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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm
Posts: 271
Location: Homestead, PA, US
I try to avoid paying more than I have to for audio equipment. My goal is not to spend as much as I can, but to get the best sound for my money. I have put together used systems for way less than $500, whose sound would qualify, in most ways as high end sound quality. With loads of great vintage equipment out there, here are some tips on effective buying.

Wake up early and scour sites with new and used audio gear listed.

Become familiar with model numbers. As a general rule the higher up models in a line, or in succeeding lines, have higher model numbers, but sometimes its just the reverse. One example I just saw on another site. The vintage sought after Philips CD 80 player was their top of the line player back then. Yet the lesser sounding and lower model CD880 model often gets higher bids, presumably from people thinking its higher up than the CD 80, because its model numbers are higher. Same with the nearly decade later CDB 650 vs. the CDB 630 model. The 650 is probably the most modified CD player in history, but the much rarer and better CDB 630 was the top of the line model. The hierarchy regarding numbers is sometimes in reverse, resulting in confusion and bad inferences. Mass mis- understanding is a good way to scoop things with better knowledge.

Never pay a Buy It Now price on the "bay" if the seller has a Make Offer also. The Buy It Now price is often the most optimistic high price that the seller can imagine his item getting; not what he expects it to really get.

Read Forum reviews and other reviews. Sometimes a lesser model lower in the line is actually as good but has less features as the only difference.

I stay away from items that are described as "working years ago last time I tried it." Often its a seller knowing something does not work and hopes to blame "time" for it.

Stick to sellers who have good feedback.

Always look to see if it there isn't one at a lower price before jumping at it.

If there is an item with 2 bids and only one bidder, their second bid is often not much higher than their first bid. Be thorough and Don't assume multiple bidders just because something has multiple bids. It is often the lone bidder trying to discourage other potential bidding competition.

If something has a heavy duty 3 prong cord, chances are (usually) that the manufacturer has gone to the added expense of implementing a power supply and transformer that is beefier and better.

Don't assume newer is better or more advanced in all instances. There is lots of vintage equipment that may be a little less sophisticated but weighed against the general tendencies of modern cost cutting and using cheaper materials, may actually come out ahead in performance.

What are some of your experiences and tips on how to effectively buy equipment ?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:11 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Orange County, CA, US
Thanks. Good tips.

One that I would add would be to -- always, always -- do everything you can to do an in home demo. I've had components that sounded wonderful in the seller's system and then just no so wonderful at all in my system. And vice versa, i.e., components not sounding so good in someone's system but then sounding good in mine.

And, if you can't then try to have a demo with components as similar as possible to yours. Or, take your components to the seller's and set-up what you can set up and demo at their location.

And, if none of that is possible then try to get a return/grace period.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:55 am
Posts: 4
Location: Castle Pines, CO, US
Great topic and great ideas in this thread. :)

I would only add that it couldn't hurt to tell family/friends/co-workers that you are interested in audio related items. I'm very much into bicycles/watches/stereo stuff and have good luck so far by spreading the word. Sometimes you get lucky and a relative of a friend is downsizing or clearing out space and will let some nice items go for cheap/free. :-)

Best,
Jason


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm
Posts: 271
Location: Homestead, PA, US
Excellent idea. My relatives in another state once gave me an amp & speakers when I visited them. There was a store owner who was sick of my repeated stopping in his store to see if he located his vintage un-built tube amp kit. After all those stop-ins, over a long period of time he finally just gave it to me for free. I have found vintage tube equipment in second hand stores for $5 to $15, which is close to free. Speakers on ebay auctions for 1 cent plus shipping. One time it was one cent and free shipping, mine being the only bid. A long time ago I found an RCA Living Stereo LP for 50 cents that was known to sometimes go for over $1,000. It pays to shop around.


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