Speakers - why not buy them used?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EricHaas, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    I invite people to share their experiences and/or opinions about purchasing speakers used. This is my experience.

    I had a cheap HTB system for a couple years, and caught the upgrade/hobbyist bug a couple months ago. After auditioning numerous speakers, I opted for Paradigm. I was significantly more impressed with the Reference line, but could only afford the Monitor line. However, my local Paradigm dealer had a Christmas clearance sale and the Studio CC (demo model) was on sale for $350. So I picked it up and figured I would get Reference line mains when I could afford them.

    Well I ended up buying used, as you can tell from the topic header. I decided to pick up a pair of Studio 20 v.2's from a hobbyist on Audiogon, $400, black laminate, six months old. In addition, I grabbed a pair of Titan v.2's for rears, also six months old, $145, including the MB60 wall mount brackets which I needed (the brackets are I think $40 retail).

    The Titans arrived first. They were packed not in their original Paradigm boxes, but very professionally, and included the manual that came with them. The speakers were in pristine condition, literally indistinguisable from new. The brackets came in their original package resealed with the screws. I have not mounted the Titans yet, but I have tested them and they are thoroughly broken in. They sound beautiful.

    The Studio 20's came in their original Paradigm boxes, also packed very professionally. Like the Titans, the 20's were indistinguishable from new. Not a nick or a scratch. They too were totally broken in and sounded wonderful out of the box.

    I also picked up the Sony WM40 sub new for $135 online. And I got a Denon 3801 demo model off ebay for $475 +$25 shipping +$20 for an extended warranty from vikingwarranties.

    In all, I am extremely happy with the fruits of my upgrade fever. Although I do not have the Titans set up yet and still have the cheap rears, the system is already 1000% superior to my previous setup and easily worth the $1500 spent.

    I think buying used is extremely viable in that it allows you to buy a level of quality beyond your price range and has the added benefit of bypassing that often lengthy burn in time associated with new speakers. However, those who are conservative and risk averse obviously will steer clear of this route. It also may be that I got lucky with the quality of the speakers, so my experience may be atypical. I do think that when you buy from sellers at places like audiogon or the forums you are typically buying from hobbyists who tend to pamper their equipment.

    BTW, I want to thank everyone here who helped me out with advice on my buying decisions!
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I picked up a pair of Titan V1s, basically in perfect condition, for $80!! [​IMG] Absolutely zero issues with them. They sound more or less identical to my other pair of V2s. As long as you can take a look and listen to them first, I think getting used speakers is a great way to go. [​IMG]
    Then, a friend of a friend needed some decent speakers, so I sold her the V1s and replaced them with V2s that I got for quite a bit off ($189, shielded) for an x-mas sale also.
     
  3. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a pair of Vandersteen 3A's sight unseen from an out-of-state dealer. With the optional upgraded stand, these are full price at around $3000 and I got them for $1600 + shipping. They were in perfect condition. The dealer even called me after the purchase to ensure that I was happy, even though he knows I will not likely buy anything else from him.

    I understand that Vandersteen dealers have a very high reputation. I'm very pleased with my gently used speakers.
     
  4. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    If you want certain kinds of speakers...good horns... one is pretty much confined to the used market or DIY with components from JBL, Radian, TAD etc. There is lots of nice used Altec, JBL, EV and Jensen stuff out there, stuff that IMO sounds better than anything available new. Most of my speaker rig is compliled of used Altec and JBL components, I wouldn't have it any other way.
     
  5. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    I've never bought anything used, however I seem to sell a ton of stuff [​IMG] My friends end up getting the good end of the deal when I upgrade, I've singlehandedly equiped two co-workers with almost all the components in their HTs [​IMG]
    Brian
     
  6. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

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    I bought some B&W 303's used today, I saved about $80 and they are just like new except they had no box and are broken in.

    I bought them from a store, and they are still giving me 5 year parts and labour on them so I have no issues.
     
  7. Dan Kaps

    Dan Kaps Extra

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    Like Brian, I've never bought speakers used. However, each that I've sold were absolutley like brand new and the buyers got excellent deals compared to paying retail price. So, from my experience, buying speakers used can be a great way to get more for your dollar.
    Dan Kaps
    www.heartlandcables.com
     
  8. Ron Shaw

    Ron Shaw Stunt Coordinator

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    A lot of the used gear out there, especially the pro stuff that Tom Brennan is talking about, can be a great bargain. I would like to caution buyers about older consumer woofers that use foam surrounds, though. Foam surrounds only last for about 10 years in good shape. By 15 years, most are shot, or close to it. You can get new surrounds for many of these if you want to fuss around with replacing them, but after doing that, you find its no longer a bargain. Most of the pro woofers use accordion edge (treated cloth), and these are fine for decades, and I would not hesitate on picking up these, but I personally shy away from foam surrounds, now. I have some Dynaudio 21W54s with deteriorated foam surrounds, and I cant get them repaired, since they are not standard size. [​IMG]
     

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