I agree with your thought process stated above, although the majority of my purchases have been new audio gear.
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I like used, or NOS. Better yet "I bought it but never used it", I love that kinda deal...
A 55 year old valve amp, two days of use, the guy pass on. The wife cuts the end off the power cord so the kids won't get hurt. The wife passes on, The kids sell it. It's a Mcintosh MC225. 1000.00 Need I say more.
All of my McIntosh was bought used from AC. Although used, every piece looked brand new. My Esoteric SACD player was bought as “exhibition stock” from Teac. My Sony Music Server was bought new but highly discounted. My GE speakers and Technics DD table were bought new as were the audio racks and speaker cable. My power conditioners and power cords and interconnects were all bought used. If I had bought all this equipment brand new, I would have paid more than double than what I did spend.
My a/v processors/receivers I’ve bought new, as discontinued items when the new versions came out. Speakers were new demos I bought at lower $$ then used were selling for at the time, my Oppo 205 I bought from the last run they did, when MSRP was the best deal to be had. Everything else til now has been used with zero regrets.
When I first started here, I bought almost all used and I had no significant issues or regrets. Now, all my gear was bought new except for my amps, which were bought used and completely rebuilt by SMc Audio. I have been patient and as a result received pretty good discounts on most of the new stuff.
You can get into a better calibre of equipment buying used. I bought my amps used and paid about 1/2.... they were about a year and a half old and mint so it was a no brainer.....
My latest component rarely appears used so I just bit the bullet and bought new... it was a tremendous value for the money so no regrets.
My tuner is a certified used Magnum Dynalab. Sent mine in for repair and got a generous trade in on a tuner I could otherwise never afford. Again, simple choice.
60% (not including cables) was purchased used. Of the remaining 40%, 1/2, or 20%, were refurbished or open box but I still consider then ‘new’, the remaining 20% new & non-refurbished.
I almost always look for any item I am considering used first, then will consider the used cost vs new when/if applicable.
I used a number of factors to determine if I purchase used or new, including:
How good is the deal? If used is 5% under new, I'll just go new. If I can save 30-40% used I'll go for it.
How often does the product pop up on the used market? If it takes a long time, I usually loose patience and buy new.
Does it have a lot of moving parts? E.g. a complete turntable vs an amplifier. If there are lots of bits that can break I will lean towards a seller with a decent reputation.
What is the state of the technology? If it's a class A or AB amp vs a class D. I'd go used for the A/AB and new for D because that tech is still evolving. DACs are a similar example.
TT, phono preamp, speaker cables, interconnects, power cords all new. Amp, CD transport, DAC, receiver, speakers, subwoofers all used. Why? Don't know. That is how it played out. It was time to make a move and that is where I ended up. Could have played out different if the circumstances at that time dictated otherwise. So I guess 50-50 but not wed to that model. Very easily could have been 75-25 or 25-75. Just depends on timing.
Used, better bang for the buck. I buy new interconnects, but if too pricey will go to used. Just bought a unit via AC. 99% per cent from ebay including SACD's. Ebay is great if......look for 100% for feedback. If less than 100%, I read the complaints and neutral feedback. Most all of it looks new, performs to specs. On average buying used is a better value. I did buy 3 open box/demo items recently, all in mint condition.
Here is why I buy used:
I get 2-3 times the musicality by allowing someone else
to be the 1st owner. I only buy from original owners who
impress me as being capable of proper care of equipment.
Hence the equipment offered on line that depicts dusty equipment, fuzzy pictures and other signs of ownership ineptitude move me right along.
I’ve bought everything used. I’ve got a lot of time to watch the market places but so far it’s worked out great. The only stuff I don’t buy Used is anything from synergistic research. Those EFTs and HFTs already have absorbed somebody else’s problems. I was told that there wasn’t enough room for my problems and to never buy them used. I don’t want my aura all jammed up with somebody else’s or in one of those dots.
Generally used. Downside of used is selection, so one needs to be patient. I believe most audiophiles take very good to excellent care of their equipment so buying used isn’t quite the crap shoot as much car might be. Like others, I look for the good deals, new or used. Most of my current gear is used or demo.
Around 80% of my gear are used because many are older than me. I am into good, old stuff. I have integrated amps/receivers from the 50's to 70's. My main system has KEF speakers from the late 70's and c-j electronics from circa 2000's. My most recent brand new purchases were a tonearm and a cartridge, a pair of monitor speakers and a secondary phono stage. Even my latest DAC was bought used. As many have mentioned, it is important to learn how to buy used.
I buy used. Buying 40 year old equipment is hard to find new in a box. I buy low enough $ wise to justify having it restored, recapped ect. Speakers I generally restore myself, in and out. I like bringing old gear back to its original glory then passing it on for someone else to enjoy. Sometimes I even make enough to justify the hobby. Definitely not a get rich program.
Mostly used — here’s my setup:
Speakers - used (Usher)
Power amp: used, then factory refurbished (McCormack)
Pre: new, but not high-end (Parasound)
DAC: used (Benchmark)
TT: used (Technics)
Cart: new (Nagaoka)
Streamer: refurbished (Bluesound)
CD Player: used (Cambridge)
I’ve been very happy with all my used purchases, and would have had a hard time getting into this hobby without them! Good luck.