Shopping for a receiver is an exercise in listening, since it is good sound you are chasing. Flashing lights and pleasing esthetics should have no factor in your decision, unless all other things are equal, and you like that kind of thing. I have found that it helps to close you eyes when listening, so that the sound has your complete attention. You will want to bring you own CDs and DVDs to audition receivers, particularly if you listen to a lot of music. Do yourself a favor leave the MP3 player at home! Please understand that while MP3 players have their place in the world, a 192Kbps MP3 player is “near CD quality”, they are not CD quality! When auditioning equipment you will own for a while, you want to put it through the most demanding testing. Here are a few other tips.
Show Up Early
Competition may be good to drive prices down, but is detrimental to you if you have to compete for the full attention of your salesperson. Shop early in the day, ideally arrive 5 minutes after the store opens, you want the store with as few customers in it as possible. Don’t be there before the store opens, banging on the doors, tapping your watch; that’s not the best way to introduce yourself to your salesperson. Early is the week, Monday to Thursday is best, so that you are not interacting with your salesperson after party night. If you can’t get there early, then go late, about one hour before the store closes. Don’t get there 5 minutes before the store closes, for the same reason that you don’t want to be tapping on the doors first thing in the morning.