OK, Im a bit confused about how this is supposed to work. One of the generally accepted rules regarding music gear is that specifications and measurements have their place, but the ultimate factor when selecting new gear is how it sounds and how it works with all of your other equipment. But when dealing with the boutique manufacturers that make what is considered some of the best gear available, all of this goes out the window. There are often no showrooms or dealers that stock this gear, and some of the manufacturers make it clear that purchases are final (while a few do offer trial periods) Spending well over $1k on something youve only seen on a website might not be a big deal when it comes to some products, but for the equipment we will use to make music, well, it just seems wrong. Even the seemingly good idea of trying to coordinate a network of satisfied customers who are willing to let prospective customers check out their recent purchases, is of limited value. In my case, there are only a couple of guys within a reasonable distance and neither has anything close to the type of product Im interested in. Using Greenboy as an example, if there are a couple of existing customers within a two hours drive, but one has a 1515/66, while the other has a Crazy 8, but Im interested in a 12 sub. Even if these guys are nice enough to invite a stranger (me) into their homes to check out their cabinets, how does that help me evaluate the 12 sub Im interested in? Im a huge fan of hand made gear, designed and built by a local craftsmen, but there has to be some better way of deciding on a purchase other than counting up the positive and negative comments on some gear forum. But Ill be damned if I know what the better method is??? Maybe some type of upscale rehearsal studio stocked with gear from dozens of boutique manufacturers. For $40 or $50, a serious potential customer could spend an hour playing through cabinets from 4 or 5 different boutique builders. While this idea would only be viable in a few major markets, it beats the existing situation. Any better ideas?