Buy secondhand and save. PERHAPS …
Pollution will lead you astray
Are you really enjoying music as much as you’d like?
You can pay too much for something, but in the field of audio we strongly believe you can also pay too little.
That’s not sales talk. Price-paring works well with things that stand alone – a washing machine or a sofa – but crucially items in a hifi system interact and affect each others’ performance.
There’s also the very significant matter of system pollution that misleads people into disappointing, expensive upgrading. It downgrades every system at any price unless it’s tackled at foundation level – read Vertex tech on the right.
Some wonderful components are offered at great reductions and there’s huge temptation to buy a “better” box at a knock-down price. But think – are you confident you know how to get the best out of your revised system? Is it the best way to upgrade your system, buying someone else’s mistake? It will sound different but is it better?
Everybody with an interest in hi-fi knows all about system matching – don’t they – but excitement takes over and the £10,000 item for £3,000 becomes irresistible.
But remember: more capable components will also reveal weaknesses in other parts of the system. You can spend more and go backwards on the enjoyment scale!
“There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey.” John Ruskin (1819 – 1900)
No online selling for us
You will have noticed that we do not offer online sales, deliberately. It’s because we sincerely believe in giving people the best advice we can, to suit their system and requirements and that develops from a two-way discussion.
From experience we know that people often reach the wrong conclusions about the source of their dissatisfaction with the sound. Remember that what comes out of the loudspeakers is the sum of everything that’s gone before, from the wall socket onwards.
Why is there so much secondhand hifi equipment for sale?
We see far too many people who have lived for years with unsatisfactory sound, not enjoying the music, constantly aware “it’s not right”. They have swapped one component after another, striving for the magic combination that eludes them.
Very often changing a component will have a knock-on effect so that adjustments must be made elsewhere. That judgment requires technical knowledge and experience. It’s rarely enough to do simple A/B comparisons without compensating elsewhere.
A more capable CD player, for instance, will produce more and deeper bass. If the speakers are still where they sounded OK with the original setup the room may now react to produce a boom, so the problem is not really the CD player.
Now what? Poor CD player, poor speakers? Change the speakers? Buy a more powerful amp to “control” the speakers? That’s the problem. Do you have the experience to know what else to change?
(Answer: you should first try moving the speakers, and/or your listening position! That’s what we mean by compensating elsewhere.)
There’s a real value for you in a dealer’s advice and demonstrations. By contrast think of the computer industry: consumer pressure has driven down prices so much that advice is now an extra, specialist cost. Users either flounder, never realising the potential of their machines and the software, or pay high prices for expert help.
A new hifi component is sexy but it’s our advice that will make it gel in a system, in your room, to your tastes, playing music – and our advice will save you money.
If music matters, you should be listening to us.
Read our Helping You pages (under About Us) on specific system aspects. You’ll also find explanations under the top level Equipment and each sub-section (Digital, Amps etc) that may give you a better understanding of our approach to creating enjoyable music in the home.
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Is your hifi system as good as it could be – for the money you’ve spent? How do you judge?