Goodwin's High End

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you sell only high end products?

By specializing in high end products, we can offer more variety and have more in-depth product knowledge about high-performance systems. Our technicians and system designers can optimize your system through careful component matching, system setup, and acoustical design.

The bottom line: offering lower performance products would dilute our focus and our energy away from our core specialty: high performance systems.

How long have you been in business?

Alan Goodwin founded the original Goodwin's in Boston in 1977. Since then there has been a consistent focus on fine high performance audio equipment. In the early 1980's he first began offering high end home theater systems. In 1990 he refocused exclusively on high end and named his operation Goodwin's High End—and in 1995 the new and current Waltham facility was completed.

The lobby of your store looks like an office. Why?

Our previous locations looked more like conventional retail stores. In designing our Waltham facility, we realized that we needed space to work on the design of our client's systems. We decided that rather than have a conventional front counter with a cash register and a lot of "point of purchase" advertising displays, that we would prefer a simple, understated appearance without any visual hype. Our store has modular Knoll office furniture, plus a comfortable seating area. Our windows aren't plastered with tacky advertising stickers. There is artwork on the walls, and no neon in sight.

Of course, we have demonstration rooms just like any other audio or video store. However, our rooms have been very carefully designed and constructed to be acoustically neutral so that your product evaluations can be as meaningful as possible.

And for your comfort we offer nice restrooms and a Poland Springs water cooler.

What can I expect to spend?

A difficult question, to be sure. As a rule, we have found that about $5000 buys a nice high-performance stereo system with a source, amplification, speakers, and the necessary cables. Many of our clients choose to spend between $30,000 and $70,000, and some spend well over $100,000. Most of our clients build their high-performance systems over time as that way each individual purchase may be more manageable.

For home theaters, most of our clients spend at least $10,000 to $20,000, and many of them spend well over $50,000. A very fine home theater will cost over $100,000. And the really top-notch home theaters will run well into six figures when a custom room is factored into the equation—typically the range is $150-500,000.

For multi-room audio we offer a wide range of systems. Better systems start at about $1500 per room, with most client choosing systems that are under $4000 per room.

Because we help design a system and a solution specifically for your needs, the cost of your system will depend largely upon you, your lifestyle, your performance expectations, and your budget.

Do I need an appointment?


However, if you would like to evaluate specific products or use a particular room in our facility, calling ahead avoids having to wait for us to set up a system for you. Because we sometimes allow components to be borrowed for in-home evaluation, calling ahead ensures the availability of the equipment that you want to consider.

I'm building / renovating a home. What should I bring to the first meeting?

  • Blueprints (if they exist yet) or room dimensions.
  • Photographs of the key rooms (if you are renovating)
  • An idea of what you would like from the system.

Where are you located?

We are located in Waltham, MA, just outside of Boston about 20 minutes from downtown or Logan airport. We are at 899 Main Street, about half way between Moody Street and Route 128/95. Here's a map. We have a private parking lot in the rear of the building, off Rich Street.

Can you work with me even if I don't live near Boston?

Almost always. Depending upon your individual situation, we can usually both provide products and services just about anywhere in the world. We have clients throughout the United States and in many foreign countries. Of course, New England is our backyard, and the majority of our clientele live there.

What shipping options are available?

For boxes that aren't too big and heavy we usually ship FedEx. Usually we ship Ground unless you are willing to spend more for Air shipping. Alternatively we can use UPS or the Post Office if you prefer. However for large and heavy items Truck is the usual method.

For Truck there are delivery options such as Terminal, Dock, Tailgate, Liftgate, or Liftgate Inside:

 Terminal delivery can be used if you are willing to drive to the closest terminal and pick up the freight from that delivery terminal. Terminal delivery can be a good way to save both lift-gate and residential delivery fees.

Dock delivery can be understood as “no touch” as the driver does not assist in unloading. This means that whoever is on-site will need to unload with either a forklift, a pallet jack, or by hand. And technically speaking the dock should be a standard 4' loading docknot a "milk" or "cafeteria" dock.

Tailgate delivery is when the driver brings the pallets or boxes to the rear edge of the truck. The pallets are usually pulled to back of the truck with pallet pullers, a pallet jack, a hand truck, or by hand. And if the individual items in your shipment are light enough for you to take off by hand from the truck you do not need a lift-gate.

For many residential deliveries of larger and/or heavier items a lift-gate is required. A liftgate is a device used to raise and lower items from ground level to the level of a tractor trailer. Freight companies deliver items on a tractor trailer which is usually approximately 56 inches above the ground. With a liftgate the driver can lower the pallets or boxes to the ground. You are then responsible for moving the pallets or boxes into the building.

Liftgate Inside means the driver lowers the pallets or boxes to the ground and moves them inside your building. This is a more costly option. And obviously any doors must be wide and tall enough for the pallets or boxes to fit through. If you need even more service than that such as having a pallet broken down or things being unpacked to whatever degree then these would be additional cost service options.

Published on:
May 25, 2014

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