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I feel inclined to share a very positive experience I had this evening. 
 
I've decided the backstory isn't all that interesting if you weren't there.  So for the jist of it, skip this next section.
 

A few months back I decided that the factory stereo equipment in my car was not adequate for my needs.  Okay, I actually decided that they day I bought it - my previous car, while an older model of the same car, had the Bose Premium Sound option which was rather decent.  The sound system in this car was not.  I purchased the car knowing that I would eventually do something about that, and so a few months ago I did.
 
I made my first purchase at Tweeters in Crossgates Commons.  They had very friendly and helpful people, and a good selection, but their prices seemed a little steep.  Despite that, I bought a set of Boston Acoustics NX67 6.5” speakers for the rear of my car.  Unfortunately, they could not install them immediately, and if you know me, I like things done immediately.
 
So I went and looked at Best Buy and talked to some of the car audio guys there.  It was suggested that I should buy an amp for the rear speakers, as the factory amps (attached to the speakers themselves) would be a hassle to work with otherwise.  So I bought a relatively inexpensive Pioneer 200 watt 2-channel amp.  I also picked up two Kenwood 5 1/4” speakers to replace the 4 inchers in my front doors.
 
I was told that they could do all the install work at Best Buy the next day, and so I made the appointment.
 
 
After being initially pleased with the system and the install, something still wasn't right.  For a while I blamed it on the cassette adapter I use for my iRiver mp3 player, which I use most of the time.  However, I later realized the problem remained even when I used CDs.  It wasn't until a week or two ago that one of my friends, sitting in the back seat, mentioned that the speaker behind him sounded “like rice krispies,” which of course meant three words... snap, crackle, and pop. 
After climbing into the back seat I became immediately aware of how rarely I do that.  And also, how bad my back left speaker sounded. 
 
 
Basically, tracking down the problem was a royal PITA.  Yesterday I went to Best Buy, then to Tweeters then back to Best Buy, and so on.  On the third trip to Best Buy, I made an appointment to have them look at their wiring job today at 5:30PM.  While I was at Tweeters, the guys there tested the resistance on both speakers and it measured the same (and the same as theirs inside) which led us to believe the speakers were not the problem.  Also the exact sound, to most who heard it, was not really that of a broken speaker, but of a distorted signal.
 
But last night I did some experimenting and found that the likely culprit was still the speakers.  Yes, the right one had a distortion too, just not as bad.  So this afternoon around 2:30PM I went back to Tweeters and talked to the same friendly sales/service guy as the day before.  He came out and listened (again) and agreed that both speakers now sounded bad.  But we still couldn't isolate the problem.  He plugged one of their opened speakers into the wires for one of mine and everything sounded okay.  So there, it must be the speakers.  But they weren't necessarily broken.. they could have just been mounted improperly, or hitting the grille, or something of that nature. 
 
So when the time rolled around for my appointment at Best Buy, I went.  And the chap there who would be working on my car was very friendly.  I even helped him try to track down the problem.  It turned out, after much investigating, that both speakers were in fact bad.
So with the back seat and decklid disassembled and the speakers removed, I drove to Tweeters. 
The guy I'd talked to earlier was busy giving a demonstration in one of their surround sound rooms, but another guy knew me and of my problem and quickly came to my aid. 

 
 
You see, I walked in the front door with just the two speakers that I'd bought a few months beforehand (no boxes, no receipt, nothing but the speakers themselves).  He went right in the back and grabbed a new set, opened up the box, and gave me the new speakers.  He asked for the phone number I gave when I bought them, printed me a receipt, and I was on my way.
 
I never could have imagined it would be so easy.  I'm used to places like CompUSA where they give you a hassle no matter how soon you bring an item back. Or Best Buy where they'll help you for 14 or 30 days or whatever, but if you didn't buy a “plan” then you're screwed after that.  Well none of that here.  Just quality service. 
 
I thanked the salesman and asked him to relay my thanks to the other fellow, and made my way back to Best Buy, where it took the tech and me about 5 minutes to get everything installed and put back together.  And best of all, it works!  And I didn't have to pay a penny.  Yes, it took some time, but I never got the feeling that anyone was trying to screw me.  The tech at Best Buy did say, when I commented on how pleasantly easy it was to get replacement speakers at Tweeters, that I probably wouldn't have had that kind of luck at his store.  But nevertheless, Best Buy did support their work (and helped track down the problem) without any hassle.  And for that they deserve to be commended.
 
I'll soon be in the market for a sub and an amp to power it.  I'm pretty sure Tweeters is where I'm going to buy it, even if I pay slightly more than I might elsewhere.  And I think I'll be quite comfortable installing it myself as well.
Posted on Tuesday, October 5, 2004 8:08 PM | Back to top

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