1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

When did you last visit a HiFi Shop for a Demonstration?

Discussion in 'audio' started by G T Audio, Nov 10, 2019.


When did you last visit a HiFi Shop for a demonstration?

Poll closed Dec 10, 2019.
  1. During 2019

  2. During 2018

  3. During 2017

  4. During 2016

  5. During 2015

  6. During 2014

  7. During 2013

  8. 1 decade ago

  9. 2 decades ago

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. PBB

    PBB pfm Member

    Osiris integrated about a year, year and a half ago. Maybe two, two and a half years ago went to audition Focal Electra 1038 Be but none were set up so wind up hearing something higher up in the range at a point I could not afford. They sounded thin to me. Owner of the shop was a gentleman which is always appreciated.
    G T Audio likes this.
  2. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    I went to Fanthorpe’s in Hull, who were very welcoming and allowed me a full morning to listen to Innuos and Melco players via a DAVE and a Hugo TT. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about with these (then) new music servers. I have to disclose that SQ bore little relation to the price tags and I left confused. I’ve since heard Melco sound superb at a pal’s home so, home demo every time from now on. Trouble is I live out in the sticks and can’t summon the will to arrange anything so I just spend more on CDs and LPs.
    G T Audio likes this.
  3. ff1d1l

    ff1d1l pfm Member

    Mid nineties.
    The system I have now is superior to the one I put together with dealer advice in that period.
    G T Audio likes this.
  4. BrianPK

    BrianPK pfm Member

    Only a few weeks ago but bad experience overall as demonstration room was about three times the size of my modest room and also had a very high ceiling.It also had only a very thin rug on the floor,unlike my very well damped room.To make matters worse the speakers I was interested in had only arrived that morning and had only a few hours running in.They sounded only so so but I sensed their possibilities and after mulling over in my mind on the weekend, I ordered them on the following Monday. Actually the money was burning a hole in my pocket and I knew I was going to pull the trigger but crossing my fingers at the same time and hoping it was going to work out.The retailer took the pressure off me by reluctantly saying he would refund me if I wasn’t happy.He was also giving me a good trade in on my current speakers.
    I was ultimately delighted with the speakers B&W 702 S2 once I partnered them with my warm(critical) amp and source...a big step up from my old B&W CM9s.
    G T Audio likes this.
  5. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    The Mimik was rather sterile/bland, I’d have bought the Arcam too (I did in fact, around the same time). Not long after that, the Genki was released and that was a game changer, totally whooped the Mimik and the Alpha 8, and Alpha 9 for that matter... but the I was lucky enough to score a Karik/Numerik (still well within the Linn 5 year warranty) for the same price as a Genki when I went to actually buy one.:D
    G T Audio likes this.
  6. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    I never need Dealership advice to help make my mind up but demonstrations are pretty useful for getting the measure of a piece of kit... the last time I bought totally blind it was a blunder, a real big one, Focal 1028Be speakers (they’re not cheap), I didn’t like them at all.
    G T Audio likes this.
  7. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    Three days ago I had a dem of a Kondo pre and power amp I can’t afford.

    G T Audio likes this.
  8. thebigfredc

    thebigfredc pfm Member

    Thursday evening.

    I had an enjoyable evening listening to the new Rega Aethos and Planar 10 at one of Signlas manufacturers demonstration evenings.

    They both sounded great but it is difficult to evaluate with better speakers than mine and in a different room.

    I tried the Aethos with an Isis too and was left with the impression that it was a typical Rega amp in that the music flowed very nicely and the sound was not fatiguing at all. It also did well to drive such a large space with a high vaulted ceiling.

    G T Audio likes this.
  9. cjarchez

    cjarchez pfm Member

    At least two decades.
    Used to work in HiFi retail, what seems like eons ago.
    Never stepped inside a dealer since and only bought second hand since then.
  10. Chops54

    Chops54 pfm Member

    My son and I went to HiFi Hanger the year before last. We also went to one of their evening events. We didn't go to demo but just to have a look and see what it was all about. My son ended up buying a rather nice rack and some leads. He's since been moved away from Borden and it's just too far for us to visit now.

    Where I live near Accrington we had a local HiFi dealer that I used to visit quite regularly. I bought quite a bit of kit from him over the years both new and used. He closed the shop a few years ago and went internet only so that was the end of that.
  11. GJO

    GJO pfm Member

    None since Walrus shut down.
    Dozey and Ed Rogerson like this.
  12. vinylslug

    vinylslug Resisting beguiling upgrades.

    I had a demo this year, although it was the first time I’d demoed anything since the late 80s/early 90s. I’d driven down to Preston to buy a very well priced ex-demo amp from AudioT, but when I got there - rather than have the amp boxed and ready to take my money, they’d set it up in the demo room so that I could have a listen before buying. I find demoing equipment fairly pointless, which is why I’d have been happy not to, but they’d gone to the trouble, so why not?
    To be honest...even though they had the same speakers as I use at home, the amp sounded awful. Bright, ‘scratchy’ just horrible, although incredibly detailed. But I knew (or at least, suspected/hoped) that these edgy ear-bleeding qualities would be softened in my home setup, which is a very different environment than the demo room. So I bought the amp anyway.
    Luckily, I was right. In my home setup it was glorious - detailed, full, rich. Really lovely.
    I think demo’s should be done at home - and ideally, you need to live with something for a while to really know if it suits the room and other equipment.
    Riotvan and BrianPK like this.
  13. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    Slightly startled by the question because in my head I’m still a hi-fi nut. But I guess it must be over 15 years ago!
  14. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Interesting question! I’ve been trying to figure this out and I think the last time I actually arranged a proper dem was way back in about 1998 when I bought a Rega P9/Lydian B from Audio T in reading! I have since moved entirely into the classic/vintage audio market so I just don’t exist in that circle anymore.

    I’ve certainly popped into a couple of dealers since then to say hello, but at this point the only things I’d really be interested in demming are cartridges, as they are pretty much the only thing I buy new. Sadly no dealers seem to do this these days so I just buy grey imports from Japan or wherever. I have bought a couple of bits and pieces new since then (headphones, CD players etc) but just as sealed boxes mail order. I’m pretty sure the P9 was the last time I had a formal shop dem.

    None of this is any reflection on dealers at all, it is just my taste has changed completely now I’ve really discovered the ‘golden age’ of idlers, valves, horns etc and have gained the knowledge and confidence to do my own restorations. I’m just ploughing an entirely different field to the current audio market, so really there isn’t much overlap at all.
    Nytechy likes this.
  15. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    Few months ago, and probably most years for past 5/6 years since getting in to hifi. No substitute for home demo but have proven very useful.
  16. kjb

    kjb pfm Member

    I've been changing a few bits of kit post-retirement so have been to see John At Midland Audio Exchange, James at TomTom and Peter at Deco for demonstrations so far in 2019. All very knowledge, not at all pushy and a pleasure to talk to. All of them had a "you now need to take it home and try it" philosophy after a listen in store.

    Midlandaudiox likes this.
  17. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    Mmmm, 24/10/17 auditioned a Hana SL at the now sadly departed Audio T Brentwood:(, must have been a good demo as purchased two SL's.:)
  18. early

    early pfm Member

    Around 10 years ago for me , demo'd and bought a Rega Saturn .

    Tried to demo a few things last year and was surprised by the apathetic nature of the dealers I spoke to .
  19. kenworthy

    kenworthy pfm Member

    From recollection late 2012 early 2013, bought a DAC/pre and power amp.

    Demo was conducted professionally and in a non pressured way, came away happy with purchase and overall experience.
  20. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Keep Music Vile

    2006, when I bought my turntable from the now departed Walrus Systems in New Quebec Street, near Oxford Circus.
    Dozey likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice