use to do so, good luck to you.
Bravo! You are one of the high end retailers who really care and will go the extra mile for your customer. I don't care if you self promote or not but I always learn something when you post. You have to understand there are a some mean spirited people on the forums and I have learned to stay away from them.
A certain group of people chastised me because I was excited about a couple of particular components I had recently purchased and wrote about them. One was a Technics SL1200G which I bought in August and I was told by members here I was bragging, more interested in the gear instead of music because I don't want to modify it and lots of other mean words. When I posted my excitement of just having received my GE Triton Refs after waiting very impatiently for 7 months, was told it is cheap Chinese junk.
All I can say is don't let the naysayers wear you down. If I am ever interested in an item that you sell, you can bet your life I will think of you first.
I LOVE it! I love playing vinyl again and I have played close to 300 records since I got it. I had the Prime 1.5 years and played less than 20 records. I needed an easy to operate TT so my wife would play her vinyl again as well. She is really into it now and that makes me happy. I thought I would be sacrificing sound quality but I must say (dare I), it is better than the Prime in the sound quality that I like. I am not knocking VPI as I owned 3 different models in the past (HW19 MK4 with RB300 arm, Scout & Prime), but this Technics gives me so much more musical enjoyment. I don’t have to fiddle with it, just put the record on and play.
Stereo5, we are actually interested in being Technics dealers for the turntable which we too thought was wonderful and has nothing in common with the original SL 1200 series other than the look, also the Technics monitors are really good.
I have no doubt that the Technics is a better table than the VPI, as the machining and tolerances on the Technics are fantastic.
As per Golden Ear we finally got a decent demo of the Triton Reference at the New York audio show by Sandy himself and we are entertaining bringing in the line especially for the fact that the Triton 3 are great for the starter home theater buyer.
Thank you again for your nice comments and if there is anything we can do to assist you getting better results out of your system please feel free to PM us.
Please check out the Critical Mass Center Stage Footers they are amazing, not inexpensive but mind blowing in how effective they are.
Stereo5: I am very happy that you are enjoying your system. That is what this hobby is all about. My experience with Audiotroy’s constant trolling on Audiogon should do nothing to diminish your joy. I did not mean to rain on your parade. However, in typical Audiotroy fashion, instead of graciously thanking you and moving on, he once again put a shout out for himself and his products including subsequent statements that are backhanded slaps at other high end dealers: "Just because you sell expensive gear doesn’t mean you have the experience to tune a system correctly." Interpretation--others who sell high end gear don’t know how to tune a system, we do. Having numerous experiences with Audiotroy and many high end dealers, I can tell you that I respectfully disagree.
I've been trying to find a local dealer to setup my speakers, but have been unable to. The closest high-end dealer to me wouldn't do it, because he doesn't sell my speakers. So, there are a lot of high-end dealers that won't or can't setup a system.
I would think just about anyone would go to someone's house to tune a system if all expenses were paid no matter how far the travel. It's kinda like work, vacation, getting paid, and fun all wrapped up in one. I just wonder if Audiotroy would go across country on his own dime if there were just a possibility of a lucrative sale.
As the original poster, I’d like to add some thoughts. First, it’s great to read the comments here. People have different opinions but the discussion has remained “adult” and respectful. As for me, it’s obvious that many dealers are very knowledgeable about the products they sell and have a lot to contribute to this forum. I appreciate it when they share this knowledge. I also agree that dealers should be cautious not to use this forum for free advertising. The line between between helpful advice and self promotion should be kept in mind and respected, even though it may not always be clear.
I am listening to my system as I write this and it’s sounding great—much better than before the house call. The Audio Doctor really did help with the setup and with equipment recommendations. He continues to give helpful advice, including advice on things which don’t involve the prospect of a sale. While I did pay for his trip, he also had to leave his business for several days. Can’t speak for him, but I think it was a very good experience.
First of all, there were days of work setting up this clients network and drives, so aside from the system tunning there was quite a bit of work done prepairing for the installation of the server out of seven days there were perhaps two days that were not spent doing actual work
Also most system setup guys such as Sterling Trayle charge $1,500 or more per day to do a system setup and tunning sessions, which was not charged for.
Then was the time to be away from being on the floor and running a business, so yes it was kinda of like a mini vacation except for most of the time work was being done, the system tunning took two days to complete.
System tuning consisted of repositioning the loudspeakers, then using system tunning accessories that we use to focus the sound, these include footers, power cables, power conditioners, intererconnects, dacs, room tuning devices such as Acoustic System Resonators and Stein Harmonizers to illustrate the product catagory.
I doubt that most people with real training would do the amount of work that was done for just the cost of the airfair.
Brownsf was a terrific host and has a fanatastic home, it was a great trip both to visit CA for the first time, and both he and his wife were lovely and a joy to meet and work for.
There is an art to creating great sound, obviously you don't know a thing about that or you wouldn't be chimming in.
Creating great sound is about finding synergy with the loudspeakers in the room, synergy with all the components that you are currently using and then maximizing the qualities that you are trying to acchieve , tonality, bass response, dyanamics, treble clarity, sound staging with the existing components and then making educated equipment substituations to bring out the qualities you are trying to augment or ameliorate.
Anyone who knows anything about crafting great sound would know this I am LOL that you don't.
There is no fine line here. If every dealer spoke about the majority of their products in every post this forum would suffer. Also you could just offer advice without naming all of your products and your business in every post. You do indeed use this forum for self promotion, and I think just admitting it would put a smile on peoples faces instead of making them sour. Maybe not, just a thought.
@bjesien He can't help himself. It's like he needs to constantly vomit up essentially the same thing every thread. The point above about being their own biggest fan is on point. I find the constant spam neither educational nor a positive contribution to our forum.
Bjesien, your point is rather silly, we had to mention what room tuning devices we used, or no one would understand the specific type of device we were using, when room tuning devices run the gamut of absorbers, diffusors, hemoltz resonators ie tube traps, Shakti Hallographs, acoustic resonators, active bass traps and other devices.,
Most people actually want to know what products we used, no one would learn about if said product was effective or not unless it was named.
We learned about a new super effective footer because a client of ours told us about the product and then we got a sample and it was indeed mind blowingly effective, our reference system sounds dramatically better because we used this product.
We read the forums to learn as well, we have found new products that we were interested in trying because people posted about them, never was it an issue if it was a dealer or an end user, also how do you know that some of these posters are not secretly dealers which is why you are supposed to announce that you are a dealer to keep it transparent.
Now is that better that you are naming the products you are using, or are you now pissing off people who might actually want to seek out that product which also doesn’t mean they would.necessarily purchase these products from us by not naiming them.
Can you imagine a post that wouldn’t mention a products name how would that accomplish anything, yeah I tried cable x and it was fantastic compared to product y. Vs I demoed a Wireworld USB vs an Audioquest and one cable was better in this particular way.
Bar81 your perspective is hardly one we would agree on, we have quite a number of people who contact us on a daily basis saying that they follow our posts because they learn from them.
The OP was in a quandry after having purchased a pair of Kef Reference 5 because they weren’t sounding the way he wanted with his equipment and how his system was setup, after having contacted us and working on our sugggestions he is much happier with his system.
It is shame that you as well as a few of the other naysayers have never taken the time to talk with us and find out if we could make a difference in your system’s ability to make music more real.
We are all here to learn from each other, if we mention specific products it is because we have found that those products many times outperform others, as we have tested many of the competiting ones.
I am embarrassed to be a member of the forum every time I have to read Audiotroy's self promoting long-winded pablum. But I refuse to let him ruin this otherwise collegial exchange of thoughts, ideas, experiences with fellow well-meaning Goners.
In Audiotroy’s defense most people here have no idea what those acoustic devices he mentioned even are. That’s why it’s important for the survival of the species, you know, to avoid getting too inbred, to allow free flow of information from within and without, to get some relief from the “collegial exchange of thoughts, ideas, experiences with fellow well-meaning Goners.”
Are you here here simply to be a trouble maker? You like to mock some of the people who purchased from you in the past, namely me! Had I known you were such an arrogant jerk, I would have happily given my money to someone else. Your credibility has gone to the crapper and I am sorry I ever sent one dime your way. You sir, are a huge jackass.
mes if keeping up witht the Troydashians means keeping up with the audio Joneses then yes.
Recent product additions, ccommerical forthcomming, how is that are we promoting enough now?
Dali Oberon, Critical Mass QXK Rack Critiical Mass Center Stage Footers Naim NDX 2 streamer Dac Naim 282/High Cap Preamp Naim DR 300 Power Amplifier Audio Control Savoy Power Amp Epson LS 10500 Laser 4K Projector Audioqust Thunder, Tornado, Hurrican and Dragon Power Cables NAD Node 2i Parasound P6 Preamp/Dac Parasound A23 Power Amp Innuous Zenith MK III KEF new R Series
If you want to know the point, the point is that we are constantly sampling the latest products which is why many people find our posts valuable, we have gone through HRS, Stillpoints and now we have found Critical Mass whose vibration/isolation products seem to be in a class by themselves, and for less money the Isoacoustics footers which are amazing for their price point.
PS. Mr Feil it is great to see one of your former clients realize that you are a sham. Thank you Stereo 5
Personally we feel that both Grgr4blu and Mr Feill should be banned for their improper behavior. Neither of these gentleman adds to the discussions and are just promoting their anti-Audio Doctor agenda.
If either Mr. Feil or Grgp4blu want to chime in with tuning experience, protocalls or experiences they have had in setting up systems then that would be considered proper behavior.
As per the gentleman who doesn’t like "our promotion." most of these people are the first to bemoan there are no brick and mortar dealers left yet in their minds don’t understand the business realities of today’s market.
Do we promote on Audiogon to some extent anything that brings our name to the forum is self promotion howerver, any other dealer or manufacturer that announces they are a dealer is doing the same thing.
We may be more vocal then some but the reality is not that many people have purchased from us because of our contributions on Audiogon.
We started a thread on Micromega’s superb M100 and M150 because the product is fantastic and nobody purchased anything from us.
We started a thread on Elac and Naim because the combo is great and guess what nobody contacted us from that one either!
One of the reason’s we write on these forums is because there are so many audiophiles giving other audiophiles bad advice or advice based on what may be limited experiences and extrapollating those experiences to other people’s needs and wants.
In the case of the OP, his Kef Reference 5 look like they are out of a magazine shoot, his room is setup without room tuning, drapes of paneling, in an elegantly appointed white room with matching blue couch and upholstered chairs which are also blue, his Ref 5 are Artic White with the Blue cone.
Long story short, you had all of these people commenting on how the OP should now start the auditioning process all over again and perhaps have to take a bath on his brand new speakers and then move to another loudspeaker which would not have worked well visually.
Our solution was to work with the excellent Kef Ref 5 reposition them, add footers, add a warmer dac, discrete room tuning accessories, improve the power and the main cabling and a few other tweeks.
The final setup with the new products sounded extraordinary, even though the ARC electronics were close to 20 years old. The OP was extremely happy with the sound and he could keep the set of speakers that were visually the most amazing of matches, how many companies make pure white loudspeakers with a single Blue colored midrange?
So the final point is our advice worked like a charm to assist this cllient in getting both the acoustical performance and the visual look that worked.
@bjesien Agreed! 100% If every dealer on the site self-promoted at every opportunity and at the interminable length that we know every post from the audio curandero will have, then the site would probably collapse under its own weight. It's fairly unstable as it currently stands.