Buying second hand hi-fi can be a lot of fun, a little research and time taken will definitely help.
For me, the search was on… my son want’s my Denon! There’s no way at all that he is getting his hands on the Rega P3 turntable though, no way at all.
So I soon find myself grabbing the latest edition of ‘What Hi-Fi’, searching on-line for what’s good at the moment, ‘Is there a sale on anywhere?’ It some becomes apparent that to find what I want I am after, I am either going to have to spend a small fortune or take my chances on the second hand market. So research would be essential and matching the new equipment would be essential, to ensure the sound I like was found. The other problem with second hand is trying before you buy… especially around Sheffield as second hand options appear to be few and far between.
Getting to Grips with Buying Second Hand.
I loved my old Denon mini hi-fi. It had glowing reports when I purchased it new, some 12 years ago. The sound was pretty clear and open, with reasonable bass from the accompanying Denon badged Mission speakers. Yes, as you would expect the mid range was good, yet either end just lacked a little something. So I had an idea what I wanted and currently liked.
So with this in mind I started researching the second hand market. Plenty of folks kept telling me that there was some mighty fine amps out there, especially from the British brands and some of the Japanese big-guns. The key warning was how warm you liked the sound, apparently this could be a problem with some Marantz and Yamaha amps. By the same token, too harsh and the listen would be tiring.
I loved the Rega P3 turntable, so I took a look at availability of Rega. One that proved limited and also quite pricey, even on eBay. Nad, was similar as was any decent Denon. It was clear folk hung onto the ‘good stuff’ and I would have to be patient. If you are after entry level components then the options literally abound.
So I kept an eye on eBay, a number of second hand stores around the country and local ads. eBay was proving the most popular for listings and once found it was off to the search engines for reviews.
I especially found Audio Review to be a good source of opinions and thoughts, often with suggestions for matching. Looking at new reviews of new versions also proved useful, as these would often look back at previous good equipment giving an idea of the pedigree of something. At the end of the day what mattered was how it would sound and being second hand, would work and had been looked after.
On eBay I would check out the feedback on a seller. Also, were they selling their own item from home or an eBay hi-fi dealer, retailing what they had picked up from elsewhere. If I didn’t think much of their description they would be binned, instantly. They had to at least look as if they cared. The more pictures of the item the better with matching detail, would suggest to me they could be trusted.
So with all this in mind I went searching…
The Key things with second hand buying is to have a definite understanding of the sound you like and then do your homework. Check out potential sellers and ensure you use a reliable buying platform such as eBay. Contact the seller if you need more information, or if the pictures do not tell you enough. Then hit the internet before you hit the ‘Buy’, ‘Bid’ or ‘Make an Offer’ button.
I also found it really useful to have someone to talk to who I could run my findings past.
As to the outcome, yes, I struck it just about right. You’ll just have to wait for the review of what I ended up with.