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Performance per pound: New vs 2nd hand

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by SanPedro, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    Saw a yamaha receiver for sale in the classifieds a couple of days ago. DSP A1 i think it was. Whatever, it was Yammies mutts nuts a couple of years back. The guy was asking £400 for it.

    My question (and there is one) is this: has technology in AV moved on as it has in the same way as, say, the PC industry. Where this year's model is twice the spec and half the price of last years?

    I wouldn't dream of buying a 2nd hand PC that was a few years old as it would be unlikely to meet my needs. Yet here was an amp which had a lot of current technology, like 6.1, for the price of a current budget to mid range amp.

    OK it's 2nd hand, but would it beat the pants off a current budget or mid range model for sound quality? Av gear these days seems fairly bullet proof - is there anything that would typically go wrong with something that, when new, cost £2000.

    I was sorely tempted at the time (I have an aging Sherwood receiver), but funds didn't allow.

    How many others have taken the 2nd hand route with success? It's like buying cars, let some other mug take the hit on depreciation :D

    Chris
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    Yes. The older flagship amps/receivers are certainly better performers than the newer stuff in the same price bracket. What you don't get (in most cases) is the newer formats such as PL2, DTS ES Discrete, Dolby EX etc. If you only want standard 5.1 then I would go for an older model personally. Some amps like the Denon A10SE can be picked up for around 500 quid, it has 5 channels of amplification but has decoding for THX Surround EX, which you can then use by adding a 2ch power amp. The Yamaha DSP A1 that you mentioned is also a stormer of an amp.:)
     
  3. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    That's basically what I was wondering. £400 for 6.1, superb build, good with music yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Like buying a 3 year old Merc instead of a brand new Mondeo. It may not be new but its still a Merc.

    Must keep my eyes peeled on the classifieds and Ebay. Got my Servo 15 2nd hand. Ok, so I had to get it repaired, but it's still cost me less than a new one and for £350 all in, I can put up with the odd scratch for the huge grin it plasters all over my face.

    Any other positive points on buying 2nd hand out there?

    Chris
     
  4. Jase

    Jase
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    Not 6.1 as such (think that was the AX1). The DSP A1 has two extra front effects channels for it's DSP modes although they have far less power output than it's main channels. It does have a parametric equaliser built in though, which could come in rather handy. :)
     
  5. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    You're right. That was my Homer Simpson moment. I was thinking the AX1. Fact is, both have been for sale recently in the classifieds at £400.

    Chris
     
  6. ddlooping

    ddlooping
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    Hi all. :)

    I'm one of those who've taken the 2nd-hand route. :D
    I have recently bought a Denon AVC-A1D for £600 and I'm extremely pleased with it.
    Granted, I have read that they can be picked up for £500 or thereabout, but it's in perfect condition, was delivered, and I bought it from a friend. ;)

    P.S: most of my gear is either 2nd-hand or b-grade.
     
  7. alfablue

    alfablue
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    The difference between AV hardware and PC's is I think, that the performance of PC's is constantly being reduced by more demanding software, if you want the newest software then older PC's struggle (I think Microsoft in particular, make no attempt to produce lean and mean software, and it is probably in their commercial interest to enforce obselescence in this way).

    AV hardware does have new software, of course, with the likes of SACD, DVD-A, and new surround formats, but I guess that if you don't want these then the older stuff could still offer the same or neqarly the same quality of reproduction per £. I am not an AV techie but I would guess that there is a different life span of the technology compared to PC technology.

    I would probably choose the Merc (well, actually I would probably go for something italian rather than some dull german stuff) rather than the new mondeo. Maybe like cars, let someone else pay for the depreciation - most of the new kit I have bought is at least 25% cheaper after a year from release (at which time it is usually replaced by a newer model).
     
  8. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    True to a large extent with PCs. But a PC or Macintosh today is a far quicker beast to that of yesterday, and with the likes of Windows XP and MAc OSX a much nicer hine to use.

    With Hi Fi I was wondering if there is a certain degree of sound quality level that is difficult to improve upon for certain products, and which products this applies to. is last years £2000 receiver this years budget model. I'm sure there is a certain amount of this trickle down effect that you find with cars, for example. This being the case, which are the best things to buy 2nd hand (ie those with the least product development) and those which are the equivalent of PC. I guess DVD and CD players fall into the 2nd category.

    Chris
     
  9. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Not entirely true with PC's. I run a Pentium 133MHz, with 80MB of EDO RAM, 8MB Voodoo2, AWE64 value, 2 HD (one 2GB, one 20GB). and it still runs lightning fast once you're past boot-up.

    Not COMPLETELY new software, but Win98 and Office 2000. Much faster than my PIII office PC anyways. It's games where the cutting edge hardware is needed (got a GC instead).
     
  10. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    EvilJohn

    Would agree up to a point. TBH I wouldn't like to go back to a 133Mhz PC (no disrespect intended). The issue with PC speed is that increases in speed are almost negligible with most software these days.

    If the doubling of speed of a processor halves the time it takes to process something the difference becomes less noticeable. Something that took a second then takes half a second. Then a quarter, then an 8th, 16th, 32nd etc. I'd say most office apps have had all the power they need for a few years now (and more besides). Do you really need a 3Ghz processor, 1Gb RAM and a 120GB HD to type letters and surf the web? Which is what most people do.

    Agree with you about games though. Got my kids a PS 2 as PC gaming was too much aggro.

    So is the AV like Microsoft, tryong to develop 'new' products from existing lines to keep things ticking over. Do all these fancy new speaker technologies sound much better than older designs or is there a certain amount of 'Emperors New clothes' with some of it (new sound formats not withstanding)

    Chris
     
  11. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I think along with high-end integrated AV amps over the last 4 years, another thing that hasn't improved that much over the last 10-15 years is stereo speakers.

    I've a pair of Linn Index II's with cu-stone stands. I think they cost me £470 all-in around 1988 after having a few different sets at home from my local BADA dealer.

    Their performance has improved with each system upgrade, including a Musical Fidelity A1 class-A amp, flagship CD player, external DAC, then I discovered subwoofers and active crossovers to take the low bass from their duties. Now they are powered by the THX ultra Denon A10SE, now with it's clean digital bass management and a THX ultra powered subwoofer.

    I'm surprised on the number of favourable comments that the sound gets by people used to more esotric than mine and that they are not outclassed by the addition of a Kef 200C Reference Centre, £1,000 each new.

    I did hear a circa. £3K B&W 8xx(mumble) setup driven off a £2.5K Denon A1SE which was slightly but noticeably cleaner at -7dB, but to my ears there wasn't a massive amount in it.

    I really don't know what I could replace them with or what budget I'd need?

    I think that most of what we seem to read and hear about from the industry's market makers is unsurprisingly biased marketing material.
     
  12. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I bought last week a Sony STR-VA555ES for £400.....Fantastic amplifier and still very modern....has got every current processing except for DTS96/24......

    Definitely buy second hand.....
     
  13. Semiskimmed1976

    Semiskimmed1976
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    I was in the same boat, I wasnt sure whether 2nd hand meant money down the drain...but I bought some fronts and centre speakers from here for £200 (best buy so far for me) and in the process of getting a Pioneer amp for £280 - so all in all, 2nd hand is a good way of getting a decent system if you don't have the money to buy new...if you can live with normally minor scratches and less than up-to-date formats then i'd recommend 2nd
     
  14. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    I've bought a Rotel 1055 Reciever and a pair of Ruark Preludes S/H, both in mint condition and payed under half price for both. I would seriously recommend this route as my kit makes amazing noises for not much money.
     
  15. mcmullanbrush

    mcmullanbrush
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    I have just been through a fairly big upgrade, the net cost has been 2,500. By buying second hand, I have a system that is far superior to anything I could have bought new. :smashin:
     
  16. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    Don't keep us in suspense m8. What d'ya buy? :D

    Chris
     
  17. mcmullanbrush

    mcmullanbrush
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    Errrm, lets think....

    Pioneer 737 DVD player
    Rotel 985 Power Amp
    3x M&K 1510's
    2x M&K S85's
    Meridian 565 Processor

    I also got new

    Paradigm Servo-15 Subwoofer
    Speaker and Component cables.

    I sold

    Toshiba 510 DVD Player
    Denon 3801 Amp
    Velodyne CHT-10 Subwoofer
    Mission cinema 7 package
    Extra pair of Mission 77DS Speakers

    As I mentioned, the net cost was about 2,500 and it sounds wonderfull:D
     
  18. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    Hmmmm...
    Similar to my own thinking. I'd consider the M&K K17s plus K4s and a decent Denon or maybe Yamaha to power them. These amps seem pretty cheap 2nd hand. Think I'd rather go excellent 5.1 than so-so 6.1.

    Already got the Servo.

    I heard the 1510s recently (think it was them anyway) in Manchester along with an M&K 350 sub, powered by a Denon Set up. Sounded good to me, but I wouldn't have wanted to pay full price for it all.

    Just out of interest, where did you aquire it all? Here or via ebay or what?

    Cheers

    chris
     
  19. Vection

    Vection
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    If we're all buying second hand who's buying new!?
     
  20. mission

    mission
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    How much does a denon avc-a10 go for second hand or do you think best to save a bit more and go for a 3803
     
  21. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    The same people that buy new cars ;)

    I could buy new if I wanted, but what I want would cost me more than i could afford. I always like a bargain so 2nd hand may be the way to go.

    chris
     
  22. mcmullanbrush

    mcmullanbrush
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    Chris

    I have gone from okay 7.1 to excellent 5.1. I do have a much less diffused rear soundfield, as I sit close to the rears, but I am working on that.

    I got everything from the classifieds on here, except the S85's. These were bought from a dealer following a tip off from a forum member.

    If I were you, I would go for a Denon AV10SE, great 5.1, but with a 7.1 option if you want it. The last couple on here struggled to sell a little and I reckon you could get one for around 450.00:smashin:

    David
     
  23. martian1

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    Can you help... I want a second hand pioneer 909 silver if possible, this amp is a few years old now. I couldn"t afford it at that time but hopefully i can now.
    Where do i look Guys.........Tried ebay etc but nothing doing!

    Cheers

    Ps/ I have a Marantz 6.1 amp at moment but never bothered with extra channel, I used to have a pioneer 808 and loved the sound compared to the Marantz. Hence the change of amp.
     
  24. mcmullanbrush

    mcmullanbrush
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    You could stick a wanted ad on the classifieds forum and remember to keep bumping it back to the top every couple of days or so.
     
  25. ilkand

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    I bought the AX1 that was in the classifieds here. It still hasn't come yet, though, so I cannot really comment on quality. The thing that I needed was the audio delay feature to get rid of lipsync problems. The AX1 has it, but the cheapest uptodate amp that also has it is the 3803 at at least £650 (I think). That would be out of my price range.

    Andy
     
  26. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    Andy

    Please let me have your thoughts on this if you don't mind. What doo you currently have?

    Chris
     
  27. puddleduck

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    If I were you, I would go for a Denon AV10SE

    Thats what I did! Went from a Denon 3801 to an AVC-10SE and its night and day, especially for music.

    I lost DTS-ES Discrete, but as this is not a genuine cinema format it didn't bother me at all, but I have gained superb performance. Sold the 3801 for £350 and bought the 10SE for £520 via these forums and I'm not looking to "upgrade" any time soon.

    I think that 10SEs are struggling to sell at around £500 - £450 is more realistic I believe now, due to natural depreciation.
     

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