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Old 11-10-2012, 07:50 PM   #1
solarrdadd solarrdadd is online now
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Default Best Buy A/V Grand Re-Opening!

the best buy in Alexandria, VA had been doing some store wide renovations for the last couple of months. i suspect that many of you are seeing renovations or changes to your bb's too. today was the grand re-opening of ours. they had a "first 300 customers" get a gift bag with a gift card valued at between $10-1000. needless to say, i got the $10 but my girlfriend was with me and gave me her $10 so i've got $20 to add to my bb stash of gift cards!

the store overall looks pretty nice; i think they did a good job. of course most important to me was the newly (completely) redone Magnolia HT area. they did a very good job with that. they have really gotten in some high end brands that they didn't have at my bb before. they now carry lots of models of B&W, Sonus Faber, McIntosh, Oppo and even a couple of DAC's too.

the new HT area is setup nicely. i was of course doing my thing to represent blu-ray.com when i was there because they had a McIntosh SACD player (and yeah, it's cost a pretty penny) and they had NO SACD discs to really show it off! funny enough, a customer there said, "do you guys sell SACD disc?" the salesman said, "no" the customer said, "but your selling the machines, isn't that kinda funny!?!" they had a cd burnt with some music on it.

the HT "theater" room was nice, they were playing the avengers and it sounded and looked great.

i want to apologize in advance, i forget to take my good digital camera and my phone wasn't taking the best pictures of it's lifetime. i did get some pictures and i hope you can make some of this out.

IMG_1266 small.jpg
martin logan speakers & mcintosh with external dac for 2 channel



IMG_1269 small.jpg
oppo 105, mcintosh pre-amp and 7 channel power amp in HT "theater" room


IMG_1272 small.jpg
3 models of sonus faber speakers



IMG_1273 small.jpg
b&w 802, mcintosh monoblocks, mcintosh pre-amp and mcintosh SACD player; notice all of the room treatment!


i wish i had taken my good camera, but, i wasn't expecting to see this gear there. i went for the free gift card (yes, i just told the truth and no, it didn't hurt! ) but was surprised by what i found. they have moved up and brought up their game and it was nice to see it. yes, they did have another speaker room for model speakers "below" the ones shown and had some for the more "everyday speaker man" too; i didn't spend any real time in that room!

if any of you have been to your recently renovated bb's throw some pictures up and let us know what you think.

i will be going to my weekly breakfast at iHop tomorrow; it's in the mall across from bb and i'll try to remember to take my camera and get some nice, crisp pictures for posting. i'll also be there to pick up a pre-sale metal box case for "Finding Nemo"

oh yeah, needless to say, that gear is priced HIGH, but it's still nice to have some nice higher end gear in a local electronics store.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:22 PM   #2
ZIPPO ZIPPO is offline
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Nice!
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:24 PM   #3
solarrdadd solarrdadd is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZIPPO View Post
Nice!
thanks zip. i'll have nice, clear pictures tomorrow since i'm taking an actual camera!
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarrdadd View Post
thanks zip. i'll have nice, clear pictures tomorrow since i'm taking an actual camera!
Looks like BB is moving up the class ranks!
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:28 AM   #5
solarrdadd solarrdadd is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZIPPO View Post
Looks like BB is moving up the class ranks!
i guess! i was really surprised to see the brands and the quality of the gear they had setup. and BAM outta the blue with McIntosh, Oppo Sonus, etc.

this was also the first time i ever got to hear the B&W 802 speakers and it was a treat to not have to go out of my area to do it. got to hear them someplace local. it could also mean that they will get other big name brands in the future if they start to really make money on the hi end gear.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:47 AM   #6
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Default B&w 802d

Quote:
Originally Posted by solarrdadd View Post
i guess! i was really surprised to see the brands and the quality of the gear they had setup. and BAM outta the blue with McIntosh, Oppo Sonus, etc.

this was also the first time i ever got to hear the B&W 802 speakers and it was a treat to not have to go out of my area to do it. got to hear them someplace local. it could also mean that they will get other big name brands in the future if they start to really make money on the hi end gear.
I said the same thing to my landlord . . . I had never heard them before; but REALLY liked them . . . I've only had my Paradigm 100s for a couple months and was really enjoying them . . . until today, isn't that something (((where's the little 'envy emoticon' when you need it))) . . .

I've also never gotten to experience SACD's; so, I look forward to the day that bb 'sells them' so they could fully demo that SACD player . . . how funny was that. ..
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:19 AM   #7
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Great news. I hope it works out for them.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shek5150 View Post
I said the same thing to my landlord . . . I had never heard them before; but REALLY liked them . . . I've only had my Paradigm 100s for a couple months and was really enjoying them . . . until today, isn't that something (((where's the little 'envy emoticon' when you need it))) . . .

I've also never gotten to experience SACD's; so, I look forward to the day that bb 'sells them' so they could fully demo that SACD player . . . how funny was that. ..
when i go tomorrow, i will have a couple of SACD's with me to listen to the B&W's!

i'll bring:

John Coltrane: Blue Train
Billy Joel: The Stranger
Steelydan: Gaucho
Elton John: Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy


all of the above are SACD/DSD with stereo & multichannel. I'll be there between 10am - 12 noon if you or anyone wants to hear them.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:03 AM   #9
Shek5150 Shek5150 is offline
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Default conflicted . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by solarrdadd View Post
when i go tomorrow, i will have a couple of SACD's with me to listen to the B&W's!

i'll bring:

John Coltrane: Blue Train
Billy Joel: The Stranger
Steelydan: Gaucho
Elton John: Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy


all of the above are SACD/DSD with stereo & multichannel. I'll be there between 10am - 12 noon if you or anyone wants to hear them.
I'm truly conflicted . . . but unfortunately I'll be at church during that time . . . but I will definitely be going back to do exactly as you are . . . certainly they've gotta' start carrying/demoing this format, right? Looks like I'd have to buy one online just to demo it in there store . . something wrong w/ that picture. . .

p.s., I'd like to be a fly on the wall when you approach that McIntosh setup . . . I'll bet you scare them and they give you the "Heisman move" & say "let me help you w/ that." . . . I got the impression they were pretty protective of the new toys . . . the Magnolia rep (that was taking us around) said that they glued down all the tweeter caps on the B&W's external tweeters . . . I just thought that was funny . . . but I suppose somebody would take it off and think . . . "hmmm, I should probably touch that." . .

I will be disappointed to miss your demo . . . but hope you enjoy them on those B&Ws . . .
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:34 AM   #10
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Wow, that is impressive! Thanks for the pics and posts. I can't believe BB has an Oppo in it, I'm astonished. It wouldn't surprise me to hear some people selling their Oppo or accusing them of of "selling out"
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:40 AM   #11
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well thats cool that they have upped their game, last i heard best buy laidoff 600 employess, I figured we'd be seeing the last of them.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:55 AM   #12
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very nice. only thing that changed at my store is that the blu's and dvd's are mixed together now
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:00 AM   #13
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My store did a similar thing but they just moved there location. And the removed the A/V area completely!
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #14
Shek5150 Shek5150 is offline
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Default your thoughts . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by solarrdadd View Post
when i go tomorrow, i will have a couple of SACD's with me to listen to the B&W's!

i'll bring:

John Coltrane: Blue Train
Billy Joel: The Stranger
Steelydan: Gaucho
Elton John: Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy


all of the above are SACD/DSD with stereo & multichannel. I'll be there between 10am - 12 noon if you or anyone wants to hear them.
Hey Solarrdadd,

Just curious about your thoughts after your bb outing today? How did the McIntosh compare to your Oppo . . . ((sorry, if that's a naive question, but I have no experience w/ SACD players, (apples/oranges???) . . . or any of the more complex formats for that matter)) 👍👎👌
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:07 PM   #15
solarrdadd solarrdadd is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shek5150 View Post
Hey Solarrdadd,

Just curious about your thoughts after your bb outing today? How did the McIntosh compare to your Oppo . . . ((sorry, if that's a naive question, but I have no experience w/ SACD players, (apples/oranges???) . . . or any of the more complex formats for that matter)) ������
the problem with being able to give that a good answer is all of the rest of the gear attached to the players is not the same. let me put it to you like this, they probably have a close to $2k in cables in the system, then about about almost $17k for the block amps & pre-amp. not to mention the money in room treatment which the amount is indeterminable.

the other thing is no matter what i say, i'll get a beat down. i will say this, it did sound very nice, am i ready to throw out what i have, no because i can't afford what they are offering and i think what i have sounds really good for what it is. i'll leave the evaluation up to peoples ears.

also there will be those who will of course say that there is no way what i have sounds better than McIntosh & B/W....of course, i'll wisely leave that alone.

i'll also say, if you have that kinda money laying around in one of your Hugo Boss suits, you will not be dissappointed with what you get.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:12 PM   #16
Shek5150 Shek5150 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarrdadd View Post
the problem with being able to give that a good answer is all of the rest of the gear attached to the players is not the same. let me put it to you like this, they probably have a close to $2k in cables in the system, then about about almost $17k for the block amps & pre-amp. not to mention the money in room treatment which the amount is indeterminable.

the other thing is no matter what i say, i'll get a beat down. i will say this, it did sound very nice, am i ready to throw out what i have, no because i can't afford what they are offering and i think what i have sounds really good for what it is. i'll leave the evaluation up to peoples ears.

also there will be those who will of course say that there is no way what i have sounds better than McIntosh & B/W....of course, i'll wisely leave that alone.

i'll also say, if you have that kinda money laying around in one of your Hugo Boss suits, you will not be dissappointed with what you get.
Appreciate your reply, and I do understand the 'apples/oranges scenario' (for the reasons you cited) . . . but I was still curious to hear your thoughts . . . thx

p.s., I own one suit (from the Men's Warehouse )
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:42 PM   #17
solarrdadd solarrdadd is online now
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here are some pictures i took today. i think these are a bit better than the ones i took yesterday.

when walking into the new Magnolia HT area you are greated by a nicely put together M/L speaker system with a super nice rack full of McIntosh gear!

PB111944 small.jpg
the rack includes SACD player MCD301, Tube Pre-Amp C2300, Tube Amp 275 (all McIntosh) also a DAC by DAC * it and a Furman PDU.

PB111942 small.jpg
some of the rear of the above rack gear.

PB111945 small.jpg
tube amp close up.

this system sounded really good. it was nice to be greeted by such great sounding music welcoming (or charming) you into the newly renovated area.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:13 PM   #18
solarrdadd solarrdadd is online now
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in the high end listening room was this gear:

B&W 802 system:


PB111886 small.jpg
MCD 500 SACD Player
C50 Pre-Amp

PB111896 small.jpg
MC-601 Monoblock Amp front

PB111893 small.jpg
MC-601 Monoblock Amp rear using XLR interconnects

PB111905 small.jpg
B&W 802 speaker

PB111892 small.jpg
Bi-Wired with Audioquest Rocket cables w/72v DBS

this system sounded incredible once there was some SACD's played with them. The power was noticable right out of the gate. the soundstage was hugh. The first tracks brought out John Coltrane like i'm sure it was meant to be heard. the highs & lows were played with such verb and panache one could have thought "this is what audiophile level sound is!" with only 2 channels in the system, and all of the SACD's i listened to, the low end was always there, always powerful but never overpowering the high end. from the highest high to the lowest lows nothing was lost or compromised.

i want to take a moment to say that Mr. Andrew Wirth, System's Designer from Magnolia was kind enough to give me lots of time to listen to almost every track i wanted two from the SACD's I mentioned that i had brought for auditioning. He was very helpful, knowledgeable and forthcoming with his honesty.

Andrew demonstrated a level of experience that was not common to me by some of the folks in the Magnolia Theater before it's renovation; that's not a knock, that's the truth. In the past, at times, you would be dealing with anyone from BB in the theater area and they could have just been doing almost anything the day before. I am pleased to state that this has changed at my BB. They have dedicated staff that are well trained, well versed in the areas that they oversee. Andrew had a quick, honest answer and he knew what he was talking about; this made my visit all the more pleasent.

Andrew was very happy to hear SACD's on the high end gear because at the moment, they don't have any there. I told him, if your going to sell such high dollar, high end gear to customers, I think they deserve to here the best possible audio on them and for an SACD player it should be a nice variety of well mastered SACD's. He agreed and will do what he can to take up my suggestion that Magnolia should have some on hand and not just burned cd's for demo to customers. I also warned him that some wise cracking joker is going to come in here and give them grief because he too will know about SACD's and want to know why they have none on hand.

The other thing I found out is that this group of folks manning the Magnolia section work on commisssion; this can be good or bad. It will depend on the associate and the customer and the comfort level given to said customer. if they feel pressured or BS'd they will not buy. If the associate feels that their time is being wasted they are likely to move you along; time is money. I did at the end of our session, make a purchase of some interconnects so Andrews time was not in vain!

I say give the new folks and the new Magnolia a shot. Hopefully your experience will be as positive as mine was. If that's the case, it means you were at Potomac Yards Best Buy in Alexandria VA and was graciously helped by Andrew Wirth!
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:22 PM   #19
solarrdadd solarrdadd is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shek5150 View Post
Appreciate your reply, and I do understand the 'apples/oranges scenario' (for the reasons you cited) . . . but I was still curious to hear your thoughts . . . thx

p.s., I own one suit (from the Men's Warehouse )
check the pockets!
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:27 PM   #20
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I'll either post some more pictures later tonight or during the week next week. I'll keep you guys posted.
55" Sony SXRD KDS-A552000 1080P
PS3 Slim & XBOX 360 Elite, Wii, iPhone5 64gb
iPad4 64gb, AppleTV-hdmi, NAS-1tb, Oppo BDP-105D, 105, 93 & 83 players
Onkyo PR-SC5507P Pre/Pro; TX-NR525 Harmony 1, iFi iDSD DAC & iUSB Power supply, Axiom Spkrs M80v3, VP180v3, QS8v3, QS4v3 M2v3, Front 3 Bi-Wired! Emotiva XPA-5, UPA-2, UPA-200, & mini-x Amps, X-Ref 12 DSP Sub & Ultra Subs 12 Polk Audio SDA-2, Monitor 10 & Monitor 5Jr speakers
NY GIANTS!
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