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  1. #21
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    Most people who worked in hifi shops did so for the love of it, certainly not the money. Some spent whole careers there because of their passion. Without the people I encountered in various hifi shops, my life would be poorer because my experience and knowledge of hifi would be reduced and my own passion may not have been so well fuelled.

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    As someone who always loved hi-fi and the desire for perfect audio reproduction in the late 80's and 90's I spent many an hour wasting the time of friendly shop staff and spending a fortune on hi-fi magazines. Even though my budget meant that I was listening to NAD, Denon & Pioneer rather than the really high-end brands. My father bought his LP12 in 1989 which was a significant catalyst for that interest. From leaving school I studied electronics and was an engineer for years which helped me understand how the hardware I was desiring actually worked and the cost of the components inside them. Also I was heavily getting into music production as I wanted to know how the music I enjoyed was actually made, spent a few years at college learning the different aspects of it, and now write and record music as a hobby, and make a bit of beer-money mixing and mastering other's work. The world of studios and the hardware inside them is poles apart from that of hi-fi. The information I learned made me realise that so many claims from hi-fi manufacturers were either misleading or dishonest and that so much musical information is removed before it ever leaves the studio chasing sound on such a granular level was folly.
    I think the world of hi-fi went into decline for several reasons, one I think that the audience ended up with a system that they were happy with and didn't feel the need to keep buying a new one, most people I know who still us big boxes to play their music have systems that are often decades old and they all still sound great. They're also probably not buying new music much either sticking instead to what they've always listened to. Also digital technology has improved massively, before oversampling was introduced to get around the problems with the 44.1kHz sample rate it was easy to justify spending more on an analogue system for the better sound however for the most part digital (as long as it's been mastered properly) sounds good now, we've been listening to improved digital audio for 25 years and storing it all on a computer for 15. I remember owning about 2000 records and maybe 3000 CD's, all proudly displayed in my living room, the shelving wasn't quite big enough to keep them all on so quite a lot was piled up on the floor in front. I sold my house and everything needed boxing up, the new house needed a lot of work which I took care of whilst all my music stayed in the loft, it ended up staying there as it was nicer to have the space.
    But I now have everything on a hard drive all in MPEG4, I can listen to anything in any room, push a button on my phone and there it is, I've speakers in my ceiling and a sub in the corner, I can watch any film on any screen in the same way. Is it technically as accurate as the traditional physical method, no, but is it sufficiently poor that it's worth having a load of discs and music available in one room only? No. did it cost anything like what I was spending on hi-fi, no.
    So I don't think that it's because some manufacturers were putting out slightly crappy hardware hoping that because it had a certain brand on the box people will buy it. I think it's more that for the most part people have moved on they listen to music differently, they like being able to listen to all the music ever recorded with a touch of a button, I think they've gotten used to the sound or have grown up with it and thus that's how good audio should sound. Yes there are old farts and I'm certainly one of them that still really enjoy a great 2.0 analog system but it's clear that it's a niche group and an expensive hobby.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oddjob View Post
    Most people who worked in hifi shops did so for the love of it, certainly not the money. Some spent whole careers there because of their passion. Without the people I encountered in various hifi shops, my life would be poorer because my experience and knowledge of hifi would be reduced and my own passion may not have been so well fuelled.
    How do you know ? Reasons for work are complex and multiple .

    Also the love of the job does not absolve other sins , Harold Shipman loved his job so much that when he was deprived of it , he killed himself .

    Hifi shops coupled with the hifi industry and magazines are largely responsible for giving me 18 years of hifi dissatisfaction . I swallow does not make a summer or a good girlfriend .

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    How do you know ? Reasons for work are complex and multiple .

    Also the love of the job does not absolve other sins , Harold Shipman loved his job so much that when he was deprived of it , he killed himself .

    Hifi shops coupled with the hifi industry and magazines are largely responsible for giving me 18 years of hifi dissatisfaction . I swallow does not make a summer or a good girlfriend .

    see I can't accept this Daniel, you're a clever bloke I can't believe you've let shiesters bamboozle you for so long, I too was unsatisfied with the Hifi mags, wanking over kit that when I heard it was distinctly ordinary, whenever I was in a shop dealing with the assistants, if they were full of it, or tried to fleece me I was clever enough to figure it out, and left without spending a penny.

    See I don't get this blaming hifi dealers, mags etc, it's the same wether it's hifi, watches, kites, bikes cars etc, people on the net pour scorn on these people, as if they don't have a right to a living as well. Some customers I had were downright rude, and dreamers too, I also had ones send stuff back that was damaged, and deny they were involved, even sending photographs of the undamaged speakers, the photos were of a replacement pair and the EXIF data on the photo showed the same date as we questioned the damage, i.e. when we had the damaged speakers.

    No i don't buy this dealers are all bad guys nonsense, you profess to be very astute in your daily life, yet you seem to have been dissatisfied for over 18 years, 18 years, wow, thats a long time to be hoodwinked, is that the fault of the industry or your fault, don't believe mags, change and go to different shops, stop spending money if you are dissatisfied, I only parted with money for hifi after I had tried it with my own ears, it's simple, If my mechanic kept bodging my car every time I left it with him, would it be his fault or mine If I kept taking it back to get him to rectify what he bodged in the first place?

    So I agree some dealers and some trade publications are talking out of their proverbial, but more fool you if you are taken in by them, theres plenty of decent ones around, if you look.
    Last edited by The Professor; 21st March 2016 at 11:17.

  5. #25

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    it can not be denied that there are good dealerships , however that is to miss the point , a point you did not acknowledge that RD made . That the whole model of selling hifi through dealerships is bad for the hobby of hifi .

    There was an hegemony in the 70 and 80 , it is wakened like many dictatorial hegemonies by mass communication but it still exists .
    Last edited by Daniel Quinn; 21st March 2016 at 12:19.

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    Daniel I aknowledged many of RD's points, he acknowledged none of mine, and FWIW I did address that point, numerous times, but I happen to disagree with it. That is the whole reason he deleted my posts, because I disagreed with him, and he didn't like.

    I also disagree that HIFI is a hobby, listening to music is a hobby, Hifi is the tool to enable that to happen you do t get film buffs describing themselves as Home cinemaists. Hifi is consumerism, nothing more, manufacturers make commodities and try to sell as many as they can through various sales channels to make a living, no one way of selling is universal, Richard is so embittered by the past he cannot argue rationally, he thinks because he believes it his logic is sound, and no one can disagree, that's the way madness lies, it's bordering on psychopathic tendencies.

  7. #27

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    It should be every audiophiles aim to obtain a hifi that is musically statisftying for a reasonable price .

    hifi dealerships mitigate against this aim .

    your hobby point I consider to be semantics . if you are to enjoy music then you NEED hifi to be your hobby as that is the only way to achieve it IMO .
    Last edited by Daniel Quinn; 21st March 2016 at 12:34.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    It should be every audiophiles aim to obtain a hifi that is musically statisftying for a reasonable price .

    hifi dealerships mitigate against this aim .
    how so?

  9. #29
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    Jesus, its not life saving drugs we are on about here, its hi-fi.

    You go into a shop and listen to a new piece of gear.

    Is it better than the gear you have at home?
    Is better than the other gear you have listened to?
    Can you afford it?
    Do you want it?

    If the answer to any if those questions is not a resounding 'yes,' then you walk out the shop, go home and have a rethink. If the answer to ALL of those questions is a resounding 'yes' then you go home with a new toy to play with.

    How hard can it be?

    People who work in shops are sales people. Their job is to sell stuff. If they don't sell stuff they go out of business. Your job as a customer is to make sure they sell you the kit you like, not the kit that makes them the most profit.
    20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please God, don't take Kevin Bacon

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    if you are to enjoy music then you NEED hifi to be your hobby as that is the only way to achieve it IMO .
    Not so, that makes the assumption that the only way to listen to music is via a HIFI, it might be the optimum way for some, but it's not the only way, so it's not semantics.

    Does a long distance runner buying shoes for running consider shoe buying a hobby? Even if those shoes make him run more efficiently, Does the climber consider buying rope a hobby? Does the stamp collector consider licking a hobby? I could go on, but you're a smart guy I'm sure you get the point.

  11. #31

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    That is a valid course of action, it would however mean I would not be hurry to listen to your hifi

    its a personal choice , some people are content to buy and plonk.

    however my hifi sounds so much better as a consequence of the knowledge and tinkering I have undertaken . The most beneficial knowledge as been from RD .

    I purchased and plonked for years and was not happy , I am now .

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Professor View Post
    Not so, that makes the assumption that the only way to listen to music is via a HIFI, it might be the optimum way for some, but it's not the only way, so it's not semantics.

    Does a long distance runner buying shoes for running consider shoe buying a hobby? Even if those shoes make him run more efficiently, Does the climber consider buying rope a hobby? Does the stamp collector consider licking a hobby? I could go on, but you're a smart guy I'm sure you get the point.

    you need to define "hobby" I mean by this taking an interest in the subject by acquiring a knowledge, experience and understanding that extends beyond a mere interest .

    I would say a serious runner would have a knowledge of shoes that makes it a hobby . Hobbies are not just for collecting and whether you like it or not , hifi is your hobby .

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    That is a valid course of action, it would however mean I would not be hurry to listen to your hifi
    His hifi would blow your mind, in fact he has the type of hifi that will stop you from turning yours on for a couple of weeks on your return, you haven't heard anything like it, trust me


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    I purchased and plonked for years and was not happy , I am now .
    is that the fault of the dealer though? why did you buy it if disappointed? if you bought something you were unsure of without any recourse then whose fault is that? The dealer may have given poor advice, but you didn't have to take his advice.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    you need to define "hobby" I mean by this taking an interest in the subject by acquiring a knowledge, experience and understanding that extends beyond a mere interest .

    I would say a serious runner would have a knowledge of shoes that makes it a hobby . Hobbies are not just for collecting and whether you like it or not , hifi is your hobby .
    yes but shoes is not his hobby, his hobby is running, the shoes are nearly shoes, does a carpenter become a planer just because he's adept at closing the right plane for the job? No the shoes, the hifi, the plane, are all just tools, the people who see hifi in itself as a hobby are the dissatisfied ones who are never happy, use music as a tool for listening to their hifi, and blame dealers and anyone else because they can't make up heir minds, or are chasing the dragon and looking for something that doesn't exist within their circumstances.

    I had a customer he had a little Icon Valve amp, he tried every speaker in our shop, and other shops too within his budget, and some beyond, he didn't like any of them and he didn't like what he had a home, he knew he liked his amp, so it must be the speakers, when I asked him how did he know he liked the amp (remember he'd been unsatisfied with every amp speaker combo known to man think 20-30 pairs here with the Icon amp) I suggested he should try a different amp with his current speakers, he said no, he 'loved his amp' so i asked him when he first heard it, and with what speakers, he mentioned that when he heard it initially he didn't like the speakers, but he loved the amp, I and a few other dealers tried to tell him, eventually I said to him he's be better off elsewhere as I couldn't help him, perhaps guys like this see hifi as a hobby, but most of us it's just a means to an end.

  15. #35

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    You seek to continue arguments by responding to general points with particularised anecdotes and absurd semantic meanderings . May I suggest this is what annoyed RD .

    I have defined hobby .

    I have shown how if music is your hobby , you need hifi to be your hobby as to be able to enjoy music you need knowledge and experience of product , cables , support , isolation , coupling , decoupling , vta and whole host of ther relevant knowledge.

    To Listen to music without the aforesaid knowledge is to curtail your experience of the music.

    Equipment as tools is not a good analogy . A sander will not sand better if you understand how it works and it will not increase your appreciation of the sanded object .

    Your desire to poo poo hifi as a hobby I would suggest says more about your desire to differentiate yourselves from people like Marco , than the reality which is anybody would your level of knowledge and experience as hifi as a hobby .

  16. #36
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    As for arguing with RD I kept repeating myself as he never answered the points, what angered Richard was, he truly believes he and his logic should not be questioned. And he gets annoyed when you point out the holes in his logic and ask him to clarify, he then gets angry and deletes your post.

    Your suggestion is wide of the mark, I have no desire to distance myself from anyone. If using Marco was trying to bait me, it failed miserably, I'm not that naive.

    I suggest that Hifi is not automatically a hobby, I don't need to know the technical differences between a valve or solid state amp to know which one I prefer the sound of. My knowledge was gained by experience and being in the trade. I listen to music, I do so in my car, at home via a HIFI, on an aeroplane. Music is the hobby for me, the Hifi is one of the mechanisms I use to listen to it. My system hasn't changed since I left the business.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Professor View Post


    is that the fault of the dealer though? why did you buy it if disappointed? if you bought something you were unsure of without any recourse then whose fault is that? The dealer may have given poor advice, but you didn't have to take his advice.
    it is easier to make money by creating an ideology of choice and need than telling the truth . Inherent within capitalism is a logic to bullshit , marketing is the professionalisation of bullshitting . dealers are at essence marketers

    Lets look at the issue of choice . It is said hifi dealers offer a choice of products . Well to my mind choice in hifi is a chimera .

    Firstly , the choice is determined by politics and economics . What you can compare with what is down to dealership and distribution agreements .

    Secondly , much of choice is illusory and ideological . Why do I need a choice ? I want the best sounding amp for my money . Why is there no consensus on this , is it because we have all different preferences , tastes or is it because it suits individuals financial interests to create an ideology of difference . Whenever I see an absence of consensus as to any given state of affairs , I would suggest the reason is economic power .

    Consider for example medical treatment . Now this is branch of knowledge that is always developing and learning but as there is no economic benefit to creating an ideology of difference and choice and accordingly there is a large degree of consensus as to treatment.

    Now imagine if Ivor T had a medical mentality and in 1990 he wanders in to hifi shop and hears a PT anniversary . he thinks to himself wow that so much better than the LP12 , my only aim is to make my customers life better ,I will give up making the LP12 and tell them to buy a PT.

    Freedom of choice one of the greatest ideological con tricks of capitalism .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    it is easier to make money by creating an ideology of choice and need than telling the truth . Inherent within capitalism is a logic to bullshit , marketing is the professionalisation of bullshitting . dealers are at essence marketers

    Lets look at the issue of choice . It is said hifi dealers offer a choice of products . Well to my mind choice in hifi is a chimera .

    Firstly , the choice is determined by politics and economics . What you can compare with what is down to dealership and distribution agreements .

    Secondly , much of choice is illusory and ideological . Why do I need a choice ? I want the best sounding amp for my money . Why is there no consensus on this , is it because we have all different preferences , tastes or is it because it suits individuals financial interests to create an ideology of difference . Whenever I see an absence of consensus as to any given state of affairs , I would suggest the reason is economic power .

    Consider for example medical treatment . Now this is branch of knowledge that is always developing and learning but as there is no economic benefit to creating an ideology of difference and choice and accordingly there is a large degree of consensus as to treatment.

    Now imagine if Ivor T had a medical mentality and in 1990 he wanders in to hifi shop and hears a PT anniversary . he thinks to himself wow that so much better than the LP12 , my only aim is to make my customers life better ,I will give up making the LP12 and tell them to buy a PT.

    Freedom of choice one of the greatest ideological con tricks of capitalism .
    Yes you wrote all this elsewhere, but it does make a few good points.

    Ok so the choice is compromised, I said so elsewhere, but if I call Richard I don't have any choice. However in both cases I can choose to leave it.

    If you kept buying kit over 18 years and were unhappy with your choices, then why did you not choose to walk away? Why didn't you use a dealer that offered home loans? People complain about dealers, but if the ones you used are that bad why use them? Would you use the same carry out food establishment if they always served substandard food?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post

    Secondly , much of choice is illusory and ideological . Why do I need a choice ? I want the best sounding amp for my money . Why is there no consensus on this , is it because we have all different preferences , tastes or is it because it suits individuals financial interests to create an ideology of difference . Whenever I see an absence of consensus as to any given state of affairs , I would suggest the reason is economic power .

    Consider for example medical treatment . Now this is branch of knowledge that is always developing and learning but as there is no economic benefit to creating an ideology of difference and choice and accordingly there is a large degree of consensus as to treatment

    Freedom of choice one of the greatest ideological con tricks of capitalism .
    Your first point, the thing is it IS purely subjective. It's not about power, different people do want different things, that's why there is no ℅ census, there is no panacea, no one product for all men, even the manufacturers can't all agree on which way to crack a nut. And that's before we take into account different partnering kit, different rooms, ears and brains. Like cars I suppose, very little difference in reality between a 3 series/A4/C Class but folks will argue about how one is so much more than the other 2 it's what makes us different.

    As for medicine, an area I know quite well, there are general concensus on things that can be measured, or the mechanics of a healthy body, but they still argue about the mind, and what makes people think and choose.

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    My hifi is a means of listening to music, not the system. My hifi is more modest than the Prof's or Esk's but is strill very pleasant to listen to. It's about the truth at the end of the day. The closer it sounds to real life, the better.

    If someone is fixated with the equipment then IMO they are not focusing on the music. Maybe that's when the hifi becomes a hobby and the music takes second place.

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