The Best Audio Dealer

My vote for the best dealer award goes to Mario,owner of TOYS FROM THE ATTIC This guy helped me break into analog.I made alot of mistakes because "Dave,you don't listen" Any way Mario was always to the rescue.He,over the phone has helped me build an awesome sounding stereo.He has always given me the Best price and I know he hasnt made much money from me.He calls me on occasion to see "whats up" I have never met the man or been to his shop because its over 300 miles away
I nominate Bob Ungemach of AMR in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. I've never see a dealer go the extra mile(s) so much for his customers.
Joe at Overture in Delaware is a super nice guy. So is Bob at Elusive Disc. Duke at AudioKinesis seems very kind. Paul at The Cable Company is pretty good. Stuart Ono at Audio Directions in Hawaii is EXTREMELY good.
Rocky Mountain audiophiles should spend some time with John Barnes of Audio Unlimited in Denver. Not only an excellent selection and superb line of imported and domestic tube and ss hardware, speakers, wire and accessories at all price points, but one of the most personable and responsive dealers of high end gear in the country. His customers are nationwide. Call John at 303-691-3407 for an appointment. You won't be disappointed.
Very good experience with Mario of Toys from the Attic,Paul Jenkins of Cable Company and Galen Carol of GC Audio. Very bad experience with Brian of HelloHiFi
fulvio,I had a bad experiance with him also.I didnt buy from him an item I sinply had asked for info.about and the guy sent me 3 or 4 harassing E-mails and even stooped to calling me names! You want a class act and a rock solid dealer? CALL MARIO 914-421-0069 tell hom Dave sent you...
I try to support to support local dealers;however the competition for pricing is tough on the smaller market guys.Steve at hififarm will beat anybody's price for which has to offer and he's got a great ear for MY tastes. It can be hard to build a relationship with a lot of the mail-order dealers. They get bombarded with price checkers all day long and can be short with you. Pick a dealer whom you can costantly upgrade with and/or sell your equipment. I guarantee you won't hold your gear for to many years if your a PSYCHO audiophile.
We know this, Snook, but some of us don't live in areas where every brand is available one block away, around the corner...
Without a local dealer try to find a dealer who will loan you equipment at their terms. This is very difficult to do unless you have done a lot of business with them. Are there any dealers reading than can offer any suggestions.
I have two that I would like to add,Stewert from Weekend Environment, this guy is great , he has done a few favors for me in the past, he has a great product line too! Always there to help and FRIENDLY,He moved from S.C. TO WA.State a few years ago,we lost a good dealer from S.C. The other guy is Alan from Audio ALternatives,Always there to give good advice and takes his time with you, I`ve bougth from both of these dealers and will do more with them in the future.!!!! The other thing I would like to say ABOUT DEALERS IS THIS , PRICE IS NOT ALWAYS THE REASON WE BUY FROM THEM, the bond a dealer has with that person will make a sell every time even if that price might be a little high, how well the dealer will take care of you if you need to have your gear repaired,how much knowledge does he have about audio gear, does he care about you after the sale, the good ones will, you can have this type of bond with a dealer no matter were he is if he is a good one.CUSTOMER SERVICE is the "KEY" to all sales and the "LIFE" of the dealer!!!!! Greg
I live in California and I buy from John Barnes, Audio Unlimited, in Colorado. He is a pleasure to deal with, and has most of the top products. He loves audio and dealing with people that love audio. I bought my Basis, Graham, Koetsu Onyx Platinmum, Aesthetix phono Io with volume control, and an Electro ECI-3 from him. All these we from phone call conversations, home demos, and his recommendations. I didn't recommended to Eleltro ECI-3 to me, and he suggested others that I am sure are better. But, the Electro was for my Sony TV only and it work, and looks good. Have no reservations with working with him from lomng distance. He is great, honest, and promptly does what he says. Call John at 303-691-3407. As Gino said before, You won't be disappointed.
Still trying different dealers on line. Have yet to discover any bad dealers, I plan on trying Toys from Attic from what I am reading here. But I am looking for a great dealer that is not too greedy with profits rather more interested in helping many high end audiophiles like us get a step closer to high end gear without breaking our banks.
None that I can think of. Most of them that I've dealt with are con-men and assholes. Factory-Direct all the way, baby!
BUSTED,Iam curious to know what products you buy factory direct? I cant think of any true hi-end products are sold that way.Some wont even allow mail order.A good dealer adds to the value of a product.
I think that the best shop that I have been to are Immedia Sound on 4th Street in Berkeley, California (of course famous for its turntables and arms and as importer of Audio Physic, Lyra, and representatives for Herron, etc.). I have also enjoyed going to Quintessence in Napierville, Illinois, and the Audible Difference in Palo Alto, California. For mail order sale of used equipment, I too have had a very good experience in dealing with Mario at Toys from the Attic, having bought a Mark Levinson model 25S phono preamp from him.
Take 5, New Haven, CT. 15 years of dealing with them, and they've always been honest, pleasant and informed. Top lines intelligently selected, instead of the flavor of the month. Folks you can trust.
David99, as cool a guy as you are, I must differ with you here. Magneplanar sells their smallest speaker factory direct, and it's one of the best buys in audio. I don't think we should make blanket statements about manufacturers that sell factory direct, because that only serves to help the status quo, and they don't need any help. Upstart companies (I know Maggie isn't one) need help in their early quest for market share, and the "old boy" established dealer network only serves to squelch new audio companies that may well have a superior product (since they can't compete with established brand names in a diminishing "specialty audio" market at most any dealer, anywhere, especially if the dealer wants to make his all important markup on that big brand name....ahhhWilson...'scuse me, had to cough).
Carl.Good point but you only named 1 product of a true hi-end nature sold factory direct.Name me some more.I like to save money too.By the way what do you think of Kevin Deal?You can E-mail me if you don't want to slander your self.LOL
Did you not see my comments about him in another thread? Just as well, I'm not too proud of them. It was just my opinion, and he shouldn't take it very personally (I've not met him in person). More factory direct companies? Bel Canto, Perpetual, Waveform. Do you not look at ads in magazines?
Carl,Your getting hostile again!!! The Thought Police are watching! I bought tubes from Kevin Deal(got them today) You want someone to be totally honest and no B.S.he is the guy.He really isn't even opinionated which is a relief I guess.I still like for info.then he likes to give.
David99, add Headroom to the list of high-end manufacturers who sell direct (so far as I know, only direct). I've owned three different models from them over time, and The Max is a very serious product.
I am beginning to eat crow but not until I hear of more.It tastes kind of nasty!
MARIO at TOYS from the attic is THE WORST! he puts on a good act at first but deep down ONLY cares about himself.Not a man of his word! VERY VERY BAD EXPERIENCE.
Captain, You have only stated your OPINION of Mario.What are the facts of your case.Please be specific,I am very much interested.
Music Lovers in Berkeley, CA is very good. They listen to your needs and then help you assemple the components you need to match your budget. 1995 El Dorado Avenue Berkeley, CA 94707 Tel: (510) 558-1000 Fax: (510) 558-0253
J S Audio, the finest around, the best in the Washington D. C. area
David99. Add Alpha-Core (Goertz) to the list of factory-direct suppliers of wire.
Duke Lejune of Audio Kinesis has been as wonderful. He Knows what he is talking about and if he doesn't know something researchs before he advises. Great prices and his customer support is second to none. I have dealt with many of the above posted companies most are fine! Duke has Soundlab, Atma-Sphere, Thor, Magnan and Wolcott. Probably has more but these are the ones I know of. Hey good luck in your shopping 504-866-1730
Duke Lejune of Audio Kinesis has been as wonderful. He Knows what he is talking about and if he doesn't know something researchs before he advises. Great prices and his customer support is second to none. I have dealt with many of the above posted companies most are fine! Duke has Soundlab, Atma-Sphere, Thor, Magnan and Wolcott. Probably has more but these are the ones I know of. Hey good luck in your shopping 504-866-1730
I have had very good luck dealing here in Birmingham,AL with Likis Audio. They will let you take their demo's home and see how you like the piece in your own room with your own equipment. As stated earlier though Birmingham is a mid sized town and not all brands or even most of them are available here. Dunlavy-no,Cary-no,Sonic Frontiers and Theil-yes but in Huntsville 75 miles away. Also you can add Legacy Audio to the list of factory direct products. People seem to have strong opinions about them but I have had excellent results from their speakers. No experience with their electronics but they are made by Coda. They will also line up an audition for you if anyone near you has bought their equipment and agreed to host an occasional audition. This is how I got to hear the Focus before I bought them.
This one is easy ... John at Audio Connection in Verona, NJ (1-973-239-1799). John has all the requisites for nomination for this most prestigious award ... knowledge/ patience/ willingness to teach/ honesty/ etc. But, what separates him from the pack is his unabashed ENTHUSIASM and LOVE for music.
I have had success dealing with Likis as well. Scottagee, pls E-mail. I have a question regarding the Focus.
Hawthorne's in Seattle is one of my favorite shops, but for the best, you have to go down to Arizona Tube Audio.
John of Audio Odyssey in Highland Park, NJ was great to deal with. Frank of Soundex in Willowgrove,PA is also excellent. Frank has a terrible memory, but this can also work in your favor. Stay away from Terry Menacker and Overture of Delaware! I don't care what Carl says. Questionable ethics and business practices.
I don't know Terry. What questionable ethics and business practices?
Terry is the president and owner of Overture. 1.) He sold me a Levinson 27.5 at a "discount" price. The then new, and better, 331 arrived at his place days later at an even lower price than the "discounted" older version. He claims it slipped his mind that the new 331 was arriving and that it would be cheaper. 2.)He stated that Overture did not deliver when I bought my speakers. However, a friend bought speakers from Overture and they were promptly delivered to him. I have gotten rid of everything that I purchased from Overture to sever all ties. I refuse to ever buy from them again even though they are only 15 minutes away. Don't take my word, contact the folks at Soundex of Willowgrove, PA where he used to work, prior to opening up his own place. Sorry everyone, Carl wanted to know.
I would have to agree with Jkphoto. Hands down! John at the Audio Connection is great. I moved to PA and I'm still going to John for my gear. Great guy, honest, and truly loves music.
Sounds to me like he was just trying to sell product (like any salesman would), and you felt he owed you favors as a personal friend (letting you know about the new Levinson, when perhaps you should have researched it more...not that it's my place to criticise, we all make mistakes). I've found that in general, you can't be friends with those who sell you merchandise, because it's always about money deep down. You can't expect a bigger shop to treat you like a king, or something. Perhaps Terry just had something personal against you (not delivering the speakers, with you living so close by), or perhaps he really is a bad guy...I don't know. Either way, I've heard worse "I got screwed" stories, and you should count yourself lucky yours isn't among them. Specialty Hi-Fi is a nasty business, and contrary to all the propoganda by the "feel good" crowd, we all get bitten sooner or later.........................Kinda like driving a car, sooner or later you'll have an wear your seatbelt, and don't drive in a transfer truck's blind spot (I see too many people doing this on interstate highways). In other words, don't set yourself up to take a big loss before you make a big purchase in audio. All the best, Carl.
Carl, you have made me feel so much better about my experience with Overture. You are right, I guess, getting screwed a little bit is much better than getting screwed a lot. I do consider myself lucky!
I've bought two McCormack amps and some other stuff from Progressive Audio, Columbus, Ohio, with 15 to 30 day in home auditions, and a very pleasant and professional sales rep.-- Michael Rice. They carry a lot of high end brands, and offer a bit of a price break. But the big thing to me was the generous home audition policy-- and I live on the west coast. Highly recommended. Craig
Shelton, very glad that I cheared you up! Just think, what if you were like all the other poor shmoes in the world that don't know, or don't care about this hobby. I feel sorry for them, since it really is so fulfilling!..........Craig, yes indeed, generous home auditions epitomize a great dealer.
Vu Hoang at Deja Vu Audio in McLean, Va. A gentleman with a true passion for music he lets me come in once or twice a month and spend a few hours with his latest gear and listen to my heart's content, even though in that period he has yet to make a sale to me. But he will, you can bet your bottom LP on it!
David99, Ohm Speaker also sells factory direct. Upscale Audio sells the Ah Tube (English spelling) upgraded Marantz CD player as pseudo-factory direct since the units have to be imported.
My vote for Northampton Audio / Spearit Sound in Northampton Massachusetts. Been a constant customer of theirs since 1977 even though I have not lived there since 1983. Have never been treated better. They have a web site.
I think that Acoustical Magic in Kirkland, Wa. is the best. They helped me with a $2800 problem with a company that didn't have anything to do with them. They went out of their way to help. They also have the best audio gear (Rowland, Creek, Legend Audio Design(great tube equipment)
Without a doubt Steve at Ensemble in West Bloomfield (Detroit) Michigan. No acting as if you are dirt or that he knows everything or you really can't hear. he doesn't presure you, is warm and hospitable. Great line up of gear and he doesn't try to get you to buy the most expensive component.l Frank from Audio Outlet. i have been doing business with him for 8 years. The last 3 haven't bought anything with him, but he is still warm and cordial over the phone. Honest and straight up. Joshua Lerner
Galen Carol Audio's service was great when I bought $65.00 Polycrystal cones from him by mail.Audio Advisor(mail-order)is also quite good.
Rick Ratliff at Alpine Audio, Excellent!!
Hands down, it has to be Progressive Audio in Columbus, Ohio. These guys always greet everyone when they walk in the door. Nobody gets the cold shoulder because they are dressed in jeans. NO preconcieved ntions at progressive. The thing i like best is that they dont put down equipment that they dont sell. I hate when audio dealers do that