What proportion of your overall audio purchasing is used or new equipment?

Many audiophiles soften the financial shock of upgrading or expanding their systems by buying used equipment, which typically sells at 50% (or less) of the original retail price. Sometimes, used audio gems are still state-of-the-art, and brand new is not always better. Other times, new equipment is the only way keep up. What is your strategy?

What proportion of your overall audio purchasing is used or new equipment?
Always buy used
3% (9 votes)
Mostly used
19% (61 votes)
50/50 new vs. used
24% (76 votes)
Mostly new
35% (109 votes)
Always new
19% (60 votes)
Total votes: 315

Julius Rudijana P.S.'s picture

I think several parts of my system is new, like CD TRANSPORT, Jitter, and LOUDSPEAKER. The other is used, like DAC, Preamplifier and Power Amplifier (tubes) because I need to upgrade the parts and tubes with my selected components.

Scott Douglas's picture

The internet has really opened up the used/demo market, in my eyes. Dealers are typically snobby and unwilling to negotiate. Let's get to the point here: if you buy new, you are getting way less for your dollar compared to the sum of the parts you are purchasing. We are all paying for manufacturing inefficiencies. Little companies sometimes have little minds. I would love to hear Stereophile's comment on this! I don't believe in absolute right and wrong, just black, gray, and white; whereas your publications, although informing, are definitely slanted toward the manufacturers, although sometimes it comes through in subtle words.

Jon Rosen's picture

First, there are some audiophiles who constantly churn equipment. I have no problem with buying something that is nearly new at a considerable discount from this type of individual, especially when you consider that the lifespan of most electronics outlives its usefulness. Second, speakers last a long, long time. I have no problem buying used speakers and saving some money. Many high-end dealers refuse to discount, since there is little competition for the lines they carry. Buying used equipment can make a lot of sense.

Pat Seery's picture

It's scarey because ther e is no 100% safe and sure way to trade person to person, but I do it. Prefer companies or persons I'm familiar with.

Dominique Walravens's picture

High-end or professional speakers are usually more interesting second-hand.

Allen Bainbridge's picture

I NEVER buy used speakers. But everything else I considered used before buying new.

Fred Mannis's picture

Have never been in a situation where, after auditioning and deciding on a particular piece of equipment, I have been able to find a used unit.

wilden_valencia@scudder.com's picture

Always buy new, always the same manufacturer, and, of course, always the same dealer. Exception to the rule: cables. Never new, never the same brand, and never the same dealer.

Peter Li's picture

Go for used stuff when cost is >$5,000. These stuff should be able to stand the test of time and the previous owners should be real audiophiles who will take care of the equipment

Mike Andrews's picture

You have to be careful of what you buy and where. I have always checked by having the equipment played for a while before purchasing.

Daryl Rossi's picture

While buying new affords a better selection, warranty, and service, the savings in buying used allow for better components that would otherwise be financially unattainable.

Michael Demeyer's picture

Buying used lets you own something for long enough (i.e., months) to really evaluate it. If it doesn't work out, you can sell with little or no loss.

Lee Yon's picture

Components with mechanical/moving parts should be first-hand, like transport and speaker.

Kurt Christie's picture

This question probably boils down to, as usual, economics. If one can afford to buy new, he/she will. If not, used is the way. Goes for houses, cars, and so on, even clothes.

Eric Thiessen's picture

The endless chain of used equipment passed from 'phile to 'phile is not unlike the bee pollinating multiple flowers---the benefits (audible and financial) are shared for the benefit of many. I submit that manufacturers may cringe, but true values and quality seem to sit still while the lesser travels.

David Rivera's picture

Used is the only way to go on a tight budget; if you search long and hard, you can usually find just what you lust for.

Paul Leonard's picture

It's rather risky to buy used equipment. Perhaps that stuff looks good outside, but inside we don't know if the components are still running perfectly.

Rich Martin's picture

High-End-sound should be able to be enjoyed by all, not just the ultra-rich. As you have already stated above, one can find "Used, High-End" equipment at have the original cost, that performs as well as new. Example: Golden Tube Audio Amp SE-40 New: about $1000.00, used: about $500.00..and as that particular company's saying goes; "For The Joy Of Music". After-all, that is why we buy these high-priced pieces of equipment: to enjoy music!!

David Cavazos's picture

I often find the best deal is often "last years" Model. I don't have a problem buying well cared for equipment.

Dave Shepard's picture

new equipment is too expensive. i can buy much better quality equipment for the price in the used market.

David Ramsey's picture

About 25% of my system is based on used equipment.

Paul Lucey's picture

Probably 50% in number of my components (a stereo CD and LP system and a home theater system) are new, but that means approx 70% of the dollars I have in the system were spent on new items.