DomT

Who has bought an entire system at a dealer blind?

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Super Wammer

There has been lots of talk about blind testing and am wondering how many people practice what they preach.

I might be wrong but I am pretty sure that I am the only person here who has actually chosen a complete system at a dealer (KJ West One) completely blind to what I was listening too. I have actually tried this methodology spending real cash on the outcome. Have never repeated the methodology because it didn’t reveal anything new in terms of what I like or don’t like or my ability to differentiate between products.

Anyone else done this especially those advocating this approach? Not just a cable or one component but a whole system like I did?

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How did they organise the demo?

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Posted (edited)

I did quite a few years back...

NAD C355BEE amp, Rega Apollo CDP and MA RX6 speakers with Chord Crimson interconnects and Chord Carnival Silverscreen cable....

Sounded bloody brilliant in all honesty; the CDP was superb :) 

Told the dealer what music I listened to, gave him a ball-park figure of what I wanted to spend and he sent me this system with an agreement that if it wasn't for me, to have it sent back in 14 days....

I couldn't get to the dealers as my car at that time had been written off... So they dropped it all to my doorstep! 

It was better back then when you could call them and bend their ear or obviously go in with a handful of CDs and drink their coffee for a few hours ;) 

Edited by d_a_n1979
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Super Wammer
3 minutes ago, d_a_n1979 said:

I did quite a few years back...

NAD C355BEE amp, Rega Apollo CDP and MA RX6 speakers with Chord Crimson interconnects and Chord Carnival Silverscreen cable....

Sounded bloody brilliant in all honesty; the CDP was superb :) 

Told the dealer what music I listened to, gave him a ball-park figure of what I wanted to spend and he sent me this system with an agreement that if it wasn't for me, to have it sent back in 14 days....

I couldn't get to the dealers as my car at that time had been written off... So they dropped it all to my doorstep! 

It was better back then when you could call them and bend their ear or obviously go in with a handful of CDs and drink their coffee for a few hours ;) 

Not quite the same scenario but certainly brave of you. I should have clarified that mine was a comparative demo and I had no idea of any system changes or components. 

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10 minutes ago, DomT said:

I might be wrong but I am pretty sure that I am the only person here who has actually chosen a complete system at a dealer (KJ West One) completely blind to what I was listening too.

Not quite the same, but when the Pound tanked a number of years back, I went online and bought my entire system (amp, speakers, DAC) without ever hearing it and had it shipped from the UK to Prague.  Maybe not blind, but certainly deaf.

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Super Wammer
6 minutes ago, oldius said:

How did they organise the demo?

I was blindfolded and sat in a demo room. I told the dealer a budget for speakers amp and CDP. Based on my verbal feedback onnlistening to music he then had to make system changes for example when I said too bass light he made a change. He chose to change the amp but I had assumed that he had changed the speakers. The dealer never told me any aspect of any change. Clearly it was impossible for the dealer to be blind as otherwise the demo would not be able to proceed.

Please don’t call foul because it was not double blind as clearly the dealer had to respond to my feedback. This was better than double blind as I didn’t even know what the components were to begin with. A double blind test suggests you know the line up of items but not what you are listening to. 

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, DomT said:

I was blindfolded and sat in a demo room. I told the dealer a budget for speakers amp and CDP. Based on my verbal feedback onnlistening to music he then had to make system changes for example when I said too bass light he made a change. He chose to change the amp but I had assumed that he had changed the speakers. The dealer never told me any aspect of any change. Clearly it was impossible for the dealer to be blind as otherwise the demo would not be able to proceed.

Please don’t call foul because it was not double blind as clearly the dealer had to respond to my feedback. This was better than double blind as I didn’t even know what the components were to begin with. A double blind test suggests you know the line up of items but not what you are listening to. 

That's great! Sounds like fun.

Edited by oldius

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I did as a whole having heard bits individually so to speak does that count.  About 1989/90 Norman Audio Preston.  After a few bits of dems I bought all this.

LP12, Akito, K9,

Marantz CD94,

Cyrus 1,

Rogers LS4a speakers, VDH CS122 cabling.  

I think was about £1800.

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43 minutes ago, toms wait said:

I did as a whole having heard bits individually so to speak does that count.  About 1989/90 Norman Audio Preston.  After a few bits of dems I bought all this.

LP12, Akito, K9,

Marantz CD94,

Cyrus 1,

Rogers LS4a speakers, VDH CS122 cabling.  

I think was about £1800.

Happy/sad with the outcome?:)

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Very happy and with lottery winning number picking levels of hindsight I should have kept it.

But the LP12 arm board was made of cheese, Norman Audio lost their Linn dealership and I had to drive 200 mile round trip to get the LP12 fixed.

Now I would just fix the bugger myself and sod the warrantyB|  Still have the CD94, and the replacement for the Rogers.

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To answer the OP's question: Nope.

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57 minutes ago, toms wait said:

I did as a whole having heard bits individually so to speak does that count.  About 1989/90 Norman Audio Preston.  After a few bits of dems I bought all this.

LP12, Akito, K9,

Marantz CD94,

Cyrus 1,

Rogers LS4a speakers, VDH CS122 cabling.  

I think was about £1800.

Bloody hell; that's going back sometime :) Norman Audio; used to love looking into the shop when I was a kid in the 80s :mrgreen:

My first separates were from Sevenoaks that used to be on Lune Street; Arcam 7R amp, 7SE CDP and my AE 109s ;) Loved that shop... 

Practical Hifi on Friargate was a superb shop too

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Guessing by your name on here you were 10 when this was happening.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DomT said:

I was blindfolded and sat in a demo room. I told the dealer a budget for speakers amp and CDP. Based on my verbal feedback onnlistening to music he then had to make system changes for example when I said too bass light he made a change. He chose to change the amp but I had assumed that he had changed the speakers. The dealer never told me any aspect of any change. Clearly it was impossible for the dealer to be blind as otherwise the demo would not be able to proceed.

Please don’t call foul because it was not double blind as clearly the dealer had to respond to my feedback. This was better than double blind as I didn’t even know what the components were to begin with. A double blind test suggests you know the line up of items but not what you are listening to. 

The biggest flaw in this approach for particularly the speakers was that you weren't in your own room but still very interesting to hear that you did this. How did you find it?

Edit: I have not done any unsighted listening in a hifi shop.

Edited by MartinC

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1 hour ago, d_a_n1979 said:

I did quite a few years back...

NAD C355BEE amp, Rega Apollo CDP and MA RX6 speakers with Chord Crimson interconnects and Chord Carnival Silverscreen cable....

Sounded bloody brilliant in all honesty; the CDP was superb :) 

Told the dealer what music I listened to, gave him a ball-park figure of what I wanted to spend and he sent me this system with an agreement that if it wasn't for me, to have it sent back in 14 days....

I couldn't get to the dealers as my car at that time had been written off... So they dropped it all to my doorstep! 

It was better back then when you could call them and bend their ear or obviously go in with a handful of CDs and drink their coffee for a few hours ;) 

Similar story here.

After spending almost 3 years continuously on the road at the start of the punk era I took some time off. A friend from earlier times was just setting up his own hifi shop so I gave him a budget (quite modest, not a lot of money in punk in the early days) and he brought round this...

Dual 505, early wood plinth model, Nagaoka MP11,

Nad 3020, original not the A version,

AR 18s, again original flat front model on Linn Kan stands.

Bloody marvellous, much better than any of the much higher priced kit I had been playing with in the mid70s.

Foolishly I tried upgrading after a year or two, big mistake, that system sang!

Sorry DomT, not really what you were asking I know. In later years I was involved in a fair number of blind, level matched tests, both for magazines and manufacturers. Taught me a lot.

I have never considered using such tests to select a system for myself, far too many other factors involved.

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