Where in the world are You?

I’ve been reading/searching for final system, but quite a bit of what sounds interesting does not seem to be readily available. Any way people could give a rough idea of where they are located? I’m on the east coast of USA and while Kudos and Marten are technically available. Neither seems particularly interested in US sales. Kudos seems to have a single dealer/distributor who is currently having a demo sale- leaving him with what (?) to sell. Quite a few interesting speakers just coming on-line, but hearing/ comparing may be difficult. Stenheim alumine 2.5, gryphon eos2, borresen z and yga peaks, etc.

Living in Québec/Canada, so east coast as well but « Norther », I’m facing the same situation.

I just got myself second hand Kudos X2 at a more then good price. Good enough that I bought them blindly without ever having heard X2 before they were in my house. I don’t regret it. (Then guy was even nice enough to deliver them at my place)

I’m keeping a daily check on Canuck Audio Mart to have a good understanding of the market for price and rarity. It’s the best work around I have found. I always talk with nice people who are more then willing to let me hear the items before buying.

In your case you will probably prefer Audiogon who is much more USA oriented.

Major draw back is only one detail… as Yoda say: Patience you must have, if you want to succeed.

Surprisingly it seems there are a little more (3) Kudos on Canuck at this time in USA


This problem has come up a few times and I’m sympathetic to it. There is a big crowd of people on the forum who chant the “the only way to purchase any hifi is with a home demo from your local dealer.” Which, I have to say, rubs me the wrong way a bit.

If you are in the UK or a few dense population centres in Western Europe, that’s possible. But for most people in the world it simply is not. So that statement gets interpreted in my brain as “If you can’t demo hifi properly, you have no business in this hobby in the first place.

So there are a few approaches to the lack of availability:

  • If you have a dealer within travelling distance at all, just limit yourself to what they have. Assuming they are a good dealer and cover your price range, you almost certainly will be able to demo something that is great to your ears. Just shut out what you cannot access. Maybe brand X was better if you heard it, but you didn’t so it is a moot point. What you did hear, you liked and bought.
  • If you have no dealer within travelling distance, then do your research and buy on a punt. There is obviously inherent risk here. You might drop $40kk on something and hate it.
  • Ride the second hand market. If pre-owned doesn’t bother you, this is often a low risk low cost way of home trial. An item doesn’t become more second hand with each sale. A lot of friends buy second hand online; try it; sell it on for what they paid for it; stop on anything they like. And we are talking big ticket items here like $70k speakers and amps.

I’m based in Japan which has a very limited range of non Japanese made gear. American and European speakers are readily available. Electronics, not so much. I’m not a huge fan of second hand for purely nonsensical reasons (I have a few bits but in general I want new), but I mix all three methods. For some things, I let my local dealer guide me. For others, I buy on punt from the UK and US (and yes, that hasn’t always worked out - but mostly it has).

I tend to buy on a punt for brands I inherently trust from past experience. For example, PMC speakers are my sort of go-to for the main system. I heard them when in the UK and trust that dealer, but of course I am ProAc and Kudos curios, yet they aren’t available and I’ve never heard them once so put them out of mind. But there is no hard and fast rule I follow.


I am in the eastern great lakes area of the usa. Close to detroit. I sympathize with everyone but did much research and found a great dealer to work with. I had kudos 505s then tried some borresen z2s and now have kudos 606s. My point is i believe in the usa at least an exceptional dealer, someone you can trust and work with is critical. My dealer is about 300 miles from me but when the borresens didn’t work for me i worked with my dealer and replaced them with the kudos 606s. Which by the way i feel are spectacular speakers that for me not only tick all the musical requirement boxes but also integrate beautifully in my listening environment. I do know that kudos is curretly looking for a new distributor in the usa as the current relationship was not working for either party. My dealer was the previous distributor. My understanding is that it is an amicable split.


Those are all good suggestions.

I am usually in London, which has great dealer coverage, but I still usually buy second-hand. When buying hifi for a holiday house in Tasmania, I bought second-hand in the UK (mostly eBay and Pinkfish) and shipped.

Selling on the things you don’t like, or no longer need, can be a bit of a bother, but is hardly unmanageable.

One other suggestion is to hear kit owned by friends (putting your own amps, sources and cables in a car for a competitive test if poss) or acquaintances from a forum like this.

Given the concentration of many in the ex-pat community in a region of Tokyo, that may be more possible than you’d guess. After all, many on the site are enthusiasts/ hifi nerds. At least some will be quite happy to talk hi-if, show what they have got and perhaps share tea/ a beer.

That’s less realistic in many parts of US, Canada and Australia unless you have your own plane, but it doesn’t hurt to ask on a forum like this if anyone is local. Using a local forum ( like Audiogon if in the US) can be a big help, as suggested above.

Good luck!


Many years ago, long before the days of the internet, buying equipment from a good local dealer was of paramount importance. The help, the expert advice, the ability to audition a range of equipment etc.

To be perfectly honest I think dealers are now much less important in the equation. There is so much information on the internet, so many reveiews and opinions. A good many on-line retailers offer extended try at home or return deals.

All of my current system was bought on-line, save for my Chord S6 mains block. Did I miss the input of a dealer? Not one bit. I was able to listen to all the equipment in my own home and my own system before committing to it. This is something that it seems is becoming increasingly difficult to do with a local dealer.

Having said that I am an audiophile with around 50 years experience. I know my stuff. For someone who is just starting out on the journey there may still be a place for a good dealer.

But for me a dealer’s input is irrelevant. I would always buy on-line. Plus the process of returning any equipment if it is faulty or if you change your mind is so much simpler and hassle-free.


I live in the south of Spain and Spain as a whole is a hifi desert. There used to be a dealer in Marbella but I think there was a falling-out with NAIM and he’s gone over to Chord and Vertere and the like.


I’ve no intention of abandoning Salisbury. There’s also Amazon and ebay, apart from which I think I’ve achieved maximum trajectory with regard to upgrades and finance anyway.

The only irritating bit will be when I have to send items back for re-capacitance and use use my shelved predecessors as a stopgap.

Happy days.


I live in northern Italy, 15 miles from Milan. Italy has always been a lively HiFi market luckily, and a good friend of mine runs a large HiFi shop twenty minutes from my home.

I’ve bought mostly second hand though, largely from the UK until the BREXIT but also from the whole of EU. My current system, funnily enough, has been found and bought within a 15 miles radius safe for the Stageline that came from Belgium.
My six pairs of Sats came from Germany, Denmark, Lausanne, my retailer and a new store ten minutes form here…

Commercially, living in the EU is a great resource. I’ve always bought and sold abroad with no problems at all. My most risky sale was shipping a Bow Technologies Wazoo to Thailand and a pair of rega RS7s to Glasgow. Audio-wise, I am a citizen of the world…


My dealer is a great fan of Naim luckily. I bought my two pairs of S-400s from him and he has a pair in his home system.

It’s not even possible just across the channel in France. :roll_eyes:

Same for service. Naim serves the UK very well, very few dealers or service centres in the vastness of the European continent.

Again, I am lucky that the Naim servicing lab for Italy is run by an expert and very good technician who’s also a friend, and lives and operates in Piacenza, one hour from here.


Indeed that is luck, not Naim planning. Pre Brexit the ease of moving goods between the EU and the UK didn’t pose me any problems and Naim didn’t really need to do anything. The world has now changed and perhaps Naim should be looking at how they want to keep the EU as a strong market.


I am in Versailles, France. I am lucky as there is a good Naim dealer in the centre of town and lots of other dealers in the Paris region. That said I mainly buy second hand from the UK.

The hi-fi market in France is much smaller than the UK. I once bought a relatively expensive Bel Canto DAC from a free on-line platform and after checking out the seller I decided to go for it. When the DAC didn’t arrive on the promised date, I contacted the seller who told me it had been damaged in transport so advised me to take photos of each layer of packaging. Of course a couple of days later it arrived in perfect condition and I am still using it in my main system!


It would be helpful (and mildly interesting for the rest of us) if more forum members listed their location in their profiles. It’s very easy to do.


I’m in the UK, Derbyshire.
Have a great dealer or two that I fully trust. Typically buy new but have bought second hand in the past.
However, as already mentioned this is quite easy in the UK.
We are very lucky, as already mentioned regarding access to a multitude of home and international brands.
Have my eye on Sonus Faber Olympica Nova III and my dealer carries this brand together with all my other electronics.
Haven’t told them yet :shushing_face:

West Coast of the United States here. We have a few dealers here that I trust but the emphasis seems to more for the Focal line of products of late. Luckily I’m part of a weekly support/group call for Naim(hifi in general) lovers where I’ve gotten a ton of great advice and this forum of course is top class.

In general us North Americans do have a harder time with demos etc. I’ve heard a 500 level system but it wasn’t at a dealership which is sad. (not that I can afford one)


…which may be a blessing in disguise, as it avoids an expensive hit on your wallet!

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So true!!

I live in the Cotswolds and I have lost two dealers in the last few years; now it’s a bit of a desert (apart from well known chains in Cheltenham). I almost had better options when I lived in Eastern Europe, where there were great Naim dealers in Prague, Warsaw, and Vienna; although, I bought most of my equipment when on leave in England.


I’m in the very middle of Canada in Winnipeg, which is a long way from anywhere else. The closest major city is Minneapolis, a seven hour drive away. However, I’m very fortunate to have a very good dealer here who is committed to Naim. He has allowed me to home demo anything in the shop which has been really important with speakers.

As @feeling_zen says, the range of what you are able to purchase in this situation may be limited, but I was able to find speakers that really suited me, the Focal Kanta 2s. It’s been great having a long term relationship with a local dealer, even if choice is circumscribed.