Visit Sound by Singer,at 18 east 16th Street. I do believe that you will find some very excellent gear there. Good hunting.
I don't know if they sell used but would definitely steer clear of In Living Stereo. Absolutely the worst experience at a dealer I've ever had. I was ready to drop $11k on gear I had researched prior to going and I left not only with no purchase but vowing never to set foot in the place again (and I haven't, even though I live 3 blocks away.)
You should be looking for the best gear which may or may not be used gear.
In many instances a new piece of gear may outperform a much more expensive piece of older gear.
You need to evaluate any purchase based on what sounds the best and I would always look at what is currently being lauded as a best buy.
If you are in New York please feel free to give us try www.audiodoctor.com
Ohm Acoustics has a small showroom I believe at their facility in Brooklyn. They do a lot of refurbishing of older models with newer technology. Never been there, but I own 3 pairs of their speakers and have had their facility on my radar to visit someday. Maybe worth a call first to see if worthwhile.
some background on the products and facility
Kublakhan, what happened???
Interesting comment about In Living Stereo. And I thought that it was just me.
What happened? Too many annoyances to list. I think it was the owner I was dealing with. He was rude and disinterested. Even though I made an appointment he kept me waiting repeatedly by walking out of the room to chat with his workers. The Shindo gear I was listening to was shrill (at least in his poorly designed room) and he blamed it on the cds I brought in (he even insulted the music) and then blamed it on the fact that it was a hot day in nyc and lots of people were using their air conditioning. He bashed Don Gerber of Fi and Gorden Rankin of Wavelength. He had no intelligible answers to my questions.
Other than the occasional glimpse of some exotic gear, NYC in general is one of the worst places on earth to look at audio. Unless of course you enjoy being judged by the price of your wristwatch and/or pressured through a high margin sale by a condescending so called salesperson.
In my experience, Innovative Audio is the best of the bunch where Adam in particular is a great guy. But dont know how much used gear they have.
Stereo Exchange used to have a huge stock of second hand high end, but I think in recent years they have morphed into yet another home theatre specialist.
While we are on the topic, I also had a bad experience at Living Stereo, which puzzled me after the intially good reviews. Never went back.
There is Lyric at 82nd & Lex, but I'm not sure about their inventory of used equipment.
Yea, none of the names in NYC really deal in used gear any more -- there's no profit in it. Stereo Exchange used to carry a very large stock of used equipment and was the place to go, but they've discontinued it entirely. Singer may have 4-5 items, if that. If you ask them if they'll buy used items as part of an upgrade (say, looking to upgrade your Thiel 2.3s to 2.4s, which I would have done had they been even slightly willing to accommodate), they'll literally tell you to sell the old stuff on Audiogon, 'cause you'll get more for it there (here) anyway. Which, of course, is true. Fact is, if you're going to buy used, this is the spot -- and the brick and mortar folks know they can't get enough of a markup on used stuff to make it worth their while. So, at least in NYC, they generally don't bother any more. Theyre definitely prickly about folks looking to explore and later buy used for 1/2 price on line and the audio tourist from out of town just looking to kick some tires. Hey, no reason not to look, but approach accordingly and youre experience could be better than otherwise.
In terms of who's who, over the years, I've spent a fair amount of time (and some $$) at each of Singer, Stereo Exchange, In Living Stereo, and Innovative. Went to Lyric once, managed to get someone to fire up the Maggies briefly, was blown off, and never made it back. Generally, the lot is hit or miss, but expect not to be all that pleased with your experience, unless you get lucky. Innovative Audio has seemed to be the most consistently positive in my experience (spent a long time A-Bing three sets of speakers there which I ultimately bought elsewhere, but they were so helpful that I ultimately returned and bought a matching demoed center from them for way more than it was worth). Singer's had the largest swings in my book, been blown off, been given free stuff concocted by the Russian tech in the service department as a general good-will-building exercise. In Living Stereo is a really small outfit (other places, youre usually at the mercy of luck of the draw regarding whos up for the next customer, assuming theres even someone free), while at ILS youre usually dealing with the owner, who seems to be a moods cuss. Sometimes chatty and helpful, often not so much but he does have some nice gear that no one else in the city seems to have. Stereo Exchange has got some decent folks, but, again, moody. Finally, a lot of the folks at any given spot seem to have worked at at least one of the other ones at one point or another. Yea, seems a smallish world. Going as off-hour as possible and generally being friendly (and knowledgable) works wonders. That, or know exactly what you want and make it happen.
Anyway, best of luck. Theres certainly lots to explore, but, sorry to say, not exactly user-friendly and I wouldnt expect folks to make is easy on you....
Wow, I have lived most of life in NYC, and though the details differ, Mezmo summed it up just about perfectly.
Sad but true.
That is exactly why 1-2 hours drive
to New Jersey or Pennsylvania seems like
if its your first time in nyc, there may just be about a million things to do which are better than visiting audio stores, which are all pretty much ghosts of their former selves.
Lyric used to have an interesting routine where if they deemed you worthy, (Was it my Rolex?) they might give you a quick peek into the big sound room, but if you didnt seem interesting in buying on that day, they might then throw out any number of lines including:
* Oh the amps aren't working right now
* This system needs to warm up for 6 months
* There is no cartridge on the turntable
Sorry....I thought you were an audio STORE?!?!?
I agree that if your looking for used gear, no matter where you are, Audiogon is the place.
That being said, please try to spend the 30 minutes it takes to get to Northern New Jersey and visit John Rutan of The Audio Connection. John is a passionate audiophile/music lover, carries great gear, and is a phenomenal human being.
I went into NYC to check out stores last year, trust me and others and dont bother, you will only end up pissed and posting your frustrations here afterwards.
You have at your feet any number of music events from even small taverns that you will just about get promised a good time, check the city out by day, look for live music at night..........when all is said and done Agon will be waiting for you!
Thanks folks. At least now I won't think that wonderful stuff is there but I just can't find it.
Comments all apply here too.(Vancouver,BC)Crappy selection,coversion to HT and either litle knowledge or no manners. Sounds like I'll feel right at home!
The only place that I would considered to visit for some used or demo stuff is Harvey Electronics. There is one in Midtown Manhattan
2 West 45th Street
Between 5th and 6th Avenues
And the other one in
888 Broadway at 19th Street
Inside ABC Carpet & Home
From time to time they have nice peaces for sale.
You can call them to find out what they have on shelves.
NRs are:(212)575-5000 and (212)228-5354. I got a good deal on McIntosh amp.
Any of you New Yorkers heard of or been to EarsNova. Located on 207 East 84th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues). Their sound rooms are in a loft on the 4th Floor. Visits are by appointment only so you get very personalized attention. Owner Josh seems to be very knowledgeable and willing to put the effort into making the sale. Any opinions on this place.
Don't even go there pal !!!
If you like arrogance, deciet, and paying full retail go to EarsNova.
I have lived and bought audio in NYC for years and the views here are pretty much spot on; Stereo Exchange in its original incarnation was actually fun; loads of used hi-end, stacks of last month's flavors in electronics, and then some; the old Goldmund Reference table, Double Quads, bizzaro stuff taken in on trade, gathering dust, all no more. Innovative used to be in Brooklyn Heights, and was a Linn house for a long time, but they serviced some old ARC stuff for me, and were always pleasant. Never had much interest in Lyric, despite the hi-end rep back in the 80's-90's. Singer has loads of fancy equipment, but Andy Singer is a little larger than life for me. I also had some minimal dealings with In Living Stereo, which left me ambivalent. The guy at Highwater Sound (or whatever it is called) is a real enthusiast and was a sweetheart over the phone answering questions about arcane phono stages without a hint of the salesman about him. EarsNova- bought a fair amount of stuff from him and did not get any service or follow-up, but alot of attitude. I currently patronize Bill Parrish, from GTT Audio in NJ. He often has used equipment, not all of which is listed on his website. And, I can pay him the true compliment of a friend: He is not an asshole.