Our Audiophile Resources page (based on Audiophile_Resources) provides a number of resources for Home Theater and Audiophiles. Audiophile equipment is expensive, but fans believe it is worth the expense. Quality sound reproduction has to be heard to be believed.
If you are doing your homework and are not ready to buy, let the shop know and the time frame in which you are going to buy something or what your plans may be. If the shop is busy, you can always schedule an appointment when it is less busy - since the nature of this process is very customer service intensive, they may not be able to give you as good a service without an appointment sometimes (though most of these shops will try).
If you are on a budget, be up front about it with the people at the shop (if you don't feel comfortable with a number, you can give a range or a "no more than $X"), as most of these places (unlike mass market) build their businesses on long term repeat business, and a shop that did poor service routinely would quickly be out of business. Many of these stores have discounted used and demo equipment available for those on a budget, usually a customer needs to ask.
If you aren't ready to make the plunge, getting good recordings will make even a modest, existing, setup sound much better.
Local Audiophile Equipment Dealers
Local Fine Record Shops
- Audiogon - eBay for Audiophile equipment
- NonameHifi - Home Theater, High End Audio Fun's Meeting Place
- AudioAsylum - Discussion Groups about Audiophile Topics
- 6moons - Review site