Most, I repeat, most audiophiles are not wealthy. They may talk about their Krell, or Mark Levinson or other expensive high end equipment, but because someone decides to spend a signifigant chunk of money on a particular piece of equipment does not necessarily mean that they are stinkin' rich. The trick to getting this kind of stuff requires patience, knowing what to buy, knowing when to sell it, and knowing who to sell it to.
As patience is a requirement in developing a system, patience is also required to find the right opportunity at the right time and place. Everyone has heard a story where someone went to a garage sale and found a rare and valuable thing for a few dollars simply because the owner did not know how valuable it was, and just wanted to get rid of it. For the most part, this doesn't happen very often to most of us, but this does happen more often then you think. Being there when it happens and taking advantage of it can have some very good long term effects. The point? Keep an eye out for good deals, especially if you see a good deal on a piece of equipment that you know to be better than your weakest piece of equipment because as you develop a good idea of what you want, you can either feel good about getting this thing for cheap, or selling /trading it for something that you know you want.
What to buy
Classic equipment can be an especially good investment for the beginner for several reasons: 1.) The equipment continues to gain a good reputation over the years. Everyone and their uncle has owned one at one time or another and is willing to recount their experiences with it. 2.) The equipment has particularly well known sonic attributes and while it may not be the very best in its class these days, it does what it does consistently. 3.) The beginner will have a better chance to experience the product and develop a better idea of what they're looking for based on it. 4.) The beginner, after using the equipment can always sell the component for more or less what they paid for it. 5.) After being so well liked for many years, support and or upgrades are plentiful and still available.
When to sell
Who to sell it to
Bear in mind that although the point of high-end is really good music and good sound, visual appeal and pride of ownership play a big part in it (although some may be unwilling to admit it). That's why B&O is still around - some folks will pay big dough for the newest, coolest looking stuff even if it doesn't perform particularly well. Tubes have that classic look, and you can see them working - people like that. Preamps may have a certain feel to the knobs - people like that too. Speakers may feature the finest exotic wood veneers and be trimmed with rich Corinthian leather, and you can be assured that someone will obsess over it and then do whatever it takes to get their hands on it. I think this happens to everyone and there is nothing worng with it - it's good for the seller to make the money, and it good for the buyer because he/she finally has what they've been wanting.
Page created by James L Woodley © 2002 Page last updated 21 August 2005