Audio Store Snobs

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Dudley Canuck, Jun 27, 2015.

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  1. Dudley Canuck

    Dudley Canuck Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    As you might have guessed I'm talking about High End Audio shops.

    About a month ago I went for a check-up from my Doctor but had about an hour to kill before so I went next door to a store called Nation Audio/Video.
    I wanted to see how much a Senn balanced cable would cost.
    I wanted it to use my HD650's with the Pono DAP.

    I got the price which unfortunately included his unsolicited review that the Pono "is crap"
    So I asked him what HPs he used and to my surprise it was the HD650's that I need balanced cables for.
    I asked if he heard the cans with the Pono in balanced mode... his reply was "no".
    I tried to explain to him that connecting a balanced cable to the Pono doubles its power needed for the cans but he cut me off mid sentence and told me "I know what balanced cables do" as if I challenged his masculinity.
    I then tried to tell him it's the Pono that doubles the power to which he let out a boy are YOU green laugh.
    I asked him what was funny to which he couldn't respond so I left telling him he was an idiot.

    When I saw my Doctor I told him my recent adventure which gave him a little comfort since he also experienced the great customer service I got.

    I'm sure others here must have similar experiences...please share.
     
  2. Jasonb

    Jasonb Forum Resident

    I'm sure there's a few audio forum snobs too! :hide:
     
  3. countingbackward

    countingbackward Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    Gotta love it when somebody reviews a DAP without using their preferred headphones and calls it "crap". If you're not using your preferred phones, you can't possibly infer what a DAP will sound like with them. It's tantamount to driving a pair of Wilsons with some wonderful single-ended power amps and concluding that the amps are crap.

    This goes beyond being a snob - it's the most basic of incompetences that an audio salesman can have: slam a product you don't sell, and that you don't even know.
     
  4. audioguy3107

    audioguy3107 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Ridiculous story, although you only have to search for a microsecond to find a million different stories about stuff like this in high end audio shops. It really sucks, I'm sure this attitude drives off tons of new potential customers every day.

    - Buck
     
    slovell and Dudley Canuck like this.
  5. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I suspect a first move in sales is to establish some sort of expert standing. The quickest way to do this is to be dismissive of what the customer currently owns. The soft version is to be accepting but knowingly skeptical.
     
    Gumboo, Bolero and Dudley Canuck like this.
  6. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    There are more idiots in high end audio than any other field I'm aware of save for show business.
     
  7. Dudley Canuck

    Dudley Canuck Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    I wish we could edit our posts at any time.
    I seem to always return here to find mistakes in my posts but it's usually too late.
     
  8. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Did you really call him an idiot? If so, I salute you.:tiphat:
     
    erniebert likes this.
  9. Remurmur

    Remurmur Music is THE BEST! -FZ

    Location:
    Ohio
    I just covered over your comment with my green CD edging magic marker ...:)
     
  10. erniebert

    erniebert Shoe-string audiophile

    Location:
    Toronto area
  11. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Now, wait just a minute. That's true. My CD's all play better with green edges. :uhhuh:
     
    Remurmur likes this.
  12. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    I've been in more hifi shops than I can remember, although none in Canada. Not once have I had an experience that was less than pleasant. Makes me wonder, was it them or was it you?
     
  13. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Senior Member

    Location:
    US
    At least you've GOT a high end shop. :cry:
     
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  14. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC In Memoriam

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    The selling of high-end audio has included snobbery (in my opinion for selfish personal gain) for decades, maybe even from before my time starting out in it, during the early 70's. I remember going to Neil Sinclair's store in Orange County, CA, long before he started Theta Digital... long before there WAS digital. Man, they put on the airs of elegance and expertise. A salesman there asked what I listened to at home. Well, I had my very first audio system at that time: Dual turntable, Shure V-15 type III cartridge, Marantz 2275 receiver, and a really special Cerwin Vega speaker pair that WERE NOT disco speakers. These were 12" 3-way speakers, very high efficiency, with real walnut veneer, advertised as "classical music speakers", that I STILL own and STILL think sound very good.

    I still like high efficiency speakers, to this day.

    Anyway, that salesman didn't remember that he had sold me those Cerwin Vega speakers when he had previously worked for Cal Stereo. And, before I decided to give him that honor of selling those speakers to me, I had listened to many models of speaker in three different audio stores, only prefering the MUCH more expensive Dahlquist DQ-1o and Klipsch Cornwall, which are both now legendary. I can remember exactly what he said to me 40 years ago: "The rep for Cerwin Vega speakers was just in here last week, laughing with me about how cheap their speakers are to make." I thought, who cares how much they cost to make, I bought them them for their sound/price, and at that time, the same salesman agreed with me that they were amazing to hear with my personally-recorded cassette (on a friend's Nakamichi with Maxell UDXL-II tape).

    I was a teenager, in my last year of high school. I was proud of the quality of my tape, its ability to expose subtleties and differences in speakers, and my "skill" at using it to find speakers that were right for me. He offended me. I still remember his name, Mike, never liked him after that, and have never trusted salesmen of any kind since then. It was a big moment in my life to realize that as a hobbyist, not only in audio, I could not trust self-proclaimed experts who would rather make some money than honestly share enthusiasm.

    I sell equipment now, and I absolutely do not think or act that way.

    Of course, now, it just sounds naive to be surprised that we cannot trust a salesman. Time marches on, and now we seem to have moved on to not even trusting the most authoritative and dedicated professionals in our lives: doctors, our duly elected President, the Supreme Court, policemen. It was a lot better, 40 years ago, when we could just be shocked that a saleman was not necessarily trustworthy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
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  15. Buddy>Elvis

    Buddy>Elvis Senior Member

    Location:
    New Zealand
    I spent around 10K on a system from a particular dealer (TT, cart, amp, CD, phono, speakers, interconnects and cables). The speaker cables are like garden hoses and there is a lot of pressure on the plugs, if I'm being honest while the sound is good I wish I had purchased something else due to this. Anyway, due to this one of the plug insert things snapped off one day. I went back to the dealer about getting it replaced (not asking or demanding a free replacement btw, fully expecting to pay what it cost to be fixed). Anyhow the guy flips out, chastising me like a child who has mistreated his toys whilst he grudgingly fixes it, muttering away to himself like a miserable bastard.

    Since then I've done a few upgrades and no more of my money went or ever will go his way, nor would I recommend his store to anyone.
     
    Dave likes this.
  16. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC In Memoriam

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Actually, I am impressed that he flipped-out and muttered away. That implies to me that he did the repair for free and actually is still emotionally excitable in his hobby/business, not just trying to make a buck.
     
  17. Buddy>Elvis

    Buddy>Elvis Senior Member

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Admittedly he did do the repair for free but his "flipping out" was very aggressive, like I had deliberately broken something to be a PITA. Also, it was very insulting to me as I'm OCD with my possessions.
     
  18. norman_frappe

    norman_frappe Forum Resident

    A couple of places near me have the artitude if they don't carry the brand it sucks. It's pretty insulting so I wont go there.

    Ironically the uber high end place has the most down to earth salesperson and can work with you on almost any budget. They encouraged me to stay all day and listen to whatever I wanted. Gave me free reign over the rooms and equipment. I only was spending $1500 on a TT but they made me feel like a big shot. And were really engaged in discussing what I thought and heard.

    So I guess keep looking until you find a good place.
     
    Robert C, Dave, Sailfree and 2 others like this.
  19. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC In Memoriam

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Despite the "idiots" and snobbery, there are plenty of VERY intelligent, dedicated and sincere individuals who design or sell high-end audio. And, despite the complaints from "flat earthers", there are a few very perceptive people pushing forward the art and technology of better sound. The best place to meet these people is an audio show, not necessarily an audio store.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  20. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    Brother, you said it. It's a field that requires no intelligence, no work, no accreditation. All you have to do is shoot off your mouth and you're an 'expert'.

    It's disgusting. I've seen behavior from owners and employees of high end stores that is just mind blowing.
     
  21. Larry I

    Larry I Senior Member

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Certainly there are plenty of instances where store personnel treat customers badly, but, from my own experience, it is more often the case that know-it-all "customers" come in making unreasonable demands, accusing the staff of disseminating false information or lying about the competition, etc. I have no idea what happened with the OP, but, I do note that the OP claimed that he tried to explain either that the Pono doubles the power needed (which would be bad) or just "doubles the power." I do know that there are certainly advantages to using balanced wiring for the phones if the amp itself is a balanced design, but, such as halving the voltage slew rate, diminished interference from the common ground, etc., but what is meant by "double the power" is something that, perhaps, the OP, can further explain. Perhaps the dealer was responding to that claim/explanation, and depending on the content and tone of such a lecture, I can understand the "laugh."
     
  22. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC In Memoriam

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    My question is, have you occasionally heard shockingly good sound and good advice that motivated you to respect a self-proclaimed "expert" as indeed qualified to express his opinion with confidence?
     
  23. slovell

    slovell Retired Mudshark

    Location:
    Chesnee, SC, USA
    :-popcorn:
     
  24. countingbackward

    countingbackward Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    While I agree with this statement in respect of some hi-end audio vendors - it's important to note that there are also plenty of extremely competent, intelligent, knowledgeable and plain fun people working in this field too, that add a lot to the hobby. Let's just be mindful not to paint everybody with the same brush. The key is for the hobbyist to have the judgement to decipher the difference between good advice and bullcrap, without coming to the way-too-simple conclusion that everything is bullcrap.
     
  25. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    Was this the store, per chance?

     
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