What makes for a good demo in an audio store? What kind of demo can help YOU decide which products will sound best at YOUR house?
The Dreaded Concrete Slab
Almost all AV shops have their listening rooms based on a slab of concrete. Sure, they put carpet over the concrete, but the room still sounds like a slab of concrete. This isn’t the case at Audio Emporium.
Most people we sell to live in houses where their listening rooms have wooden or composite floors. Most have carpet on those floors. Our listening rooms are just like the normal houses our customers live in. We have wooden floors with carpet installed. These rooms sound nothing like a commercial building that starts life on a slab of concrete and steals the life out of music.
We understand WHY audio stores start with a concrete slab. When you go to rent a commercial space they virtually ALL start with a concrete slab. But the sound in any room like this won’t emulate your listening room
We BUILT OUR STORE in 1997 with room composition in mind. What you hear in one of OUR living rooms will be a much closer acoustical match to the acoustics of YOUR living room. This is an important consideration in your assessment of how gear might sound at your house. The listening room itself is a vital component to your sound.
The hot item in audio these days is to have shows. Audio companies from all over the world crowd into hotels with atrocious sound rooms. I understand the appeal- you get to hear a lot of really pricy gear under one umbrella. But the listening rooms themselves are poor and most importantly, don’t sound like your house.
Single Speaker Demos
Many high end stores run their systems with just one pair of speakers in a listening room. It’s true that this does provide the best sound for THAT PAIR because you can optimize placement for THAT PAIR. The problem is, if you want to COMPARE anything, the sales staff has to go get what you want to hear and move things in/out of position.
Since you’re a nice guy and don’t want the sales guys to break their backs, you might get to hear a couple pairs of speakers. If the sales staff doesn’t think you’re worth the trouble, they’ll be less willing to move products around for you. Further, it takes a fair amount of TIME to do this logistical work. By the time you move speakers A out of the way and get speakers B in place, nobody’s memory is solid enough to be sure what they’re hearing. It would be best to have competitors side by side for quick comparisons. This is what we do. We will happily demo a number of speakers for you. We can easily run half a dozen pairs and even do A-B comparisons- because we are set up to do so. It isn’t by accident.
We have made a conscious effort to set up our store for YOU.. You can audition a lot of products during your visit. We can A-B speakers. We can even A-B preamps, amps and in some case sources- so you can be 100% sure of what you’re hearing.
We often have visitors say, “Wow, I had no idea there was that much difference between the amplifiers I was considering.” That’s because audio shops (except us) are not set up to do A-Bs, where it only takes about 2-3 seconds going from one amp to the other. You can recognize the differences quickly and easily with this frame of reference.
You see, we have taken the time and expense to run a number of rooms based around camac connectors. Camac connectors disconnect the hot before the ground so you can do A-B comparisons on the fly. You DON’T HAVE TO TURN GEAR OFF! It only takes about 2-3 seconds to switch from amp A to B, not 5 minutes. Subsequently, we can go back/forth multiple times and you’ll be sure of what you’re hearing quickly and accurately. You can’t do this at other audio stores.
I’ve never seen another audio shop set up this way. It’s an advantage you get when you shop at Audio Emporium.
It’s fine to have killer systems set up and dialed in to within’ a gnat’s fanny of perfect. But what if you want to hear this speaker? Then that. Then another. What about amp differences? Our competitors not only CAN’T do this because of their logistics. They WON’T do all this changing because it’s HARD WORK.
In the time it takes them to move one pair of speakers out, and another back in- to premium real estate position, we could have compared five pairs of speakers and three power amps for you!
Moral of the Story
Shop at Audio Emporium!