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Experiences with U.S. B&O dealers?

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BeoFrederic
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BeoFrederic posted on Tue, Jun 30 2020 11:56 PM

After this Covid madness is all over, I'd like to visit a B&O dealer and -- perhaps -- purchase some modern B&O gear.  Unfortunately, I don't have a local dealer to visit.

Does anyone have any experiences or guidance to share regarding U.S. dealers?  I'm in NorCal; my closest company dealers are in SoCal.  Any experiences or recommendations regarding these: 

La Jolla?  Beverly Hills?  Costa Mesa?  (I also see that a new showroom is opening in Pasadena in August!)

I could probably make a day trip to any one of these three.  Other states would be overnight-ers, though that might be possible too.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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koert2
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Hi,

I purchased an Eclipse from the Beverly Hills store 2 years ago and I am happy with the service including installation I got. Gaby runs it and she is quite knowledgeable. 

Koert

 

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Calvin
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It's a little sad how unknown the brand is in the US though from chatting to people that's more a cultural thing than a "B&O is bad" thing. I'm from Scotland, living in the US now, and there's a real love for cost and utility over aesthetics in products. It's rather depressing. Given the choice people in the US seem to want to pay less for a tacky but newer spec'd product than a nicer one that lasts longer. You see it in cars where people want lots of shiny fake chrome switches and gizmos, rather than solid handling or proper trim.

It's strange because in so many other respects (food and drink for instance) the US really values quality but when it comes to technology, there's a real love for cheap rubbish over even moderately priced excellence.

moxxey
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Calvin:

I'm from Scotland, living in the US now, and there's a real love for cost and utility over aesthetics in products.

That's certainly true. My business partner moved to the US a few years ago and even he's become more cost-focussed and will look for bargains in, say, Target and other retail stores.

I think philosophy has creeped in to the UK, too. I've bought a couple of B&O items in the last few weeks and both were offered hugely discounted, without barely even needing to ask. Dealers are seriously struggling to shift product, far more than we think on here (I think there's quite a few who like to bury their heads on this board).

It's going to be worse going forward, too, once people come out of furlough or, even worse, go back in to lockdown (such as the way Texas is heading) and stores and businesses close for a second time). This is unsustainable, and another reason why I say people bury their heads. In the UK, I have friends on 100% wage who have sat at home furloughed since March. They have become so institutionalised at home they are resisting going back to work citing virus anxiety! Why would they want to go back when you're paid to stay at home?

Problem is, these same people don't realise that this cannot just continue. And the longer they take to go back, the tougher it will be for their company to continue with their long-term employment.

There's a lot of head-burying going on. People are in for a shock soon.

poodleboy
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Calvin:

It's a little sad how unknown the brand is in the US though from chatting to people that's more a cultural thing than a "B&O is bad" thing. I'm from Scotland, living in the US now, and there's a real love for cost and utility over aesthetics in products. It's rather depressing. Given the choice people in the US seem to want to pay less for a tacky but newer spec'd product than a nicer one that lasts longer. You see it in cars where people want lots of shiny fake chrome switches and gizmos, rather than solid handling or proper trim.

It's strange because in so many other respects (food and drink for instance) the US really values quality but when it comes to technology, there's a real love for cheap rubbish over even moderately priced excellence.

Perhaps The Emperor's New Clothes is required reading in US primary school, or there is a cultural bias for Form following Function and people buying for THEIR reasons and not yours? How else could you possibly explain B&O not selling well?

Jaffrey2230
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In the US the recent performance of the stock market has made many believe that the economy will bounce back stronger than ever and very quickly. Also, the recent retail and employment numbers in May helped push the market higher . Also, a lot of retail business has been driven online and from what I can tell many companies (at least in the US) are doing OK with online and delivery. It will be interesting to see the shift in B&O's business. In my opinion their current portfolio is better designed for online sales. Just anecdotal, but at least two people I know have recently bought B&O products in the US from their store on Amazon - a BS 2 and a Stage. I myself ended up buying a BS 1 during the recent lock down. 

I am lucky in that I can work from home since we have a distributed team and do most of our work online....

B&O products I use by zones in my home: 

Platform: Apple Home  (iOS/Mac, with Google Wi-fi (mesh), 100% streaming audio (Sirius XM, Apple Music, YouTube Music); TV/Office: Beolab 8002 (Red) + Beolab 2 [Sony 65A1E OLED TV, Apple TV 4K]; Living: Beoplay A9 (MK2), Bedroom: Beolab 6000 (Red) + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core [LG UST Projector directly to wall (appox. 75 inches), Apple TV 4K]; Beoplay, Guest Rooms: Apple HomePods Dining: Beoplay M5 [previously BS Stage] ; Portable in-house: Beosound 1 with dock; Travel/bluetooth: Beoplay P6, BeoPlay H9 (3rd Gen), AirPod Pro

 

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Wed, Jul 1 2020 3:34 PM

poodleboy:

 

Perhaps The Emperor's New Clothes is required reading in US primary school, or there is a cultural bias for Form following Function and people buying for THEIR reasons and not yours? How else could you possibly explain B&O not selling well?

Shocking isn't it, the damned plebeians don't like the same thing self appointed patricians do. Seriously, in addition to the above it's awfully hard to make inroads into a market, like the US, when you have a decades long litany of unforced marketing and sales errors. B&O USA has for a long time before the current downturn been remarkably ham handed, and has treated its dealers very poorly.

Add to that the fact that for one reason or another the kind of modern, minimalist style that B&O works so well with is not as pronounced in the US as elsewhere. There's obviously a market for expensive AV gear, McIntosh still does well here for example, it's easy to find a Mac dealer in most US cities, and they certainly are high priced.

I don't think B&O has understood the US market since at least the 70s, maybe never.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

trackbeo
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We seem to have shifted away from the OP's question.  I'm east of the Mississippi, so cannot give direct advice either.  But indirect advice: if you actually wish to listen to the products, visit the dealer with the largest square footage store.  

I really like the fellows at BeoBoston, but they are wedged into a narrow storefront, which makes it tough to get any impression of (in their case) BeoLab 50 or BeoLab 18.  And the Miami (Gulfstream Park) store was a nightmare, with large glass walls on one side of the listening area, and disconnected BeoLab 18s.  Also the shop manager could not shift the audio back and forth between different speaker models without tens of seconds of silence fiddling about.  In both these stores, at least the BeoLab 90s are in a treated room, but still much smaller than you would build for yourself.  If you're a jet-setter, visit one of the large European stores once you are allowed back in-country.  For example, despite knowing full-well that he could not sell me anything, the shopkeeper at the Oslo store was happy to act as a "brand ambassador."  It helps if nobody else is in the store of course...

Obviously attitude and competence matter most, so if nobody else opines, I urge you to visit all three!  But if it's your first visit, pick the Biiig Wonnne.  (Uuuge, even!-)  Good luck, and I hope someone here with direct experience steps up and replies to your post!

moxxey
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trackbeo:

If you're a jet-setter, visit one of the large European stores once you are allowed back in-country.  

The Berlin store is absolutely amazing. Has to be experienced. It's almost like a showcase of B&O. They have at least 2 variations of every product (for example, Edge on wall and floor or Stage wall-mounted or table-mounted etc etc). And they are happy to spend an hour with you. Very passionate store owners. They spent ages showing me the A9 versus Edge versus BeoSound 2.

I agree with Boston. Lovely store for viewing B&O headphones, but not adequate for a demonstration.

Wouldn't the flagship NYC store be close to what you'd find in Europe?

https://stores.bang-olufsen.com/en/united-states/ny/new-york/121-spring-st

Earle
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Earle replied on Wed, Jul 1 2020 6:04 PM

If you're planning to go somewhere near-ish, you might also want to consider B&O in Portland - sales tax is cheaper too!

I live in NorCal now, too (relocated from UK), and it's a shame, if you ask me... I've mentioned it before, but there was a time the SF Bay Area had 5 dealers.

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Wed, Jul 1 2020 6:40 PM

Earle:

If you're planning to go somewhere near-ish, you might also want to consider B&O in Portland - sales tax is cheaper too!

I live in NorCal now, too (relocated from UK), and it's a shame, if you ask me... I've mentioned it before, but there was a time the SF Bay Area had 5 dealers.

Between the virus and the shrieking, violent, Antifa freak show that is Portland, I don't think now is the time to go to shop for B&O there.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

BeoFrederic
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Earle:

I live in NorCal now, too (relocated from UK), and it's a shame, if you ask me... I've mentioned it before, but there was a time the SF Bay Area had 5 dealers.

I've lived here in the Bay Area for close to 30 years now, so yep -- I remember.  Used to go to Union Square store every time I went up to the City.  Better days then, at least for B&O.

 

BeoFrederic
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Jeff:

Between the virus and the shrieking, violent, Antifa freak show that is Portland, I don't think now is the time to go to shop for B&O there.

  Thanks Jeff.  I share your concern about Portland (OR.) these days.  However, the issue is moot as the Portland B&O store seems to have closed, at least 6 months ago or longer.  It's not listed in the official B&O directory.  I'll be happy if I'm wrong on this.

 

BeoFrederic
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trackbeo:

But indirect advice: if you actually wish to listen to the products, visit the dealer with the largest square footage store.  

Makes sense, thanks.  Most likely to carry a variety of speakers and other gear. 

I don't know which of the SoCal stores is the largest, but I suppose I could call them and ask.  Hopefully someone on Beoworld has direct knowledge.

moxxey:

trackbeo:

If you're a jet-setter, visit one of the large European stores once you are allowed back in-country.  

The Berlin store is absolutely amazing. Has to be experienced. It's almost like a showcase of B&O. They have at least 2 variations of every product (for example, Edge on wall and floor or Stage wall-mounted or table-mounted etc etc). And they are happy to spend an hour with you. Very passionate store owners. They spent ages showing me the A9 versus Edge versus BeoSound 2.

I agree with Boston. Lovely store for viewing B&O headphones, but not adequate for a demonstration.

Wouldn't the flagship NYC store be close to what you'd find in Europe?

https://stores.bang-olufsen.com/en/united-states/ny/new-york/121-spring-st

Would love to go to Berlin!  But not in the cards at this time.  Was scheduled to go to U.K. late in this year, but that's 'scuppered.'  (Did I get that right?  Confused)  New York could be possible, thanks for the thought.

moxxey
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BeoFrederic:

Was scheduled to go to U.K. late in this year, but that's 'scuppered.'  (Did I get that right?  Confused)  New York could be possible, thanks for the thought.

I was supposed to be living in Austin, Texas at the moment. I can't see myself getting there this year. I had an apartment organised, the lot.

Scuppered is the correct saying, but I think you'll be ok if it's after September. I wouldn't cancel yet. And if you get here, remember Berlin is a very short plane journey! Less than 2 hours.

BeoFrederic
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moxxey:

I was supposed to be living in Austin, Texas at the moment. I can't see myself getting there this year. I had an apartment organised, the lot.

Thanks to all who have replied in this thread.  Helpful!  I may also reference this thread in a post on the general forum -- surely there is someone on Beoworld who has California, or at least, U.S. dealer experience in the last year. 

Moxxey, when you get to Austin you may find the climate to be...different from what you're likely used to. Surprise  Summer heat can cause spontaneous combustion.  No lie.  But as I'm sure you know, it's a fantastic city for live music of all stripes.  When it happens, you're sure to enjoy the move.

 

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