Paul McGowan writes: Recently I posted about the controlled demo and several of you seemed upset that I would even think about suggesting my musical choices might show off our equipment better than yours. I understand the sentiment but I only half agree.
Let me give you a bit of background. Years ago when Arnie Nudell and I ran Genesis Loudspeakers there was one rule Arnie enforced with great vigor at shows – if you want to hear the Genesis loudspeakers, you listen to my demo first then you can play whatever you want. There was little room for argument with Arnie on this one and his reasoning was sound. ”Let me show you the best qualities I know this system to have so you can quickly hear what I hear.” Who better than Arnie, the designer of the loudspeaker, to know what really worked on the system to show it off?
Today many manufacturers have abandoned this demonstration technique and let anyone play anything they want and hope for the best. I think this is a disservice to potential buyers.
Here’s the other side of the coin. I have also been to a number of fixed demonstrations where the potential customer has no ability to play their own material and I think this is also a disservice – an interesting show to be sure, but not all that valuable.
The best demos I have ever listened to and been a part of were a combination of the controlled demo to initiate the listener as to what’s possible and then let them play whatever they are familiar with to gain their bearings.
One without the other doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.