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The majority of audio stores need to change dramatically

Imagine: you walk into a car dealer to buy a new car. You’re all set. But then the salesman starts asking countless questions about the types of asphalt you are going to explore, types of tyres, rubber compounds, paint armour with special UV coatings, radiator capacity, fuel compositions and potential injection pollution… Hmmm… It’s weird, isn’t it? Yet this is exactly what often happens within our industry. And that has to change. Rap even..

The example of the car dealer can be projected on almost every industry. Vegetable farmer, butcher, paint shop… check it out. The point is: I haven’t seen the greengrocer ask me in detail how hot the fire is on which I’m going to cook my zucchini. Or what kind I’m going to combine that left-turning, bioveganically grown tomato with. Because lettuce isn’t good enough…!

However, the unsolicited advisory committee is strongly represented in our industry. Crazy… and clumsy.

You want to combine a Rotel A14 with a Monitor Audio Silver 100? Ow… Which speaker cable would you like to use? [shy answer…] Ow…. But this combination only works if you use the right speaker cable from Audioquest. Not that quad-helix with Qed plugs you have right now… no… that really gets way too bright, giving you an edgy mid-vocal area.

And there goes the interested audio and music lover…

Why would an audio retailer be so difficult in many cases? If a client is looking for an amplifier or speaker, why is he being asked about countless things that that poor client doesn’t even know about? Cables, power, polarizing… clean power or not… Not to mention the furnishing of his or her house.

“How’s your acoustics?”… [silence and a hesitant answer…] “Reverb? Ai… yeah… that’s not good, sir. Then your system sounds a lot less good. You really need to do something about those acoustics. We have special absorbers that you can place on the first reflections.”

And there goes another interested lover

All meant well

Now it may all be well meant, but it does scare off. The problem of many specialty stores is that they want to be too precise Too good want to advise. Take the example of the car dealer. Are you waiting about questions about driving style, types of tyres and fuel filters? No. Neither do I. I just want a car. And especially no difficult questions about how and where I drive. I’m just assuming a car drives. Whether that’s city or highway… Besides, I’ll decide for myself how and where I drive… right? That should be the case in the audio world as well. A set has to play. Point… that’s what a customer assumes.

It is also dangerous to project one’s own expectations onto those of the customer. And that’s certainly recognizable, because I do that myself with friends and family. Both in the audio field and in the field of computer networks. Everything must be great.

But honestly: no family member and very few friends are waiting for that. Yeah… it’s a bit disappointing, but that’s just the way the world is…not everyone is audio and network nerd). In short: I simply have to let go of the fact that not everyone has the same expectations. Good enough for 99.99 percent of the population. Not everyone listens the same and by no means everyone sets the same priorities. For some people, music is just music. And no hobby or passion that got out of hand.


Make the store an experience. Audio must be experienced. Feel… experience. So make the shop an experience, so that everyone can experience for themselves how nice and beautiful good sound is. And if there are any questions… they’ll come by themselves.

An example

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