Audiophile TT article in Forbes

I am going to try one more time with this tread because I believe the Audiogon Moderator is flagging this because of the naming of a name. In the latest Forbes special issue there is a nice article about the resurrection of vinyl and Audiophile grade TT. The article shows some nice pictures of high end grade TT with there tone arms and statements from VPI owner claiming every time he wakes up he pinches himself to think in a digital age sales are up steadily. But the big eye opener was that very well known vinyl and turntable guru from a major audio magazine is purchasing a one hundred grand table and tone arm combo Continuum Audio Labs Caliburn turntable & Cobra tonearm
for much less than retail what is much less the article never states but I would guess to venture half off listed which if my math is good would be fifty grand total. Now I don't really have a problem with this but in the article the writer states he the well known guru reviewer is also going to write off the purchase as a business deduction? I am not a CPA or a tax attorney but I would guess that this would raise a red flag at the local/federal tax office as being a LUXURY item. Can you honestly think that standing in tax court a judge wouldn't ask you do they really make a 100 grand turntable and why do you need this piece of gear just to listen and review a record or even having to compare it to the competition.
Just shows as silly high-end is I guess.
a house of cards
His job is to criticize the best components out there. He needs it as a reference, I have no problem with him taking a tax deduction.

What is he supposed to compare other expensive turntables to, the Rega P3?
So I guess if I write for Road&track I can buy a 2006 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti for $250,000 and write it off as a business deduction. And why not, can't compare to any other exotica driving a toyota camry.
It depends on how good your tax lawyer happens to be. I believe a set of facts could be established that shows the auto reviewer has a legitmate business need for the $250,000 car making it a tax deductible business expense.
Sounds rather innocent when compared to what Haliburton has done to the taxpayers and our soldiers in Irag.
If you were testing sports cars for a living, yeah, I would agree with you Schipo..

Face it, this guy is writing in one of the top audio magazines, and testing vinyl stuff is what he does. Obviously he needs a reference system, and this is what he chose. You can argue with his choice of course, but that's really none of our business. :)

As S7horton says too, what's he supposed to compare the stuff he reviews to? I fully support his purchase, and I totally agree it's a business purchase. Face it, you're just jealous. ;)
If his job is to review and evaluate Vinyl recordings by all means he can write it off. Just as an actor can write off cable or sattelite T.V. because he could be evaluating performances or doing research on a character he will be portraying by watching the History channel. If it has to do with your job you can write it off if it is your sole source of income. If you compared the Ferrari to every car you drove for articles in Road and Track you might get away with it. This reviewer will be using this turntable for ALL reviews for his job. Wouldn't you love it though if this TT he is buying sounds terrible. LOL.
Anyway anyone can limit what the government takes from them is fine with me. If there was a way for me to deduct this hobby as a mental health deduction, it would happen in a hot second. Just be happy someone can get something they want and make it work taxwise as well
Sounds rather innocent when compared to what Haliburton has done to the taxpayers and our soldiers in Irag.Please no politics thats not what this tread is about. lets look at it this way, why not say in another year he wants to purchase a Goldmund reference II turntable which goes for $300.000 why not continue to write that one off because in your own words HE NEEDS THE BEST.Thats nonsence and any one would know that,a luxury item like this would be a red flag.What about speakers,amps,and so on, you need that to hear the music that a $300,000 tt produces why not write them off with so on and so on. Can you write off the cables to and the furniture that the gear sits on hey why not I am a reviewer I need my gear to sound it best.
Reminds me of that old joke about picking an accountant by asking only one question -

Question: How much is two and two?

Answer: How much do you want it to be?

You've found your new accountant.
what he really needs is a tax attorney....for the 50k spent(its source), and the 50k saved)(a gift). its also not his day job or primary source of income....................or could it be that?...............i'm sure forbes will now dig for the real story...yikes
You bring up Haliburton and Irag then advise not to make thread Political............Hypocrite.
Back to the point, isnt this turntable story old news, I think he has had it for months?
If it was installed in his place of business it might fly. If it is installed in his living room, not so clear. One good way to get audited is to brag about such things in the media.

The government has some appreciation for a fine turn table. Didn't the Library of Congress buy 3 Simon Yorke series 7's? They where "part-developed for the United States Government, Library of Congress Audio Preservation Facility"
According to the Yorke site.

Schipo, pretty disingenuous introducing politics to your own thread, then asking others not to.
Probably no issue with depreciating that TT for tax purposes, provided the tax deduction is partly recovered by the IRS later on, reflecting the proceeds of resale.

And in the stratosphere of high-end TTs, anybody who pays anywhere near list price is a fool, be he reviewer or not.
Schipo didn't bring up politics. He was quoting my message and chastizing me.
Didn't Narrod introduce the politics into the thread and not schipo?
If he uses the turntable strictly for business, of course he can deduct it. (Or, to be precise, depreciate it, which means deducting a portion of it each year, for several years.) But if he uses it partially for pleasure, then he has to prorate the deduction.

If he buys a new "reference table" next year, that has tax implications for the depreciation he's already claimed. It gets complicated.

Bottom line: He's probably entitled to *some* deduction here, but he almost certainly cannot lop $50K off his taxable income as a result of this purchase.

(Disclaimer: I am neither an accountant nor an atorney.)

BTW, what issue of Forbes did this appear in?
I think of great importance to our Audiophile hobby is to email Forbes and congratulate them on writing about these turntables, etc. Maybe they should also write about the resurgence of tube amplifiers...
Schipo was quoting from Narrod's post regarding the Iraq/Halliburton thing.
If this deduction were allowed as a business expense, all similarly situated reviewers could deduct or depreciate their "reference" capital equipment. Hard to imagine this being acceptable to the IRS. "full time" probably does not matter if it meets the hobby-loss rules, and the same rules suggest that being a reviewer (rather than, say, a photographer deducting the Leica collection who produces and sells pictures for a profit) doesn't matter, as long as sufficient revenue is produced. Jaybo makes a cogent point that reviewer could be required to recognize income for the "discount". Surprising that there are no tax lawyers on this forum willing to weigh in.
Speaking as a longtime CPA (though not a tax guru), I believe he could easily justify depreciating this (and other) component purchases used in his "trade or business", as an offset to the income he receives from Stereophile and the Tracking Angle.
I never brought politics into the discussion I was just quoting another member who brought it to this tread.
Schipo, sorry about the disingenuous thing.

I missed the reference. I agree about keeping politics out.

The latest special addition on the news stands now. Please enjoy the read and the pictures of some of the TT,it was almost if I was looking at penthouse for the first time. I am just happy to have audiogon as a place to place this and to all of you who disagree and agree with me the best.

If it were a Auto reviewer or other high ticket item reviewer, the items would probably be leased and not purchased so all of the cost could be deducted till uncle sam depreciated it into oblivion. Then they could purchase it for even less money cause now it's used. Just try leasing a $100000.00 turntable and see what happens. LOL
Let's all of us do some math and celebrate: The Forbes articles says that Sound by Singer sold 50 turntables last year, but just one five years ago. That's an increase of 4900 percent. Almost makes one think that our odd little hoppy (passion?) is thriving, isn't it? I'm gonna go spin some vinyl.
Sorry Schipo...I didnt read close enough.
No reason to be sorry Chadnliz I enjoy the tongue and cheek as long as no words harm and insult.
I have forwarded this link on to my CPA for his amusement. Haven't you guys got anything better to think about? Maybe you could talk about all of the time I spent on the phone with the writer of the Forbes story trying to make sure our hobby/industry was put in the most positive light instead of the story becoming on of those "audiophiles are weirdos" pieces that often run....that might make a better subject for discussion than my tax write offs....
" was almost if I was looking at [P]enthouse for the first time."

First I laughed, then I agreed with you, and finally I realized how sick we are and on how many levels. ;-)
First I laughed, then I agreed with you, and finally I realized how sick we are and on how many levels. ;-)Thats what this is all about to bring a little laughter and also spoof on each other in a good clean and fun way. Hey I remmember when Ralph Kramden gave Ed Norton a look of disgust when Ed told him that he takes off a business deduction when he conducts business in his bathroom, and Ralph said what buisness deduction can you possibly take off in your apt when you work in a sewer and Ed tells him that he practices his plumbing technigue in the bathroom.
The Table in question is a freakin' Caliburn. Perhaps the best table/Arm in existance. As long as he can afford it (I know I can' t) I say why not.

And unlike a trickle down economy, trickle down technology may just allow me to afford Continuum's new cheaper Copperhead tonearm at some point, and the buyers that fund the 100K systems help to make that happen.
I'll bet anything that the Farrari can be a tax deduction for a movie star who commands a certain "persona". As long as he/she drives it to movie premiers,et al, it is a legitamate deduction. The time that the car is driven for pleasure is not deductable.
The time that the car is driven for pleasure is not deductable. How can you say that a car of this caliber a Ferrari is not being driven for pleasure.
The Tax Code allows deductions for "ordinary and necessary" business expenses, so the question would be whether the purchase of this piece of equipment was "necessary". It is clear that you don't have to buy a Ferrari or a turntable in order to test and write about it. It appears, however, that this individual could argue that he/she needs the table on a long term basis to test other tables, cartridges, etc. with and against it. The IRS is well known for seeking to disallow deductions taken by hobbiest reviewers, but my personal guess is that this particular one should hold up.
movie stars, directors, many in 'the business' are generally incorporated, so most everything they do is somehow done on behalf of their company. that bentley is a company car. tax deduction or not, buying a 100k turntable is an incredibly selfish thing to do if he has kids or a family. he is also beholden to the manufacturer bigtime. selling one's soul for a turntable is just bad judgement.
Michael Fremer (and his Analog Corner column in Stereophile) is probably the individual most responsible for the current renaissance of interest in hi-end vinyl. If anybody deserves a tax deduction on a $100K TT, it's him.
Give me a break, I have met Mike and he has helped inform me on questions I had for him...great guy and he pushes vinyl and champions its cause like few others BUT in his line of work he gets enough bones thrown at him, actually they should have to pay tax on actual retail value of gear they get on the cheap.
I guess he also should be able to deduct his whole system including if he wants to purchase a 500grand speaker system because thats part of his job. I guess schumks like us don't, than again maybe all we have to do is start our own audio rag and get the same deal.
>>great guy and he pushes vinyl<<

Pushes vinyl is correct. Few champion vinyl as well; no argument.

Great guy? Read his letters to Arthur Salvatore and say that with a straight face. No one doubts Mikey's commitment to vinyl and the associated acumen.

However, the letters speak volumes about the man himself who in fact is quite different from the Stereophile contributor.
If you google "Forbes" and "Fremer" and "VPI" and "vinyl", the link to the article comes up first (moderators often don't like links, which may be why no post has mentioned the link, so I'll try it this way).

I prefer to focus on the article, which is fairly accurate as mainstream press articles about audiophilia go. It does get some things wrong, however. For example, "heavy PLATTERS of virgin vinyl" (emphasis added)?? The article wrongly suggests that purchasing a high-end turntable also gets you an arm and a cartridge (the best of which are made from "titanium", which is wrong if one believes that there is rarely a "best", just "different"). It fails to mention that an analog rig necessarily includes a phono stage. Given the author's goal of pointing out the great cost of high-end analog, the article would have been better had the considerable potential cost of these additional items been mentioned.

I do not believe for a minute that Singer sold only one turntable five years ago (that is wrong).

The NY Times published a very so-so article about tube amps four or five years ago (Singer was mentioned therein as well).

Let's stop writing about the tax/legal issues of others (... a sure-fire way to get this thread shut down).
Fremer was always kind and helpful trading emails and was kind in person so I have no reason to dis him.
wow........listen, I could care less about Michael's purchase decisions or what he may or may not have paid. Those are his choices to make as we all have in life. As long as a reviewer can keep his or her perspective in the bigger reviewing picture then we can hope for, and look forward to the straight scoop in reviews. I know this is an idealistic point of view, but life is too short to be looking at the glass as half empty. Of course every reviewer has their own bias, it is human nature. I myself am just very happy that we have those in the public eye with alot of potential exposure as Michael Fremer and Steve Hoffman, just to name a couple, to continue championing the cause for vinyl playback!
Hodu said "The Forbes articles says that Sound by Singer sold 50 turntables last year, but just one five years ago."

Isn't "Sound by Singer" that guy that's so stuck on himself that he puts his picture on every ad he creates? Or is that somebody else?