Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Suppertime, Apr 12, 2012.
any good recs? ready to have an in-person sales interaction versus buying online.
I'm sure LeeS can come up with some good suggestions.
Audio Alternative in Lilburn. He's got the popular stuff... Magnepan, Thiel, Vandersteen, Totem, NAD, Rega, VPI, McIntosh, Ayre, Audio Research.... the customer service is excellent and Alan, the owner, is a vinyl guy. Very passionate. Each demo room sounds incredible. His used prices are a little silly, though. Bought a Rega P3-24 and a Dynavector 10x3 a few years back and he made me feel like I had spent $100k (even though I know he has customers who actually *do*)
There's also a Linn, Arcam, Naim dealer in Marietta (also carries Totem, Tannoy, some others), but nowhere near as retail/customer-friendly. A two-man custom theater / home automation business that dabbles in two-channel.... the demo capabilities are limited. I'd recco working out of town on Linn / Naim if that's your thing. Just not very customer-service minded and, to me, don't earn the MSRP they demand (unlike Alan). Tried to pass off a used/previsouly registered unit on me as "demo / full warranty". Verified by running the serial # through Linn (only 2/5 the warranty remained). Nice.
Then, surprisingly, Best Buy. The Magnolia at Perimeter Mall carries Arcam, McIntosh, Pro-Ject, REL, and a some other really high end stuff. Demo rooms aren't as bad as you might think (but would benefit from some treatments). Worth a visit, and you can finance at 0% for three years with your Best Buy card. 30 day return.
Otherwise..... a couple have shut down in the last few years, and Walter moved to Hawaii (and is running as a mail-order business from his permanent vacation home in Hawaii). But you can still pick up at his Marietta warehouse for "same day" gratification. Big discounts at expense of demo ability, no returns, but fair trade-in practices.
All depends on what you are looking for.
thanks jlw. Great feedback.
They are his second home.
Another vote for Audio Alternative.
Ask Tommy Tunes he actually buys stuff.
Audio Alternative is the best place. Bought my new Maggies there and my VPI table and a bunch of other stuff.
Well that was Sound & Cinema before they closed.
another vote for audio alternative. i went in once about 6 months ago to get an idea of what was available. the owner was very friendly and approachable, something i don't always feel when i go into high end audio stores. they have a good selection and a lot of space.
georgia home theater was really nice. they recently moved to a smaller location though and don't have as much audition space / stuff on the floor. i once attended an "open house" here. a guy from B&W came to speak and they had a rep from Audioquest too [still have the mug!]. the B&W demo was the best i had ever heard. i took my Dad too, he told me he had never heard a system that sounded that good. someday...
i also once visited a place called Audio Atlanta which was nice [two years ago]. the guy who was working there that day was also pretty friendly. a much smaller place though. i'm not even sure if they're still open [it was in marietta].
we're lucky in ATL, we have a good # of places to shop for gear and to buy records and CD's.
Audio Alternative is THE premier audio store here. The carry most bands and the staff is extremely knowledgable. They take their time with you and are never rushed.
Audio Atlanta closed but Gordon from the store opened a smaller place across the street at Sweet Melissas which is an antique store/record store/hifi shop. They have Tannoy speakers, Rogue Audio, and a few other brands.
Several years ago while passing through the area I tripped over a place in an office park named Gateway Sound, they had PrimaLuna amplification, MbL speakers and the Manley Steelhead phono preamp.
I also found this 2 year old post here where someone discussed Gateway Sound:
You asked for the best "store" and although I have to visit it, can't really object to the recs for Audio Alternative (based on reputation).
Having said that, and since you mentioned wanting a real human to talk to, you might be interested in an in-home demo or discussion. The guy that owns Variety Playhouse also has a side business, http://www.playhouseaudio.com/. I doubt he has all that stuff available for demo, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.
I have no affiliation here, and the only reason I know about him is because he was demoing Nola speakers at AXPONA here last year. Seemed like a nice enough guy.
I suppose I met Gordon and didn't realize it (we didn't introduce each other, I was just a browser one day in the store.) Really nice guy. Offered to let me hear anything I wanted, but since I wasn't in Buying Mode couldn't in good conscience take advantage of his generosity. I visited a year or so ago and never saw anything new there but for some LPs. I'll have to check back, particularly since that's the closest vinyl dealer to me (other than Best Buy.)
Gateway closed around a year ago.
Steve Harris, owner of Variety, is a really cool guy. He sort of runs the store as a side business but he does have a good ear for the good stuff. Nice guy too. It's more of a "by appointment" business though.
Deckeda, give Gordon another shot. He's very open to demos. Some of his stuff sounds very good too.
I never been to Audio Alternative before but they have the best website URL in the world.
Agreed. It's worth the trip to hear the Vandy 7s with ARC reference gear.
Road Trip. Need money for gas. Maybe one day....
Gone. Gateway was in Tucker. The only Bel Canto dealer in town.
Will definitely have to check Audio Alternative out as the audio center here in Columbus is geared more towards home theater and televisions.
I did, today! I was there primarily for Record Store Day. Scored a new release, a $1 bargain record and splurged on a Berenstain Bears picture disk for my daughter.
Yes, the place is different now. There was a small dedicated audio room that was closed off for the day but 3 other systems on display in a small area with basic Pro-Ject turntables, Rogue Audio, Ortofon cartridges, M2Tech accessories, a pair of Dayton speakers, a Teac receiver, one of the new Teac mini component amps and some more random stuff, including some kind of panel speakers about 7' tall.
And the new LP selection was better now as well. Not big, but better than it was.
The place was packed with people buying records and talking stereos. Glad to see more of the floorspace devoted to audio and less to the antiques.
A.A. is a nice store and great staff, I haven't been there in a while but need to return...
Cool. Glad you had fun!
Old thread, but need some info please. Does Audio Alternative have cartridges for sale? The website shows a few Rega, but that is it. I wanted to audition carts and maybe buy one from them, but based on what I see on their website I am not sure if that is doable there.
Thanks in advance.
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