Lyric HiFi In NYC Is Gone

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by Tony Plachy, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. AlmanacZinger

    AlmanacZinger Zingin'

    Location:
    The Land of Zaat
    No personal offense but I'm not a fan of this attitude, especially when there are so many ways and reasons most businesses could negate these fates.
     
  2. AlmanacZinger

    AlmanacZinger Zingin'

    Location:
    The Land of Zaat
    Hollywood and videogame developers should take note.
     
  3. AlmanacZinger

    AlmanacZinger Zingin'

    Location:
    The Land of Zaat
    My experience of buying hi-fi gear in NYC was intimidating but not awful. But I don't doubt the horror stories either. Still when you see certain businesses going under in NYC it gives me a sense of dread for that given hobby.
     
    Sneaky Pete likes this.
  4. Roboraptor

    Roboraptor Active Member

    Location:
    New York
    Pandemic actually helped Lyric stick around couple years longer. High end audio is dying anyway and B&M business model doesn’t help, let alone one with terrible customer service. The millennials don’t care for high end audio. These are the people that are happy with streaming compressed audio and video. The ones that care for high end are aging and their ears don’t hear very well anyway. It’s like buying a Lamborghini when you’re a terrible driver and the roads won’t let you go over 55mph. In my 20’s I had my ears tested and I could hear 19kHz. I’m almost 50 and I had my ears tested, I could only hear up to 15kHz and my doctor said that’s outstanding for my age. I always question how good those high end audio reviewers can hear. At least people can make money collecting exotic cars. For most part you can’t with high end audio.
     
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  5. trickness

    trickness Gotta painful yellow headache

    Location:
    Manhattan
    I think generalizations are a mistake. Who would’ve guessed that this age bracket would’ve revived vinyl? Analog is hip, they are even making new film formulations for cameras. What needs to change is the experience of how it is sold, how it is marketed. And of course the products need to change. The high end market has been primarily chasing the filthy rich to its own detriment for a long time now - and if you pick up magazines like Stereophile, it’s written in a vernacular that for the most part is targeted at older white dudes. And it’s got way too much focus on classical music, which is a genre with that was in trouble 30 years ago. Guys like The Audiophiliac are obviously knowledgeable, but when I watch his YouTube videos I kind of feel like I’m looking at an episode of The Kaminsky Method. I guess Darko is ok.

    Somebody smart is going to come along and figure out how to make the high-end relevant and more affordable for this generation and generations to come. The products will need to be different - I think there’s gonna be a place for a high-end audio augmented reality experience, but there are also going to be people who want a very simple boiled down beautiful old-school tube amp. They just don’t know it yet. Leaning into the limitations seems to be a pretty effective marketing strategy for all things analog.

    And shops like Lyric hi-fi would never in a million years know how to sell to those people. The days of loathing your customer base and condescending to them while they throw money at you are over for high end audio. Although I guess there will always be some people who like to be treated like that when they’re spending great wads of cash.
     
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  6. trd

    trd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berkeley
    I’m guessing there are other high-end services available in major cities for people who like to be degraded while spending lots of cash
     
  7. trickness

    trickness Gotta painful yellow headache

    Location:
    Manhattan
    Maybe Lyric HiFi can get into the ball gag business
     
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  8. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yeah, ask any dominatrix...
     
  9. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pleasantville, NY
    You guys are all still missing an important point here. The people who spent gobs of money at places like Lyric were treated like royalty. Lyric's was not so stupid as to bite the hand that fed it. Their problem was they had forgotten how to attract and keep younger customers.
     
  10. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I once went to another hi-end dealer in NYC, not Lyric. Was treated like sh-it right off the bat. Wouldn't even show me what I wanted to see/hear. I swore to never buy as much as a turntable belt from those guys. By their standards, I might have been small fish, but over the last five years I'd spent roughly $35K on gear - and not one cent went to them, and never will.

    And it is stories like these, and threads like this one that made me extend this fatwa to ALL brick/mortar hi-end stores in NYC - and I'm a Brooklynite. I am happy buying my gear from dealers in WI, IL, MI, even CA - people who still know how to say "thank your for your business".
     
  11. carbonti

    carbonti Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    In this town, there’s a lotta small fish because, relatively speaking, even big fish anywhere else are gonna be small fish here. So if a high end luxury goods emporium strategy is to cater to the plutocracy, NYC of all places is the place where it might work. There are lots of people here with lotsa money, whether or not they are interested in audio is an answer a business bets it’s survival on. Good luck to ‘em.

    Melodramatic arrogance is a timeworn persona adopted by many in the supply-side of high-end audio.

    I’m a little fish in a freakin’ really big pond. I’m also a New Yorker. I doubt there’s a salesman or even a shop owner anywhere that’s gonna make me feel roughed up or insecure about conducting the pursuit of my hobby. Never let them mess with your head because in some shops part of the game is they’ll mess with your head. Everybody’s got a schtick. Some are a PITA. No reflection on me, I’ll simply find another solution.
     
  12. shug4476

    shug4476 Nullius In Verba

    Location:
    London
    I just bypass the dealers entirely now where I can. They're the same in the UK. Chasing the big sale. I am not sure how much I've spent on HiFi - it's a lot - but not a penny goes to these pricks and it never will unless I had zero choice.
     
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  13. trickness

    trickness Gotta painful yellow headache

    Location:
    Manhattan
    ahh, so they weren’t a$$h$les to rich people, just regular riff raff, cool. Let’s throw a benefit concert to save Lyric then, lol
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
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  14. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm in! I will contribute my singing - that oughtta clear the isles fast enough...
     
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  15. Night Version

    Night Version Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    haha I lived in NY for awhile and to translate what you are saying: there’s a level of a$$hole in all interactions and you just get used to it.

    Manhattan isn’t the interesting place that it once was. Based on what I see of the latest round of residents I don’t see hi-fi high on the list of needs.
     
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  16. dynamicalories

    dynamicalories Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Millennial here. I can afford to and want to buy audio gear. I do it online because every experience I've had with a hifi store in NYC I was met with a rude, dismissive boomer who assumed I couldn't afford his wares.
     
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  17. Night Version

    Night Version Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    Yes, the young Manhattanites don’t “do New York” as well as the older generations. If that’s a shame or not is debatable.

    I bought some Arcam gear from Stereo Exchange (mid 00’s) and I thought it was a great interaction. But a late 90’s CD player deal (also Arcam) went south at Sound by Singer when I dared try to negotiate a discount (they told me they were offended at 10% off). But they seemed ok overall.

    Park Audio was generally the least helpful, overall. Told me his new clientele were rich female divorcees.
     
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  18. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I emailed Park Audio to try to set an appointment (another snobbish feature of NYC dealers) to hear speakers I was interested in, fully set on buying them if I liked the sound. - Never even got a reply.

    Same with another dealer, whose name I can't even remember, somewhere Midtown East, listed as a Technics dealer. Emailed them wanting to see/hear a new 1200 GR deck, fully intending to buy (that was before I scored my NOS Kenwood KD-500). - No reply.

    I often wondered: how do these people stay in business, if they turn money away so readily? As the Lyric example demonstrates - they don't.
     
    shug4476 likes this.
  19. dynamicalories

    dynamicalories Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Huh?
     
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  20. RiCat

    RiCat Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I am old enough to have worked in a few of these dealers when I was a much younger person living in NYC. The beauty of NYC was that you could shop in every type of store from those that saw items as "boxes" to be sold as fast as possible to the likes of uber snobby Lyric. To each their own and all found a place to exist. When they could not they closed as is they way of a competitive and changing market. When I was ready to buy new speakers a few years ago, I visited Lyric in Westchester (fairly close as the crows fly). I chatted with the "owner" and listened to a variety of what was displayed. He was helpful, polite and in no rush. I returned with a few selections of my own to listen a bit more. I did buy speakers of one of the brands he showed me (in my profile). I spoke with him as I had a price from another legit source for the speakers. He did not have the stock and could order them. I mention this as he had no investment in stock for the sale. I offered to pay for a drop shipment as my home is a ways from the store. Everything cash upfront. He refused to move on the price. I visited the other dealer, saw the stock in sealed boxes, listened to the ones on the floor and closed the deal. If Lyric had wanted to make the sale they could have. It was not an extreme discount. Both stores offered the same service and time to me to audition. Loyalty to and support of a store requires the same attitudes towards the customer.
     
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  21. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pleasantville, NY
    Stuff like this makes me sick and I am a boomer. Here is what I recommend, learn to LIE. First, look at my Post #42 in this thread. Then make up a mid level system. Go to Music Direct's website and pick out mid-level amps, speakers, a mid-range VPI TT, etc. Then go to the dealer tell him you are moving out of your rental apartment and buying one that is twice as big and your thinking you will want a bigger and better audio system than what you have. If you really want to get crazy tell him your buying a home in Pleasantville, NY and you want to be sure that he would deliver and install ( for free obviously ).
     
  22. OC Zed

    OC Zed Bludgeon Riffola

    Location:
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Funny you mentioned Park Ave Audio... I was in NY a couple weeks ago and wanted to visit a few HiFi shops as I've been in the market for a new streamer and possibly DAC. I called at least 5 places in Manhattan letting them know what I was looking for and my intended budget ($4-9k). Only Park Ave Audio was willing to speak with me. I actually had quite a long conversation with one of the salesmen (owners?), Andrew, on various products. It was a positive experience overall and I felt more than comfortable doing business with him if I they had what I was looking for.
     
    RnRmf likes this.
  23. MacFan

    MacFan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vienna Austria
    Conversely, when I lived in the San Francisco area not long ago I frequented the high end dealer World of Sound (now out of business because of the Covid-19 crises but in business, I think, since the 70's) and they were as nice as could be -- they tolerated months of me hanging out, chatting, listening to equipment and eventually I purchased a new McIntosh integrated amp and Kef speakers. But these guys were so much fun to be around and I am sad that they have closed. Also, by way of comparison, Vienna, Austria (where I'm living temporarily) has a number of high end stores and every one that I have been to has been remarkably gracious and engaging.
     
  24. Night Version

    Night Version Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    The New York I know doesn’t line up around the block for cupcakes.
     
  25. carbonti

    carbonti Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Yeah that’s correct but it’s not just get used to it - you deal with them back like you know what the game is, you know they’re fulla sh!t and that they can’t mess with your head.

    But really all of this seems more like retailing from a dying old guard as from the bygone days and not in the democratic (small “d”) landscape of today’s modern consumerism. I have visited all the Manhattan audiophile emporiums and for the most part, they are today more open and welcoming than they get credit for in this thread. Except Lyric: I went to Lexington Ave. to hear Wilson Sabrinas I was interested in buying and they blew me off. HaHa they augered their aircraft right into the ground till the bitter end exactly as they always knew how to fly it. I wasn’t upset, Innovative on 58th Street is a Wilson dealer too. I’ll try there.

    Fine restaurants were once as intimidating and unwelcoming as stereo shops. No longer. However, as in finer dining and in the same way that Danny Meyer for his restaurant group ushered in a change of idea and approach in dining to be open and welcoming of his clientele, so too are modern audio shops revising their game. Expand the marketplace. This is the future, not just of audio shops but of all of retail. NoHo Sound, Innovative and others prior to COVID organized gatherings in their stores. I crashed Stereo Exchange in Union Square without an appointment and they were as friendly as could be. Nobody today is as big an a$$h01e as we can recount tales of from the bad old days. Not if they want to stay around. Cash flow and customers are synonymous. We know who didn’t make it. Reality’s a b!tch.
     
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