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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:14 pm
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Location: Portland, OR, US
So....the glass is half full!


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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:17 am
Posts: 60
Location: Everett, WA, US
There have been some very interesting replies to this posting, and some also that I think are very accurate, at least from what I have been seeing. Granted, this is not a very scientific study and all, but I agree with the original post that there are not many buying. I started into this hobby in the late 80's, and I joined Audiogon in the late 1990's when it was a great place to sell, and also buy. I remember seeing upwards of seven to eight pages of preamps alone, and each page had probably at least 25 ads if not more. If there was something you wanted used, you could find it. It was also easier to communicate with the seller, and I made several friends along the way with the old system. Then came the change, and to my way of looking at things, the greed. My wife and I were attending an RMAF around 2010 or so and had a chance encounter with one of the new owners of the "new" Audiogon. To make a long story short, the man was rather smug when I started asking him why the changes, and his reply was "Where else are you going to sell your gear? We are the only game in town". My wife, who is a gentle soul and would not say "poop" if she had a mouthful, proclaimed the man to be an "ass" once we left the area where we (and he) were (was) sitting. To "kthomas", yes - Audiogon is not what it once was and to me, not even remotely close.

To "hifijones", I agree that raiding one's retirement fund for the purchase of things audio no longer makes sense. I might add here that once I stopped reading several audio websites and magazines, the "nervosa" simmered way the heck down and no longer am I looking for the Holy Grail in audio. I am very happy with what I have. Ignorance can be bliss. Also, I just bundled up all of my unused cables; Nordost, AudioQuest, WireWorld and others and retail for all of them added up to about $5K. I made about $1500 on all of them. That will also wake you up and get you to stop buying, or at least it was a wake up call for me to see all of that in black and white. Just saying...

To "viridian" and some others, I agree with your comments and I tend to believe that things are only worth what someone is willing to pay. To me, and this is just me now, but it seems that some people believe that their audio equipment appreciates as time goes on, and that a piece that is 10-15 years old is still worth what they paid for it. It rarely works for autos, and stereo equipment ain't that much different. I have been seeing more gear selling at some really unrealistic prices, especially gear that is several years old if not more. I do not understand that. Gear, it seems, used to be sold at more realistic prices.

And finally, "woodrage" said something to the affect that the people and the hobby is not what it once was. Yes, "amen" to that. As mentioned earlier in my post here (rant), I made some good friends off the old Audiogon and now it is so much more difficult to have a "conversation" with someone there outside the Audiogon oversight. Don't even try to send someone your email unless you can do it in code or you bought something and then it is okay. A comment was made that guns are probably selling more. A neighbor of mine manages a Cabela's (soon to be Bass Pro Shops) and it is a "Class C" store for Cabela's, their smallest store. And yet, this store sells over 4800 guns a month. And the area where I live is a decent sized county, but we are not all that big. Just in case "woodrage" was wondering I thought I would put this in. That is a lot of guns..

So, thanks for letting me rant a little. There was a lot of great replies to the original post and most of them accurate, and sage. It does sadden me some that the hobby does seem to be changing and I don't think for the better. I know that the brick and mortar audio stores in my area are not the places they once were...they seem more and more about the sale and less and less about what is best for the customer.


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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Homestead, PA, US
Trying to upgrade, which is the goal, can be a very risky business. Except for people in very big cities and some lucky others, most people can no longer just conveniently take a few rides to a couple of places and hear all kind of audio goodies.Especially high end stuff.Most people have to go by reviews or even worse user forums, where some people have "ears" and some people don't have a clue.Sending someone a lot of money for a piece of gear based on someone's recommendation on a forum who sounded intelligent, and then a few weeks after finding out that he listens to classical music on his 1970's JBL 100's; Stings! The problem was that you couldn't conveniently hear the disappointing component in advance and trusted the judgment and endorsement of someone who is not a good judge. Its amazing how many people sound like they really are serious audio minds and then find out that they own a very badly colored inaccurate system. The goal is to move up in sound, but the thought of spending many hundreds or thousands of dollars and then finding out its not really an upgrade is a sickening experience. Many decades ago I read a review from one of the audio review magazines that the Robertson Forty Ten power amplifier was proclaimed the "king of the hill" of power amplifiers. After paying a lot of money for it, I found out that the dry, bleached sound it provided was not only NOT the king of the hill, it was not even as good as the sub $400 power amp I had been using. I wasn't enjoying my stereo anymore and within a year ended up selling everything but my turntable. People see stuff on here that they think they would like to own but lack confidence that it really will result in better sound. Its a guessing game and a gamble, so they don't do it as often. It might even be something listed that had problems and was taken to some half ass repair shop, that fixes things so they'll last a few months or less.
I do buy used equipment (mostly ebay) & I think I have been lucky, but I have received amps that were intermittent, several cartridges dead in one channel, a driver with no sound etc. But even with all this I did ok over 80% of the time.The money I saved by getting deals by buying used was worth it. The risks are just part of it. As long as the risks are viewed as low enough based on experience. With fewer and fewer stores selling really good equipment within a reasonable distance people are having to trust reviews, user testimonials and their own instincts and inferences which without direct experience, can be shaky.More people would buy and upgrade more often if they were more confident and sure about the results of their decisions.There are no easy answers. Listen first is always the smartest thing, but not really convenient enough to be feasible usually nowadays.


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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:00 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Rio Rancho, NM, US
Upside wrote:
Many decades ago I read a review from one of the audio review magazines that the Robertson Forty Ten power amplifier was proclaimed the "king of the hill" of power amplifiers. After paying a lot of money for it, I found out that the dry, bleached sound it provided was not only NOT the king of the hill, it was not even as good as the sub $400 power amp I had been using.


An audio guru who was also a personal friend recommended the 4010 to me many years ago. I asked him why it was so highly regarded and he told me that the manufacturer paid extra attention to the design of the power supply. So I figured that I'd end up with one eventually but they rarely come up for sale so it never transpired. The 4010 does have a cult following so evidently many folks might disagree with your assessment. We all know what we like and we like different sounding components & speakers for very different reasons. Different strokes for different folks.

** Trivia **

David Tan is/was the designer and engineer of Robertson Audio. His father's name was Robert and he was an audio engineer as well. Hence the name Robert-Son, a tip-of the-cap to his Dad.

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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm
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Location: Homestead, PA, US
Unfortunately, the magazine that published that the. Robertson was the SS king of the hill lost thousands of its following (subscribers) over reviews and controversies like that.To my ears it was dry and had a suppressed upper midrange.It did have good bass and its certainly not an important product anymore.Have better things to do than argue about a near 30 year old amp from a defunct company.


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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm
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Location: Homestead, PA, US
Thanks for the trivia though about the Robertson amp.Dryness can make an amp sound smoother than it really is.That probably is what confused the reviewer.He should have noticed that the tonal colors were diminished.We count on reviewers to be our ears sometime, when we can't actually travel to hear something. In the 1980's and 1990's many cables appeared on the scene which had vastly improved clarity but sounded dry and bleached.What good is more detail if you do not like the way the detail sounds.The designer of the amp I was using before was named Julius Vereeker, or something like that, and he really knew what he was doing soundwise regarding any form of amplification.If you are still seeking a Robertson there is a Sixty Ten on ebay the last time I looked for $600.I didn't bother to read all the particulars.From the pics it looks like it came out of a sand dune.


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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:07 am
Posts: 16
Location: Repentigny, QC, CA
Woodsage wrote:
Perhaps teetering on the brink of world war is making people rethink thier priorities.

Or the oldsters who buy most of this stuff are dying off or retiring and spending less.

Maybe since the S&P can drop 700 points on one ass-clown's Tweet people are a little puckered up.

Possibly people are snapping up guns instead of audio gear.

Scammers seem to be more the norm than the exception lately as well which makes trading riskier and less fun.

And there is a now a plethora of choices when it comes to audio gear so more and more competition.

The world ain't what it was folks and neither is the hobby as far as I can see.

Bottom line is things are only worth what you can sell them for. That much has not changed.


If you want a laugh, or consider why things may not sell, then take a look at CAM up north. There's a sx-1980 Pioneer receiver on the market there for 7k$. I even started a thread on the broader subject - to seek to understand, not to belittle the seller.


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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:22 am 
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Location: Houston, TX, US
A lot of the comments above are insightful. A couple of additional thoughts, ageing baby boomers, the younger generation is probably more sold on the idea that the newest product is the best, audio companies go out of their way more often to have shorter life cycles to push forth newer products making the older ones less valuable. For years I had Audience wire and the only upgrades they made were the e series. Recently they have upgraded their wire series so often, I can't keep up with the pace at all. When they came out with the SE and John McDonald said it is three times the benefit of the e upgrade that I had paid for with most of my wires, I realized it was totally BS and lost faith in what I thought was a good manufacturer. Obviously he was telling people to sell or junk their old wire to buy this new even more expensive one and had to motivate them, but how did he know it was three times the upgrade?

Baby boomers more likely to die or down-size dumping expensive equipment on the market. 50 percent might be good if it is a year or two old, or if it really was a classic piece with universal following, but to move something that is 6 or more years old probably listing it at 35% of the new price makes more sense if you want to sell it quickly. Newer equipment is smaller, and people are not able to afford as much space because of rising income inequality. Why buy used if you are in the one percent who makes 500k or more a year? Finally I think the cost of really good solid state equipment has probably come down a lot, as well as excellent digital sources.

Finally guns, this I dont understand. I have never liked the sounds of gunfire unless it is a really good movie over a really good stereo!


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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:10 pm
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Location: anaheim, CA, US
Everyone is broke or close enough to it, so everyone sells, sells, sells.
And the downfall is we all become spectating lookie loos, like those on the freeway viewing an accident that has no impact on their commute.
Southern California has the host of them.
Financial advisers say that in order to rent a 1 bed room apartment in L..A. or O.C. your wage has to be $33 an hour, and most jobs do not even come close to that.
Local news reported that employees at the so called happiest place on earth live in their cars.
Go figure.
Enjoy your stereo while you still got it.


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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm
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Location: Homestead, PA, US
Re: The cable manufacturer saying his new cable is 3 times better. He might have just been not meaning to be taken literally; meaning its way way better, but I wasn't party to the conversation so I don't know. I don't think there are 300% sound quality improvements in audio. In my estimation about a 15% improvement is clearly audible to even your average casual listener whose ears are not really audiophile trained. A 30% improvement is enough that it is a whole new listening experience. That kind of improvement makes you want to stay up into the wee hours of the morning pulling out one favorite disc after another and reveling in the thrill of hearing your favorite music as its never revealed itself before. A 300% improvement would be like going from the $59.99 department store stereo your parents gave you on your 11th birthday to something in upper Class B of Stereophile's recommended components issue.
Which brings up another interesting food for discussion topic. If you read the above Mag, they have equipment rated class A+ (last time I browsed at the Barnes & Noble library...err; I mean book store), from class A+ all the way down to class D, which unlike a nearly failed test, is supposed to be still quite competent equipment. But what % of improvement is there between something for instance in low class C to low Class B ? Which is about the max that most people could stretch their budget? Is it 10%, 20%, 30% ? I have wondered. There should be some sort of communication that conveys "degrees" of improvement and makes that clear as best as something so subjective allows.


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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:49 pm 
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Location: Rio Rancho, NM, US
hearnow1 wrote:
Obviously he was telling people to sell or junk their old wire to buy this new even more expensive one and had to motivate them, but how did he know it was three times the upgrade?


Because his accountant told him it was. Cause & effect: When audiophools jump off the constant upgrade merry-go-round fellas like Mr. McDonald can't afford that new McMansion. Hence the hyperbole about the 'new & improved' cabling. 3X better. Bollocks! Maybe McDonald's dog can hear the difference.

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 Post subject: Re: No one is buying
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Several years ago I got an opportunity to buy a pair of Supra's top model interconnects.They are a Swedish company.I always wanted to buy a really top notch interconnect, but I didn't want to go the money. I think this, their top model lists for at least $900 for 3 feet. I was pleased that the guy accepted my offer for a fraction of that.
It was used often by the previous owner and was all broken in when I started listening to it. The first thing that struck me, was that on familiar very well known to me discs, EVERYTHING was BIGGER.The soundstage, the size of the instruments.Everything sounded sweeter and instruments and voices didn't stand out like a laryngytic seaman's voice among conversation of normal voices.On rock, synthesizer runs and other stuff that sounded partially buried in the mix, came through with a surprising obviousness thanks to the increased transparency. The sound was not brighter, it actually sounded less bright thanks to the much increased sweetness and lowering of distortion.When you are hearing more detail top to bottom and the sound is less bright: friends, you really got something there ! Before hearing the cable I wouldn't have thought of spending anywhere near its $900+ list price. After living with it I started thinking its high list price would have actually been a bargain considering the improvement. Still glad I got it for way less though. They have an EFF-1 model interconnect that is supposed to be not all that far behind, that I've seen used for as low as $140. I would like to buy their top model speaker cable, but its expensive & I will have to wait for a bargain. Their top interconnect cable will have no difficulty convincing seasoned listeners that cables can make as much improvement as a significant amp upgrade. I Don't know what amp would have made that much improvement. Every record, CD and tape in my collection sounds like a cleaner better recording than I thought they were.


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