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The Pros and Cons of Vintage Stereo Gear


Should You Buy New or Used Hi-Fi Audio Gear?

Our current high-tech culture has caused many folks to purchase all sorts of audio items dating from earlier eras. At a time when you can enjoy your music in the best sound quality ever, what justifies buying old Hi-Fi Audio equipment over new for your Santa Rosa home? Here are some typical reasons, and we will weigh them compared to the benefits of buying new, up-to-date Hi-Fi equipment:

  • Q1: Price?
  • Q2: Affection for older Hi-Fi styling?
  • Q3: A ‘warmer’ sound?
  • Q4: Nostalgia?
  • Q5: A preference for antiques?
  • Q6: The old gear was better?
  • Q7: Available widely online at low prices?
  • Q8: Why Buy new from Lavish HiFi?

Q1: Price?

A1: Today, you can get better sound for less money than at any time in history. New quality equipment will sound better and come with a warranty. Used gear has little or no support.

Q2: Affection for older Hi-Fi styling?

A2: It’s always best to spend your money on accurate sound quality. Yes, we do live have to live with the appearance as well, but that is very subjective.  When buying hi-fi audio equipment always go by the sound of music that stirs your emotions.

Q3: A ’Warmer’ sound’?

A3:’Warmth’. Older gear often sounds ‘covered up’ compared to modern designs, and some folks mistake that for warmth. Todays’ programs demand maximum clarity; it’s the recording that makes the sound warm or not, not the gear. Every recording sounds different and your hi-fi audio system should not have a constant characteristic sound.

Q4: Nostalgia?

A4: A 1956 Chevy is cool. But modern cars are simply far better in virtually all respects.

Q5: A preference for antiques?

A5: Antiques are wonderful, but we are talking about loudspeakers and electronics here, not rocking chairs. Not realizing how much progress has occurred in audio only comes from fallacious information. Some audio gear has modern circuitry in a traditional look; that’s completely different.

Q6: The old gear was better?

A6: The laws of physics that dominate audio have not changed, but technology has enabled vastly better solutions. There is a certain amount of much older gear that still performs at a high standard, but that does not include the bulk of the old stereo receivers that folks are over-paying for currently, and virtually all older loudspeakers just sound like a box and lack transparency. We don’t buy our music to listen to our speakers; modern speakers are transparent and paint a 3-D stereo image that was never managed in the 50’s, 60s’ and 70s’. (A very few exceptions exist, but in general…no way.)

Q7: Available widely online at low prices?

A7: The online market is very active; but you still get what you pay for. Years ago, folks put their used gear for sale in the classified newspaper ads, but the vast reach of the internet has changed all that.

In the Hi-Fi audio world though, it’s not just what you buy, it’s who you buy it from. In turn, there are many less stereo stores than back then; here at Lavish Hi-Fi we not only sell great equipment, but accompany that with as much accurate information, demonstration and ongoing support of your purchase as is appropriate. Buying used, you will most likely never even meet the person, no real support or service , and so many of the little online outfits that have popped up like mushrooms may treat you well today but will not be around anymore when you do at some point need help with the item you buy from those type of merchants. Your best deal in the long term is to buy high quality audio products from established audio specialty manufacturers; you can count on that.

Q8: Why Buy new from Lavish HiFi?

A8: At Lavish Hi-Fi you always get real professional attention that helps you make the right choice. Todays equipment will out preform, live longer and provide more enjoyment for years to come.

Interested in purchasing Hi-Fi equipment? Contact us or visit our showroom! 

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