Or: which brands will you not want to sell for a very long time? Economically the best strategy is to buy once, and then enjoy for a long time. In audio real technological change is only slow. The only two quantum leaps that I can think of were the introduction of the LP record and the introduction of the CD and later other digital derivatives.
Pass Labs, Transparent Audio Cable...companies that are high quality and don't change models very often...Aerial 7b, 8b, 10T are terrific speakers whose value hasn't changed in many years, in fact seems to have risen lately...lots of cables if bought used will hold full value for many years
setting aside all the inevitable and highly variable and totally subjective and biased personal value judgement suggestions, it is analogous to asking..
Q "How long is a piece of string ?" A "it depends "
in in this case it depends on timing, location, and other esoteric factors such as emotional attachment or its converse, and economic influences and technology obsolescence
For example, when the next inevitable / looming recession finally hits with a vengeance, the current market values of all will decline appreciably. Some will even crater, independent of any other affection for the unit.
A second example is the ever changing and accelerating technology advancements . There are plenty of quality build high-end brand products in excess of $10K when new , that have a market value of a small percentage of new within 2 years. Let’s remember that a 50% drop in the first year of most product is quite common , full stop..... INCLUDING 2-channel. The litmus test is see what you can actually get on a dealer trade-in or compare against the "solds" in audio forum ads.
Be prepared for a sobering gulp even in 2-channel ...just like in luxury cars obsolescence.
AV is a subset herein and the worst subset by far that needs little discussion intuitively. For example, many AVRs and processors will not be even be taken in on a dealer trade-in and are little better than boat anchors in the resale market.
Simply put, anybody who :
(a) contemplates buying gear driven by a thinking they can successfully hedge against depreciation in an ultimate contingent and variable future price arena; then
(b) they are unnessarily shortchanging themselves for best available performance now, and
(c) myopic to a fault and still being exposed to a rude wake-up call disappointment -- and likely shock-- if the current equipment line-up is line for change....
akg_ca, It IS objective. If you like to piss away money then be my guest, and I’m not a newbie in this hobby, but I just got tired of losing money in this hobby even though I can well afford the Thank the rest of you for some brands to consider. What makes me crazy is the obsessive concern for the microscoscopic blemishes that cause such great concern to so many audiophiles when they are buying used. I Do they think that are buying a #1 restored car that is never driven, but trailered to every car show? So akg_ca, just be helpful, but please save your lectures on the American Way
@jmcgrogan2 "Brands like ARC, Pass Labs, Sonus Faber, Vandersteen, VPI, etc., tend to
hold their resale value better, and be easier to re-sell due to name
Totally agree with John. Any of the classic names seem to do best, that's why they've stayed in business as long as they have. And in many cases, the older products can reach the point where prices begin to increase.
For what it's worth, tube gear from these long standing companies tends to do pretty well over the long run
I’ll say Ascend Acoustics for sure. Not so sure you would consider 3000 dollar speakers ’high end ’ or not.. You rarely see them for sale. I listed a set a set of Raal Towers on AVS forum @ 5 o’clock in the evening. In the morning when I got up, 6 buyers were waiting in line to buy them. The one I let have them put in dibs one hour after I listed them ... And contrary to what someone said on here, they put zero in any type of advertizing.... I just wish they made a tower " on steroids "
IMO, contrary to what others posted , you can objectively know what products have better resale value than another. it's a given fact that some products whether audio, video, cars, boats, etc hold their resale value well , while others do not. If you do not recognize that ,well then you may be losing alot of $ if your the seller and making great deals if your the buyer!
All gear depreciates but IME bands with low depreciation have a combination of the following characteristics; 1. Well-regarded brand across their model range, for sound quality, build quality, and value (regardless of the price-point) 2. Models are stable for a relatively long period of time (i.e., the brand does not frequently change models ....think Lamm) 3. Top of their range, i.e., one of the better sounding, better built, values within a given price range An exception to this IMO is digital gear such as DACs and servers. Yesterday’s excellent digital gear is bettered by today’s very good digital gear
(in most cases)
and folks who need the cutting edge continue to pay nose-bleed level prices that will not be sustainable on the resale market. This trend should slow down when/if the designs become sorted out to the point where the changes are more about refinements than breaking new ground. Class D amplification sort of trends this way also.
I have bought and sold quite a few pieces over the years. I don’t buy very many brand new components. The problem with doing it this way is I’m unable to audition various pieces with my gear. Therefore, when I get something that doesn’t work, like a wyred4sound integrated a few years back, I’ll need to resell it. I have learned to stick with name brand equipment so if I do need to sell, I won’t lose money. So, akg_ca, let me answer objectively. Components, McIntosh Cables, Kimber Speakers-vintage JBL
One brand that does not seem to hold it’s value that I don’t quite understand is Concert Fidelity. In particular, the preamplifiers and amplifiers are superb reference level pieces of equipment. I am not sure if it is the lack of name recognition or advertising?
If I was in the market for second hand equipment, I would only consider brands that service their retired equipment in house. On the other hand, look at the money early, Japanese, solid state is pulling in now. What will the download generation crave?
Only brands which broke new ground and were built in the research era of audio (1950's and 60s) where items were not made to a price, or have become design icons. They still are the best too, hence they keep their value. Point to point wired, great compoinents such as excellent transformers, and rare. Many cross over into professional gear though. Original vintage pieces not only don't depreciate but also appreciate:
Western Electric amps, speakers, vacuum tubes...anything! RCA anything GE, Brimar, Mullard, RCA, United, WE etc vacuum tubes Altec Lansing horn speakers Original early Audio Note Ongaku 211 amp Early McIntosh amps Studer reel to reels (C37/J37) & their domestic Revox tube variants Philips 3501 1/4 inch reel to reel Early Ampex reel to reels Some PYE items Braun...all items Garrard 301 turntable Telefunken anything Neuman microphones early Nagaoka and Decca cartridges EMT turntables Early Ortofon cartridges and original Ortofon Danish long tonearms Early Quad amps and electrostatic speakers Early Tannoy speakers Linn LP12, Technics SL1200, older Thorens, some Lenco etc There's a lot more omitted here, especially early US, but you get my drift.
Very little modern because the VAT is lost immediately, many are mass produced so not rare, then it has to stand the test of time to start to become a legend. Going forward, I'd subjectively gamble on these turntables to hold their value e.g. Simon Yorke S9 turntable, early Michell Transcriptor, TW Acustic, Brinkman, etc..not necessarily the best, but blend price, design, quality and rarity. Some tube amps Kondo, Shindo, AN etc, and some speakers and drivers e.g. vitavox and B&W Nautilus may retain value too. But it will not be across the whole brand. One will need to pick a specific piece. Tricky, so buy for enjoyment only.