Is this an right time to buy hifi?

it seems that all audio manufacturers have supply issues and delivery dates take up to 6 months ( Decware- Salk, etc). I wonder if they are forced  to cut corners and compromise the quality of components and performance. 
Depends on the manufacturer.  I know Salk will never cut corners.  That is always his lead time because his products are that in demand.    

Regarding others, I can think of only two brands where I have seen QC issues across 50 or so that I sell.  They will not be mentioned by name publicly or privately by me but that is 1 in 25 and one of them had issues prior to COVID so....

The point is most are not cutting corners.  The longer wait times are driven by supply chain and/or accelerated demand.  Demand for hifi equipment has gone up during COVID while supply has been challenged.  

The best thing you can do is just put your deposit down and be patient.  I know waiting sucks, but if you want something, waiting for it to be in-stock regularly is going to be much further away than waiting for a production run.
The stuff I bought (9 or 10 items) in the last 12 months has had some delays due to COVID supply issues but I have had no issue with any of them except 1 preamp where they used a wrong board from their other preamp. This happened in May 2020 timeframe when this company was setting up remote work for their team.

They gave me a demo unit while they fixed my preamp under warranty.

I thought the past 12 months were a good time to buy since there some unexpected discounts. It was also since to help out businesses.
Nobody gets it. Look. The world is approaching the end of a giant fiat money Ponzi scheme. Every nation on Earth, every central bank, pretty much every single individual, is up to their eyeballs in debt. So much debt that even with interest rates historically deemed impossibly low (negative!) there still is so much debt the interest payments are eating up pretty much all our productivity. But with trillions being printed and dropped from helicopters (figuratively- but did you not get your stimmie check? So WTF do you call that?) everyone even though up to their eyeballs in debt nevertheless has money to burn. 

Increasingly worthless money. Therein lies the problem. Yes of course this is a great time to buy audio gear. Why? Because this is a great time to buy anything tangible and of tangible value. Because soon- no not like later on today soon, or even later on this year, but soon nevertheless- soon that money won't buy you squat. At least you will have the amp. Just while you are at it please be smart and buy some gold, and silver, bitcoin, and food while you are at it.
Get a down payment on a shiny new Sanders Magtech stereo amp as well.  
     30 day in home trial to seal the deal. 
    Salk would not cut as @verdantaudio says. They are a very good company.   

     The major brand names ou would probably have issues with warranty service.   Heck, even before this political fearstorm, one would Jump through hoops of fire from any major brand through box stores. 

     The good brands will continuously offer good products & service. 
I'd say if your buying new go for it, if used wait. Covid has driven the used market prices through the roof. Vintage has gone even further up the silly price range, lots of people are over spending on old equipment that's not worth it.  $5k+ for a 70's receiver give me a break. 
you barely touched the topic at hand. OP is about reliability and quality during the pandemic.
People should make the best of everyday because you never know what tomorrow brings.  

Decware and Salk are very small companies. They essentially build to order and do not hold pre-built units in warehouse stock. There is always going to be a backlog in this type of small company. Yes, they may have materials constraints due to the Global pandemic supply chain issues. However, they are also limited by their production capabilities. If you want to pay more, buy from a company that builds products in advance, warehouses them, and sell through a dealer network.
MC Yammer just regurgitates what he sees and hears on right wing media outlets. He'll never change. He treats this audio site like it's farcebook. If he just stuck to audio, he wouldn't be half bad, but he has to troll every chance he gets.

All the best,
IT's not a good thing to be in debt.   If you are don't make it worse by spending a ton more.   That's the problem.   Sometimes its inevitable but many times its people who put themselves into debt seeking things they really can't afford.   Good news is its not expensive to get good sound these days but "high end audio" is by its very definition expensive.  Walk before you might be surprised how easy it is to get good sound these days for not much.
like glennewdick i've noticed that prices on vintage gear and vinyl have inflated to truly ridiculous levels--i'm not sure if it's due to an increase in demand or a gradual dwindling of supply. i do know that vinyl has overtaken cds in sales, so there seems to be something of a retro movement going on.
Debt is not a good thing anytime,especially now. If you can pay now,buy it now.  
I agree 100% with your statement. Enjoy life with financial responsibility is the best approach.
In the current reality it is just about the only entertainment left, to buy new and better toys. Like children really. Yeah, let's buy something and keep playing.
Fiat is making some great cars now, so wouldn't fiat money be rising in value?
@onhwy61 well said indeed! And it's as good a time as any to buy gear if you can afford it.
I put a down payment on two Bryston 7b3's yesterday, and after I did I thought of the same question as the OP.  I hope lesser quality components are not substituted for the normal components because of supply issues. And I know Bryston is facing supply issues as their president said as much over in the audiocircle Bryston thread.
I want to second what mapman said above--you can get very good sound these days for not a lot of money.  amplifier technology is such that there is essentially no audible distortion on any decent SS amp.  speaker technology has trickled down to lower cost speakers (though you still have to get something better and more expensive than sonos ones, say).   So if you're new to building a system, do your HW and you will get a great system for not a lot of money.  How do I square what I just wrote with buying a couple of 7b3's?  I don't know.
Shortage of components cause shortages not corner cutting.  Shortage of people could cause cost cutting. For the most part the world missed 3-6 months of manufacturing. EVERYTHING is short not. Leading to supply chain issues everywhere. Waiting for GIK due to fabric shortages.  This is bad time to buy. Discounts are short and demand seems to be high. 
Millercarbon is correct except for buying Bitcoin. You can bet your &$) it will be outlawed sooner than later. Specifically because of the ransoms associated with the crypto currency. Gold, platinum, silver. That’s the ticket 
I do not think so especially if they are reputable but i think the reason for the delays are because they do not want to cut corners and compromise quality.
Never buy Bitcoin, and silver and gold aren’t that great of investments. There are so many better investments to make out there.
As for an audio system, car, and other tangibles, these are not investments, they lose money the minute you take them out of the showroom. A house is normally not an investment either.
I would never buy a car or audio system on credit because you will be upside down in owing more than what they are worth.
Buy what you can afford
@millercarbon Fed printing, precious metals, crypto: All agreed. 
@p05129 Not that this is a digital currency forum, but Google large (US by the way) institutional holdings now and you’ll quickly see why your next audiophile component will soon be transacted through crypto. It’s an inevitable reality with today’s market infrastructure. 
Do your research and buy from companies with a long and consistent track record. How did they perform during recessions and booms. Has their quality remained consistent. There is no doubt you have to wait for better gear to be built as most smart manufacturers dont overproduce during booms or ramp up production during momentary spikes. The real question...did consumer purchasing habits change in 2020 for good or will they return to trend. No one knows but alot of things affect demand. In addition Brexit, etc has changed the British hifi market and who knows what to expect.

Regarding investment and economic advice offred on an audio forum. Proceed at your own risk. @millercarbon may very well be right and Warren Buffet may very well be wrong. You pick. I’ve done reasonably well over the past 30 years investing with Mr. Buffet but I’m sure when all heck breaks loose and those 30 years of investments vaporize, I know I can count on the compassion of @millercarbon to allow me to share a can of peaches in his underground bunker while he communicates on his shortwave during the apocalypse. 
deadhead1K, et all....

Hate to break it to y'all....but the 'universe' has already collapsed....
Since it's so damn big, the 'memo' hasn't reached the backwaters...aka, Here...

But what can one expect out of a holographic synapse array, anyway?
The way I discern it, the reason your stack o' stuff don't sound good is that you are there to experience it, and effecting the experience....

Yup, damn quantum strata yet again.....*bemused sigh*
It's those continuum ripples in spacetime....go to bed happy, wake up disappointed...the cat pooped on the left monoblock, the dog leaked on the Maggie, the spouse threatened to cut All the ic's (including Yours), the grandkids frisbee'd the lp's....

It's always Something....;)
BTW...yup, you guessed it....

April Fools.....;)

Now...restrain yourselves and not prove the point....*smirk*
MillerCarbon, You just said everything in My heart that I know to be tru. Ive been pounding the table for years and when the music stops playing its going to be really bad at least we can sit back in our cush home theaters and watch it all unfold on our big screen TVs. I told the wife I dont really care if we spend allot of extra bucks on HT HIFI cause we use it every day and sometimes all day its a one time charge plus we never go to the movies anymore . Ive been fortifying my portfolio and yes buying tangible items , along with gold/silver stocks Jrs Majors , Foreign stocks, I lost you on the bitcoin but hey , I bet you aliens from outer space couldn't wrap there grey heads around money that only exists in the imagination of others , its a speculative asset can make allot of money im staying away. My family would spent a minimum $60 every other week at the theater thats $1500 I can divert into my HT each year and have something to show for , Screw AMC ( A Mass Casket) thats why Im with the shorts . You can literally rent an entire theater for a Party Venue these days on the cheap . 
I sold a pair of Aria's a few months back for $2700 after a year of use. I bought them for the same price brand new. Focal then came in with a price increase. To me, it's not the best time to buy as people and businesses are attempting to plan for inflation in a deflationary environment. Save your pennies and wait. 
 Changing my name to Miller or Yoder.  Turning Amish and moving in with a family down the road from me.  Learning to plow 40 acres and 12 Clydsdales or mules. Just me and my family and the good earth.  No stocks, bonds, gold ,silver, bitcoin or anytjhing from Wall street. Don't worrry be happy.
You got the big stuff right and I heartily agree.  

As you are a 1%er I would have to conclude there ain't no "stimmie" check coming your way.  I know there's none coming my way, never was, never will be.

Few people can afford to buy Bitcoin at $60,000!  But, I suspect fractions can be bought.  A better bet in my opinion is to go after some Etherium (Ether).  Visa just announced that persons will be able to use USDC (which a stable value crypto currency) to pay for goods and services.
Visa is using the Etherium blockchain (distributed public ledger) as their basis for transactional processing.  Ether is trading at ~$1900 as I type this

Gold and silver is nice to have but boring as hell, if one wants to do that at least buy the actual metal as opposed to a specialty fund.

Enjoy your Easter...All the best.


millercarbon What he said!!
supply chain issues are a front for an excuse to jack up the prices. Basic economics supply vs demand. When the technology has flattened and you can’t tweek any more from that side how do you inflate your value or price ie charge more? Supply shortage. Has been said all of the CEO’s today go in to debt up to their eye balls as that is what they were taught in business school “always us other peoples money”. This is pushed from the central banks and the fed. It is all explained in the book” creatures from Jekyll Island“. Get people into debt, have them refinance the debt, then take out more debt to pay for the debt. Who do you think is collecting all the interest! 
Anyone who does not want to play the game is free to take their ball and go home.  You will have to pay taxes on the ball first of course...
It's always the coming apocalypse with these guys.

Makes me long for the days when it was just some random crazy walking around with a sandwich board proclaiming "The End is Near"

All the best,
If I listened to all the doom and gloom naysayers when I was young, I would be much worse off financially now.

ALways look on the bright side....

you barely touched the topic at hand. OP is about reliability and quality during the pandemic.

You dropped the "L" from plandemic.  

I have a suit to be pressed. A beard to be trimmed. Gig Harbor HiFi
to visit. A wedding to attend Saturday. As the FOB most of my HiFi$
went to service providers over the last 9 months.

I did buy one build to order DAC. It was shipped as promised
a week after I paid for it.

Then there was the Innuos piece my dealer had in stock.
Normally 2 weeks out from Portugal. 

The Pass Labs piece I bought from TMR was shipped as promised.
They even paid me for the Oppo I sold them prior to my shipping it.

All in all I say the world of audio still functions well.
Though I do tire of Millies using Covid as a cover for crappy CS.

Paying for airfare today to the July Pacific NW AudioFest end July
while tickets are still cheap!!!

See you there??
As for bitcoin, I read this when it first came out. Yeah. And understood it. Yeah. Mull that one over for a while, see what you come up with.
chorus if you are in Gig Harbor you should come by in a couple weeks hear for yourself what it's all about.
  Satoshi Nakamoto is by all accounts a fictitious character or possibly more accurately an amalgam of several individuals.  I'm not sure what you point actually is.  Be that as it may I'll see ya and raise ya one:

As an aside, bitcoin has a ceiling of 21 million coins which means the algorithms for miners will become increasingly more difficult.  There are
about 18 million bitcoins "in circulation".  Several million have been lost, as in unrecoverable: crashed hard drives, lost crypto wallets etc.

It is my fervent hope that you jumped on that bandwagon shortly after your reading of the bitcoin pdf. If so, I would certainly subscribe to the fact that you are a 1%er.   And then it adds a ton of credence to your purchase of Tekton and subsequent joy.  Mainly due to the fact that you would be able to purchase any speaker system on the planet.

Would it be a stretch to assume that most people don't come to Audiogon for an economic or financial planning lesson? Unless my wife pledges a 7 or 8 figure sum to charity, scholarship funds, homeless charities, early childhood education or voting rights defense funds that the last place I will go for financial counsel would be here. 

No offense to anyone but its already a stretch for me to give the benefit of the doubt to other anonymous souls when discussing audio. I see some of the system photos and I scratch my head and feel bad for them, wondering why only 1 seat in the middle of a room in an attic or a basement with a HO gauge model railroad maze of cables and trestles and tweaky foam scotch tape to every square inch of the wall surfaces. It all seems so lonely. Audio has to live with us and not the other way around.

Anyway....back to the topic: Its a great time to buy audio and enjoy music. Reputable manufacturers will not cut corners.