Dunlavy went out of business almost ten years ago and their used speakers seem to have held most of their value considering the age.
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Yes, stuff that cannot be serviced by the original company will drop dramatically in value in the short run. In the long run, there will be a small number of these companies whose products will be deemed "classic" and the value may eventually rise on those lines. I bet a lot of MacIntosh gear will hold its value, as evidenced by the high value of many of their older, discontinued models. Conrad Johnson and Audio Research gear will also hold some value because tube gear is extremely durable--one can always service tube gear and keep it running (solid state stuff is MUCH harder to service because old transistors, ICs, etc., become difficult to find).
The wildest example of old gear holding value is Western Electric gear. Virtually anything made by that company is currently priced in the stratosphere. The amazing thing about Western Electric products is that a lot of their electronics and speakers are really VERY good, not just in comparison with other products from their times, but, in comparison with any modern gear.
For the most part Larryi is correct, the prices will initally drop dramatically. As J.D. points out with Dunlavy though, some will hold their value remarkably well.
Threshold is another example of a company that went out of business that's products hold remarkable value, even the Forte line.
Threshold and Dunlavy are not the norm though.
Interesting thoughts given that a lot of very nice sounding gear is designed and manufactured by what are essentially one-man operations - think Vladimir Lamm, Judd Barber, Ken Stevens, Jim White, Ralph Karsten, Kevin Halverson, Steve McCormack, Keith Herron, Emmanuel Go, Wilson Shen, Steve Nugent, Mike Sanders, Joseph Chow, David Belles, and many others. We are fortunate these guys have had passion enough for what they do to share their work with us for many years.
To the question, most tubed gear should be repairable and much of the better solid state gear will last a long time without needing repair. Of the SS gear that fails, I suspect much of it can be repaired by replacing available parts when serviced by a specialized technician. There are guys out there that know this stuff well enough to fix it, but probably not as well as the guys who designed and built it with regards to the sonic trade-offs of using different parts.
Jmcgrogan, When Threshold went out of business prices immediately dropped to thirty cents on the dollar. Prices did not improve for used Threshold until Pass Labs became popular. Even though some used prices have improved for used Threshold equipment a quick look at the blue book indicates Threshold prices are still low for most models with some as low as only 25% of original value.
Rgrog, I did say that prices drop dramatically initailly, for any company that goes out of business. However, some do recover. There is a pair of Threshold SA-1 monoblocks on Audiogon now for $4750, that comes to 79% of their original $6000 list price. I think that's holding value pretty well for a pair of 25 year old monoblocks.
I know not all Threshold's still sell for 79% of list, but they seem to do very well on the used market compared to other defunct companies. They even have their own website, Thresholdlovers.com, not many can say that either.
FWIW, you can get good deals this way. I'm currently enjoying a pair of Soliloquy 6.3i's that I paid less than 22% of list for. I thought they were a very good value at their original price, even better at 78% discount.
Jmcgrogan, I noticed nobody is dying to buy the SA-1s at $4750. Asking price is one thing, actual selling price is another. I have been following prices on many items for a couple of decades now and every once in a while a piece of stereo equipment will show up at a ridiculously high price. I know there are some variables in equipment pricing like cosmetics and how the equipment has been maintained, however, based on this site's blue book SA-1s sold new for $8,500 with a used price of $3,170.
Rrog, I got the $6000 list price from a 1986 Stereophile review. Perhaps the price went up and was $8500 when the model was discontinued. Still, even 37% is pretty good for a 20+ year old amp from a company that no longer exist. I paid around 22% for a 19 year old amp from a company that still does exist.
The aforementioned Dunlavy and Threshold might be a bit unique in that besides having technical and sonic prowess that still compete with more modern offerings, they also have some type of support available.
The Threshold gear still has support through Nelson Pass' recommended ex Threshold tech Jon Soderberg of vintageamprepair.net as well as advice from Mr. Pass himself on diyaudio.com.
The Dunlavy's used mostly off the shelf parts, that for the most part are still readily available.
Good example of prices dropping after a Co. goes out of business are the Hales speakers that I used to own...Paul Hales closes up shop and the next day the speakers dropped in value by at least 70%! Same for numerous cable manufacturers that have gone out of business. Highwire cables come to mind. Highwire closes up shop and "voila" values drop like a stone! Plus, the other issue is that now nobody has heard of the Company, leading to even more depreciation....IMHO, the moral of the story should be to buy ONLY gear from a larger well known vendor, IF you are concerned about re-sale value.
Hasmarto, a few thoughts, my perspective only.
The issue about warrenty is a straw dog. Most audio gear has no more than a one year warrenty anyway so that may have little affect on used values.
Overall brand reputation has a big influence. Case in point the Dunlavy speakers. But in that case the same brand of replacement drivers is not a complete answer. I'm not sure about DAL speakers but Duntech Audio utilized matched drivers - with one another when paired and as fine-tuned by the crossover. So simply replacing with the same part number might not insure original performance.
Then there is the question of the same designer/owner ending one brand and starting another. At least they might advise on any necessary repairs. The Threshold/Pass example is a good one. And what about Carver? He has had at least three companies; what has been the used values for his products?
Pryso, Dunalvy was similar to Duntech in (amongst other things) the drivers were matched and the cross-overs individualy tweaked to get the targeted performance. Still replacement drivers are still availabled, and if one had the technical know how, one could fine tune as neccessary. Not exactly plug and play, but still not left out in the dark with a boat anchor.