The bad US economy is definitely changing things in the hi-fi business.
One of these is an upswing with local stores hosting new product debuts, usually on an evening from 6 to 9 PM. This gets potential customers into the store where they can mingle with the factory people, register for a door prize, listen to some music, and munch on some goodies. Sales of audio equipment are down – like everything else these days – so this is one way to get things moving.
I attended one of these a few days ago at Magnolia Hi-Fi in Palo Alto, California, about 20 minutes from my house.
There were two new products being shown, a pair of speakers from Vienna Acoustics and some 300 watt monoblock power amplifiers from McIntosh.
Ron Cornelius, of McIntosh, demonstrated the monoblocks with a McIntosh preamplifier and a turntable. They were connected to the new Vienna Acoustics speakers.
The sound of course was fantastic, but the real enjoyment came from meeting more audiophiles who live nearby. The whole thing was really a lot of fun.
I am going to another one in Seattle next week for the debut of a Meridian projector, and one of our staff will be attending an event in Southern California for MartinLogan about the same time.
So, check with your local stores. They are likely having product debuts coming up that you will enjoy immensely. New toys, new friends, great music.