Is it wise to buy used speakers on ebay?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Dave*R, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. Dave*R

    Dave*R Auditioning

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    I'm thinking of upgrading speakers at some point to some decent bookshelves, like the Paradigm Titans, and saw some on ebay for $80 for immediate purchase. Seems like a great deal, but then I started wondering if used speakers are a wise choice. If I'm looking to build a 5.1 system and I buy one pair for my fronts, would it be weird to match them with a different set (maybe still Titans, but from a diffrent used seller)? Does it make sense to buy used speakers blind (deaf?) if you've auditioned them at a dealer?

    They look like series 1 Titans, btw.

    This may be a separate topic, but how important is speaker burn-in, and should I be concerned that used gear was not burned-in correctly?

    Thanks.
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I don't really see a big issue with used speakers. It's eBay that I sometimes have issues with, so just make sure your seller has plenty of good feedback.

    Break in is a function of use, and there isn't really a "wrong" way to do it (like a car where there ARE wrong ways to break in engines and brakes). V1 Titans sound basically identical to the v2s and v3s, but they do look a bit different and the v2/v3 cabinets are nicer, IMO. They are all timbre matched so it should not be an issue combining any of those versions. You might also want to check www.audiogon.com .

    I always ask if they have the original packaging for shipping purposes.
     
  3. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    So long as you trust the seller and the seller's description of the condition of the speakers, your other concerns are not warranted. Speaker "break-in", if it exists (and I think it does) cannot be done "improperly". Loud, bass-heavy music is recommended for this, but only because it achieves "break-in" faster than playing music that's less taxing on the speaker.

    And so long as Paradigm is consistent with their manufacturing, you shouldn't have any timbre-matching issues.

    Again, the only real issue is whether you trust the seller to stand behind the sale.
     
  4. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    I find used speakers the WISEST choice, particularly Paradigm or other high value/highly regarded brands.

    To wit, I purchased 2 Studio 20 v1's very gently used several years ago, and sold them 2 years later for $50 less. I bought 3 Studio 40v2's for $1100 and sold them 3 years later for $1000. Now, I just purchased 2 used real wood Studio 100's for $1500 versus $2300-2500 list depdnding when they were bought...care to guess how much I can sell them for in a few years? In between the 40's and 100's, I bought a highly regarded set of speakers with soft tweeters (my mistake), and took a bath in compariosn on resell.

    I do the same thing with Amps...my B&K Ref series amps, purchased slightly used, are actually appreciating versus what I paid for them given typical ebay and audiogon selling prices.

    It's like a free upgrade program! Let someone else take the "walk out of the shop" depreciation hit, then swoop in.

    Caveat emptor, pepper the seller with questions. When I've found somone as picky about the care and condition of his gear as I am with mine, then I know I've found a good seller (also, the feedback system of both sites is a great place to get a good idea).
     
  5. Dave*R

    Dave*R Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the info everyone! I've still got a lot of auditioning to do, but I am feeling like this is a reasonable way to build my HT without breaking the bank.

    Are there some speaker models that should be avoided used that I, as a newbie to HT, might not know about but might be common knowledge amongst more seasoned HT enthusiasts? Are there some models that fare better over others? Or is it strictly a matter of how they were used by the previous owner (so I am left taking the seller's word for it)?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well, you need to ask a lot of questions. Find out if the drivers are all original and all working. Personally, since s/h can be on the high side, you might want to consider auctions that are local to where you live so you can see them in person. Forums such as this, AVS, and others are good places to look for used equipment.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You are always taking the seller's word. It's just as risky as anything else you buy used. Someone with a lot of transactions and 100% positive feedback will want to keep it that way. If you can't get straight answers or the seller doesn't get back to you in a timely fashion on a regular basis, I'd probably look somewhere else.
     
  8. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    I have purchased a couple of pairs of speakers on Ebay. Never had a problem and I am still using them in my setup. As others have stated, just check they're feedback.[​IMG]
     

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