Used Hifi

Once in my life as an audiophile, I have bought something new. I saved money and I bought a Rotel RDC 965 BX Discrete cd player. I was very happy with it. The Rotel sounded great and it stayed in my hifi rack for around 9 years (!)I never encountered any problems with it and I sold it for a good price. In that period almost nobody had internet. So, buying used hifi was also not that populair.

I would not say, it was a waste of money, but I will never buy any new hifi again. Of course there is some very good and cheap stuff you can buy new. However, for the same amount of cash, you can get far better used hifi. The Rotel I bought new, you can get now second hand for less than 100 euro. And it is still a winner. I would recommend to recap it and add a Euro socket so you can use a better powercord. And maybe even replace the output for tubes. If you can not do it yourself, find someone who can do it for you. Look on hifi forums, for people who can do it for you. The result you will get is just amazing. You have a player that can beat any other exotic easily untill 3000 euro or more.

The same goes for amplifiers. You just need to check if everything is working ok. Try the pots, if there is no cracking. People who tell you that only some contact spray will solve the problem, are lying. For a short while, it will help, but after some time there will the same cracking noise in the potentio meters. If they make a cracking noise, it is time to replace them for new ones. And if you can not do it yourself, it can get pricey. So, beware! Used hifi, can be good for your wallet, but it always carries a risk. When it turns out you bought an amp with a defect, you can not claim the owner. It just doesn't work that way on the second hand market. So extra caution is needed when you buy used hifi. I once bought a Musical Fidelity A100-X with a defect in the left channel. When I listened to it, at the place of the seller, I couldn't hear the defect. Once, after buying it and hooking it up to my own hifi setup, I could notice there was something not right. So, I had to have it fixed. The bargain I thought to get, turned out to be a dissapointment.

Same goes for loudspeakers. Most audio and music lovers do take good care of their stuff. However, you cannot trust blind on that. So, check the units of the speakers before buying them. If they show signs of decay, especially at the edges, means it needs to be fixed. Or even worse, the units needs to be replaced.

It is a different story with cables. Most powercords, interlinks and speakercables I bought online on a second hand market. Cables don't wear out, they only have to transfer a signal from A to B. Of course, there is always a risk that the cable is not working. But,I have never heard these stories. What more worries me, is that are a lot of fake cables for sale. Most made in China or just by frauds, who copy a cable from van den Hul or NBA or any other high-end brand. There is almost no difference from the outside. But of course, the cable doesn't give the same performance. So, if you do not trust it, ask the owner he/she can deliver a certificate that the cable(s) is real. Many manufactories deliver those certificates when you buy them new. You can also search on the WWW to see examples of cables made my frauds. And there is also a describtion with it, that tells you the difference between real and fake.

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