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High End Audio --is it dead?

Wirehed

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Sacramento
#1
For kicks I was looking at what it would cost to replace my current living room stereo system with an upgrade.
B&W 804 D with Rotel pre and amp was my starting point, as per usual, since I know I like this setup, at least last time I listened to it which was maybe 15 years ago or so. yeeeeesh.
So, in order to buy or even listen to this my only realistic option around here is BestBuy.
All the audio stores are basically gone. Even the ones within 100 miles look more like alarm companies, or just construction companies that do custom home theater.

Such a shame.

This limits my options, and really cuts down on casual shopping. I can go to Best Buy and compare Martin Logan vs. B&W, but nothing else really.

Is high end audio just dead, at least for most people?



*note, we do have Paradyme audio here, but it's kind of a tacky place, primarily centered around car audio and really not the kind of vibe I like.
 

Taxi

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Portland, OR
#2
What was the name of that place we did the speaker wire test at? Where we all thought @tomdkat was an employee? :lol: Are they closed? :(

I was in Chelsea Audio a couple years a ago (where I bought my 4K projector) and it seemed about the same. Fred's Sound of Music is where I got all my HT speakers, another place that's been in Portland forever (1948). I haven't been over there for a while, but their website is still up and they do seem to be open by appointment only due to COVID-19.

So at least around here, there are still options. I would be surprised if it weren't the same for a city like Sacramento. Especially with Silicon Valley so close by, I would think you'd have lots of options for HiFi.

I do suspect that it's a vanishing thing. Nobody is going to buy B&W 800 series speakers to play .MP3 audio, or for getting their music from Youtube compressed to hell.
 

Wirehed

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#3
AudioF/X! That was a great store. They closed a long time ago sadly.

Spotify is adding a lossless option to compete with Tidal soon. I'll likely check that out (I'm already a subscriber) on their family plan. But yeah, you're likely correct.
 

EM3

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Sep 7, 2008
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37.84°N 81.99°W
#4
Arond here there is nothing. Best Buy is like an hour away and its just a regular one and not the Magnolia. There was a store about and hour and a half away but they dabbled in a little of everything but it closed a long time ago. I know when I bought my Marantz PM 7000N i got it from Amazon and I tried to read and watch as many YouTube reviews I could. I have a few folks that will drop by once in a while but noone wants to listen to that system. I have a TB drive hooked into it and have Flac files on it and other high quality rips plus my turntable. Evreyone else I know seens to be happy with their phone or a bluetooth speaker. I've always had an interest in tubes but no way am I diving into that black hole. I stream a little but nothing serious. Not sure why I dont do that more.

Hey Wire you know thats how it all starts is by looking.
 

ellisr63

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Jan 21, 2013
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In the Home Theater
#5
AudioF/X! That was a great store. They closed a long time ago sadly.

Spotify is adding a lossless option to compete with Tidal soon. I'll likely check that out (I'm already a subscriber) on their family plan. But yeah, you're likely correct.
That name sounds familiar...was that Keith Yates hi end store by tognottis?
 

Wirehed

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#7
That name sounds familiar...was that Keith Yates hi end store by tognottis?
Hmmm, no? lol. I don't really remember. I think the owners name was Chris.
Keith Yates sounds familiar though...
There used to be a lot of high end shops around here, I miss those days.
 

chlngr1970

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#8
I don't think it's the death of High End so much as the death of B&M. I was at a "high end" shop a few weeks ago looking at speakers for my future theater. Super small, cramped show rooms, good setups and friendly staff.

j
 

Wirehed

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#9
I don't think it's the death of High End so much as the death of B&M. I was at a "high end" shop a few weeks ago looking at speakers for my future theater. Super small, cramped show rooms, good setups and friendly staff.

j
Ok...but I mean, I don't know that too many people are going to be interested in buying $10k speakers sight unheard, online.