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That's easy. For me, it's speakers. I've had 4 different pairs in less than a year. I surprise myself if I hang on to any speakers more than four monts. I'm kind of new to high end. Only been involved about seriously for about 3 years. Next in line is definitely preamps. I've had three of those in the past year. I just like to trade to hear what is out there. I haven't traded amps in a while though...
The shortest time was a very expensive D to A converter. Lasted only a few days. Next worse was one of the newest ultra high end preamps, it lasted only three weeks before passing it on and returning to the bliss of my Aesthetix.
The longest running component ever is Soundlab speakers. Discovered them about 1986, decided to buy in 1989 and have only momentarily considered other brands during that twelve year period.
I tend to hang on to things for a while--I had my Duntech Princesses 11 years, and my Sforzandos for the last 4, and I've had my JA 80s for 11, my JP80, my Basis and Graham and my Day-Sequerra for 9 and my Forsell/Audio Logic combo for 8. I do change cartridges more frequently, although I think I've reached Nirvana with the Koetsu RSP, and cabling changes are more frequent as well. I do note that although I've kept the above components a long time, I have continually upgraded them --for example, after 8 years I got the Debut platter/bearing/vacuum upgrade for my Basis Ovation; I've upgraded the Graham from 1.5T to 2.2, upgraded the Forsell to Mk IV after 5 years and the Audio Logic to 2400 at the same time, and have consistently fiddled with the tubes in my pre and amps (although with the stash of Gold Lions and a recent score on early 60s Tele 802 and 803S tubes, I think I'm set for life there). I guess that's how I fall for the upgrade bug!
To be a TRUE "audiophile", it is time for a product to leave the premises when dust settles on it. As such, you've got to pack it up and move it out the door at a 50% loss from retail pricing. If you can't keep up with the latest products as they come out, you have NO right calling yourself an "audiophile".
As such, i expect to see all of you listing a lot of components on Audiogon for bargain prices. Please don't be offended if i and a few select others try to help you out by purchasing your "old junk". I'll be waiting : ) Sean
Thinking back over the years, I guess I fail the "audiophile" appelation as defined by Sean. I think the shortest period of time I owned a component was about 6 months, but most of the gear I acquire stays with me at least 3 years, and sometimes as long as 5-10 years. The longest ownership period for anything in my system was a Nakamichi cassette tape recorder, which I kept for nearly 15 years, but it was virtually unused for the last 5 years before I sold it.
Now that I am getting closer to retirement, I think the audio gear I got during my last upgrade will be with me for a long time. The only reason that would make me continue to upgrade would a significant change in technology which essentially makes something obsolete (this will be more true for home theater than pure audio).
i keep most of my components no longer than that moment just before it takes my bride to recognize that "there's something new" (after 35 years, there's not too much guessing required). problem is, speakers are the most noticeable, and usually most expensive, while $12k in wire is NEVER given a second glance. -cfb
Had my C.A.L.Genisis for the lonest of all my gear.About 4 years,thats long has great sound.My interconnects by AUDIOQUEST DIAMONDS have beearound quite some time like 4 years for the first pair.My Amp and Preamp are both fairly new like 2 months,AUDIO RESEARCH,D-130 and LS-9.Went through 2 MAGNUM DYNALABS but the one I have now about a year and has the GOLds faceplate,tough to find.Turntable I had for 2 years and tape decks 2 of them for about a year and change.The longest piece I had for about 10 years is a pair of AUDIOQUEST speaker cables and these sound great and got them for a song,no wonder why those schumcks at STEREO eXCHANGE are pissed off at me every time I drop by.So is being an AUDIOFILE insane I dont think so.
Let's see-- stuff in "present" system:
1. McCormack DNA2DX-- 3 yrs., but Rev. A upgrade 1 year.
2. SF Line 2 Pre-amp-- 4 years, but now in for SE upgrade.
3. ML transport and DAC-- each almost 2 yrs.
4. Vand. 5 speakers-- near new.
5. Syn Res spkr cables-- near 6 years and still excellent.
6. Syn Res ICs-- Active type-- less than a year.
7. Syn Res PCs-- about 2 years-- on everything.
But the above doesn't mean I haven't tried a bunch of other "stuff", especially ICs and power cords. It's the above components and wires that have survived in my system. Cheers. Craig
I occassionally buy something (or a few somethings) used as a "home audition", getting rid of whatever doesn't do the trick for me very soon for little or no $$$ loss. Obviously, many of the participants on this forum do the same. I don't really consider this as a component that I "kept" for only a couple weeks, since it's a bargain-hunters ethical way of auditioning components without leveraging the local dealer.
Of the components I "settled" on, I usually keep them for 1-3 years. If I wasn't married, or if speakers were less easy to notice, I'd try a bunch of different speakers, "keeping" many of them for less than a year, at least until I'd tried a bunch of different "flavors". -Kirk
Lordy, I guess my stuff would be considered ancient as main speakers are ten years old, turntable is almost eleven years old, phono stage is thirteen years old, woofers about fifteen years old, DAC/Transport seven years old and even my wires are over five years old....Only new things around here are the preamp at three years old and just completed the new JC-1 amps a couple weeks ago......All but the TT and main speakers have been updated/modified as it is easier, cheaper and more rewarding to rebuild/modify than to buy new.......
TG Audio/CTC Builders/DDR Mfg
Ya think thats long The Amber system here is 26 years old and these seperates have been moded by me and cleaned and sound as good as some more upper end stuff. It still feed my Maggies with out missing a beat. Have you really seen the inside of new components. Look close on how there realy put togeather and are they really made in the usa or put togeather in China with US components.