Retailer Silly Sales Pitches - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 22 Old 04-29-13, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Retailer Silly Sales Pitches

While this thread does not fit completely in this topic area, I was hoping that others would share their stories of ridiculous claims made by sales people..

During one visit to a national retailer, the sales rep made two amazing claims within moments of each other:

1) A plasma set needs better HDMI cables than a LCD set because the Plasma set has a much higher refresh rate. Without those very expensive cables, the Blu Ray player will not be able to pass the 600 Hz on through.

2) An A/B amp is more likely to blow a speaker because at 1/3 volume, the speakers are directly connected to the wall plug.

I tried to refute 1) by explaining that the player passes on the same signal no matter what is connected and the refresh rate is generated within the TV but gave up. When he hit me with 2), I was polite enough to wait until I was outside to break into hysterical laughter.
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-29-13, 11:07 PM
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Re: Retailer Silly Sales Pitches

This thread could develop into one of the funniest ones...

As far as your cable experience, I've seen that a LOT at Best Buy and other places - trying to sell you HDMI cables that cost half of what the bluray player cost.

On another note - I've seen (at high end stores) sales people trying to sell very high end power cables - yes, power cables. They claim "your bass will be deaper, your mids more detailed, and your highs crisper". Then I mention that it's plugged into a 50 cent outlet connected to 14AWG Romex which runs to your breaker box (could be 100' or so). How can the last 3'-6' high end power cable improve the power. They try to defend it on many levels be then have a hard time when you mention that the same power still has to go through the transformer and filters in the Amp/AVR and endes up the same on the output.

I really wonder where some of them learn their 'science' when it comes to AV. There really is a lot of snake oil in the business. I always come back to the two main things that really make a difference in sound: the speakers and the room.


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post #3 of 22 Old 05-01-13, 05:42 AM
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Re: Retailer Silly Sales Pitches

If a cable is said to have bass slam, does that mean you can measure a +2 db bump at 50hz? It amuses me that expensive cables can affect frequency response, yet cannot be measured. How can a power cord affect frequency response?
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post #4 of 22 Old 05-01-13, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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If a cable is said to have bass slam, does that mean you can measure a +2 db bump at 50hz? It amuses me that expensive cables can affect frequency response, yet cannot be measured. How can a power cord affect frequency response?
Precisely, as you infer, the power cord cannot make a difference. I suppose a power cord could make an amp sound much worse, if it was highly resistive. That would also make the power cord overheat and become a toaster oven. But a power cord cannot make an amp sound better.

I keep waiting for some gov agency to sue some of these well know companies who claim their cables sound better. They are selling the proverbial snake oil.

So many of these products go back to the analog days. Then it was possible to make a claim that thicker cables or gold ends might, just maybe, make a difference or be more reliable. Or those anti-vibration disks on LPs maybe reduced rumble. But when the world of digital arrived, these poor companies just had to make stuff up.
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-01-13, 06:11 PM
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Re: Retailer Silly Sales Pitches

I am one of those who is satisfied with a basic IEC cord from Radio Shack or Monoprice.

Some say a power cord will provide cleaner power to the Amplifier which in turn provides less distortion and power related noise (humm, buzz etc.). But In no way will it provide you with clearer highs.

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post #6 of 22 Old 05-02-13, 06:54 PM
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Re: Retailer Silly Sales Pitches

It becomes difficult to carry on a conversation with a sales person when they start saying things like that. At least you can tell very quickly that you are not going to get any real help from them and can basically ignore all they say, so that's a plus.
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post #7 of 22 Old 05-03-13, 09:11 PM
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Re: Retailer Silly Sales Pitches

The power cables always did make me laugh. I remember telling a salesman that I would contact my power company and pay them to change all of their aluminum power cables to oxygen free copper so that I could enjoy better sound. I then said, oh crud, what am I gonna do about the temperature changes and precipitation forcasts. These things obviously affect my listening experience. I think the salesman might have gotten the idea that I thought he was an idiot.
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-03-13, 09:24 PM
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Re: Retailer Silly Sales Pitches

The thing to remember is that many of these salesmen do believe this stuff. They have been told these things and have no real understanding of the physics and electronics. Their job is to make sales, not to educate nor to evaluate critically. Propagating myths that are convenient to ones purpose is nothing new nor unique to the electronics business. Neither is passing on what is convenient to believe.

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post #9 of 22 Old 05-21-13, 12:16 AM
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Re: Retailer Silly Sales Pitches

The power cord theme seems to be universal. I recently bought a used integrated amp for $300. After I paid for the amp I was told that now I needed a $700 power cable. I told the salesman that I didn't think a power cable could make any real difference but that I was willing to be proven wrong if he cared to demonstrate. Strangely enough, he didn't.
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post #10 of 22 Old 05-21-13, 04:39 PM
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Re: Retailer Silly Sales Pitches

I remember when I bought my first AVR, the salesman told me the rule of thumb is to spend 10% of the cost of your system on cables. And he recommended Monster Cables of course! Thank goodness for Monoprice.
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