not mobile, alabama.
21 responses Add your response
Singapore, there is a mall (The Adelphi) with just specialty Hifi stores, one after the other. Probably the best selection of audio equipment I have seen anywhere in the world. Only the HiEnd audio show in Frankfurt was better.
Having the stores this close together is also great if you want to hear the speaker with the tube amp next door and the CDP five doors away. Imagine! Only drawback: Not many used records and in that climates they will be growing mold in no time.
I think the large Asian cities are much more serious than those here in the USA. Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore have murderer's rows of high end store and people who take music very seriously. My wife, who is from China, has several friends involved in the manufacture and distribution of high end audio equipment, who regularly call her, asking her to become their face in the US. From the feel I get, the high end is exploding in mainland China, and in a very mainstream way.
Special honors also goes to London. When you look at any of the English audio rags, it's apparent how much more in the forefront audio is than for us.
On the US side, Denver kind of seems to be at the fore these days. The traditional US epicenter, of course, has always been Boston, but the sun there is definitely setting.
i think the Seattle-Portland-Vancover B.C. area is very 'audiophile friendly'.
there are many active audiophiles that enjoy the community. we have VSAC and the Tube guys, there is Positive Feedback community. we have numerous small high end companies and the energy they provide. our climate and high-tech and acedemic environment fit with the audiophile profile. we have many transplanted asian audiophiles and are quite connected with HK and it's audiophiles.
within 200 miles of Seattle you can see and hear about anything out there one way or another.
there is more sheer volume of audiophiles and products in some other more populated areas but the Northwest is a good place to be an audiophile.
I'm with Mike on this. LA and NY, and other cities, offer a wealth of dealerships in some very upscale venues but the Puget Sound region offers almost as much (and the drives to those dealers are generally more enjoyable than a commute into LA or NY). I really haven't had a bad experience with any of our local audio dealers, though I have my favorites. BTW, there's no work here, the economy sucks, it rains nonstop and the locals are so nice it makes your skin crawl - so don't think about moving out here...;-}
I second Singapore. I know it's a little far from most of us, but when I lived there, I visited Adelphi building almost daily. The building is 5 or 6 stories tall and about 80% is filled with high-end authorized dealerships. I'm talking Krell, Canton, Levinson, Revel, Tannoy, Martin Logan, Totem, Lexicon, Triangle, and EVERYTHING ELSE.
I've traveled a lot and Singapore is by far the best place for an audiophile. Since all of these stores are so close together (any store to store walking distance is less than 5 minutes) it is perfect for audiotioning speakers. You can make a list of all the speakers you want to audiotion and then hear them yourself all in one day!
Many of the dealers I've talked to have a background in engineering and have a very good knowledge of their products and audio in general. If you have a chance to visit Singapore, do NOT miss the Adelphi building.
There are other high-end companies such as McIntosh and Thiel, who are located outside of the Adelphi building. But when the country is a tiny tiny little island, who cares? Everything is within 30 min drive away. As a bonus, the weather is fantastic (if you like sunny) all year round.
Berkeley,CA. My experience in Berkeley leads me to believe that a person could live a full audiophile experience with lots of validation. This is not to say there would not be those people who would be critical. Some might feel that stereo systems are just big old toys and that responsible people have more important concerns and better and more responsible ways to spend their money. But, even with this, I am betting that these same sort of people would be open minded enough to consider many audiophile considerations and discuss aspects of this to a very satisfying degree. Open minded enough, I think, to take such a discussion seriously. Over all I found berkeley a place where people were very respectful of peoples interests, regardless.
Timf, thanks. I'm sure that the Governator doesn't spend too much time in Berkeley. LOL
Seriously, however, I get the feeling that many 'College' towns like Berkeley, etc. are very audiophile friendly - or it least it used to be that way. Back in the early 80's Auburn, Alabama had a high end dealer that was selling Linn and other quality gear. Now there is No Linn dealers in Alabama. :(