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Turntables   Cassett decks   Cassett tapes   Laser discs  Cd-changer´s   Hdcd   Cd-recorders  

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Mp3 player´s & encoders   Speakers   Preamp stereo   Amplifiers   Integrated preamp & amplifier stereo

Mini/Micro stereo systems   Headphone & Headphone amp´s   Cables

Power cables & conditioners   Video Projectors   Projection-Big screen TV

TV monitors   VCR-video recorders   Room paddin for sound

Equipment rack storage rack´s   Audio calibration

Most expensive audiophile equipment-Most expensive hifi absolutlely Cost-no-object overbuilt hifi

Audio brands for the rest of us   Chairs   Novelity   Audiophile snake oil   Audio links

Audio magazine critic cliches   Audio stores   Car stereo   Car stereo stores   Commentary on hifi



    ULTIMATE: The ultimate electronics are used by professional mastering studios. The equipment they use defines the limits of how good a recording is going to sound. You will discover that the most expensive brands in hifi are used by professional mastering studios because they must have the best to reference their work. There are professional mastering studios for audio recordings and video recordings and the manufacturers create their best products for these uses. Professional electronics represent the best ultimate state of art. Millions of dollars, professional careers, and professional reputations are at stake so they must have the best.

  • CALIBRATION: The biggest problem with home stereos and car stereos is the lack of calibration. There are a few aftermarket room correction products, but they add another layer in the sound chain. It really should be the job of the preamp to calibrate your system to your room so it would sound best to you in your listening position. It would be better if the system was equalized in the realm where the signal originates, that is, digital sources would be calibrated in the digital realm while analogue sources would stay in the analogue realm (not digitized). Bose, the notorious maker of crappy proprietary home stereos has actually developed a method of calibration that ought to be used by other manufacturers. Bose's ADAPTiQ audio calibration system is a great concept. Such calibration systems should be standard on all preamps and car stereo head units. Email your favorite manufacturers to demand they start using such a calibration system.

  • ERROR CORRECTION: Digital transports like CD/DVD Players are still underdeveloped technologies. Now that more people are buying used CDs and DVDs instead of new ones, older players are having trouble with scratches on used CDs and DVDs. CD/DVD players ought to work the same way DVD/CD-ROM game machines work - the entire contents of the disk ought to be copied into memory at 24x speed, the errors ought to be compensated for in memory, and the music should be played back from memory - just like in game machines like Dreamcast, Nintendo, Sega, etc., I really don't understand what is taking the electronics industry so long to finally fully develop the concept of DVD/CD players with more robust error compensation. Pioneer Elite are starting to design buffers with "Viterbi Error Correction" to compensate for disc errors. The Denon DHT-700DV has a 4MB buffer to compensate for disc errors. Most other DVD/CD players are sorely lacking in large buffers and error compensation. Cheap crappy portable CD players actually have better error compensation than many expensive audiophile players; some have a minute of cache memory to prevent skipping when the player is bumped and to compensate for scratches.
  • DAC: If you are using an external DAC by plugging the digital outputs from your DVD/CD player into an A/V Receiver, then it does not matter what kind of DAC is built into the DVD/CD player. You might as well get the cheapest DVD/CD player you can find with digital outputs for your A/V Receiver.
  • ANALOG CONNECTIONS: The only things that should be interconnected with analog connections are turntables, cassette decks, reel to reel tape decks, videocassette decks, speakers, and the output from the preamp to the power amps. Ideally, all analog connections should be balanced connections as used in pro-audio devices. You only need "component video outputs" if you have an old projection screen.
  • DIGITAL CONNECTIONS: All connections between digital devices should be kept in the digital domain. All digital components ought to connect to each other via USB, IEEE1394 (FireWire), or in the case of DVD components, HDMI connections. Digital components ought to have plug and play compatibility and operability with digital preamp receivers. Digital signals should be kept in the digital realm. Maybe in the future all digital components will connect to each other via IEEE1394 (FireWire) or USB2 cables and have "plug and play" operability.
  • SPEAKER CONNECTIONS: Ideally speakers should use the same kind of connectors from amp to speaker as those used in professional mastering studios. Most professional mastering studio speakers use SpeakOn Connectors, the industry standard. The next best things would be Double-banana plugs, then Banana plugs, then Spades, then Pins. The worst connectors are stripped frayed wires. It would be alot easier for everybody if only manufacturers agreed to adopt professional SpeakOn Connectors or Double-banana plugs as standards for amplifier outputs and speaker inputs.
  • POWER CONNECTIONS: All equipment ought to have standard IEC-320 power plugs with 115/230 V switches and detachable power cords.
  • HIFI & VIDEO MAGAZINES: The hifi magazines cheated the American public for years by not promoting all digital connections between digital components and preamps. European digital components have SCART connection standards.
  • CABLES: Keep in mind that hifi magazines have never proven scientifically that more expensive cables have less distortion and higher fidelity. Every time a hifi magazine starts selling expensive cables, these magazines' credibility is diminished. No wonder hifi magazine readership is down, they're becoming irrelevant. If all analog components used balanced cables and all digital components used digital cables, it would make things a lot easier.
  • PUBLIC DEMAND: Manufacturers will only improve their products if the public demands it. Go to electronics brands' websites and please send emails to your favorite hifi manufacturers telling them about these suggestions to improve their products.
  • MARKETING HYPE: Manufacturers should not use the words "reference" or "monitor" to describe their products unless they can prove their products are actually being used by professional mastering studios.
  • CHINESE: Chinese hi-fi companies are now starting to enter the world market on their own. For years Japanese companies such as Denon sold rebadged OEM products by Shanling and Shengya, and Rotel and Mark Levinson's Red Rose Music sells rebadged OEM products by Korsun. Carrying on his successful story of Korsun, Mr. Zou Yuan Yuan, president and chief designer, founded Dussun. aaa-audio.com and Ming-Da products are targeting the high end, definitely not "cheap" electronics. Affordable Valve Company and PrimaLuna are getting popular in Europe. Gini's Chinese hifi is good. Many speaker brands including Klipsch, Velodyne, Infinity, Tannoy and Athena import speakers from China. A lot of hifi equipment and cables are actually rebadged imported OEM'd electronics from China with huge price markups. Maybe finally the world hifi market deserves a "wake up call" to start selling their products at reasonable affordable prices. The decline in sales of hifi hardware is directly attributable to the insatiable greed of hifi companies who've raised their prices to insane tiers. This article "The Chinese way: I want to know" lists Chinese brands that are OEM'ed and rebadged by more expensive brands. This article "Busman's Holiday, China Style" shows that hifi is more popular in China than anywhere else in the world, probably, next to Japan. Hifi dealer Sekei, listed below, sells Chinese hifi in their native brands.



Andrew's Comments on Turntables
Article, Gary Markowitz:
"Understanding The Issues Behind Cartridge Alignment"
Article, Forbes Magazine: "Going vinyl"
Mark Levinson: "CD vs. SACD and LP"
Article, The Kansas City Star: "Advances in turntable technology keeping LP fans fanatical"


Straight Tonearm Turntables

DJ Turntables - sold at pro-audio stores Guitar Center, Sam Ash, Pssl.com, etc.,

Weird Looking Turntables

Vinyl LP Disc Recorder


Phono Cartridge

You can get any tonearm, cartridge, and needle you want at dealers Brooks Berdan, Acoustic Image, Shelley's-Woodland Hills, NeedleDoctor, Audio Advisor, Radio Shack, Goodwinshighend.com, AudioOutlet.com (addresses below)

Vinyl Record Cleaner

I can't really recommend a fluid because there's no consensus on what's the best. I'd just buy a gallon of whatever the machine's brand sells. The biggest dealer of record sleeves for LPs, 78s, 45s is Far West Record Supply which is listed on my "records" webpage.

Phono Needle Cleaner

I can't recommend a fluid because there's no consensus on what's the best. A few people recommended using plain distilled water and/or a little dry brush. These are popular:

Turntable Accessories

Turntable Pictures






Reel To Reel (mostly for professional recordings)
DAT - Digital Audio Tape



Metal tapes are the only ones worth considering. Pro-audio stores sell pro-quality tapes. The best blank tapes are TDK MA-EX which are only sold in Japan.




The only current maker of laserdisc players is Pioneer. If you have a laserdiscs, buy one now before they stop making them.







Andrew's Comments on Laserdisc & DVD Players

DVD Audio / DVD / SACD / CD Players

  • Pioneer DV-47A Sony's SACD format, DVD-Audio, DVD-Video discs with Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic. Plays VCD, SVCD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, HDCD and MP3 discs. Progressive Scan Video Output, optical digital output, Pioneer DV-47A review, picture
  • Apex Digital AD-7701 Sony's SACD format (two-channel), DVD-Audio, DVD-Video discs with Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic. Plays VCD, SVCD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, HDCD and MP3 discs. Progressive Scan Video Output, 2 microphone jacks for Karaoke, optical digital output, $300, unfortunately, it is cheaply constructed and is mediocre, review
  • Pioneer DV-AX10 will be able to support DVD-video, Super Audio (SACD), DVD-Audio, video CD, music CD and CD-R (compact disc recordable). The DV-AX10 is the first "universal" player able to support both the DVD-Audio and SACD formats. review, review, review, review
  • Luxman DU-10 will be able to support DVD-video, video CD, music CD, CD-R, DVD-Audio format, Super Audio (SACD)
  • Technics DVD-A10, DVD-Audio/Video Player with multi-channel sound capabilities, 2-channel sound with up 192 kHz sampling/24 bit quantization, multi-channel sound capabilities (up to 6 channels) using linear PCM, review
  • Toshiba SD9200 DVD-Audio, progressive-scan video, picture
  • Denon
  • JVC
SACD / DVD / CD Players



DVD-RECORDABLE, DVD-R, DVD-RW This is an emerging technology which at once will obsolete DAT, CD-R and CD-RW. Mini Disc is already obsolete. The best digital still does not have the musical qualities of the best analogue.



Now that most DVD players are under $100, these manufacturers are stupidly greedy for charging more for their CD players than what most people are willing to pay for DVD players. I predict all CD-only players will cease to be manufactured in the next few years. Look at this Pioneer PDV-10-SW, this is all that a DVD/CD player needs to be; digital data is sent to the a/v receiver for DAC. Eventually AV receivers will have Firewire connections and you will plug & play external DVD players just as you do with computers; the AV receivers will automatically set itself up to control all the functions of the the DVD player. DVD and CD players are oversized, overdesigned, and overpriced. Eventually, in the future, digital devices will be external devices similar to external DVD burners for computers that connect to the AV processor via Firewire, USB2, or HDMI digital cables. I can't recommend a CD or DVD player because they will soon be obsolete. Some AV receivers already have Firewire connections so maybe you can do this already tody. Since HDCD is the best technology for CD players, I will soon only list HDCD players.

SERVERS, examples of what "servers" look like


  • CD players are obsolete! The future is with "music servers" such as the Linn-Knekt Kivor and Sony HAR-D1000. You'd load your CDs into these machines and organize your playlists. You can send the digital data out from the server to your A/V receiver's DAC. Until such "music servers" become more popular, there are many good mechanical CD changers. Get a Denon 200+ changer with "CD Text" and HDCD decoding and connect it to Escient's computer to control it. Mega-DVD changers are interesting, but nobody is going to randomly watch scenes from 200+ movies. In the future, "music servers" will be computer servers with a laptop computer interface. The only time you'll handle CDs is when you remove them from their cases to copy them into the servers. If the record labels persist with copy protection, the record labels might kill the "music server" market.
  • Linn-Knekt Kivor probably the world's best CD player, makes it simple and convenient to transfer a large CD library to it's internal hard drive, this is probably going to be the "future" of audio, like the Lasonic and Escient combined, Linn-Knekt Kivor review, Linn-Knekt Kivor review
  • Oive
  • McIntosh MS300 Music Server
  • VRS Revelation Music Computer by Vincent Sanders
  • Wurlitzer Digital Jukebox
  • Interact-TV Server
  • Marantz DH9300 Music Server
  • Moxi Media Center
  • Revox
  • hewlett-packard Digital Entertainment Center
  • Compaq iPAQ Music Center
  • Lasonic makes it simple and convenient to transfer a large CD library to it's internal hard drive, 530 lossless storage is possible, this is probably going to be the "future" of audio, use the digital outputs to plug into your A/V receiver because this unit's DACs are terrible
  • Imerge makes it simple and convenient to transfer a large CD library to it's internal hard drive, this is probably going to be the "future" of audio, like the Lasonic and Escient combined
  • Escient whatever changer you get, this device is very useful; it is a controller for your changers that connects to the internet so you can retrieve the album covers, song playlists, other info, sold at Marconi, Atlantic Stereo (address below)
  • ReplayTV, Rio, Escient
  • XiVA sofware for Linn and Imerge systems
  • Gracenote sofware for Linn and Imerge systems


  • Rotel RCC-955 good 5-disc player that has HDCD
  • Harman Kardon FL 8380 good 5-disc player that has HDCD, unfortunately has poor error checking compensation and skips and fails on lightly scratched CDs
  • Denon DCM-380 5-disc CD player, HDCD, outclasses some the most expensive audiophile CD-only players
  • Integra CDC-3.1
  • Sony Sony releases new CD players monthly
  • Kenwood CD-425M CD Carousel CD player can be connected via the Internet to Gracenote's Compact Disc Database, from which it can download and store CD title and track information for 600,000 discs. The player also comes with the wireless keyboard shown for manual entry of this information


  • Shanling tubes used are the 6N3 plus it has a 24-bit/96kHz upsampling, HDCD, and four Burr-Brown DAC chips. ($1,999), picture, sold by NeedleDoctor.com, Brooks Berdan
  • Cary CD-306 HDCD with upsampling, OEM'ed Rotels with tubes
  • Cary CD-303 HDCD, OEM'ed Rotels with tubes, review
  • Denon DCM-380 5-disc CD player, HDCD, outclasses some the most expensive audiophile CD-only players
  • Arcam Alpha 9
  • Arcam Alpha 8SE
  • Harman Kardon FL 8380 good 5-disc player that has HDCD, unfortunately has poor error checking and skips badly on scratched CDs
  • Linn Sondek CD12 one of the most expensive CD players in the world, $20,000!! and it doesn't have CD-Text! it does have HDCD, it's overly-redundant in its design, review
  • Rotel RCD-991 this is better than most overdesigned and overpriced boutique CD player components, the "dither" feature makes this product sound better than most others, review, sold at GNP, Sound Factor, Ahead Stereo, Systems Design Group (address below)
  • Vincent CD-S6, Vincent CD-S6 they look like they've been OEM'ed by Denon, Marantz, and Red Rose




SACD Players

This is for their new format DSD/DAS, don't buy into their marketing buzzwords and hype - this is actually 24bit/200kHz. It sounds pretty good, but consider that most recording and editing is done in the 16/44, 20/44, or 24/96 realms. The data is encrypted so you cannot use an external DAC. There may also be digital watermarking which distorts the sound.





Mini Discs are junk and total waste of time and money. They have "lossy compression" which ruins the stereoscopic imaging, ruins the dynamics, and sound too "harsh." Buying pre-recorded MDs is a waste because they cost more than CDs for less sound. MiniDiscs also have SCMS copy protection. What's holding up DVD-Audio and SACD are the record labels' infighting over copy protection, which is something music fans find on principle, offensive. MiniDisc was a scheme by the record labels to create an recordable format that was inferior to CDs. This technology was obsolete before it reached the USA because now CR-R, CD-RW, and the upcomming DVD-R and DVD-RW are becomming the new standards. Unfortunately, some European and Asian countries have adopted this mediocre, soon to be obsolete format. MD is the "8-track tape", "4-track cartridges", "Betamax", "Elcassette", "DCC", "Divx", "Video 2000", "Quadraphonic vinyl", "Selectavision", and "Video-8" of the 90's. You can get better results recording on a hi-grade cassette deck and using metal cassette tapes. Record store chains such as Wherehouse, Sam Goody, Tower Records have significantly decreased the size of their MiniDisc sections. Around 1997, MiniDiscs were gaining in popularity until the prices on CD-R and then CD-RW discs decreased. After that time, Sony's window of opportunity passed as CD-RW drives became standard for all new computers. MiniDiscs have gained a very devoted cult-like following. Does anyone, including the most dedicated MiniDisc fans, seriously believe that Sony will continue to make players and discs once sales go below a certain threshold called "commercial viability?" Remember "Betamax"? "Elcassette"? For listening to CHR "Top-40" music in the car, or on a boom-box, or mini system (those plastic all in one stereos with grotesque looking speakers with features like "mega-bass"), MiniDiscs might not sound different from CDs and better than cassettes, but that's because "Top-40" music (pop, rap, disco, etc.,) is already highly compressed for radio airplay and because the amps and speakers on boom-boxes are terrible. In the car, road noise will mask most faults. For serious critical listening, audiophile hifi sound quality must always be the first priority, not "convenience." Now that record labels are adding copy protection to CDs, copying from future CDs to MiniDisc will be impossible. I wonder what MiniDisc would sould like using it's digital outputs and an external DAC with "upsampling" (please search this page for info on upsampling) ??

What is a MiniDisc and how does it differ from a CD?
Stereo Review article: Recording Rivalry MiniDisc vs Dolby S
Ken C. Pohlmann, Stereo Review: The Fall and Rise (and Fall?) of MiniDisc
Lossy Compression
Recording the Output, Mini Disc vs Compact Cassettes
The Sony Elcaset




This is an emerging technology that I'm looking into. The computer you're using right now is your MP3 player, you just need good amps and speakers to hear it. The advantage of the MP3 format is that you can get all the songs you want for free, the disadvantage is that the quality is inferior to that of CD and worse than MiniDisc, the mitigating factor is that most CHR "Top-40" pop music is highly compressed for radio airplay so you can't hear an audible difference for most pop recordings. It's a disposable format where people download from the internet to their computers free MP3s of the current ephemeral pop charts and later delete them and write over those files the next batch of current ephemeral pop chart songs. It's the perfect erasable format for disposable music.




Andrew's Comments on Speakers
How Speakers Work
How Do Speakers Work?
How Speakers Work by Tom Harris
Benefits of Bi-Amping (Not Quite Magic, But Close)
Dynamic Drivers - Studio Monitors, used in recording, mixing, mastering
The best use professional audiophile components, born out of a synthesis of professional audio recording studio design and high end hi-fi expectations, designed for critical reference applications: mastering facilities, project studios, high end hi-fi. There are no car stereo amps attached to the back of these speakers, no fancy lights or graphics, some have digital inputs and internal amplifiers; in fact, these speakers may not be what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. Go to the websites of the studios that mastered your favorite recordings and see what speakers they use.

Dynamic Drivers
I don't know if Axiom, BIC, and Dahlquist are actually the same brand because they sure look alike. You already know that Harman is JBL, Revel, Infinity, Harman Kardon.




This is a new trend - adding super tweeters to your speakers to accomodate the improved dynamic range that DVD-Audio and SACD formats are supposed to have. Caltech professor and musician James Boyk has pioneered research in this field at the Caltech Music Lab and has written this report which suggests the need for super-tweeters, "There's Life Above 20 Kilohertz: A Survey of Musical-Instrument Spectra to 102.4 kHz." He also runs the Caltech Music Lab Auditioning Facility for subjective evaluation of components for the audio industry. Now that some manufacturers are selling seperate "suptertweeters", all high-end speakers ought to have "suptertweeters" built in; high-end manufacturers certainly charge enough.

Electrostatic, Planar Magnetic, Ribbon Speakers, Flat Panel

Bookshelf - Small

In-Wall Speakers

Nothing! Every in-wall speaker I've ever heard, every installtion that had in-wall speakers, regardless of the price and cost of installation, sounded terrible. The problem is that the entire wall that the speaker is attatched to vibrates with the speaker creating one giant rattling, buzzing, distorted noise. RBH makes speakers are a supposedly designed for in wall installations, but most people who buy them use them as standalone towers.
  • RBH Professional Series Loudspeakers sound better as standalone towers, sold at Stereo Hi-Fi Center in Torrance, World Electronics in Rosemead (addresses below)
  • Computer Speakers
  • Evett and Shaw Elan the best and the most outrageously expensive computer speakers, if you must have the best get their Flatte amp too review
  • Dulcet Swans Multimedia PC Speaker System by designer Frank Hale, sold direct, review
  • SI-5 Flat Panel Speakers SUBWOOFER - subsonic woofer
  • Bass is directional. So the left and right speakers need one placed close by or under them. For movies, you only need one placed under the center channel as in a movie theater. Harman brand's Infinity subwoofers have the worst reputation for reliability, almost as bad as BIC's subwoofers; Harman's JBL and Revel subwoofers are much better and former Infinity founder's Genesis subwoofers are much better than those sold by his former company.

    Center Channel Your choice for center channel speaker depends on the kind of speakers you're using for your left & right channels. Get whatever brand's model that matches the same price and series tier as your other speakers. Most of the sound from movie soundtracks is in the center channel. One you might consider is the Legacy Grand Central which is a combination center channel, subwoofer, and tv stand.

    Rear Channels Use whatever speakers you're upgrading from as your rear channels. If you want new ones, your choice for rear channel speakers depends on the kind of speakers you're using for your left & right channels. Get whatever brand's model that matches the same price and series tier as your other speakers.

    These are sold by different brands but look and sound similar. One theory for these is that the same engineers work for different companies to make the same design. Another theory is that any given group of engineers schooled similarily will eventually create the same designs. Another theory is that many speaker manufacturers are actually "assemblers" of parts, they assemble various OEM speakers and crossovers in their own boxes with fancy paint jobs; marketing and brand imaging raise their perceived value and allow them to charge high prices. Another theory is that the USA branded speakers are OEM'd foreign brands with huge price markups. The last theory is that they're clones.

    Junk Speakers

    WEIRD LOOKING SPEAKERS Perfect for weird music. I need links to more speakers that look like rocks. I'm looking for links to a speaker which is supposed to have an oxygen/gas tweeter that you're supposed to ignite to listen to like the Acapella and Magnat Plasma speaker. Gas tweeters are the most perfect and neutral tweeters with a frequency response extending up to 100kHz (thus they also cover the area of a supertweeter without a crossover point). The use of plasma tweeters was abandoned many years ago due to the fact that they produce Ozone (O3). Ozone is very useful at the stratosphere levels but not in lower levels due to its aggressiveness and corrosiveness. It attacks nearly everything including our lungs!




    Audio Research are the best, ultimate, hi-end preamps, the benchmark for all others. Sony's Japan-only products are great. As much as I love Audio Research's sound, their control knobs and remote controls are terrible.



    Audio Research are the best, ultimate, hi-end amps, the benchmark for all others. The most expensive amps are made by Wavac. For efficient and/or small speakers, you can use smaller amps less than 100 watts from 8 watts to 60 watts. Manufacturers and magazines ought to list the products' current in Amps, or Amperes. Some larger speakers and electrostatic speakers require more power. AR amps use vacuum tubes and produce crisp and clean signals. The best solid state amps are by Audio Research and Sunfire. The edge that makes Sunfire better than oversized, overdesigned, and overpriced brands like Mark Levinson, Krell, Boulder, Spectral, Conrad Johnson, Theta, Pass Labs, Tact Audio, Sim Audio, Audio Note, Audire, FM Acoustics, Burmester, Accuphase, etc., is that Bob Carver is a genius.




    Audio Research and VAC are the best, ultimate, hi-end integrated stereos, the benchmark for all others. As much as I love Audio Research's sound, their control knobs and remote controls are terrible. Sony's Japan-only products are great. Manufacturers and magazines ought to list the products' Amps, or Amperes, to indicate their current.



    These are good for movies as preamps to connect all your audio video components. Because it combines your digital-to-analog conversion with your audio and video switching, as well as your preamplifier functions, the quality of your AV preamp is directly related to the success of your home theater system. Because the digital preamp and multichannel amp are integrated, these components take up less space than seperate components. But the disadvantage of integrated a/v receivers is that they are not upgradable. If the digital preamp and amps were seperate, you wouldn't have to re-buy the multichannel amp every time you upgrade the preamp; you would re-buy new digital preamps but keep the same multichannel amp. In the future digital preamps are going to connect to digital source components via HDMI, DVI, USB, Firewire, or some such connection standard. In the future digital preamps will have room correction features so you can calibrate your system to sound optimal in your room. But it's going to take a few generations of products to reach that point so a lot of people are going to spend a lot of money on products that will be technologically obsolete rather quickly.
    All home theatre decoders should have: Dolby AC-3, Dolby Pro-Logic, DTS, and THX Cinema 7.1. Don't even bother looking at a decoder or receiver unless it has decoders for all the formats, though DTS is optional. The more expensive models come with remote controls that look like PDMs or Palm Pilots. Some have CD DACs and digital inputs, but lack decoding for HDCD, 24/96, and other formats. The Integrated Decoders & Preamps listed below are pretty good except for their weakest links; phono stages and tuners that lack the features of the best components. All receivers should have, but don't, digital connections to digital components. All receivers should have connections like HDMI, Firewire, DVI, and Euro-SCART 2 (In/Out) terminals which carry digital audio and video signals between the LD, DVD, CD players, receivers, line doublers, monitors and projection tvs. Euro-Scart video has computer RGB and is the best way of transfering video signals, much better than S-video or component video outputs. All countries are now using Euro-Scart, except the USA because the audio/hifi/videophile magazines here are ignorant of that standard or on an agenda to promote pseudo-science - overpriced analogue interconnects. All receivers should have a RS232 communication port so that you can hook up a Crestron or AMX Phast control to your theater with ease. Some manufacturers claim their receivers' RS232 ports would be used for "software updates", but these products usually get discontinued before any such "updates" are ever released. All receivers should accept digital video input from the LD/DVD player and do the work of progressive scan line doubling, but only a few Japanese receivers do that now. Pioneer DVD/CD players have 10-bit/54MHz video signal DAC for high-quality DVD pictures; all receivers should accept RGB video input and do the work of DAC and video upsampling. Manufacturers and magazines ought to list the products' Amps, or Amperes, to indicate their current.

    Lucasfilm THX info
    HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)


    Integrated Decoder & Preamp

    Integrated Decoder & Preamp & Amp with HDCD

    Integrated Decoder & Preamp & Amp without HDCD




    These mini stereo systems consist of preamps, amps, tuners, CD players, and speakers. Unfortunately, most mini stereo systems' selling points are their size and are usually lacking features such as HDCD, CD-TEXT, phono preamp inputs, and Nakamichi-level-quality tape decks. Bang & Olufsen created this niche market and the Japanese and other companies have been copying B&O's style for years, this is especially evident with Sony, Sherwood, Fisher, and Pioneer mini hifi systems. If you have the money, Bang & Olufsen is the best. A lot of these products are made in China so they're annoyingly overpriced.




    Some of the best headphones, which I've not listed here, are pro-audio recording studio headphones sold at pro-audio dealers like Carvin, West LA Music, Guitar Center, Sam Ash, and others. I do not recommend "noise cancelling" headphones because while you're trying to listen to loud music, the "noise cancelling" headphones are blasting your ears with dangerous volumes of 'anti-sound'. When I tested "noise cancelling" headphones in a silent room, I felt pressure on my ears that was uncomfortable. Your ears are being blasted with the SPL of not only the music, but also the cancellation sounds. I do not trust "noise cancelling" headphones at all.



    I recommend Nothing! Nobody makes a receiver that is up to the state of the art specs. It would be great if there was a product that combined the features of the best receivers, could receive internet radio broadcasts, had a timer that could record radio programs from broadcast/internet/digital/cable radio, could digitize signals to clean them from static then send a digital signal to your receiver that has a built in DAC, had an onscreen video output like a VCR so you can set the timer and read the RDS data, had the ability to download recorded broadcasts to a portable MP3 player, and be easy to use like a VCR or digital VCR like ReplayTV and TIVO. Component receivers should have these features:

    • FM Coaxial input to plug into your cable antennae
    • balanced and unbalanced outputs
    • AM Stereo - this exists, it is broadcasted that way, therefore I demand it, especially for AM stereo stations
    • RDS + ID-Logic®, Radio Data System with a 64 character display, and allow sorting by format.
    • Radio Text (RT): 64 Character Message Scrolling Display, 3-Message First-In/First-Out
    • Call Sign (PI) Display Program Identification
    • Format (PTY) Display Program TYpe
    • 8 Group Format (PTY) Search, Scan & BSM
    • EON Information
    • Traffic Program (TP) Identification
    • Traffic Announcement (TA)
    • Traffic Announcement (TA) Search
    • Memory, 4-Message User Memory
    • Auto Position Set (APS)
    • Auto Position Follow (APF)
    • (AF) seek the strongest station carrying the same program, if available
    • 24-Station/6-Button (18FM/6AM) Presets
    • Custom naming of stations that don't have RDS
    • CT (Clock Time)
    • Digital Audio Broadcasting already popular in Japan and Europe, the USA based radio stations lag behind in technology

    Many car stereos already have all these features. The hi-er end manufacturers have to catch up to the technology.

    • NAD pretty good receiver, sold at Sound Factor, Ahead Stereo (addresses below)
    • Rotel
    • Onkyo T-4711 pretty good receiver, sold Circuit City in Laguna Hills (address below)
    • Pioneer probably the world's best receiver, but unfortunately like most best hifi that's Japanese and Pioneer, it's only sold in Japan and UK
    • AVI S2000MT2 hi-end receiver, RDS, sold only in UK
    • Fanfare and Magnum Dynalab and a few other companies make audiophile FM tuners that seem interesting, charge huge prices, but they lack many of the above features; car stereos have more features
    • Burmester
    • Day Sequerra
    • Terk Antenna high end antennas for HDTV, TV, AM/FM radio, etc.,
    • iRad-S internet radio receiver, plays CDs, downloads and plays MP3s, can created MP3s
    • Philips Streamium internet radio receiver, plays CDs, downloads and plays MP3s
    • Future digital radio/sattelite/cable/internet radio technologies: XMRadio, Music Choice, Spinner.com, Command Audio, and CD Radio; read and evaluate them for yourself.
    • HD Radio




    Andrew's Comments on Cables



    Andrew's Comments on Power Cables & Conditioners




    This technology is improving so fast that I will now only list the brands that are making the best products. Look for each brand's latest models, not nessesarily their most expensive models, for their latest models will have their latest technology. These expensive projectors have to be re-calibrated every few months. All projectors ought to have HDMI, DVI, and Firewire inputs.




    Big screen TVs are actually on their way "out" of the marketplace. They are being succeeded by flat screens. Don't bother buying one, seriously. The companies listed below consistently make the higher end models. The technology is improving so fast, there is a new "best" model every few months, but I predict they will all discontinue their models later this year. Remember, for optimal performance, a tv must be color calibrated. Since HDTV with 1080i specs and 16x9 picture is the new standard for widescreen viewing, maybe I ought to stop listing tvs that aren't. The best have VGA-type 15-pin connectors. Actually the computer monitor you are looking at right now has more resolution than HDTV. All TVs ought to have HDMI, DVI, and Firewire inputs.




    These companies consistently make the higher end models. Remember, for optimal performance, a tv must be color calibrated. Since HDTV with 16:9 is the new standard for widescreen viewing, maybe I ought to stop listing TVs that aren't. The best have VGA-type 15-pin connectors. These change so fast, almost monthly, that I'm just going to link to the best brands. Look for the latest top of the line models by Pioneer Elite. All monitors ought to have HDMI, DVI, and Firewire inputs.




    JVC, the inventor of VHS, makes the best VCRs; best picture, most reliable, best features - period. JVC's professional products are the absolute best that S-VHS can be. Sony's pro-broadcast decks are much better than their consumer grade models. The JVC HM-HDS1u is the world's best home VCR. There is an emerging format D-VHS, but because there are so few makers supporting it, I'd wait a while before considering buying one. There are new features emerging such as "Commercial Advance" which will skip over commercials when watching recorded tv shows, and digital MPEG-2 recorders. The best have VGA-type 15-pin connectors. For everyday recording of broadcast tv, the digital recorders like TIVO and ReplayTV are probably the best. For watching and editing your videotapes, the pro-broadcast players are the best. I've listed a few "time lapse" VCRs out of curiousity, they're for security cameras. All VCRs ought to have HDMI, DVI, and Firewire outputs.


    Always buy the highest grade video tape you can. For Super-VHS, always buy the hi-est grade SVHS tape you can. You can find the best available at Ametron, Video & Audio Center, Tower Records (addresses below). Ametron sells professional quality tape for professional use.




    For sane music clarity, unless you have "room treatment", you're wasting your money on everything else. The more experience I gain with audio, the more I'm realizing that the room might be the most important component of all. Read those articles. Maybe you need a padded room if you're going to spend hundreds of thousands on a stereo!




    Read this article on vibration isolation and come to your own conclusions. One of the most expensive hifi makers, Mark Levinson, uses the cheapest racks to hold his most expensive equipment at his showroom.






    Absolutely Cost-No-Object Overbuilt HiFi


    Andrew's Comments on Expensive Equipment




    If you aren't a millionaire and want a "serious" audio system, want something better than mass "consumer grade" electronics, want something better than the gimmicky booming junk, and would rather spend money on albums and concert tickets for music, then look into the top of the line products by these brands to hear "Hi-Fi" at the affordable entry level: Pioneer Elite, Sony ES, Rotel, NAD, Harmon Kardon, Marantz, Nakamichi, Sherwood. You can buy complete systems by each of these brands and then use one remote control for everything. For an entry level home theater integrated receiver, the Pioneer Elite is worth listening to. To start entering into the more expensive hifi, look into the brands: Sunfire, Golden Tube, B&K. For speakers, I recommend the affordable models by the brands listed above including: Legacy-Audio, Klipsch, NHT, KEF, Infinity, Joseph Audio. You would think that as technology improves, consumer electronics should be getting better, more endowed with features, and less expensive. When you buy an expensive component, you can usually negotiate buying any accessories at cost or even "thrown in". Many speaker manufacturers "throw in" center channel speakers when you buy L+R speakers. You can usually buy refurbished units, store demos, and trade-ins at any audio store at deep discounts.




    To vegetate on for hours while enjoying your home entertainment, I recommend the expensive recliners at sold at Superco stores. Some of them will massage your back. See below for addresses. You might consider installing exercise equipment in your listening room or installing stereo equipment in your exercise room.

    OSIM chairs are very relaxing.
    Acoustic Innovations
    Relax The Back



    Teac Nostalgia novelty stereo, POS sound, call (323)726-0303
    Denon Novelty Stereos
    Electro Brand Model
    ReversingMachines Reverse Speech Player
    VersaCorder Tape Recorder, Record up to 4 Hours On One Side of a Regular 120 min. Cassette sold only in Japan
    Antique Phonograph Site in 'dem good ole days
    More Antique Phonograph Site in 'dem good ole days
    Philco Predicta TV
    Thames & Kosmos Radio Ace



    Audiophile Snake Oil
    Audiophile Snake Oil
    Astronomically overpriced audiophile equipment



    Articles of Advice
    Crutchfield Advisor
    Record and Tape Care in a Nutshell by USA Library of Congress
    The Care and Handling of Recorded Sound Materials By Gilles St-Laurent
    AudioFederation Audiophile's Guide to the Galaxy
    GoodSound has pretty good advice on: System Buying, System Setup, and other interesting bits of commentary
    Amp tech terms: check here and here, but ignore their sales pitches.
    Audiophile 2000 HiFi & Music Pages
    Audio USENET FAQs
    Glossary by Rane Professional Audio Reference
    TechnoFILE glossary
    "Sounds Like? An Audio Glossary" by J. Gordon Holt
    Recording Technology History
    Milestones in Audio (from the Soul of Sound)
    Family Tree of Audio (from the Soul of Sound)
    Ashcraft Design, Dave Ashcraft designs speakers for Harman's JBL, Infinity, Revel
    Links of Links
    Stereophile's Links has a searchable index, they removed my page from their listing saying it was getting "too many hits", email them to ask them to add this page again
    Audio Utopia
    HIFI TO DIE FOR link collection
    Audiomap's awesome link collection
    AES Links
    Stereo411 Links
    High Fidelity Engineering Co.
    Steve Ekblad's Links audiogrid.com
    Loudspeaker Link List
    Single-Ended Triode Links Page
    Harmone's Loudspeaker Links
    Retro Audio, audio equipment of the legendary manufacturers 50-80’s.
    Official Phase Linear Website, David Hafler and Bob Carver's old company
    Stereo Speaker Buyer's Guide
    AudioNova Links
    Boston Audio Society Audio Links
    Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society
    Rocky Mountain Audio Fest
    EnjoyTheMusic - Show Reports
    Vacuum State of the Art Conference and Show
    NAMM Show
    Bristol Show
    Home Theater Now International Conference & Exposition
    Top Audio Show - Italy
    Avalon Acoustics demo room at Hi-Fi '98, I am still haunted by my experience listening to hifi in this room. It was amazing.
    Pictures of HiFi
    AudioHeritage JBL Fan Page, fansite for James B. Lansing
    Vintage Audio Trader
    Hi-End systems of IHIFI Club members
    Das Vorfuehrzimmer 123
    System pictures
    StereoDesign's Pictures
    HiFi Spezialist's Pictures
    HiFi Spezialist's Pictures-High End
    extreme audio
    Adnan Arduman Friends' Systems
    The Audio Society of Minnesota's pictures
    Soundgallery's Demo Rooms
    Artistic Audio's Pictures
    Adflip.com search for "hifi" ads
    The Ultimate Death Star Home Theater
    21hifi HiFi Show Reviews
    The Vintage Knob.org
    The Audio Critic, Sensible Sound, and Attainable Audio have journalism with attitude. They are the most opinionated of all audio magazines and actually give other audio magazines bad reviews and debunks psuedo-science products. AudioXPress, Bottlehead's Valve, and Vacuum Tube Valley are what the hi-fi hobby used to be about - DIY.
    Andrew's Comments on Magazines
    Photos: Various Writers
    Photos: Various Writers
    Arthur Salvatore's High-End Audio he critisizes the magazines in Reviewing the 'Reviewers' and "Underground" Audio Magazines
    Writer: Sam Tellig has written pretty good articles on hi-fi in audio magazines
    Writer: Ken Kessler has written pretty good articles on hi-fi in audio magazines, and and "affluent lifestyle" magazines like Robb Report
    Absolute Sound subjective reviews by Harry Pearson
    Attainable Audio Magazine - Journal of the Affordable High-End
    Audiophile Audition
    Audio Critic
    Audio Ideas Guide
    Audio Musings Magazine is an audio newsletter, email
    Audio Review
    Audio Revolution
    Audio Video Interiors
    Audio Video Reviews lots of reviews
    Audio Web
    Audio World
    Bound For Sound
    British Audio Journal very well written
    Gramophone Magazine
    Groovenoise analogue and vinyl
    Hi-Fi News & Record Review
    Hi-Fi World
    HiFi Plus, HiFi+
    Hi Fidelity Magazine UK
    Hi-Fi Review Japanese, thick magazine full of ads, about $40 per issue, this is probably one of the best hifi magazines ever, if you can read Japanese
    Perfect Sound Forever
    Positive Feedback picture
    Robb Report Home Entertainment and Design, Robb Report Home Entertainment and Design
    Sensible Sound
    SoundStage lots of reviews, factory tours
    Stereophile Jonathan Scull, Senior Editor, John Atkinson, Editor
    Stereo German HiFi Magazine
    Stereo Sound Japan, the best hifi magazine of all time, and it's only in Japanese! this magazine proves that hifi is not some esoteric rich man's hobby in Japan, but a mainstream consumer hobby; if only USA companies knew how to market their products as well as Japanese companies do in Japan, then prices for hifi would decrease and the quality of consumer grade products would increast to hifi standards
    Vacuum Tube Valley
    What HiFi?
    Links: AudioNova Magazine Links
    Commentary: The Audio Press




    by Michael Gindi @ Fi Magazine and others

    articulate, as all good fireworks displays must have a grand finale, edge-of-the-art-component, explosively dynamic, icing on that cake, musical, no chain is stronger than its weakest link, palpable presence, presence, punch, quantum leap, quick, reviewer's tool, rudely revelatory, screaming rave-review, superb at sounstaging and imaging, surprisingly seamless, to tell you the truth, transparency, uncolored, utterly transparent, you owe it to yourself to give these speakers a very serious audition, wispy, golden ear, unsurpassed clarity, exceptional value, lacking in body, opens up the sound stage, increases dynamic contrasts and delineates inner voices (or here either), areas of openness and linearity, and lifts a veil enabling previously unnoticed detail to emerge, you are there, they are here


    AUDIOPHILE STORES: Very expensive audio equipment can be heard at these places. Always call first to ask for their hours, what equipment you're interested in, and be sure to mention you found out about them via me. Bring your own CDs. When you bring test CDs, pick ones with widest dynamic ranges so you can hear deep bass with bright treble. Also bring CDs that sound muddied so then you can hear how well the audio equipment "cleans up" the sound and you can hear how much more detailed the soundspace image is. Beware that each dealer claims to be the exclusive distributor for each brand, but this is never the case. My audiophile tests are: to listen if the lyrics are more intelligible, if the horns sound more real, if the bass sounds more defined, and if you start feeling like dancing to the rhythm. Some components have "synergy" and sound better combined with others. Good components with a bad speaker will not sound good as would bad components with a great speaker. Sometimes good components just don't sound good together too. Ask to switch components around to make your A/B/? comparisons. I wish you good luck in finding the audio system that makes your music move you.
    Audio Showroom Images:
    picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, pictures, pictures, picture


    • = sells products that play vinyl LPs and 45s
    • = sells products that play cassette tapes
    • = sell Laserdisc/DVD players
    • of them sell CD players.


    • Internet Dealers

    There are concentrations of hifi dealers in the most affluent areas. In West Los Angeles there are many dealers located on Wilshire Blvd west of the 405 Freeway. In Torrance there are many dealers located on Pacific Coast Highway and on Hawthorne Blvd. Magnolia HiFi dealers are changing the way hifi dealers look with their well designed showrooms. The older dealers may not have stores that look as nice as Magnolia, but they have good prices on trade ins, demos, new-old-stock equipment, and used equipment.

    Acoustic Image
    11124 Sunshine Terrace, Studio City, CA 91604 (818)762-1501
    Ultimate! I highly recommend going to this place to really hear that vinyl & vacuum tubes sound better than CDs. Elliot Midwood and their nice friendly staff sells hideously expensive audio and video equipment. They sell linear tracking vinyl turntables such as the Walker on display and they can order for you the awesome Clearaudio Reference, Cearaudio Explorer, and the Forsell Air Force One. They also sell hi-end phono cartridges, needles, and record cleaners. They sells lots of great sounding vacuum tube amps by: Cary, Mesa Boogie, and many others. You must hear/see the huge Forsell amp in their back room. They sell good speakers by Focal, Montana.


    ACT Electronics
    21129 Norwalk Blvd, Hawaiian Gardens, CA 90716, (562) 809-0263
    Adrian Ilie sells professional sales and service of audio components, turntables, video, tv, portables, and shortwave radios, auto stereos, camcorders, and tape conversions. He repairs speakers and sells rare used hifi. This store is mostly a repair shop.


    Advance Audio
    4105 E Live Oak Ave, Arcadia, CA 91006, (626) 254-9567, (626)378-8337
    Sells new and used hifi equipment, home theater, karaoke, notably Avalon speakers.


    Ahead Stereo
    7426 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323)931-8873
    This is a Rotel, NAD, Marantz, Denon, Sherwood/Newcastle, Nakamichi dealer, so check their respective sites to see what they sell. They sell cassette decks such as the Rotel RD-960, NAD 614 and others by Denon, Sherwood/Newcastle, Marantz. They sell turntables by Rotel, NAD, Denon. The staff is very friendly. It's across the street from the RED restaurant.


    Escondido, CA, (760)489-6904, (760)945-4407
    AirPhonoGram is a small design group that can custom build a variety of tube equipment. Over thirty years experience with tube gear. They can repair and restore old tube amps.


    1546 N Argyle Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028 (323)464-1144
    they sell NAD, Onkyo, and many other brands, lots of blank cassettes, videotapes, lots of DIY components


    Atlantic Stereo
    445-A E 17th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, (949)646-8895
    They sell electronics by Sunfire, TAG McLaren, Marantz, B&K, Chiro, SimAudio, Sony ES, Cinepro, Camelot Technology, MSB, Dwin, TACT Audio, Pioneer Elite. They sell speakers by Sonance, Totem Acoustics, PSB, and the complete line of Dyanaudio. They sell S-VHS VCRs by JVC, Marantz. They have a very friendly staff that will alow you to bring in a stack of CDs and sit and listen to them as long as you want on their very expensive stereos and very comfortable sofas. Their stuff is so hideously expensive that I actually feel guilty going there and I wonder how they can stay in business. They have a huge selection of multi-programmable remote controls that look like palm pilots. They also rent laserdiscs. Check site for info.


    Audio Concepts
    7246 N Rosemead Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775, (626)285-0011
    6236 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90803, (562) 597-5450
    this store sells speakers by Paradigm, Klipsch, NHT, McIntosh, sells tube amps for home, Bang & Olufsen stereos, and no hassle and no hard sell employees. They really make you feel comfortable there, they just set you up and then leave you alone to check out your own CDs while they watch sports on tv.


    Audio Den
    8101 Orion Ave. #9, Van Nuys, CA 91406, (818)781-4700
    the friendly staff here sells lots of UK brands such as Tannoy, B&W, Meridian. They sell turntables by Thorens, Pro-ject, and many phono cartridges and needles by Shure. They sell cassette tape decks by Denon, Marantz, Onkyo. They also sell the Nitty Gritty record cleaners. Their Classe, Enlightened Audio Designs, California Audio Labs electronics are good, and they also sell home theater equipment by Marantz, Denon, McIntosh, Cal Audio Labs, Classe, Adcom, and others.


    Audiomax Ltd.
    28281 Paseo Corrales, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, (949)363-6894
    by appointment only, see website for info


    Audio Specialist
    13251 #D Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604, (818)995-8648
    Howard Bardach sells used hifi, specializing in the repair and resale of quality current and vintage audio equipment


    Audio Video City
    3201 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310)453-5355
    sells products by Nakamichi, Pioneer Elite, Proton TVs, Denon THX, Sony, NHT, Sound Design, M&K, and very expensive cables.


    Audio Video Today
    14306 Beach Blvd, Westminster, CA 92683 (714)891-7575
    little store packed with hi-end components and a friendly staff. They sell turntables by VPI and an exotic brand. They sell speakers by B&W, Spice, NHT, Mirage, and others. They sell electronics by Rotel, ATI, Golden Theater, Classe, Sherwood, and others. Check their website for more info.


    Bang & Olufsen
    17 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, (626)564-0800
    369 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (310)247-7785
    Bang & Olufsen's showcase store for their products sells hifi like fashion accessories for the rich. Interestingly, they do not sell overpriced accessories like special cables, power line conditioners, special racks, or kitchy audiophile junk. That proves that the wealthiest people in the world don't buy into all that audiophile tweak nonsense when they buy their own systems. They sell Bang & Olufsen along with Velodyne subwoofers and a $10,000 LCD flat widescreen tv, and that's good enough for the top 1% that can afford such toys. Be prepared for a high-pressure hard sell though.


    Best Buy & Magnolia
    3675 Pacific Coast Hwy, Torrance, CA 90505, (310)791-1186
    500 Westminster Mall, Westminster, CA 92683, (714) 896-9693
    One of America's biggest chain stores sells Monstercable power strips. They also have the lowest prices on new CDs, DVDs, cassettes, and videocassettes. They sell entry level speakers by JBL, Athena, Yamaha, Sony, Klipsch. Their Magnolia stores sell high-end equipment. Check site for nearest location. Their Westminster and Torrance have specialty home theater showrooms and equipment their other stores do not carry. Go to the Best Buy stores with Magnolia HiFi showrooms.


    James Boyk's Sound Decision
    Caltech professor, musician, consultant for the audio industry, record producer, also runs his own hifi consulting service and does not sell or install components, but will make referrals to those who do.


    Brooks Berdan
    110 W Olive Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016 (626)359-9131
    good store sells expensive Jadis vacuum tube electronics and speakers including the Jadis Eurythmie 11, Jadis amps, Jadis Electronics, Cardas La Luce Turntable, Shanling, Hovland, Rega, Oracle turntables, Acoustech electronics, the owner likes Rega, and Eminent Technology 2.5 Tonearms. They sell speakers by Vandersteen, Cabasse and Wilson Audio. He sells pretty much any needle, cartridge, pivoting and linear tonearms, and vinyl accessory that's available for the hifi market. They also sell the big record cleaning machines by Keith Monks and VPI HW-17F Pro Record Cleaner. They have a good used audiophile vinyl record selection for sale and every audiophile magazine distributed today. Be sure to mention me, Andrew, referred you to them because I've spent a lot of time here listening to their hideously expensive Jadis electronics and they've been kind to me, patiently answering all my questions. The owner seems well-connected to the manufacturers and knows many of them personally. The owner has a peculiar attitude - "there's nothing under $2,000 worth listening to", so you might want to browse this place for the accessories, magazines, and records because if you have to ask, you really can't afford it.


    Bluffs Shopping Center, 1342 Bison Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92660, (949)251-0031


    Century TV
    13858 Brookhurst St, Garden Grove, CA 92843, (714)636-2388
    Vietnamese owned business has a good selection of tvs, HDTVs, plasma screens, and home theater electronics by Pioneer Elite, Technics, Sony and speakers by Energy, Definitive, JBL Their home theater demo room in the back is huge and has great setups of this equipment with very impressive huge projection tvs and plasma tvs and very comfortable furniture.


    Crane Home Theater
    Chatsworth, CA


    Creative Home Theatres CH Automation Stereo
    formerly named Christopher Hansen Inc
    11878 La Grange Ave. 1/F, West Los Angeles, CA 90025, (310)826-8286
    hideously expensive audio/video equipment such as $10,000 CD players, awesome speakers by Martin Logan, Cello, Revel, and awesome video projectors.


    Circuit City
    see website for locations
    sell Polk, Infinity speakers and Onkyo electronics. Terrible listening rooms.


    Cosmos Digital
    5788 Smithway St., Commerce, CA 90040, (323)201-3160
    3250 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90006
    Korean owned business, most of the salesman are Korean and can barely speak English, they sell KEF, JBL, Infinity, Onkyo, Sony.


    Definition Audio Video
    2901 W 182nd St, Redondo Beach, CA 90278 (310)371-0019
    Brian Cook and their friendly staff sells lots of expensive audio/video equipment. You should check out their back rooms which have huge speakers, huge projection tvs, and an interesting assortment of exotic speakers. They sell great vacuum tube preamps and amps by Cary and Mesa Boogie. They sell Rega, Clearaudio turntables.


    Digital Ear
    17602 E 17th Street #106, Tustin, CA 92780 (714)544-7903
    Ultimate! Orange County's best audio store sells the great brands as Audio Research, Martin Logan, Magnepan, BASIS Turntables, Sumiko cartridges, and Pioneer Elite DVD players. They have good sounding Magnepan electrostatic speakers which need their Carver Sunfire subwoofers for bass. This is the nicest looking audio store I've ever been to. This place is very nice and very comfortable. The staff is very friendly; they just set up the equipment and leave you alone to audition it for yourself.


    Discount Sales
    990 Ontario Mills Drive, Ontario, CA, (909)476-9667
    This outlet sells many large big screen TVs, cabinets, and lots of speakers. Most of the equipment looks like refurbished, closeout, and demo stock. Pioneer Elite, Meridian, Onkyo Integra, B&W, M&K, Definitive Technology, Sony ES, custom installations


    DMC Electronics
    13143 Brookhurst, Garden Grove, CA 92843, (714)534-8780
    they sell Sound Labs, Atlantic Technology, Pass, Nakamichi, Jolida, NAD, B&K, JBL, Denon, Onkyo, PSB, Mission, used, call for info. They sell used, trade ins, closeouts, and demos.


    Don Ramon, Speaker, Parts & Repair
    3425 E First St, Los Angeles, CA 90003, (323)268-0263
    2521 E Flroence Ave, Huntington Park, CA 90255, (323)585-3975
    for DIY speakers, he sells coils, domes, glue, diaphragms, spiders, cones, gaskets


    DSI Entertainment
    Lifestyle Showroom, 653 N Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069


    dxc store
    413 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401, (310)394-5250
    (DIGITAL XPERIENCE CORPORATION) sells headphones and portable accessories


    1087 E Ridgewood St, Long Beach, CA 90807, (562)422-4747
    Dan Meinwald sells E.A.R., Marten Design, Townshend Audio, Helius Omega Tonearm, call for info.


    Elite Custom Audio Video
    Montclair, CA 92675
    amazing Egyptian styled theater demo room, see website for info


    Esoteric Audio Research
    Esoteric Audio Research
    Dan Meinwald, 1087 E. Ridgewood Street, Long Beach, CA 90807, (562)422-4747


    Evolution Audio & Video
    5341 Derry Ave, Unit "S", Agoura Hills, CA 91301 (818)879-1312
    Laserdics/DVDs are much better than videotapes and this place has a huge selection to choose from. They also sell DVDs, HDTVs, and the great Pioneer Elite Laserdisc/DVD players, and Theta Laserdisc/DVD players. They sell the great Vac Avatar integrated tube amp with remote which sounds very good. They sell products by Vac, Sunfire, Monitor Audio and have one of the best home theater demo rooms I've ever seen.


    22113 S Vermont, Torrance, CA 90502 (310)782-8076
    Edgarhorn dealer showroom. Dr.Bruce Edgar has created incredibly clear and efficient horn loudspeakers. You can audition them at his shop using boutique small vacuum tube amps of 2watts to 18watts. Call to make an appointment and bring your own preamps, amps, CD players, to audition your own CDs. The Dr.'s System 80 speakers sound very good.


    Fry's Electronics
    see website for locations
    Their audio video sections are chaotic messes so forget listening to a equipment in ideal acoustics, these places are for selling in bulk at low prices. Don't bother asking for help or expecting any questions answered, their salesmen know nothing. They carry brands for a few months, drop them, and carry other brands a few months later. They have good prices on home theater receivers by Harman-Kardon, Teac and speakers by Pinnale, Jamo. Sometimes you can find last year's top of the line models for less than half price. So go there and drop a high end component into your shopping carts (!!?) and avoid the massive amounts of junk food on your checkout.


    Future Home Theater
    204 South Beverly Drive, Suite 111, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, (310)274-9393


    Gene Rubin Audio
    2695 Bayshore Ave, Ventura, CA 93001, (805)658-8311
    sells lots of UK brands such as Ruark, Creek, Mistral, Meridian, Chord. They sell turntables by Roksan, and many phono cartridges and needles by Koetsu, Dynavector.


    Genesis Audio
    16163 Lake Forest Drive, Suite L, Irvine, CA 92618 (714)727-3700
    this place specializes in home theaters. They sell Pioneer, Vandersteen, Sherwood, and an exotic expensive VCR by Sonance. You must check out their home theater installation room in the back. Check their site.


    1254 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106, (626)577-7767
    Ultimate! in extreme high-end audiophile equipment, good three room showcase demonstrating the best amplifiers by Audio Research, cassette decks by Marantz, speakers by Martin Logan, Soliloquy, Theil, CD players by Arcam, and outrageously expensive cables. They also sell hi-end record cleaners and analyzers such as the AudioControl SA3052. They have a good selection of used hifi.


    3707 Winford Drive, Tarzana, CA 91356, (888)GOLD-001
    amazing showroom


    Good Guys now CompUSA
    see website for locations
    they're integrated into CompUSA stores now.


    Guitar Center
    (search for a location near you at their site)
    They sell pro cassette decks which would be perfect for your home made by Tascam, Sony, & Marantz. They sell DJ turntables by Tascam. They sell great studio moniors by Event Electronics. I want you to notice how the pro-audio equipment is much more technologically sophisticated than the "audiophile" electronics, and the prices are much lower. Notice how in their pro-audio environment, they do not sell the audiophile "tweaks" paraphernalia. Email them for a catalog.


    Hello Simply Music
    20 minutes north west of L.A. Showroom by appointment., tel:(805)527-9739 fax:(805)527-9808 (24hr)
    sells Role, Magnum Dynalab, Atlantis, NBS, Jean Marie Reynaud, Gershman Acoustics, Wilson-Benesch, Kuzma and Cardas LPs and CDs.


    Henry Radio
    2050 S Bundy Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90025, (310)820-1234
    Service center for Bang & Olufsen electronics, especially old phonographs and cassette players. They can give your old, broken, used, worn out Bang & Olufsen a second life. They also sell and service professional radio broadcasting equipment. They are also a factory authorized warranty service center for Rotel, NAD, Adcom, Kef, Celestion. Alan R. Kanter is the Director of Technical Services at Henry Radio. Email him with your questions to see if he can fix your equipment.


    HI-FI Haven
    7650 S Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90602, (562)698-6103
    Bill Tandberg has been smoking his stogies at this musty/dusty location for the past 40 years selling McIntosh speakers such as the gigantic XR290 and XRT25 (see above for info links) along with the full range of McIntosh speakers. The huge XR290 and XRT25 speakers would otherwise require a 120 day waiting period ... to be built and shipped. Go here soon, he said he wouldn't be around much longer. He has lots of old used hifi under layers of dust. Call him at (562)698-6103.


    Hi-Q Audio Video
    2849 East Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362, (805)374-2771
    sells QUAD products from UK


    HiTek Home Theater
    8943 E Garvey Ave, Rosemead, CA 91770, (626)288-8810
    9938 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683, (714)775-8788
    Tim Nguyen's little business is another mess of a stereo store that sells a few hi-fi speakers along with mostly consumer grade amplifiers and a few high end products by Carver Audio, Bob Carver's Sunfire, Sony, Aragon, Acurus, Harman Kardon, Marantz, Onkyo. They sell great speakers by Dahlquist, Genesis, Harman Kardon, JBL, Energy, NHT, MB Quart, and showcases Klipsch speakers including their Klipsch KLF.30. Very friendly staff.


    253 East Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA, (626)683-0606
    showcase for Swans Speakers


    Home Theater Engineering, 3808 E La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA, (714)632-7300
    Laser D Entertainment, 1864 N Tustin, Orange, CA, (714)693-2882, Karaoke
    Saunter Lee and Von Maughan's's biggest Laserdisc and DVD shop in Orange County. Along with a huge selection of Laserdiscs and DVDs, they sell speakers by M&K, Jamo and electronics by Pioneer Elite, NAD, ATI, PSB, Cinepro, Sherwood Newcastle, Myryad, Zenith Professional, Van Den Hul, Proton, HDTVs, Plasma Displays, HD Front Projector/Satellites and lots of karaoke equipment. They do custom home theater installations.


    House of Natural Sound
    12517 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA 91605 (818)765-1991, FX:(818)759-7199
    26248 Bouquet Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita , CA 91305, (805)255-6677
    Good shop that sells Nakamichi tape decks; VPI vinyl turntables; amps & speakers by McIntosh, Pioneer Elite, Sunfire, NHT, Parasound, KEF; and systems by Bang & Olufsen. They also sell the best hi-end car stereos (see sections below for details).


    Jeff's Sound Values
    Jeff is one of the largest used equipment dealers in San Diego county


    JM Sound
    1704 Marshall field Ln, Redondo Beach, CA 90278, (310)372-3487
    Joe Martelli sells turntables


    Katli Audio
    13908 Ravenwood, Chino Hills, CA 91709, 909-465-0222
    By appointment only, Fred Kat sells Accuphase, Air Tight, Avalon Acoustics, German Physiks, Odeon, Audio Craft arm & cartridges, Clear Audio turntables & cartridges.


    Ken Crane's
    (check website for nearest location)


    Ken Crane's Outlet
    4860 W 147th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250 (310)676-0111
    These are store demos and refurbished items. Prices aren't that much lower than the chain stores, but you get a warranty.


    Lam's Repair
    8254 E Garvey Ave, Rosemead, CA 91770, (626)573-0496
    Lam is a Chinese immigrant who knows how to fix almost anything. In his smokey shop he fixes tvs, vcrs, camcorders, laserdisc players, car stereos, and stereo equipment. Free estimates & pick up, low labor cost, cash only, fast turnaround.


    Laser Blazer
    10587 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064, (310) 475-4788
    Laserdisc and DVD rentals for affluent West Los Angeles people, they also sell KEF speakers, email Laser Blazer


    L.A. Audio Video
    101 S Western Ave, Los Angeles,CA 90004 (213)252-0066
    Ultimate! in extreme high-end audiophile equipment, this place sells extremely expensive top of the line models. They sell audiophile Vinyl Record Turntables by Musical Hall, VPI, Thorens, Sonograph, and others. They sell cassette decks by Denon, Sony, Kenwood, Onkyo. They sell Audio Research, Wilson Audio, McIntosh, Nakamichi, Pioneer Elite, Tannoy, and the best Sony tvs and the latest in plasma flat screens. I highly recommend everyone to go to this place, check out their upstairs showrooms, and listen to their music on the best hi-fi. Speak to Billy Kim, VP, and tell him Andrew sent you and he'll give you a discount.


    Magnolia Hi-Fi
    2800 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310)309-5000
    2730 Pacific Coast Highway (corner of PCH & Crenshaw Blvd), Torrance, CA, (310)357-2020
    chain store that sells home audio including turntables, cassette decks, amplifiers, DVD players, speakers, by brands including Arrakis, B&K, Denon, Krell, Pro-Ject, McIntosh, and many more. These are great looking stores.


    Marconi Radio
    239 N Central Ave, Glendale, CA 91203 (818)240-1090
    small store sells hi-end components including Luxman hifi, the great Pioneer Elite CT-07D cassette tape deck, the great Luxman K-373 cassette tape deck, turntables by Thorens, Sony, Pioneer, and Proton tv sets, lots of videodiscs, Luxman components, and others.


    18401 E. Arenth Ave., City of Industry, CA 91748, (626)913-8794, (626)912-9877 x 106
    Chinese owned business is run by Richard Tang who likes expensive hifi. He sells brands like Denon, Energy, Dual. This place could be a lot better than the chaotic mess it looks like now. He says he's been there for 9 years and there's a demographic of Chinese businessmen who love hifi.


    Musical Fidelity
    5183 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230, (310)558-0037
    Gary is more famous as a hifi repair shop than a dealer.


    New Century Audio
    Los Angeles, CA 91770, (626)280-8021, (626)280-8051
    Stanley Song and Tony sell Canary Audio, RA Design Lab, Nieman, B&W, Krell and other hifi brands. Great auditioning room. Bring your own CDs.


    Optimal Enchantment
    522 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica,CA 90401 (310)393-HIFI
    Ultimate! expensive hi-end audio equipment can be heard at this place. Owner Randy Cooley sells the best linear tracking belt-drive turntables, tone arms and cartridges if you have the money & interest to really hear what is on your VYNL. They also have hi-end record cleaners too. They sell vacuum tube CD players, vacuum tube amps, and hi-end speakers for the ultimate crisp clean sound. They sell Audio Research, Oracle Turntables, PAC, Platnum Audio, Ayre, Cardas, Vandersteen, California Audio Labs, Audible Illusions, Audioquest, Audioquest, BASIS Turntables, STAX, Magnum Dynalab, Ayre, VPI HW-17F Pro Record Cleaners, and owner Randy claims to be able to order anything you want. review, review, (picture). He can assemble a turntable for you like this. That unflattering photo above was from one of their brand's websites.


    Orange County Speaker Inc.
    12141 Mariners Way, Garden Grove CA 92843 (714)554-852
    speaker repair shop, check their site


    Their Southern Californian store is at the Brea Mall
    no hifi, they sell massage chairs.


    Pacific Sales
    see website for their Home Entertainment locations in: Corona, Irvine, Torrance, Woodland Hills
    This is a high-end home appliance chain that has Home Entertainment depts at four of their locations. He sell brands like Denon, PSB, NAD, Sony and lots of tv sets.


    PKM Audio
    16333 Willowmist Court, Chino Hills, CA 91709, (909)614-1342
    By appointment only, see website


    Precision Audio & Video
    5140-C Commerce Ave, Moorpark, CA 93021
    Mike Slaminkski's shop is located in an industrial park, this place sells hi-end products by Accuphase, Goldmund, Wisdom Audio speakers, Air Tight, BASIS Turntables, Sumiko, and other exotic brands. Unfortunately their selection is very small and their listening room is separate from their components so it's tedious to make quick comparisons. Their showroom has unplugged speakers so it's kind of a hassle to switch between different components and speakers. I can't help but feel that this place could be better.


    Radio Shack
    check for local locations, internet research is better because their salesmen don't know anything and they're going to have to special order the things you want anyway
    they have a wide selection of phonograph cartridges and needles by Shure, Stanton, Denon, Empire, Electro Voice, Chuo Denshi, Audio Technica, Airline, Audio Dynamics, Pana, Phansteil, Phonola, Pickering, Sylvania, Tetrad, Thompson, Varco, Zenith and at low prices. Their other hifi products are OEM'd from RCA and Pioneer's low end products.


    Recording Studio Outlet
    6114 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038
    Check site for inventory of used pro-audio.


    Reference Audio Video
    18214 Dalton Ave, Gardena, CA 90248, 310-517-1700
    Check site for inventory of used pro-audio.


    Roberts Home Audio & Video
    1611 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035, (310)276-3955
    Robert Eitel sells very expensive high end equipment, specializes in home theatres for extremely wealthy people. His showroom is amazing.


    Sam Ash
    (search for a location near you at their site)
    They sell pro cassette decks which would be perfect for your home made by Tascam, Sony, & Marantz. They sell DJ turntables by Gemini, Numark, & Tascam. I want you to notice how the pro-audio equipment is much more technologically sophisticated than the "audiophile" electronics, and the prices are much lower. Notice how in their pro-audio environment, they do not sell the audiophile "tweaks" paraphernalia. Email them for a catalog.


    SAS Audio Video Service
    304 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405, (310) 399-0406
    sells old used hifi, repairs, maintains, installs


    SendMeMovies.com Inc.
    12115 Magnolia Blvd # 139, Valley Village, CA 91607, (818) 766-2334
    store sells many codefree DVD players by Apex, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony, Toshiba


    Shelley's Stereo Video
    6201 Topanaga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91367 (818)716-8500
    sells Linn, Thorens, Rotel, Sumiko, Music Hall turntables and others, affordable hi-end Jolida vacuum tube integrateds, Nakamichi electronics, Magnepan speakers, tapedecks by Yamaha, Sherwood, and lots of mid-fi. Their Woodland Hills location sells lots of Sonus Faber speakers, Audio Research electronics, and turntables, turntable accessories, turntable cartridges, and Grado headphones.


    Shopping List
    This is a internet search engine for locating sales on electronics in your local area. Mostly consumer grade products.


    Sing Young Music, check site for more locations
    San Gabriel, (626)571-8333
    Monterey Park (626)307-8820
    13830 Brookhurst Rd, Garden Grove, (714)638-3388
    Laserdics/DVDs are much better than videotapes and this place has a huge selection to choose from. They also sell DVDs, and the great Pioneer Laserdisc/DVD players, and rare speakers by BMB. Sing Young Music website 2, their website was featured on AT&T tv commercials.


    Sonic Culture
    5630 Glenstone Way, San Diego, CA 92121, (858)677-0220
    John sells a great selection of hi-end tube electronics, speakers, turntables, and obscure brands.


    Sound Asylum
    638 Venice Blvd, Venice CA 90291, (310)306-2262
    James Gregan's stereo shop is like a Venice art studio. His small store has a pretty good selection of hi-fi including products by: YBA, Blue Circle Audio, Bryston, Creek, Epos, Exposure, Spendor, VTL, Accuphase, Pink Triangle Turntables, Proton tvs, lots of exotic brands and speakers such as the hard to find Impact Technologies. He sells the great Nitty Gritty record cleaners and has lots of vacuum tube electronics.


    Sound Center
    9278 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310)274-6951
    specializes in UK audio, dealer for Nakamichi, Lexicon, Kef, Warfdale, NAD, McIntosh, B&O, more. He has lots of used, trade-ins, consignments, and demos at discounted prices.


    314 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
    There's a great selection of hi-fi equipment here including the great cassette deck Luxman K-373


    Sound Factor
    2 S Rosemead Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107, (626)577-4945
    17265 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316, (818)501-3548
    2936 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 264-5457
    sells NAD, Denon, Onkyo, & Sherwood cassette decks, great Conrad Johnson vacuum tube components, and the hideously expensive Krell CD players. They have a few leftover Nakamichi CD players. Their Santa Monica store sells turntables by Rotel. Their Encino store is a great showroom for their most expensive products such as new HDTV sets. Check their site for more info.


    Sound World
    14554 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683, (714)418-0575
    Vietnamese dealer Ngo Van Thanh sells Cary, JM Labs, Marantz, also owns StarTek dealer in Anaheim


    Speaker City
    115 S Victory Blvd, Burbank CA, 91502, (818)846-9921
    affordable, great sounding assembled and kit speakers, made from drivers by Focal, Dynaudio, Vifa, and other brands


    The Spinmeister
    PO Box 4426, Panorama City, CA 91412-4426, (818)895-2224
    Bill Mintz - The Spinmeister, buy, sell, trade and repair all sorts of electric phonographs, turntables and record changers, replacement stylii and pickup cartridges, he repairs two/three/four speed record players: 16, 33, 45, 78


    1009 N Euclid St, Anaheim, CA 92801, (714)774-0936, (714)774-0943
    Vietnamese dealer Ngo Van Thanh sells Sound Dynamics, JBL, Kipsch, also owns Sound World dealer in Westminster


    Stereo Design
    7260 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111 (619)573-0060
    sells turntables by Linn, Rega, Thorens, Rotel and cassette decks by Rotel. You've got check out all the pictures at their site. This dealers' showrooms are great.


    Stereo Hi-Fi Center
    22926 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505 (310)373-6796
    Rob Goodman's store has been there for decades. This is a McIntosh, Namakmichi, Denon, M&K, RBH, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Audio Source dealer. He sells cassette decks by Denon. He has a lot of old used hi-fi, audio magazines, and does home theater, custom home wiring, and service.


    Sunny Comp
    1370 E Cypress St, Ste D, Covina, CA 91724, (626)966-6259
    expensive high-end speakers


    221 N Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754 (626)289-9999
    18714 S Gridley Rd, Cerritos, CA 90703 (562)653-9999
    Chinese owned business with super hi-$$-end McIntosh systems, great sound! Check out their listening rooms for McIntosh, NHT, Sony ES, and the best Pioneer Elite demonstration room I've ever heard. They sell many big screen tvs, the Pioneer Elite Laserdisc/DVD players, chairs, cabinets, and accessories. They sell cassette tape decks by Onkyo, Denon, and Pioneer. They sell great big screen HDTVs by Pioneer Elite, Toshiba. You've got to see and hear the McIntosh demo room at the Cerritos location and bring your stack of CDs and DVDs.


    Systems Design Group
    1310 Kingsdale Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90278 (310)370-8575
    Christian Yohe and the friendly staff sell lots of expensive audio/video equipment. You should check out their back rooms which have huge speakers, huge projection tvs, and an interesting assortment of exotic speakers including the giant Avlar Research Loudspeakers which are designed and made there. They sell B&K, Rotel, Classe, Marantz, Denon, Clearview, Carver, Paradigm and turntables by Rega, Thorens, Pro-Ject, Basis, Benz, Grado, Sumiko


    Top Audio
    8860 Bolsa Ave #C, Westminster, CA 92683, (714)891-8944
    Paul Chang specializes in 2-channel hifi and sells Bohlender Graebener, Jean-Marie Reynaud, Canton, Tannoy and the complete line of Paradigm speakers, electronics by McIntosh, Anthem, Conrad Johnson, Manley, Myriad, Carver Audio, and lots of used trade-ins.


    TV Authority Santa Monica
    410C Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401, (310)899-9525


    Tweeter Etc.,
    check website for locations, more opening in Southern California
    chain store that sells home audio including turntables, cassette decks, amplifiers, DVD players, speakers, by brands including Sumiko, Denon, Technics, Sony, Yamaha, Proceed, Celestion, Klipsch, Mirage, Vienna. The Vienna speakers are great.


    515 S. Palm Avenue, Suite #3, Alhambra, CA, (626)289-3738


    2504 Spring Terrace, Upland, CA 91784 (909)931-9686
    BASIS Turntables, Rega Turntables, Sunfire, Manley electronics, Sonic Frontiers, Audible Illusions, Marantz tube amps, and Pioneer Elite LD/DVD players.


    West LA Music
    (search for a location near you at their site)
    They sell pro cassette decks which would be perfect for your home made by Tascam, Sony, & Marantz. They sell the best cassette decks Tascam makes. They sell DJ turntables by Tascam. I want you to notice how the pro-audio equipment is much more technologically sophisticated than the "audiophile" electronics, and the prices are much lower. Notice how in their pro-audio environment, they do not sell the audiophile "tweaks" paraphernalia. Email them for a catalog.


    10301 Lower Azusa Rd., Temple City, CA 91780, (626)401-1111
    Eve Chuang and the friendly staff here caters to Chinese speaking customers


    Video & Audio Center
    Just One Touch Video & Audio Center
    1426 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310)451-6200
    1411 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310)899-2929
    4401 Redondo Beach Blvd, Lawndale, CA 90260, (310)214-0081
    this is the #1 high end Sony dealer in the USA! this place sells the top of the line Sony ES stereo equipment at low prices. They sell all the top of the line Sony flat screen tvs and video equipment. They have the best selection of hi-grade blank videotapes. They also sell one of the best Sony tape decks, the Sony TC-WA9ES along with tape decks by Denon and Onkyo. They sell a few remaining Carver electronics too. They also sell a pretty good selection of other speakers by Klipsh, Kef, JBL, and others. They are the only store that sells Sony Betamax players and videotapes. "Just One Touch Video & Audio Center" is across the street from their Santa Monica store and it is a showroom for expensive McIntosh, Lexicon, Revel, products. The receptionist at "Just One Touch" is a beautiful fashion model.


    9282 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683 (714)893-5256
    Vietnamese/Chinese owned TV, Big Screen, HiFi, Home Theater demo, closeout and clearance dealer. Larry Pham has been there 14 years selling refurbished and closeout brands such as B&W, Adcom, Carver, Nakamichi, Pioneer Elite, Dahlquist, MB Quart and others. He gave me a few ok deals on hifi. He has a few demos made out of clear plastic.


    Wilshire Home Entertainment
    1412 N Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360, (805)497-7536
    sells brands such as B&W, Boston Acoustics, Infinity, Krell, M&K, Niles, Pioneer Elite, Parasound, Sony ES, Yamaha, Technics, Velodyne. They specialize in custom installation products and accessories. Very nice looking store.


    Wilson Home Theater
    6222 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91367, (818) 716-9283
    Randy Wilson sells brands such as Bryston, Faroudja, Pioneer Elite, Revox, Runco, PSB. They specialize in custom installation products and accessories. Very nice looking store.


    Visual Sound
    841 E Whittier Blvd., Suite C, La Habra, CA 90631, (562)691-HIFI (4434)
    Randy Wilson sells brands such as Bryston, Faroudja, Pioneer Elite, Revox, Runco, PSB. They specialize in custom installation products and accessories. Very nice looking store.


    Yawa Audio
    5418 Schaefer Ave, Chino, CA 91710, (909)591-5800
    Bill Chiu sells brands such as AR, Atlantic Technology, PSB, Klipsch, NHT, PSB, NAD, McIntosh, Sony. They specialize in custom installation products and accessories. Very nice looking store that sells hifi, home theater, and fine furniture.


    Yoko Laser Inc., , Laker Laser Electronic
    18009 Norwalk Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701, (562)246-6900
    Laserdics/DVDs are much better than videotapes and this place has a huge selection to choose from. They also sell DVDs, and the great Pioneer Laserdisc/DVD players, karaoke equipment, microphones, huge selection of karaoke Laserdiscs and DVDs in English and Korean and other Asian languages, and speakers by Tannoy, JBL.


    Zap Audio Video
    2009 W Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833, (714)526-2154
    Haven't been here since remodeling, will report on it soon, sells KEF.


    I haven't been to all of these and I don't like to go to the ones where the dealer sells out of their private residence. Check these out and form your own conclusions.


    A Brown Soun
    23 Joseph Court, San Rafael, CA 94903 - (415) 479-2124
    speaker repairs


    Absolute Sounds UK
    UK! I'm mentioning this here because this dealer seems to dominate every European and UK hifi show with the biggest displays of the most expensive equipment. They specialize in the best and most famous European turntables. They are the European equivalent of the internationally famous Japanese dealership Dynamic Audio.


    Absolute Sounds Germany
    Germany! I'm mentioning this here because this dealer seems to dominate every European and UK hifi show with the biggest displays of the most expensive equipment. They specialize in the best and most famous European turntables. They are the European equivalent of the internationally famous Japanese dealership Dynamic Audio.


    Absolute Sound Singapore
    Singapore! very expensive products, see website.


    Angela Instruments
    internet used hi-fi dealer, mostly parts and kits


    Audio Cubes
    Audio Cubes 2
    imports hifi equipment from Japan


    Audio Encounters
    Dublin, Ohio


    Audio Federation
    Boulder, CO


    Audio Limits
    Colorado Springs, CO


    Audio Insider
    Reno, NV
    sells expensive speakers by Swans.


    Audio Odyssey
    New Jersey's biggest hi-fi dealer, great selection of tube amps, turntables, and biggest dealer of tuners by Magnum Dynalab


    Audio Unlimited
    3205 E Colorado Ave, Denver, CO 80210, (303)691-3407
    2343 W Yale Ave, Englewood, CO 80110, (303)691-3407
    Hundreds of miles from Los Angeles is this dealer which sells some of the most hideously expensive equipment imported from Japan, Germany, and Switzerland. Use them to get price quotes, then comparison shop and price match with dealers in Los Angeles so you can get a lower price. Or you can fly there and give owner John R. Barnes tens of thousands of dollars to set you up with the awesome system they had on at the LA HiFi Show '98.


    Audio Video Logic
    3900 Annapolis Lane North, Plymouth, Minnesota 55447
    internet dealer


    27 West 24th Street, Suite 502 in Manhattan, New York City, (212)229-1842
    High end German made electronics at very high prices. Avantgarde-Acoustic review.


    Bradley Broadcast
    7313-G Grove Road, Frederick, MD 21704-7215
    pro-audio dealer, sells monitors, amps, headphones, and lots of clearance items.


    Chips Unlimited
    317 E Main St, Patchogue, NY 11772, (516)475-6426, (888)234-6426
    recommended by Harman Executive Joe Chinnici as being a dealer that sell you imported Harman brand speakers (Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL) from Europe. Joe recommends calling them up and asking for Dan.


    Deja Vu Audio Ltd.
    1361 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, Virginia 22101
    hi-fi retailer located in McLean, Northern Virginia. They carry a variety of high-end audio components from all over the world.


    Dynamic Audio
    Japan!, in Akihabara with their 3rd & 4th floors stuffed with ultra-hi-end-expensive hifi and salesman Shima San, they are probably the most famous hifi dealership in the world. This is where all the prototypes of all the Japanese companies are first demonstrated and sold. The often sell one-offs prototypes and many products never listed in their maker companies' catalogs or websites. They sell all the best "Japan-only" products. You've got to check out all the pictures of hi-priced hi-fi.


    HiFi Components Bernhard Vehns Germany
    Germany! Check out their site for lots of great made in USA-but-sold-only-in-Germany products espcially incredible speakers by JBL, Infinity, Sony.


    HiFi Dealers in the UK


    High End Audio
    Simsbury, CT
    see website for expensive imported hifi equipment.


    Hollywood Sound
    hi-fi dealer in Hollywood, Florida, lots of tubes, turntables, and electrostatic speakers


    K S Sonsgoup


    Lefflers HiFi & Hembio


    Legacy Audio
    3023 E Sangamon Ave, Springfield, IL 62702, (217)544-3178
    THE BEST SPEAKERS!!! they sell one of the best speakers in the world, The Whisper, and the best recording studio monitors. Considering how expensive these speakers are, you might consider bringing your own components such as a CD player, tape deck, amplifier, preamp, so you can hear what these speakers would sound like with what you already have. Bring a stack of your favorite CDs, and listen as long as you want.


    Lyric USA
    New York's biggest hi-fi dealer. Michael Kakadelis, owner, is famous for importing very expensive hifi from Europe first. They sell turntables by Clearaudio, Forsell, Rega, VPI, and others. picture


    LP Gear
    173 Aladdin St, Manchester, NH 03104
    turntable belts, cartridges, needles, phono accessories, AMC tube electronics


    Metropolis-Music UK
    UK! UK Distributor for various brands
    turntables, tubes


    Moon Audio or HigherFi Inc.
    Prior Lake, MN


    Music Lovers Audio
    Berkeley, CA, San Francisco, CA
    turntables, tubes


    NAT Distribution
    Bensalem, PA
    importer of Chinese hifi


    Ong Radio Singapore
    Singapore! very expensive products, "aims to become your preferred choice for an Affluent Audio and Lifestyle System Specialist", see website.


    Origin Live
    UK! dealer sells British turntables, tonearms, cartridges, record cleaning equipment, and other hifi equipment. They sell their own wooden Origin Live turntable kits.


    Red Rose Music
    New York City, Mark Levinson has started up his own company selling electronics and speakers out of the Whitney Museum. Mark Levinson was the first person to sell hifi equipment at very high prices. review, review. Mark Levinson OEM's Chinese made hifi equipment by Korsun and sells them at very high prices under his brand. Look at his photo of his $2,000 "Rosette 1 Integrated Amplifier", the rose obscures the logo of another brand, the Chinese made "Korsun U2" which sells for under $200. Email Korsun and ask them to sell their products at hifi dealers that are close to you.


    Response Audio
    Endicott, NY
    Bill & Leann Baker sell hifi


    Sanibel Sound
    Hardy, VA
    distributor of high-end audio equipment, see website for dealer locations. Piega, Aloia, AVM Electronics, Copulare Audio Stands, Fisch


    Savant Audio & Video, Inc.
    PO Box 7454, Princeton, NJ 08543-7454, (609)799-9664
    Joshua Cintron, President, has been running this full service store (not just an internet store), providing the largest selection of high end gear of any store in the U.S., and has been in business since 1968. They sell many used components and accessories including Aiwa cassette decks


    Columbus, IN 47202
    Sekei (pronounced "see kay") is a wholesale company providing the finest high-end audio and video products. It would surprise most audiophiles to learn how much of the quality products they have heard, or heard about, is made in China. Up until recently, Chinese audio has been almost unanimously centered on OEM sales to other companies around the world. It has only been recently that Chinese audio companies have begun their own lines of world-class products for sale in other countries.


    Sensuous Sounds Systems
    4216 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, Fl 33617, (813) 988-7059
    this Florida based dealer is world famous for their very expensive car stereo installation and home theaters. Their 20,000 sq. ft. facility next to Busch Gardens allows you to fully see and hear all the latest technology, including home automation and lighting. They are also one of the largest independent CD stores in the nation with all CDs $10.99 always.


    Sydney, Australia
    Murali Murugasu sells hifi by Burmester, GamuT, Keith Monks and many others.


    Sony Electronics QUALIA
    New York City, New York
    Sony's electronics boutique, Sony Electronics QUALIA.


    Sound By Singer
    New York's other biggest hi-fi dealer. They sell Accuphase electronics, DCS upsamplers, and other hi-end brands.


    Willow Grove, PA
    Albert Santerian has a nice looking store.


    StoneAudio UK
    UK! dealer sells British speakers, turntables, and other hifi equipment.


    Take Five Audio
    Canada! very expensive products, see website.


    Tweak Shop
    Santa Rosa, CA 95403


    Twin Audio Video
    Colton, CA




    Ultimate Electronics
    chain dealer


    Italy!, the most expensive hifi electronics in the world are sold here including the Otello. The richest Italians shop here.


    Uptown Audio
    Roanoke, VA


    internet dealer sells speakers by JMLab, Mirage, Canton, JBL, Infinity at good prices


    Acoustic Dreams
    distributor of imported hifi


    internet dealer has good prices on speakers by Inifinity, Jamo, Kef, Acoustic Research, MB Quart. Since some brands won't let dealers advertise them on the internet, they sell Harman Kardon and other brands as "famous name brands." Great prices on Pioneer Elite.


    Acoustic Sounds
    hifi and music


    Yes, the world's biggest internet bookseller, record store, and video store is now going into internet hifi.


    American Musical Supply
    sells DJ equipment turntables and they also sell the great cassettte deck, Tascam's 112R MKII Auto Reverse Deck.


    Analog Room
    1416 Fruitdale Ave, San Jose CA 95128, (408)971-6158
    Lots of analogue hifi equipment.


    Antique Radios That Work
    restored by Bob Holmberg.


    Archival Suppliers
    sells equipment for the storage of cassettes, CDs, vinyl records - LPs & 45s, and magnetic media.


    Audio Advisor
    4649 Danvers Dr. SE, Kentwood, MI 49512
    This internet mail order hi-fi store sells record cleaners, VPI turntables, and accessories. picture


    Audio Classics
    3501 Old Vestal Road, Vestal, NY 13850 (607)766-3501
    This internet mail order hi-fi store sells the items listed at their website with great prices on used McIntosh. Lots of pictures.


    Audio Electronic Supply
    internet dealer of kits, parts, tubes


    Audio Video Logic
    internet dealer


    Audio Xpress
    internet dealer, kits and parts, tube oriented


    AudioLab Stereo & Video Center
    Fairless Hills PA
    This internet mail order hi-fi store sells the items listed at their website


    18 Stern Street, PO Box 7003, Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-7003 (949)363-6894
    check out their site to see what they sell, use them to get an idea of product price ranges for comparison shopping


    Audio Note Singapore
    Singapore internet hi-fi dealer


    AudioWeb's Dealers
    wide range of brands and products, website hosts dealers: AC Audio, Accessories 4 Less, Audio Odyssey, Audio Tweakers, Inc., AudioNut.com, AudioWeb Selects, CJ's AudioVideo, Classic Valves, Crane Home Theater, eAudioNet, Fuchs Audio Technology, Galen Carol Audio, Granite Audio, Inwall Audio/Video, LaserBase Audio & Video, Michael Green Designs, Ohm Acoustics, Corp, Outer Limits Car Audio, The Audible Difference


    368 South McCaslin Blvd, Suite 189, Louisville CO 80027, (303)543-7500
    This internet mail order hi-fi store sells electronics by Perpetual Technologies and speakers by Rocket Loudspeakers


    Bertrand Audio Imports
    Jay C. Bertrand imports weird looking hifi from around the world such as Dared, Coph Nia, ZYX, Xindak, Ming-Da


    Code Free DVD
    UK, Laserdics/DVDs are much better than videotapes and this place has a huge selection to choose from. This UK dealer sells Laserdisc/DVD players they've modified to allow you to play DVD movies from all regions. Their custom chipping process works 100%, giving you the freedom to watch any DVD movie from anywhere. They also sell code-free DVD players such as the Pioneer DVL-909, Pioneer DVL-91. They ship internationally.


    This internet mail order hi-fi store sells SONY ES and consumer grade products, email them to ask them to sell Sony's "Japan Only" products


    internet comparison shopping


    Internet online auction house, items used from individuals.
    I recommend buying from somebody who has advertised on eBay only if the seller is within driving distance from your house so you can see and test the item before you buy it. Online auctions are full of frauds and rip-offs. Please see the entry listed below for "rec.audio.marketplace" for commentary on online auctions.


    Elusive Disc
    internet dealer sells turntables by Basis, Sumiko, VPI and phono preamps by Creek and vinyl records


    Flat Earth Audio
    98 Main St, Seymour, CT 06483, (203) 888-3759


    FS Audio Web.com
    Frank Stuppel, internet dealer sells expensive brands, many obscure tube amps. Lots of nice photos.


    Columbia City, IN
    internet analog hi-fi dealer


    Happy Medium
    They sell the best cassette decks by Nakamichi, Sony, NAD


    Harman Audio Outlet
    2000 Outlet Center Dr #190, Oxnard, CA 93030, (805)981-3800, (800)981-3810
    You can buy direct from Harman products by their brands such as: Harman Kardon, Infinity Speakers, JBL, and others. Annoyingly high prices for an outlet store.


    Harvey Online
    This internet mail order hi-fi store sells the items listed at their website at great prices. Lots of pictures.


    Chico, CA
    check out their site to see what they sell, use them to get an idea of product price ranges for comparison shopping


    mail order headphones for home and portables, sells Sennheiser and their own amps


    new high-end dealer of speakers by Jean Marie Reynaud, Gershman Acoustics, Wilson-Benesch, Piega, Atlantis, Talon, turntable equipment by Kuzma, Wilson-Benesch, Blue Circle, Cardas, Nitty Gritty


    sells lot of British hifi by Kef, Celestion and some expensive hifi and home theater, and turntables


    HiFi For Sale's Audiophile Candy
    British hifi dealer that sells hifi accessories




    Nutwood Music
    British hifi dealer that sells hifi vinyl accessories


    IAG America
    4649 Danvers Dr. SE, Kentwood, MI 49512
    International Audio Group. This internet mail order hi-fi store sells IAG's own brands including Wharfedale, Quad and Wharfedale Pro and is one of the largest manufacturers of audio equipment in the world.


    Interstate Music Supply
    PO Box 510865, 13819 W National Ave, New Berlin, WI 53151
    this internet store is as close as your web browser. They sell pro cassette decks which would be perfect for your home made by Tascam, Sony, & Marantz. I want you to notice how the pro-audio equipment is much more technologically sophisticated than the "audiophile" electronics, and the prices are much lower. Email them for a catalog.


    IQ Shopping
    internet comparison shopping




    J&R Music World
    mail order store based in New York has pretty good prices, you can use this place when you go shopping by taking advantage of your local store's "price matching" policies; you can then buy things at lower prices locally. They sell the great TEAC V-8030S tape deck, vacuum tube CD players, preamps, and amps by Dynaco, and great speakers such as the Infinity SM155, Infinity Kappa 8.1 and JBL4312.1. They also sell an assortment of consumer grade vinyl turntables and cartridges, and the best consumer headphones by Koss and Pioneer.


    Melting Pot
    Japan, They export Sony's "Japan only" products such as DVD and CD players, and Sony's best cassette decks. They sell "Japan only" car stereos.


    my Simon
    internet comparison shopping


    internet used hi-fi dealer


    Laser Exchange
    20 Locust St, Danvers, MA 01923, (978)774-1004
    sells Code Free DVD players by Pioneer, Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic


    Music Direct
    318 North Laflin Street, Chicago, IL 60607
    internet analog hi-fi dealer


    Needle Doctor
    internet analog hi-fi dealer


    internet comparison shopping, good prices on NHT, Acoustic Research, Jamo, Sony ES, KEF, NAD, Denon, Harman Kardon, Teac, Marantz, Inkel, Pioneer LD/DVD players, and many more


    421 W Main ST, Spokane, WA 99201, (800)340-4770
    Store that also sells on the internet. Good prices on a huge selection of name brands ranging from consumer grade to expensive high end, cassette decks by Harman Kardon, JVC, Kenwood, Pioneer, Sony, Yamaha, turntables by Technics, speakers by Acoustic Research, Atlantic Technology, Boston Acoustics, JBL, KEF, NHT, Niles, Phase Technology, Pioneer, Sound Dynamics, Velodyne, Technics, Yamaha, pre-amps and amps by Adcom, ATI, Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Sunfire, Marantz, Niles, Outlaw, Sony, and many other components by these brands, check website for info.


    Parts Connexion


    Pioneer Direct
    Pioneer Electronics sells many of their products direct on the internet such as their great DVL-909 DVD/LD Players


    sells consumer grade products mini hifi systems and Teac mini components


    Pro Sound Stage & Lighting
    sells DJ equipment turntables and calibration equipment such as the American DJ DB Display Meter and Numark's Beatkeeper 2. They also sell the cassettte deck Tascam 112R MKII Auto Reverse Deck.


    Record Finders
    internet used hi-fi dealer


    Internet newsgroup, items used from individuals.
    I recommend buying from somebody who has advertised on internet newsgroups only if the seller is within driving distance from your house so you can see and test the item before you buy it. Online ads are full of frauds and rip-offs. Brian L. McCarty has been harrassing would-be rip-off scammers on the internet newsgroups who've been trying to pass off used items as new, trying to lure people in sending money to foreign countries (where it would to totally illogical for a foreign country to even have items that operate with US power specifications), and scammers who've been trying to sell psuedo-science items. He has annoyed many unscrupulous sellers on the internet newsgroups with his posts that quote blue book values for the used items and dubunk the junk items. I am amazed at his tenacity. Here are a few rules to keep in mind:
    • USED - unless the seller is a dealer, the item is used, not "pre-owned", but used; used items have no warranty; many sellers advertise their used items as being new, this is fraud
    • FOREIGN - many foreign auctions are frauds, never send money to a seller in a foreign country, never give out your credit card to a seller in a foreign country
    • BLUE BOOK VALUE - is the real value of an item if the seller wanted to trade in the item to a dealer; like it or not, that is what the item is really worth; hifi depreciates just like everything else; anybody trying to sell items for over blue book value is ripping people off
    • JUNK - psuedo-science items are overpriced junk


    Recycled Audio
    internet used hi-fi dealer


    Classified ads, used from individuals.


    Second Beat Singapore
    Singapore internet hi-fi dealer, STD turntables, speakers by ATC, Audio Artistry, Audio Note, Audio Vector, Avalon, B&W, LAdagio, Quintessence, Roksan, Unity Audio, Avance


    6 Moons
    internet hi-fi distributor


    SMART Devices
    sells Loricraft LP Cleaner made in the UK and their own amps and processors, ELP Laser Turntables.


    Speaker Shop
    internet new and used hi-fi dealer


    Sony Style Outlet
    Sony decided to cut out it's dealers and compete against them by selling direct, they sell most of their products including their expensive ES products and all their turntables - search for word "turntables".


    Sound City
    45 Indian Lane East, Towaco, NJ 07082 (973)263-6060
    This internet mail order hi-fi store sells consumer grade turntables, DVD players, and accessories.


    Sound Distributors
    904 Matagorda Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89128 (702)254-4367
    This internet mail order hi-fi store sells higher end consumer grade products, check site for more info


    Sound Seller
    Marinette, Wisconsin
    This internet mail order hi-fi store sells consumer grade turntables, DVD players, and accessories.


    Stereo Factory Outlet
    used hifi, closeouts, new-old-stocks, lots of name brand products that sell for about half retail price.


    sells pro-audio, home theater, and Tascam tape decks




    Internet online auction house, closeouts, refurbished, new-old-stocks, not used by individuals, lots of name brand products that sell for about half retail price. This is actually one of my favorite websites, but there are "funny" things about the auctions here. Speakers are sold in pairs, but they only list this price of 1 speaker when the real price is double. Theoretically each auction is supposed to start at a minimum bid of $9 and is supposed to escellate gradually with different users' competing bids. But what happens is that when they start to auction off a new "lot" of items, some mysterious users immediately bid on ALL the items in the lot a little below the MEDIAN (average) price those items reached in previous auctions. After that mysterious user bids, everyone else that bids aferwards must start bidding above that MEDIAN price. Even if there are say for example 80 CD players, all 80 of them will be bid on by one user at the MEDIAN price. Eventually other users who bid surpass that MEDIAN price and the orginal bidder who initially raised the auction price to that height, doesn't seem to bid again. For someone competing in an auction, it makes absolutely no logical sense to bid immediately at the MEDIAN price, unless you were trying to start the action at your break-even reserve price, thereby ensuring that you will make a profit. Real people in real auctions hold back on bidding anything until the very last minute to ensure that they get the lowest price possible. Real auctions don't get lots of bidding until minutes before closing. Then sometimes when you bid on an unpopular item and you think you've won it because there are no other competing bidders, the website extends the deadline for 10 more hours or even another day. Just when you think you've won the item at a good price, they extend the auction closing time and mysterious users bid and raise the price to the MEDIAN price and stop bidding. Then more people will bid on it and drive your cost for that item higher. I've had that happen to me a couple of times where I think I've won an item at a low price, and the auction stays open over the deadline and then gets extended another day. Obviously uBid.com is aiming to sell their items above certain reserve prices, but these "funny" patterns and mysterious bidders (who never seem to actually buy anything, but just bid to drive up the price) make uBid.com suspect. I can't accuse them of anything nor prove anything but when you've seen enough "funny" things, you get what is really going on. I wish they'd be more honest and simply stop fooling users into thinking that the "Starting Bid" is $9 and start at their real break even point. The shipping charges are suspiciously much higher than the normal rates for the couriers they use. Ever since they started using ridiculously high reserve prices for used and refurbished items, I haven't bothered to revisist this website. Let them know what you think of them on their "feedback" form. For the first year, this site was an amazing bargain, now it's too "funny" peculiar.


    The Stereo Trading Outlet
    internet used hi-fi dealer, "B" stock, refurbished, good prices if you don't mind the scratches


    internet hi-fi dealer sells amps, phono preamps, and LPs. Part of Classic Records


    Yahoo Electronics
    Yahoo, the internet search engine, has an online store which lists the inventories of internet based dealers and local dealers. Enter your zip code and you can shop for items sold at dealers local to you.


    Yawa Audio Online
    376 Lemon Creek Dr, Suite H, Walnut, CA 91789, (909)468-2221
    sells brands such as AR, Atlantic Technology, PSB, Klipsch, NHT, PSB, NAD, McIntosh, Sony.. Good prices on closeouts, refurbished items, and demos.


    internet used hi-fi dealer


    pro-audio equipment

    Links to Various Brands mentioned above: AudioLinks

    Note: I am editing the rant below.

    The biggest problems with AUTO-AUDIOPHILE electronics are the lack of calibration and lack of compatibility between different manufacturers' components. Random thoughts on car stereos and my description of the ideal car stereos, which do not currently exist:


    • It would be great if all car manufacturers would sell as options to their cars these units with the only OEM modifications being externalizing the amplifier sections (putting the amplifiers in the trunks), color matching for each car's scheme, and a calibration feature: ECLIPSE 7301, Pioneer FH-P4200MP, Pioneer FH-P5000MP, Panasonic CQ-VX2000U, JVC KW-XC400, JVC KW-XC410, JVC KW-XC777, Sanyo FXCD-1100, Sanyo FXCD-500, Kenwood DPX-6020, Kenwood DPX-MP4030, Pyle PLCDCS90, Pyle PLCDCS100, Pyle PLDCS400, or Sony WX-4500X. These units would be better options than any crappy OEM car stereos. It would be great if all car manufacturers sold their car stereos with off-the-shelf aftermarket speakers instead of proprietary speakers.
    • RESEARCH: You might want to read car stereo magazines to familiarize yourself with the brand names and buzzwords. If you're serious about your car audio, you must have sound proofing to reduce road noise. Dynamat makes the best auto sound proofing and it's application can been seen in the best car stereo systems in the world. I've listed a few other sound damping products. I highly recommend getting someone experienced who knows what they're doing to do any soundproof work. Without adequate sound proofing, you're just wasting your money on everything else. Before buying anything, try to read as much as you can about aftermarket components. 'Car Audio Magazine' has measurement criteria such as RTA, SPL, Sound Quality, Value, etc.,
    • CALIBRATION: As soon as you change a component in you car stereo, it never really sounds "right" anymore. One of the biggest problems with installing an aftermarket car stereo is that the aftermarket stereo does not have correct equalization and calibration for your car's interior. Aftermarket stereos might sound loud but not sound stereophonic. It is annoying that sometimes the crappy factory stereo can sound better than an expensive aftermarket system because at least the crappy factory stereo has been calibrated to the car's interior. All car stereos ought to have a input plug in the front you can use to calibrate your system by plugging in a microphone and running a series of tests. All car stereo head units ought to have a microphone input so you can plug a microphone into it, place that microphone where you head is in your driving position, and allow you calibrate your system. Many home theater receivers have such calibration options. Car stereos should have calibration which applies the latest and most advanced architectural acoustic science to the automobile interior - calculating the sound field, sound image, and sound quality, and digitally adjusting the audio signals automatically. That same plug could be used for connecting external devices such as portable MP3 players, cell phones, and portable satellite receivers. The Alpine PXA-H900 was the ultimate in calibration. Bose, the notorious maker of crappy proprietary home stereos has actually developed a method of calibration that ought to be used by other manufacturers. Bose's ADAPTiQ audio calibration system is a great concept. Such calibration systems should be standard on all preamps and car stereo head units. Email your favorite manufacturers to demand they start using such a calibration system. Only Clarion sells head units with Digital Time Alignment for each line level output. Tuning the car stereo for the best imaging, staging, and clarity are the biggest problems for car stereos.
    • STANDARDIZATION: All factory car stereos ought to be compatible with aftermarket components. Bose makes their OEM car stereos proprietary so you cannot repair individual components; you must either go back to the dealer to buy replacements or replace the Bose system entirely with an aftermarket system. Other manufacturers install their own proprietary systems. This is wrong.
    • All auto manufacturers should make it easy to replace the factory speakers and amps with aftermarket components. Most auto manufacturers make replacing their crappy components a very tedious process that require entire sections of the car like the doors, dashboards, seats, etc., must be dismantled to get to the speakers and amps. All auto manufacturers should have their speakers mounted behind easily disassembled speaker grill areas around the speakers to access them. All auto manufacturers should have standard sized speaker mounts that are deep enough to acomodate aftermarket speakers. All auto manufacturers also ought to make their speaker covers more acoustically transparent, preferably made from cloth.
    • INTERCHANGEABILITY: It would be nice if you could interchangeably replace the factory stereo and easily add aftermarket components to your factory stereo and still get a stereophonic sound image in your driver's seat. If all car stereos, factor OEM and aftermarket, connected to the car via a Firewire cable with plug and play operability, it would be a lot easier for everybody. AUTO-AUDIOPHILE installation results vary with installer. Read the article below "How to Buy Car Audio" because car stereo installation is usually a nightmare. Factory car stereos are ridiculously overpriced. Honda, Toyota and others are charging around $800+ for optional dealer installed CD changers - ripoffs!. Pacific Accessory Corporation is making adaptors so you connect aftermarket amps and peripherals to factory car stereos.


    • Car auto manufacturers should all adopt a standard connection so you can easily plug and unplug your factory and aftermarket car stereo into the car. Firewire connections would be perfect. All manufacturers for aftermarket stereos ought to have a standard control interface for controlling the aftermarket stereos with the factory computers (that are being built into more new cars). Car companies that tie in their car stereos with multiple functions make it harder for customers to remove their crappy factory stereos. Car companies that use odd sized non-standard car stereos make it difficult for their customers to replace the junky factory radios with audiophile stereos.
    • All car stereos should have standardized connections for plug-n-play compatibility with all other car stereo aftermarket components. All manufacturers should have digital cable connections like USB or Firewire for connecting the head unit to external CD changers, hard drives, and sattelite receivers. Some aftermarket CD changers connect to the head unit via some FM frequency; this is a stupid way to design things. The car stereo manufacturers ought to agree on one standard for connecting CD changers and head unit controllers. That way you could easily "plug and play" components like CD changers, MD changers, MP3 hard drives, satellite radio receivers, cell phones, etc., into your head units.
    • INSTALLATION: I was trying to persuade Longo Toyota, who has a great parts and service center which does body shop work on all kinds of expensive cars, to sell sound proofing materials and installation services, but they said there was not enough demand for it. Please email and call them to persuade them to sell this because they have an excellent body shop staff who do great professional work on luxury cars.
    • SLOTS: Car manufacturers ought to design all their cars with 3-DIN slots reserved for car stereos. 2-DIN slots are for the car stereo, the 3rd DIN for storage or for another component. All manufacturers should use the standard DIN size for their OEM stereos so that customers can easily replace the crappy factory stereos with better aftermarket stereos. The car stereo ought to be low in the dash, not on top where it will be "cooked" by the sun. Car auto manufacturers should all use Iso-Mounts as used in Japanese cars. Iso-Mounts are standard brackets to install factory or aftermarket car stereos. These make replacement of car stereo easier.
    • Car manufacturers ought to have as standard on all their cars a 2-DIN head unit that includes CD and cassette with with options to control external components like CD changers, satellite radio, and gps. External components ought to connect to the head unit via USB or Firewire connections for plug and play operability. All head units ought to have an input plug on the head unit face for connecting a portable MP3 player. Car manufacturers ought to OEM head units like the Pioneer FH-P5000MP, JVC KW-XC400, JVC KW-XC410, JVC KW-XC777, Eclipse 7301, Kenwood DPX-6020, or Sanyo FXCD-1100, and only modify them by matching their color schemes and calibrating the speaker delays and EQs to the interiors for each car. I wouldn't mind at all if they didn't match the interior color scheme and the car stereo looked like an aftermarket unit. Car manufacturers could designate the OEM car stereo with letters added to the name (example, the Pioneer FH-P5000MP for a Toyota would become the Pioneer FH-P5000MP-TOY). All functionality would be the same for the OEM model and aftermarket model. If any of these units broke after the warranty expired, you could have them serviced at their respective manufacturer's service centers. When a factory car stereo breaks after the warranty has expired, you can't fix it, it must be replaced.
    • If car manufacturers don't want to improve their crappy factory stereos, they ought to just reserve at least 2-DIN slots in the dashboard, have a cheapo AM/FM radio wired to 4 speakers, and have it as a given the customer will eventually replace the crappy factory OEM stereo with an aftermarket stereo and better speakers. Some corporate customers and rental fleets may not wish to upgrade the stereos so the cheapo AM/FM radio would satisfy them.
    • There should be a closeable cover lid so you can hide your car stereo from prying would-be thieves. You shouldn't have to hassle with removable face units or have your stereo "cooked" in the sun. Toyota Lexus is the only manufacturer that has closeable lids for their stereos. This is such an obvious idea, I don't understand why all car manufacturers haven't been doing this already.
    • Factory stereos should only function only as stereos, not as climate controls for the heater, defroster, mileage computer, etc., All displays and controls for the car stereo should be on the head unit, not tied to steering wheel or anything else. Factory car stereos that are integrated into the car's controls are difficult to replace. Eventually the car stereo breaks and there are no parts available to fix it. If the car stereo is kept seperate from all other car functions, replacing it will not be a problem.
    • AMPLIFIERS: Car stereo amplifiers should always be external to the head units. All manufacturers should have pre-out jacks for connecting the factory stereo head unit to an external amplifier. All car stereo head units, even the best ones, are underpowered - they may have high watts, but have low current. Even the most high powered head units are too weak to drive car stereo speakers enough to be heard over freeway noise. Car stereo amplifiers should be located in the trunk where the factory car amp can be easily replaced with better aftermarket amplifiers. You could then easily replace the crappy 4-channel factory car amp with 2 stereo amps and a subwoofer amp.
    • Car manufacturers ought to have all their car stereos available for all their models. Car manufacturers wouldn't have to redesign car stereos every time they come out with a new model. Customers who've spent a lot on an aftermarket car stereo could easily migrate their systems from one car to the next. Car dealers could sell their cars with different combinations of factory stereos or with aftermarket car stereos the dealers would sell in their parts and service shops. Going back to my example above, let's say Toyota sold an OEM version of the Pioneer FH-P5000MP. That unit could be an option for all Toyota cars if Toyota had 2-DIN slots available on all their cars and had an option to calibrate their OEM'd version to each cars' interior.
    • On the main head unit, there ought to be an input plug in the front for connecting a portable MP3 player or even a cell phone. Only a few JVC stereos have such input plugs.
    • All car stereo tuners should display RDDS radio text and CD-TEXT.
    • CD/DVD DIGIAL PLAYBCK: All car stereo CD players should have a 2 minute pre-cache buffer so that your CD player won't skip when you drive over a bumpy road. CD changers should have a 2 minute pre-cache buffer so you wouldn't have to listen to a delay while the discs are exchanged. All CD/DVD players should be able to play MP3, Windows Media files, etc., discs.
    • All auto manufacturers should stop placing speakers on car doors where they produce poor stereo imaging and instead place all front speakers (speakers in the driver's section) in kick panel enclosures such as those made by Q-Logic. Q-Logic kick panels put more distance between your ears and your speakers, making the left and right sound sources as close to equidistant as you're going to get in a car. With component speakers in kick panel enclosures, you could finally enjoy "sweet-spot" stereo imaging in the driver's seat. Usually when people use kick panels for tweeter and midrange, they use the door speaker slots for door-mounted mid-bass speakers.
    • GPS: GPS navigation systems with DVD maps provide nice displays and maps. Some are even touch screen controllers for the car's computers. I used to think that having built in GPS navigation systems with DVD maps was a great idea. That was until I found out that the auto manufacturers were not updating their maps for their customers. You could spend a lot of money on a GPS navigation system only to have it orphaned, obsolete, and out of date within a few years. Unfortunately, you cannot modify the information on the DVD maps. These DVD maps are flawed in that the users are not allowed to add their own favorite locations. When you ask for a service or store or restaurant, etc., you end up being "directed/channeled" to businesses you may not want to go to. That is a insidious way of manipulating consumers - favoring certain businesses over others by listing some and not others. Ethnic minority businesses are not listed at all. For example: when you ask for the nearest restaurant, you'll be directed to McDonalds, not a neighborhood family business; when you want a coffee shop, you'll be directed to a Starbucks, not a neighborhood family business; when you need an ATM machine you'll be directed to a machine with an excessive service fee instead of a branch of your bank or credit union. That's sometimes ok when you're looking for places in unfamiliar areas, but the fact that small local neighborhood family business are excluded and you cannot add them to the directory makes DVD maps less useful. Factory GPS navigation systems are under-developed. These maps should be on removable hard disks like those in the Apple iPod device or Palm Pilot (finally a practical application for that executive toy) which can be removed from the car and modified using any computer with a USB port. Users should be able to load their GPS systems with Points of Interests (POIs) they care about, and delete those they don't care about. For example, if you're on special diet, you will only care about restaurants that sell food for that special diet. Some people may be on special diets so they need to locate restaurants that suit their needs; Kosher, vegetarian, Atkins, etc., If you only want to use certain ATMs so you won't get ripped off by other banks' ATM fees, then only your banks' ATMs should be listed on your GPS system. Each consumer should have control over the POIs listed on their GPS systems and not be manipulated by paid advertisement placements. I'm starting to recommend that people consider buying portable GPS navigation systems which are handheld devices that you could update and modify. You can buy a PalmPilot GPS system for a lot less than a factory installed GPS system.
    • NOISE CANCELLATION: Some car manufacturers are trying to compensate for road noise by integrating noise cancellation technology into their car stereos. This is a horrible idea because your ears are going to be blasted with anti-roadnoise. If the road is making 70 dbs of noise, that noise cancellation system is going to blast you with 70 dbs of anti-road noise. Imagine having 70 dbs road noise, 70 dbs anti-road noise, and your car stereo on all at the same time, that could add up to over 140 dbs of noise pounding your ears. This is probably also distorting your stereo's sound too. I predict in the future some huge class action lawsuit against a car manufacturer that claims that noise cancellation technology caused deafness. Noise cancellation is a cheap way to electronically compensate for road noise; the real solution is for car manufacturers to install a dampening products like Dynamat inside to muffle the road noise. I do not recommend buying a car with a noise cancellation technology. Mark my words, I think this is a very bad idea.

    I hope more auto manufacturers would start selling their cars with off-the-shelf aftermarket car stereo components instead of proprietary OEM stereos. The best car stereos that are factory installed are designed by Harman (JBL/Infinity/Becker/Harman Kardon/Mark Levinson) for Toyota cars. Toyota markets Lexus as a separate band in the USA while in the rest of the world, Lexus cars are sold under the Toyota brand. Toyota sells various models with a JBL Premium Sound System. Toyota Lexus are sold with options for OEM'ed Mark Levinson stereos which combine Harman Kardon head units, Mark Levinson amps, and Revel speakers. The optional "premium" car stereos in Lexus cars are probably the best factory installed car stereos of all time. Toyota Scion sells cars with optional Pioneer stereos with Bazooka subwoofers. If you have the money for a luxury car and hifi is a priority, Toyota Lexus with Mark Levinson stereos are the best. The Honda Acura luxury sedans with their Acura/Bose premium stereos also are ok, better than the many standard car stereos, but are not great. Other car manufacturers offer mediocre Bose (mushy distorted sound with rolled off highs) stereos and OEM'ed junk. Chrysler and Nissan cars have optional Infinity stereos. Chrysler's "Infinity II Spatial Imaging Sound System with 360-watt amplifier" is calibrated for good stereo imaging, but unfortunately the road noise inside Chrysler cars is so loudly intrusive, you can't hear it, much less have a conversation at freeway speeds. Worse yet, Chrysler cars have odd shaped head units so replacing them is real hassle. Bose car stereos can't be upgraded, they must be replaced entirely. My dream car is a Toyota Lexus with their audiophile options.

    Satellite radio services by Sirius and XM Radio are interesting, but why would you want to pay to listen to radio stations that have commercials? The people who are buying expensive car stereo upgrades are people who are buying them for the purpose of listening to their large music collections, not to listen to stupid commercials.

    It would be nice if a brand like Alpine would aggressively market their stereos to auto manufacturers in the same way Bose has installed their mediocre underpowered proprietary stereos in cars by Honda-Acura, Cadillac, Infiniti, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, etc., Alpine is manufactured in sweatshop factories in China as are most other consumer electronics products. An ultimate car stereo system would be one that combines all the features of Alpine's PXA-H900, TDM-7582, CHA-1214, HDA-5460, IVA-C801, NVE-N852A (read the descriptions for these products on the Alpine site to know what I mean) that uses 3-DIN spaces, has external amplifiers and speakers from their standard product line (no special proprietary stuff), and could play all disc formats. That factory stereo system does not exist. Please email your favorite auto manufacturers, especially those using crappy Bose Car Stereos and let those auto manufacturers know that you want them to install high quality stereos by companies like Alpine, Nakamichi, etc.,. Email your favorite car stereo manufacturers and let them know you'd like for them to more aggressively market their products.

    One of the best car stereos ever made was the ECLIPSE 7301. That is a 2-Din size head unit that has a cassette and a CD player and has a video screen. You can control other brands' CD changers, DVD navigation systems, and DVDs from this unit. It would've been great if all car manufacturers sold a similar type of head unit on all their cars. It would be great if all car manufacturers would sell as options to their cars these units with the only OEM modifications being externalizing the amplifier sections, color matching for each car's scheme, and a calibration feature: ECLIPSE 7301, Pioneer FH-P5000MP, Panasonic CQ-VX2000U, JVC KW-XC777, Sanyo FXCD-1100, Sanyo FXCD-500, Kenwood DPX-6020, Kenwood DPX-MP4030, Pyle PLCDCS90, Pyle PLCDCS100, Pyle PLDCS400, or Sony WX-4500X. These units would be better options than any crappy OEM car stereos.


    These are the best.
    Head Units
    GPS Units Maybe it is better to keep the GPS external from your car stereo. That way you can take your GPS from car to car and be able to update it easier. A lot of these GPS brands look identical.
    Sound Proofing
    • Car Stereo Removal Guide
    • Pacific Accessory Corporation adaptors for connecting aftermarket peripherals to factory stereos. You get full range audio signal with aftermarket amps and speakes, not a Bose specific equalized output, highpassed or lowpassed output.
    • Peripheral Electronics adaptors for connecting aftermarket peripherals to factory stereos
    • Factory Sound System Interface adaptors for connecting aftermarket peripherals to factory stereos, replace the premium factory head unit, replace the premium factory amplifier, add an amplifier to the premium factory system
    • ETF computer software for calibration
    • Technical White Papers, The Effect of Car Acoustics on Automobile Sound Systems, Level Matching for Autosound . .?or Why is my system so noisy?
    • Earl Zausmer's BMW
    • Top 10 Sound Systems in Cars Over $30,000 for 2002
    • Bose Automotive Systems seem good in theory and they have ok stereo imaging and are calibrated for the cars' interiors, and ok compensation for road noise, but they do not produce not a full range audiophile sound so they ultimately disappoint. I read that Bose car stereo are actually OEM'ed from Clarion. Bose are a hassle because when you change your car battery, you have to enter a "code" to get the stereo to work again. Read this review of Bose car stereo in an Acura NSX, this is a very expensive car, but this review explains exactly why the Bose car stereo is a disappointment under the paragraph "warts." Bose is too proprietary and is a real hassle to repair and upgrade. The Bose system is not the equal of a good aftermarket system, and it's a closed-end, proprietaty system. You can't really do much with a Bose stereo except replace everything with an aftermarket system. Unfortunately aftermarket car stereos lack some kind of calibration feature like the Bose so when people replace their factory units, they get loud clear sound, but not good stereo imaging. Bose car stereos do not play MP3, CD-R nor CD-RW discs, making them useless. Email Bose to let them know your suggestions to improve their products. It's weird how very expensive cars by Mercedes-Benz and Porsche have Bose stereos that sound like crap.
    • Alpine Made in China
    • BMW - Replacing the Factory Head Unit
    • The benefits of keeping it factory
    • Car Audio and Hifi page



    The best way to find car stereo dealers in your area is to look at websites for the manufacturers you are interested in and check their lists of dealers for dealers in your area. Look at the websites for McIntosh, Dynaudio Speakers, Nakamichi, and/or some high end brand listed above and look for their dealers. These manufacturers are very picky about the dealers that sell their products.

    You could easily go to a place like Circuit City, Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, etc., and buy aftermarket components and put them into your factory slots, but those places will probably not have the capability to "tune" your car stereo to calibrate it so that you will hear the best imaging in your seating position. "Serious" expensive car stereo installation is a process that includes sound proofing, custom speaker enslosure building, rewiring, and calibration.



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