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RodN

Ten biggest mistakes of HT shopping

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Hey all

I have the biggest mistake anyone can make while shopping for home theatre gear and that is not listening to what the guy in the shop has to say, from a retailers side of things I want to point out that I know what I am talking about and I dont know how many times I have had people come in to get information and not listen to what I tell them. If you are gonna take the time to drive in and ask the question, shutup for five minutes and listen to the answer.

The second biggest mistake is spending nine hours with a guy in store who explains to you what you need demos the gear etc etc and then you walk out of the shop and go chop the price from store to store. Then you go back to the guy who spent the time with you and hand him over a card from some fella who gave you three seconds of his time to scribble a price on a card that is on cost or under cost.

I also want to point out that I will shop around to get a good price also but to check that I am not getting ripped off rather than scrounging every last cent I can.

The reason this is a mistake is because if you do chop the price out of something after a sales guy has spent the time to help you out then you will receive bugger all service if anything goes wrong. The reason you will get no real help is because the first time he spent the time to give you a hand you screwed him over so why would he bother the second time.

Pay a little more guys you will get the service. Many a time have I gone out after hours and setup gear for customers or fixed something up because the customer listened to what I had to say I gave them a good deal and in the end they are as happy as larry cause they know if they do have a problem I am there to help em out and they have the right gear for their situation. Second of all if they come back for something else I will give them a better deal the second time because they were such a champ the first time they came in.

Dunno who said this but I will quote it anyway

"People know the price of everything and the value of nothing"

Dont be a cheapskate guys trust me it pays off

Cheers

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Sorry, but I can't see how the customer is at fault if they manage to find a price that is cheaper than your first offer............. particularly if you are willing to match it when they come back to you!

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Sorry, but I can't see how the customer is at fault if they manage to find a price that is cheaper than your first offer............. particularly if you are willing to match it when they come back to you!

Looks like you didn't read his post. If you want the cheapest price do as you suggest. If you want service do as the post before yours suggests. Simple.

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Looks like you didn't read his post. If you want the cheapest price do as you suggest. If you want service do as the post before yours suggests. Simple.

If you can find a sales guy who can add more than just read what's printed on the box but agree in principal when you find a good one!!

Rob

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in regard to retailers... i have to comment here.. most of tehsale sguys i speak to dont know what theyr etalking about..t h eother half are simply quoting sales blurbs and scripts.

When it comes down to the crunch, a consumer spending THIS much money should at least do some research before approaching a retailer for a demo.

Time is money and I for one hate tyre kickers.. i get it all the tme in my line of work and some people will do anything for a sale..

The difference however is that some people ARE willing to pay for service, the problem is that not many service proviers are worth the money.

Yes there are the very few who know their sh!t, but walk into any mass market retailer, and youll see many clueless punters asking irreverent questions and answered in a way where the sales guy glosses over pure hard facts.

Sadly as mentioned, not many are eposed to Good quality equipment, let alone have teh budget for good quality equipment, in turn, its nto worth the retailers time in either stocking or demoing this gear simply because there is next to no chance of a sale.

Go to a high end HT specialist store, and youll ntice the demographic is very different. Punters have SOME clue, sales guys know the ger and answer clearly...

You get what you pay for...

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just jumping back to bose for a sec, if you are looking for nice small speakers instead of looking at the bose try looking at the KEF KHT2005 speakers or the MORDAUNT SHORT: GENIE range, better built quality, that is immediately obvious and the sound is phenomenal. personally i prefer the Mordaunt Shorts, but the Kef come a close second.

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Ten Biggest Mistakes of Speaker and Home Theater Shopping

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - 10:58 pm: [ Create New Article ] [ Reply ] [ Edit ]

1. You went for an all-inclusive surround sound speaker package from a big brand name manufacturer noted for electronics and TV sets.

On the surface, it's not that irrational. If ________ (fill in Sony, Kenwood, any major electronics brand) knows how to build CD players, audio/video receivers or TV monitors, they must know how to design and build excellent loudspeakers, right? Not always. Good speaker design is so specialized, and requires such extensive acoustical research, measurement, and listening tests that the best speakers continue to come from companies with a long history of acoustical research and speaker design.

2. You bought speakers in a rush, without listening to them with your favourite recordings, and now you're disappointed because they sound boomy or harsh.

Experienced listeners and professionals will tell you that making careful judgments on different speakers takes many hours of listening so don't be rushed. Visit several stores, taking the same group of recordings of music you know and like, for each test. If you have the option of auditioning the speakers in your own house, so much the better. That's the room where the speakers you buy will be placed, and there's no better place to listen to speakers than in the room you'll use them in. In any case, you'll likely keep them for years, so take your time and don't let sales staff pressure you.

3. You were knocked out by the deep bass from the subwoofer and didn't concentrate on the center channel and main left and right speakers.

Sure, deep bass from a subwoofer is desirable, and it's impressive, but whether you watch movies or listen to lots of music, most of those midrange and high-frequency sounds--and all of the movie dialog--will come from the center channel and main left and right speakers. Listen critically to actors' voices. Do they sound "boxy" or unnatural and hollow? Are "ssss" sounds at the beginning of words exaggerated (sibilance) or sharp sounding? Do male actors sound nasal or if they had a head cold? Or are their voices "chesty" and too full? These are all speaker "colorations" -- unnatural changes in the tonality of speaking voices introduced by the loudspeaker, and they'll become tiresome and annoying after a short time. Voices should sound natural and dialogue should be easily understood.

4. You went for those attractive little cube speakers because they're so tiny and unobtrusive, but when things get loud with home theatre, the sound gets strained and off-putting.

They may look cute and almost disappear into your room's decor, but those tiny satellite speakers can move only so much air. They're okay at quiet background levels but the little 2-inch cones inside get rattled when things start to rock and roll. Nor will a subwoofer fill in all the important upper bass and lower midrange sounds that the 2-inch cubes can't handle.

Any speaker with any claim to authentic high fidelity, even a fairly compact model, must divide the sound spectrum into at least two segments, the bass/midrange for the woofer, and the treble for the tweeter. A single cone just can't do it well in normal rooms. As the price spectrum climbs, the best speakers divide the spectrum into three parts--bass, midrange, and treble--and use multiple drivers to achieve very clean high-level high-quality sound.

5. You saved money by getting two compact speakers you thought would be just fine to fill your 25- x 20-foot cathedral-ceiling living room with high-level sound. But they sound strained and edgy when you turn up the volume.

A speaker is a kind of electromagnetic air pump, and a modest single woofer and tweeter can't be expected to fill a big volume of space with wide-range sound at high listening levels. Too many shoppers expect a "bookshelf" speaker to produce deep, resonant bass. Unfortunately, the laws of physics dictate otherwise. Sure you can get listenable pleasant bass to about 50 or 40 Hz from a shoebox-size enclosure, but if you want the resonant, deep and satisfying sounds a big pop band or orchestra makes or the deep rumbling of movie soundtracks, you must get a subwoofer or floorstanding speakers--or both!

6. You set up your subwoofer at the side of the room and you're disappointed at the lack of deep, low bass.

Room placement of any speaker is critical, and with subwoofers it becomes crucial. Even shifting the subwoofer (or where you sit) by a few feet can have a profound effect on the quantity and quality of low bass you'll hear. If the subwoofer is placed in the middle of a "standing wave," the deep bass may almost disappear. Moving the sub a few feet along the wall or towards a corner may entirely correct the problem.

Experiment with subwoofer locations! Every room produces "standing waves"--areas in the room where bass may seem too boomy or may almost be absent. Yes, subs are awkward, but you'll only have to position them once. And you can try moving the couch or chair as well, if that's easier.

7. You bought a receiver or amplifier advertised as having "200 watts total power output" and now it seems to be underpowered.

Watts are comparatively inexpensive nowadays, but lots of amps and receivers are still advertised using the misleading "total power output" ruse, which sums the individual power for all five channels. That "200-watt" receiver may have only 40 watts per channel (40 x 5 = 200) which would be okay in a den or a dorm room (barely) but inadequate for good home theater in a living room.

Look for the receiver's power output per channel into 8 ohms at a specified distortion level over a rated frequency range, preferably with at least two channels driven. The power at a single frequency, usually 1,000 Hz (1 kHz) is often quoted in ads, but it can be misleading. A receiver or amplifier with rated power output of 80 to 100 watts per channel, from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, at 0.3% distortion (THD), with at least two channels driven, should be more than ample for all but the very largest rooms.

And don't forget dynamic headroom . . . don't even get me started on that one!

8. Two really nice guys sold you two impressively large speakers at an amazing price from the back of their truck in a supermarket parking lot. Somehow, the sound seems to be lacking something. . .

Don't laugh. This scam has been going on for years and even normally intelligent otherwise sane folks fall for it. The speakers will often have a brand name that's sort of familiar, like "Sonic Research", something close to that of a familiar brand. But such speakers are terrible. Often, they have tweeters or woofers that aren't even connected. They're just for show.

The best speakers come from dedicated speaker designers who most often have been in business for 20 years or more. It takes that long to refine and develop really great loudspeakers.

9. You bought good speakers with excellent reputations and let your spousal unit or companion persuade you to put them out of sight inside an antique armoire or entertainment unit.

Why buy really good speakers if you're going to place them inside shelving units or armoires? It's the old law of boundary effects. The more surfaces nearby or surrounding a speaker, the greater the likelihood of unpleasant colourations (see above). A speaker needs to operate more or less in free space. Smaller speakers sound their best on stands. If you must put them on a shelf, move the edge of the speaker so it protrudes from the shelf a bit to minimize boundary effects. Leave the armoire for electronics and storing CDs!

10. You went for the package speaker system from the famous-name manufacturer that runs the slick advertisements everywhere you look, and spends millions on promotion and little on research and design. The sound is a disappointment.

Sad to say, certain companies use the cheapest possible cone drivers, and spend millions on slick advertising, diverting most of their profits not to research and development of better sounding speakers, but to getting manufacturing costs even lower. The systems ultimately disappoint; indeed, in some cases the basic design hasn't changed in 30 or 40 years. But the ads are very compelling.

Before you buy, check out detailed test reports in reputable audio/video magazines and on the internet. Read message boards for owner's comments on particular brands and models of speakers. Ask questions about the quality and type of the individual component parts. And don't be seduced by fancy-sounding hype in slick ads.

by Alan Lofft, Axiom Audio (reprinted with permission)

seing how popular this thread is just re-posting the contents found in the original link, jsut incase the link ever died for some reason ! :)

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Look Sales guy your missing the point:

ie

Im about to buy a house with my new wife and i have a budget of 10k to furnish

and 10k for White and blackgoods... microwave wash dryer fridge tv home theatre dvd rec ETC...

if you think im not gonna go to at least 2 clive peters, 2 good guys and retro visions and give everyone the chance to offer me a good quote youre mad...

will i go back and see who is more keen to meet prices of course ITS MY GODAM MONEY IM SPENDING AND 10K is a BIG ONE HIT

FYI most sales guys ive come across were brainless dicks:

'Carlos from Good guys DFO MELB = Dick' (wont budge on anything basically in the wrong industry when i see him i ask for justin LOL)

'Justin form good guys DFO - Champ' (LEGEND will under cost virtually any expensive white or black goods and has all the time in the world for you)

i once got a free pair of components thrown in on my phillips match line 6 years ago when i bought it.

only after i explain to sales guy what COMPONENT CABLE is which means a) guy was a **** titeass salesman or B) was a hack who dint know his product

eitherway i got the tv to 800 from 1100 and my components (not bad for a 19 year old at the time LOL)

why because i was spending the cash!

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Look Sales guy your missing the point:

ie

Im about to buy a house with my new wife and i have a budget of 10k to furnish

and 10k for White and blackgoods... microwave wash dryer fridge tv home theatre dvd rec ETC...

if you think im not gonna go to at least 2 clive peters, 2 good guys and retro visions and give everyone the chance to offer me a good quote youre mad...

will i go back and see who is more keen to meet prices of course ITS MY GODAM MONEY IM SPENDING AND 10K is a BIG ONE HIT

FYI most sales guys ive come across were brainless dicks:

'Carlos from Good guys DFO MELB = Dick' (wont budge on anything basically in the wrong industry when i see him i ask for justin LOL)

'Justin form good guys DFO - Champ' (LEGEND will under cost virtually any expensive white or black goods and has all the time in the world for you)

i once got a free pair of components thrown in on my phillips match line 6 years ago when i bought it.

only after i explain to sales guy what COMPONENT CABLE is which means a) guy was a **** titeass salesman or B) was a hack who dint know his product

eitherway i got the tv to 800 from 1100 and my components (not bad for a 19 year old at the time LOL)

why because i was spending the cash!

Ah, the Golden Rule... He who has the Gold makes the Rules! :D

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Hell yea, sales guy should become a musician

then he can play his violin all day long!!!

he seems to forget!

just as it thier job to do the best for who they work for

its our duty to put our hard earnds to the best work we can !!!

man if i walk into a shop and someone gives me that (bla bla bla its not fair you cant play us retilaers off against one another BS for your money!!!)

what do you think will happen

ill go fine forget it! ill go to another one of your chain stores and try there... then ring them and embares you or tell your boss who some ididot sales guy just lost his biznes 10k of sales if they looked after some guy and his mises for an hour!

HE WITH THE CASH MAKES THE RULES! HELL YE I DONT LIKE YOUR OFFER I WALK you think you can guilt some one in a mark up purchase? what kind of salesman are you ? what seminar did they teach you this **** approach? you must work for harvey norman LOL (yes i said it THERE THE WORST AND THERE SLAES TEAM ARE HACKS)

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Hmmm, it's hard to listen to the vendor as they are there to try and sell you something, it's rare a vendor will give you a non-bias point of view on a product. Too many vendors don't know their product well (they may think they do, oh yes I've been to many a "product night" with reps lol) and they will try to sell either the most expensive product they think they can sell to the consumer or they will try to push the product they get the best "spivies" (kick-back/bonus...etc..etc..) back from. I don't subscribe to the store that costs more is better because it gives you the best service point either. I know quite a few of my suppliers or places I buy from are the chespest around and I still get some of the best service (both before and after sales). You have to be careful and research anything or it's buyer beware, don't be fooled just because someone spends the most time with you that they have "Your" best interest at mind, there are some good folks who will but most of us are looking out for ourselves, simple as that !

I would always invite someone to do a little shopping around to look for a good/better deal, if you know your product well, have been helpful to someone and give them honest info & pricing and advise them to shop around 9 times out of 10 they come back to you anyway because if you truely are honest and do the best you can for them they can see/work this out for themself. Why do you need to charge more for the fact you gave good or true advice, the product still costs the same and you still get your commision or wage. Bah-humbug to the customer shutting up, we as sales people need to learn to "listen" to the customer so we can try to advise them better to what they need as often this is different from what they want.

The customer is hardly ever "right" as they old saying goes but they are your bread and butter, don't charge them more because you took time to speak to them. Do it because thats what your getting paid for and try to help them, understand their needs and provide service, they will always come back if you do this and then you will get far more custom. I do agree that the cheapest place isn't always the best, but the most expensive doesn't make it so either. Price of a product should reflect the product not the quality of sales service, customers should be given that full stop!

And yes this all comes from someone who used to work in the industry, when ever I sold anything the best advice I could give a customer was "shop around and ask as many questions as you can".

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I have a pair of vintage Kenwoods that still sound great, but after buying a 65" TV, they sounded small compared to the picture so I did the home theater speaker shopping thing. I came up empty handed. The high end stuff was very, very expensive and I didn't like the sounds. Great sales pitches though....

The regular brick and mortar retail stores had some of the speakers mentioned earlier and most of everything I heard was junk, pure junk! I didn't have 20k to throw into a pair of the high end speakers that didn't sound like I wanted them to either, so I decided to start slow and build my own. That has turned out to be a real winner.

Kits are available that have been tested and do very well, far exceeding the retail store floor models and for the same or less money and you get the fun of assembling them and learning.

I first built my mains in 1995, and in 2003 I got serious and studied on the internet and bought several books and kept learning. I've designed most of my speakers now which include the mains, subs, and center speaker, including the crossover designs. I've even re-desingned a pair of Bang & Olufsens vintage Redline 60's. Most have been rebuilt 4 to 6 times including the crossovers. I have drawers full of left over crossover parts. The high end salesmen I know very well around here won't come over for a demo. Hmmm?

Now I can sit in my living room and listen to my music concerts and movies as if I'm actually on the front row. The other speakers mentioned earlier in this thread couldn't make it. How about 120 dB virtually distortion free live concerts in your living room.

If you are patient, and have some basic skills.....give it a try. You may need to see a shrink later because it is very addicting. I just redesigned my center speaker's crossover again on the 10th of last month to tweak it some more. Most quality speaker builders do the same thing and that's why they have more and better models to sell you.

Happy speaker hunting fellows... ;)

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Yes - how did it sound???

I was approached a few months back in Mornington and elsewhere (can't remember where).

Did hear a rumour a large proportion of these guys run almost as a franchisee originating in the US.

Same deals occur in the UK and Europe.

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I'm thinking of buying some JBL LS Series speakers what receiver would be suitable for this set up, and what sort of money are we looking at ?

2x JBL LS 80s

2x JBL LS 40s

1x JBL LS center

1x JBL LS 120P SUB

Sorry if I have posted into the wrong channel etc. :)

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