Phobic

What are the big technical equipment advancements of the past 10 years

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31 minutes ago, jamster said:

Fair enough, and I think this is legitimate, but bear in mind it's the cost of providing that warranty, complying with consumer protection laws (accepting returns etc.) that makes up some of the premium of brand new goods.  It's not just tax or profit.

Let's say you wanted to a buy a new Hegel H120 amplifier right now.

New from a dealer: RRP £2,200 - but you could probably get at least 10% off just by asking = £2,000.  Full consumer protection and warranty benefits. Also probably a nice experience from the dealer, likely in person with a demo and a cup of tea.
(VAT, ~£366)

Ex-Demo from a dealer: ~£1,700  - all the same consumer protection benefits as buying new.  May have a slightly shorter warranty period.  Bought via ebay.
(VAT, ~£283)

Used: let's say £1,200 - a decent saving but no consumer protection benefits and much less if any warranty left.  Experience entirely depending on the seller, which is a little pot luck.
(VAT,  you'll effectively be reimbursing the previous buyer to the tune of ~ £200).

Basically, choose your poison.

consumer protection laws and returns are a sunk cost for new sales, they're not an issue for used sales, they have already been paid, even if you do want to include their cost in a used sale you're still paying a lower % of their apportioned cost when you buy used

sure you take your chances if you go down the used route.

however this is exactly how warranties work, you are paying a price to insure against the chance that there will be a fault, it's always cheaper on average to not take the insurance and just pay for the repair if you're unlucky and something goes wrong.

On average you'll not have a problem so you're spending money on an incremental insurance premium with their profit margin for no reason. 

this is all about averages, if you're the person who gets unlucky then you're going to get stung yes, but on average it still works out cheaper to not buy the warranty . The variance might be higher, but overall it's cheaper.

if there is a problem and you do have to pay for a repair why would you also want to add on top an insurance profit margin?

the whole warranty market is a huge insurance scam, I can buy a £10 electric toothbrush on Amazon and they will try and sell me £2 extended 5 year warranty, that's like saying I bet that 20% of these toothbrushes will fail within 5 years, when Amazon know that only 5% of them fail - bingo profit margin.

so a warranty has nothing to do with purchase security, it's more about piece of mind and buying the ability to smooth out peaky repair bills. 

Edited by Phobic

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37 minutes ago, jamster said:

Fair enough, and I think this is legitimate, but bear in mind it's the cost of providing that warranty, complying with consumer protection laws (accepting returns etc.) that makes up some of the premium of brand new goods.  It's not just tax or profit.

Let's say you wanted to a buy a new Hegel H120 amplifier right now.

New from a dealer: RRP £2,200 - but you could probably get at least 10% off just by asking = £2,000.  Full consumer protection and warranty benefits. Also probably a nice experience from the dealer, likely in person with a demo and a cup of tea.
(VAT, ~£366)

Ex-Demo from a dealer: ~£1,700  - all the same consumer protection benefits as buying new.  May have a slightly shorter warranty period.  Bought via ebay.
(VAT, ~£283)

Used: let's say £1,200 - a decent saving but no consumer protection benefits and much less if any warranty left.  Experience entirely depending on the seller, which is a little pot luck.
(VAT,  you'll effectively be reimbursing the previous buyer to the tune of ~ £200).

Basically, choose your poison.

Its just about what experience you prefer and perhaps the amount of disposable income you have. Personally I would not buy new if serious saving could be made by doing otherwise.  

I bought an ex dem Innuos Zenith Mk3 from an authorised dealer along with a years warranty for a discount of £1000 on the RRP.

My speakers bought from a B&O specialist along with a years warranty provided a saving of 60% off the RRP at the time of purchase or to put it context a saving a £3.5k.

Edited by wHIZZY

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Not necessarily entirely new, but improved (and cheaper), are most things digital -

DACS

Streaming

DSP

Pretty much everything analogue is being designed down to a price point for a smaller market, so, has decreased in quality at that price point.

I guess you could say that quality follows the demand / market, exactly as it should do.

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36 minutes ago, Phobic said:

this is all about averages, if you're the person who gets unlucky then you're going to get stung yes, but on average it still works out cheaper to not buy the warranty . The variance might be higher, but overall it's cheaper.

...

so a warranty has nothing to do with purchase security, it's more about piece of mind and buying the ability to smooth out peaky repair bills. 

I agree with you to a point. I don't put a huge store by paid-for extended warranties (and I like the typo... I've certainly given warranty providers a piece of my mind in the past). 

However  we do have robust consumer protection laws in this country.  The "manufacturer's warranty" is just an extra nice-to-have.  In fact, the manufacturers mainly do it to control their costs, not to make profit.  At some point, someone has to sell it new (or it will never become second hand).  The consumer protection laws apply to that sale.  Some less scrupulous dealers / manufacturers try to pretend that their "1 year warranty" etc. is all you get.  In fact they are legally responsible to that first purchaser for the quality of the goods for a reasonable lifetime of the goods. 

I like to get full value out of that, as part of the protection I've got by buying new.

Here's a few examples I've had recently:

- LG washing machine went faulty after some months.  LG weren't helpful.  Argos took it back and refunded me.
- Laptop.  Microsoft replaced it under warranty. (I bought it direct from them).
- VR headset. (bought direct) Oculus replaced it even though it wasn't clear whether it was a defect or accidental damage (Amex insurance would have covered the latter; I was just asking Oculus for evidence).
- Watch. The retailer repaired it once; it went again, so they replaced it.  

I've appreciated the ability to get a solution without too much additional hassle (certainly less than having to get repairs done myself) and I suspect I'm only slightly out of pocket this way, so I don't mind buying new.   Plus it's much more convenient, and you get much more choice when you buy new.

I do try not to pay RRP if I can help it & I also buy second hand when it makes sense.  It pays to be flexible.  

I think tax is rather irrelevant - the impact to the consumer is effectively amortized proportionally to the deprecation in the goods.

Edited by jamster

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3 hours ago, Phobic said:

I pretty much always buy hifi equipment used (hate paying the taxman).

What am I missing out on?

What are the big technical advancements of the past 10 years?

What's new right now that's worth taking a bath with the taxman for?

What should you always buy new and avoid buying used?

Presumably you like paying your way in life & think that taxes are way of making society responsible, unifying & altruistic?
 

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Class D amps and chip amps; these are now both excellent and mostly quite affordable. Anything digital likewise, less about audio performance, more about cost and features.

What else is it prudent to buy new? Hmm, second hand cartridges might not fit the risk profile that many of us wish to face.

So saying the only kit I possess which is less than 20 years old is stuff I've built myself (and a small passive pre I bought on a whim from Jerry) . Do I buy new? No, I buy used quality kit that I know will last, and that can be repaired should it fail.

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Internet Streaming - it's changed the way I listen to music, hugely enhancing my appreciation and enjoyment. 

Class D amps - starting with the little t-amps which imo brought genuine audiophile quality at beer budget prices, but now onto more more expensive designs, my current favourite solid state amps being Temple Audio Monoblocks. Other amps struggle to compete imo. 

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56 minutes ago, JANDL100 said:

Internet Streaming - it's changed the way I listen to music, hugely enhancing my appreciation and enjoyment. 

Class D amps - starting with the little t-amps which imo brought genuine audiophile quality at beer budget prices, but now onto more more expensive designs, my current favourite solid state amps being Temple Audio Monoblocks. Other amps struggle to compete imo. 

Do they? I have their stealth amp and I think the apart amp blows it out of the water..i also have a kingrex and a sonic impact amp and in my opinion there is something missing in these little amps..a organic verve for want of  a better word?  For what they are these little amps are brilliant.. But they do leave me a bit cold...now if i had your flash speakers..maybe i might feel different?  I have a suspicion i wont! Lol..

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7 hours ago, Von Krolock said:

Presumably you like paying your way in life & think that taxes are way of making society responsible, unifying & altruistic?
 

not directed at you Von, but I don't know why everyone is getting so excited about the tax point.

I pay my taxes, I happen to believe in how it makes society a better place. Tax avoidance is not the same as tax evasion.

Hifi equipment depreciates as soon as you buy it, VAT is part of the reasons that within 1 day of purchase you'll struggle to get back what you paid for it on the used market.

now can we talk about shiny things please :)

  

1 hour ago, JANDL100 said:

Internet Streaming - it's changed the way I listen to music, hugely enhancing my appreciation and enjoyment. 

yes the streaming side has improved, I jumped on the Tidal bandwagon not long of launch but not that long after gave up with it. I've just gone back and signed to Qobuz, things are much improved. I do think that that a big part of that is the integration that Roon has bought me as well

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2 hours ago, Nearly bewildered said:

Do they? I have their stealth amp and I think the apart amp blows it out of the water..i also have a kingrex and a sonic impact amp and in my opinion there is something missing in these little amps..a organic verve for want of  a better word?  For what they are these little amps are brilliant.. But they do leave me a bit cold...now if i had your flash speakers..maybe i might feel different?  I have a suspicion i wont! Lol..

Well, I laced my post with enough "imo"s to keep even you happy, I'd have thought. But apparently not!  ;-)

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11 minutes ago, JANDL100 said:

Well, I laced my post with enough "imo"s to keep even you happy, I'd have thought. But apparently not!  ;-)

Well..yes and no..lol  your right that they are very good..but a big heavy hot behemoth  amplifier takes some beating! However the behemoth uses a lot of electricity..so from a green perspective? Bad...so bad..all the trees dead! Oceans dry! Acid rain! But the little bantam amp with the big heart..runs on practically no power..coral reefs glistening..sun smiling..tree huggers drooling!  Think ill switch off the behemoth...🙃

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39 minutes ago, Nearly bewildered said:

Well..yes and no..lol  your right that they are very good..but a big heavy hot behemoth  amplifier takes some beating! However the behemoth uses a lot of electricity..so from a green perspective? Bad...so bad..all the trees dead! Oceans dry! Acid rain! But the little bantam amp with the big heart..runs on practically no power..coral reefs glistening..sun smiling..tree huggers drooling!  Think ill switch off the behemoth...🙃

Well... yes and no. 

You were a lot more enthused by the Bantam than me. It was good but soon got moved on. The Temple Monoblocks fully kitted out with Supercharger PSUs are in a different league. 

I didn't get to them via my listening to the Bantam but because I noticed they were being used in a very high end Wammer's system. It turned out that he'd compared them with some big hot heavy behemoths up to 20x the cost (that's £20k) and preferred them, so I thought I'd give them a try. I can't disagree with his enthusiasm. Class D is the future of high end solid state amplification imo. (Valves are different.) 

Edited by JANDL100
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16 hours ago, Phobic said:

I pretty much always buy hifi equipment used (hate paying the taxman).

What am I missing out on?

If what you are looking to buy is sold in small volumes (usually the case for high quality stereo hardware) then hardware that is good at doing the job will rarely become available secondhand whereas hardware that is poor at the job will be around much more. On top of this, outlets like ebay have driven up the second hand price of in-demand goods to remarkably high levels not much below negotiated new prices. If you want to purchase hardware that is good at doing the job and for which their is a significant demand then you are likely to be better off buying new.

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What are the big technical advancements of the past 10 years?

The home audio stereo industry is beyond mature and has been declining for decades. There has been no big technical advancements in the last 10 years and there will be none in the next 10 years because there is no incentive to do it. There has been a low level advancement in performance due to evolving technology and manufacturing but this is offset, probably more than offset, by rising prices due to the shrinking market sector and the decline of the UK within the developed world. 

Quote

What's new right now that's worth taking a bath with the taxman for?

That will depend on one's requirements. 

Quote

What should you always buy new and avoid buying used?

Cartridges are easy to damage, have both a limited life in use and a limited life sitting on a shelf unused if they contain soft bits that perish. I wouldn't consider buying one secondhand unless it was for a small amount I was prepared to lose.

Hardware in the £100(ish) range and below I would normally buy new because the time, effort and risk buying secondhand is likely to raise the total cost above that of buying new for me. Where this line sits for you will depend on things like how rich you are, how you value your time and whether getting involved with the secondhand market is something you enjoy or dislike.

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