To analyze or not...what type of buyer are you?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Chester0711, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Everybody utilizes a small amount of logic when purchasing equipment. Some of us go to great lengths to study a piece in the chain of our audio playback system of choice and some just buy!

    Recently, I have been upgrading slowly with the help and feedback of many of you on this board. It was brought to my attention recently by another board member that I probably wasn't gracious enough in my praise for those who have helped me along the way. While I do believe I threw out an occasional thank you for good well thought out feedback, I probably could have doled out more praise. So to those who have helped, thank you! You know who you are....

    All of this said, I find that I analyze these purchases to death. Believe me, the info I get here is just the tip. I have not always been this way with other "hobbies" and purchases. As a matter of fact I have been known to be rather quick with other stuff. Audio stumps me and makes me think and hem and haw more than other stuff for some reason. It is probably coupled with my lack of general knowledge and feeling that I don't have what I want narrowed down and or how to get what I want into a piece of equipment.

    At any rate, does anybody else torture themselves over purchases and the end result?

    Is there a tipping point for many of you that pushes you one way or another? Is it time? What usually makes you commit to the purchase in the long run?

    For those of you that buy equipment in a sort of hipshot manner, do you just assume you will return it if you don't like it? (I hate the return process by the way.... no time for that, it's a major inconvenience and definitely something that plays into my decision making!)

    At any rate, thought I would vent this a bit....I will stop spouting now.
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  2. nosliw

    nosliw Azunyan! にゃーーー!

    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I find that the best way to determine my audio purchases is to listen to it yourself before buying it. There's only so much word of mouth before you can determine if it's worth buying, whether it's word-of-mouth on the street or online.

    On the other hand, I did snatch a JVC QL-Y5F turntable with the Stanton 681EEE II-S cartridge, a Nakamichi receiver and CD player, a Bang & Olfusen turntable, and a Nitty Gritty 1.5Fi RCM with the LAST cleaning fluids and accessories all within last year through my local Kijiji. Which all of these equipment were offers that I cannot refuse, all for a grand total of $950. For very sought-after goods, it's all a matter of timing and pure luck.
    Chester0711 likes this.
  3. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    I do a lot of analysis and listening. Because I'm using a system with stereo subs in a room that retains bass, EQ in the lowest frequencies is a must for me. That rules out many components that I'd otherwise consider.

    Sometimes I do buy without listening -- if I can get a good price and know the company's sound already. That's how I wound up with the Bryston 4B3 power amp. I had owned a 14BSST for years and loved it. That was enough for me to pull the trigger on the 4B3 when I found one at a great price. I guess I'm like @nosliw in that regard.
    Chester0711 and nosliw like this.
  4. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    I gather reviews by users and professional reviewers whose opinions I trust and whose tastes match my own.
    russk, Manimal and Chester0711 like this.
  5. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    I figure I'm going to live with my audio purchases for at least 10 years. So I do read reviews, I used to have a TAS subscription then Harry Pearson left and I didn't renew my subscription. But their year end Best Components issue was probably the a quick read to find things within my budget to audition gear before I made my final decision.
    Chester0711 likes this.
  6. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo No music, no Life

    I don't like to rush to buy stuff. I like doing my homework.....
    Hendertuckie and Chester0711 like this.
  7. krisjay

    krisjay Psychedelic Wanderer

    I'm financially strapped enough that every purchase, no matter what it is has to be carefully considered before I buy something. This is why I have to wait until sometime in 2018 to upgrade my setup. When I buy something it isn't going to be upgraded again any time soon. I have to research and strive for every pennies worth of synergy and sound quality.
    Rickchick, Dave and Chester0711 like this.
  8. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I find I can only get access to so many things in person. I mean, I have one of the best Audio vendors here in Minny with Needle Doctor literally within a very manageable drive yet the display Turntables for instance cover Rega, Clear Audio, and some Pro-Ject. No VPI, MoFi, Thorens, etc..... is you can listen to all the main tables within those three brands but not much outside.

    I know that’s more than some people have, but at some point if you don’t want one of those you have to just order and try it.
  9. Echo

    Echo Forum Resident

    My analysis was I will never be able to analyse all great audio gear of the whole world and all the possible synergy different brands can have. So:

    1. I lined up just the most beautifull gear (for me all piano black or regular black)

    2. I read all the reviews of those at internet;

    3. Checked which brands of audio gear are working together at audio shows (brands will know best the synergy they have with other brands, don't they?);

    4. I read all the selling sites of used brands of audio gear;

    5. I hunted all the audio gear (and cables) of my short list and ended in all parts of my country and even in Denmark for which I organised a city trip with my family to that country for picking it up;

    6. I installed all the used gear and purchased only the speaker cables of a long length completey new at a local audio shop;

    7. Finished points 5 and 6 in 2 weeks of time and the results can to be watched in my profile page;

    8. Being a happy camper since that moment with my 7000 cds.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    Kristofa and Chester0711 like this.
  10. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Used to pour over reviews and forum posts about pieces I was interested in. Now I more or less just make sure that a component I'm interesting in can be expected to work well in my system (i.e. no impedance mismatches, no power requirements that cannot be handled, etc.) and I'll go for it if I really want to try it. And I am more apt to buy used so I can get most of my money back if I don't like the item.

    Why the change? I have realized that I need to try gear in my own system and room to know for sure if it will work for me. Reading what others think is cool and I will often do that while simply killing time online, but it's not going to make me know if I will like or dislike a component. Nothing comes close to just trying it yourself.
    Strat-Mangler and Chester0711 like this.
  11. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Right. And always play music I know well when testing new equipment (speakers and components).
  12. Shoalcove

    Shoalcove Forum Resident

    I read magazine and forum reviews to get a sense of the piece I’m interested in and to help reveal any issues that could make it a problem for me such as service support, unreliability or technical issues. After that, I decide based on price/ availability. I live in an area without a lot of hifi retailers so my choices are limited if I need to audition first.
    I try to remember that I rarely see two systems that are exactly alike yet most folks really enjoy what they have. I have heard a lot of vastly different systems that were totally satisfying to listen to. Vintage, panels, mini monitors , flea watt tubes to monster sized Krell amps. I think that there are almost unlimited combinations of great sounding equipment and a little legwork can prevent getting a truly poor setup. I try not to let choice ruin my fun.
  13. Kyhl

    Kyhl formerly known

    My tastes exceed my budget so I read every piece of information that I can find on the item. I read every review, and every forum post that I can find across the net. I read all the specs to verify impedance and gain matches. Then I buy where I can get the best deal, usually used or demo items. That means I do not get an extensive listen to them in advance.

    The latest was ARC preamp purchased hoping that I could flip it if it didn't work out. The bonus of this method is that it allows for a long term in home trial. The risk is that you can lose money on the flip. I don't change gear often. The preamp it replaced has been in my system for 13 years. A month into it and I still haven't decided if it is staying. It is listed for sale locally on Mpls craigslist if anyone is shopping but I'm not motivated enough to deal with shipping and paypal. :whistle:

    OP, please fill out your profile. :D
    Chester0711 and Dennis0675 like this.
  14. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    With the exception of digital sources, I mostly like to buy old classic tube gear which has already bottomed in price. I read reviews and try to get a consensus of what people with similar tastes to my own think about such equipment before buying.

    When opportunities come up to acquire one of my long desired pieces for a reasonable price, I often act quickly at that point. This is because I know that such opportunities are rare, and because I am reasonably confident that if I don't like the unit, I will be able to get my money back in the future when I decide to sell it.

    This gives me the luxury of listening and comparing such pieces back and forth over long periods of time so that I can make-up my mind and decide which units I truly like the best. And then when I have finally finished with my comparisons, I sell the losers.
    timind likes this.
  15. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Southern US
    Thats me also.
  16. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    I research and research, wait a while, then research some more. I almost have to force myself to buy on impulse because if I don't, i'll probably never buy.
    Kristofa and Chester0711 like this.
  17. timind

    timind Bushy

    Westfield, IN USA
    I am definitely an impulse buyer, but only on used equipment. And while I'm not really one who actually changes equipment often, I do like to try new things and hear what's out there. The way that works for me is to buy used and resell it after a few months of listening. As a lifelong equipment junkie, I found this to work very well as a means to satisfy my curiosity.
    Although I have a system with pieces I have owned for quite a while, I have this desire to find better. This leads me to watch for pieces, mostly speakers, that have been well reviewed by pros as well as forum members.
    I'll bet I've owned more than 100 speakers over the last 15 years...crazy.
    bhazen likes this.
  18. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
    I would say Im an audiophile. I care about accurate sound reproduction.
    With that I simply look at what brands and companies care for those types of consumers. I find a trend which can be traced geographically regarding different market philosophies. For example, the general trends of brands from China is to mimic and replicate design to a certain standard but as cheaply as possible. America tends to have a bling factor to their products. More bass, bigger, louder. Europe on the other hand provide these minimalist and untainted products which are made to a high standard, but in less supply and at a higher cost.

    This is why I usually favor EU brands like Rega to provide a safe purchase.
  19. RiCat

    RiCat Forum Resident

    CT, USA
    For everything but speakers I will assemble a list of products that have the specs. and features I want and I can afford. Then I will read reviews (often useless but it is a start) and check out forum comments from owners (comments by others are usually worth a grain of salt). At this point I have always found I either have to up my budget or change my specs...funny how that seems to happen. Once resolved I try to go see the item in person and get a demo. Then I search for the best price or perhaps a pre-owned. I keep stuff long term so I try to buy quality at the top of my budget. Speakers are different. I have always ended up spending more than I set out to but got way better than I first expected. I listen to as many as I can and am willing to travel miles for a demo. Every speaker I have owned is the result of a gut reaction to hearing it. It can be a 3 minute or 30 minute demo but something goes off in me where I know I want that sound.
  20. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    Get good sounding gear & get on with it.

    Then forget about the gear & listen to the music.

    Pretty simple really - old school.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    timind likes this.
  21. Kristofa

    Kristofa I dream of wires

    Eugene, Oregon
    With no funds for upgrades, I have spent the past two years researching gear with features that interest me as well as discovering new gear through the research process (i.e., the rabbit hole of research). But now I am done. I have chosen. I am ready. Now I just need the funds.
    jamie anderson and Strat-Mangler like this.
  22. jamie anderson

    jamie anderson Active Member

    “Only” had to choose a pair of active speakers and a better DAC ( already had a computer and think any old computer will do).

    After spending countless hours over many months (!) reading internet forum comments by recording engineers, I decided and purchased.

    Thrilled with the result, especially the DAC upgrade which increased the resolution, making musical instruments/voices much more realistic.

    Upgraditis instantly cured. Obsessiveness paid off in my case.

    [new system: Mac mini > USB input of Dangerous Music Convert-2 DAC > pair of Geithain RL906]

    [old system: Mac mini > USB internal DAC input of Oppo 105D > NAD 7020 receiver > pair of NHT superzero]
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017

Share This Page