the either fixed a unit that had a problem and are going to stand behind it or it's a returned unit that they made sure was working perfectly. Their loss is your gain. So many of us pay tons for used equipment. Are you on Audiogon for used stuff? If so, you'd be well served to go refurb and get what you want for less. JMHO
Considering that you're getting a full warranty and coming straight from HK, I'd have no qualms. Although you can never predict the future, whatever problems the equipment had should have been resolved with either replacement or repair of the parts involved. At least that's my rationale. Others may have a different point of view, though.
I sell both new "A" stock, and refurbished, or "B" stock. As a rule, I have almost no problems with the refurbished products. Almost every piece of gear I have at home is "B" stock. I have never had a single piece of mine fail. In many cases, it is something that required a firmware update. In that case, you are less likely to have a problem than buying the "new" one that may not have the most current firmware. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it.
I would search the web and ebay and find out people's experience with refurbs of that model. some manufacturers job out the refurb work and the results can be very spotty. sometimes it's a totally new unit that was open box. sometimes they've been repaired, sometimes someone at the refurb center plugged it in, saw that it lit up and said "good enough for me". I would also read through the warrantee terms carefully. You'll probably have to exchange it for another refurb if you have problems. I've bought plenty of refurb stuff and that has been my experience. You just have to decide how much of a hassle you are willing to put up w for the discount in price.
Grab it. 1/2 price-effectively brand new. Their loss is your gain. Your warranty is from the same group that makes JBL, JBL Professional, Revel, Mark Levinson, Lexicon,DBX and numerous other professional products. These are the big boys and they have an enormous professional reputation to maintain. The 990 looks great. M/C cartridge input-with god overload capability,additional processing for digital-- and these guys basically own the processing market. Check out what Lexicon, DBX have in processing. Great power with 150 watts rms and it will put out instantaneous peaks of about 200 AMPs. EVEN a detachable power cord-that gives you great flexiblity and a great upgrade path! Plus it has balanced input. The older HK products never wore out- I know I had a Citation. I'm amazed at the overall value here. I don't think you can go wrong.
Like new in my experience. In fact in high end it is often new and a way to reduce price and move out inventory.
Wnbode, although your OP refers to a specific amp and manufacturer, the OP title asks an even broader question. That being whether one should consider buying refurbished goods from any company. In my case, I've bought re-furbed HP computers that hold up longer than I expected. The death-knoll is when my son trashes the computer -- not when the thing blows up.
In the audio world, 2 of my ARC pieces have come directly from ARC. My PH-8 phono pre is a "B" stock refurb that was used as a demo at shops. My Ref 5 SE is an upgraded, essentially remanufactured, unit that was literally hand re-built by ARC.
I have zero qualms about picking up stuff like that from a company like ARC because of the quality of the gear and ARC's A+ reputation. Based on conversations with Lenard and Kal, I know that ARC will not let anything it worked on out of its shop unless it meets original spec and passed Bill Gehls' listening test. They simply don't want defective ARC gear out there. I recall that it is ARC policy that it will not repair specially modded units unless all the mods are taken out and ARC components reinstalled.
I looked at the ad on ebay and saw all the negative feedback, most relating to poor service and defective items. It looks like 3rd party service. It's a gamble.
I'll tell you my experiences;
1. bought refurbished item online from Apple with warranty...great experience.
2. bought a refurb preamp from a dealer on ebay w/ warranty... died after a couple of weeks, and then began a back and forth shipping event to a 3rd party tech for warranty service. The dealer was covering the repair cost, not the manufacturer. I paid a couple hundred in shipping.
I would buy refurb again, but the bottom line is the poor feedback.
I always get items that are from the company and not the 3rd party. I never want to deal with 3rd party stuff. For me that's like not having anything. The real deal is how much off? I bought a piece years ago that was reburb from the company that they sold through a store. They offered if for 15% off and I knew I could get new for 20% off down the street. They didn't spend any time with me as I knew what I wanted. I told them I'll take it new for the 20% off or reburb for 30% off. They must have wanted to move stock...;)....just figure out what it's worth to you and if they do it, go for it. Good luck and let us know.
thank you everyone for your responses. I am practically interested in Lowrider57's response. It looks like I should be asking questions about who is doing the refurb. Even though the manufacturer is backing the repairs the work might have been done by a 3rd party, which might not be up to par with the original manufacturer.
I have purchased a few "B" stock Sony items.. No problems at all.
Kind of like buying a 'Demo' item IMO.
I've had an excellent experience, especially with Sony products. I've purchased over ten items and have never been disappointed. The value is unbeatable, the risk almost non existent given returns are always free. Sadly in the last year there have been few audio products offered by SonyStyle. I am sure that since Sony has struggled to turn its electronics products to profitability, we will not be seeing many more offerings. I think the lesson in all this is only buy refurb's directly from the original manufacturer. Avoid third parties at all cost.
Swampwalker's suggestion to research the particular model you wish to purchase is good advice. I bought a refurb television that was known to have problems. Had I researched online and read the horror stories from others about that model, I would never have bought it. After 3 years of grief, I finally gave up on it and bought a new one.
My experience with refurbed electronics has, otherwise, been positive.
Sometimes refurbished gear may not have all the small accessories items or of even less concern the new packing materials or box.
Coming with warranty beats buying used gear that only has seller feedback rating to go on.
uggh!! The old snooze you loose. The hk 990 is no longer on e-bay. The search is on for another Int. Thank you everyone for your input.
Sometimes you have to figure out what you want and then look for it. You can ask all the questions that you want on a forum, but you are the only one who knows what you are willing to put up with in order to save some money. If you are a good shopper, you will save on new gear if you find a motivated seller. The other thing to keep in mind is that when you go brick and mortar, you get someone who will be there when something goes wrong. I'm about to get Vandy Treo's. If I wait a few more months, maybe I can save a thousand or two by getting them used, but I found a dealer I really like and he's even willing to drive two hours to set them up. What are services like that worth? Also, keep in mind that you are buying a system and not all products go together. At least at a real store, they know what does sound best with each other and you won't be wasting time and money trying to chase that elusive perfect sound. They will know your room and what your ear is like and make recommendations based on that. For the little that you will save on reburb, maybe you should find a local dealer in your area and listen to everything for yourself and let them help you out. Just a thought as then you will have a unit that will be worth even more if and when you decide to sell it off in the future.