Originally Posted by rpearce1475
I'll be in Firenze January through June...Eduardo how's the audiophile scene in Italia look?
Florence is a wonder, I hope that you won't find too many tourists because of the crisis... It'd be a bliss in this case.
I mean, God bless tourism, I pray every night for them to come, it's just that sometimes they are just too many for anyone to enjoy anything at all.
Audiophile scene in Italy? Well, unlike in many other countries, here the Hi-Fi market and the Hi-End market are neatly separated, and audiophiles are considered just wealthy fools. One one side, Chinese rubbish, on the other side, audiophile boutiques, in which the owner literally kicks you out of the shop if you don't mean to spend by the thousands for his 2000-euro "entry-level system" (so sorry I don't think you'll find any hospitality there. It's just like going into a jewelry or in a Ferrari point asking for a ride.).
Most audiophile magazines talk just about cables and/or endorse their three or four-zeroed stuff sold by their main sponsors.
Dealers, along with their restrictions, make their retail prices the highest ones I know of.
Even Italian vinyl prints are crappy, so used discs printed in the UK, Netherlands and Germany are charged much more than the stamp.
So the Hi-End sector here is almost dead as you can guess by yourself.
I must say some Italian-made stuff is engineered and manufactured excellently, and that they really make an effort to challenge the competitors, it's just that Italian commercial and fiscal laws are everything but business-friendly. Due to taxes, you'll be likely to find the same stuff in the USA for less. But I guess the "good" firms are known abroad also.