old vs new

this is a strange question that may have been answered already.

If one had say $1000 to spend on an amp or preamp, would one be better of buying somthing new or pick up something that is 5-10 yrs old. I mean would a Mccormack DNA 0.5 be better than a new Odyssey stratos. Or would a Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 be better than a new Jolida preamp for the same cost.

Advancement in electronic components/technology must count for something or is the design of the unit/quality of parts that is more important. I hope i'm making sense
You are making sense, but to take advantage of this realization, you need to do a hell of a lot of research.

After which you will find that the truly great older items (as good as or better than the new stuff for half the price?) are just not coming up for sale because people hang on to them forever almost ;--) I waited two years for a Levinson 25s phono preamp and paid about 20% more than I should have -- but I just didn't want to wait another two years! It was worth it though because now it matches my 26s preamp, AND, we must remember it cost 7K 10 years ago and I only paid 2.8K for something that would cost at least 10-12K to duplicate with a new product today.
Thats what I thought. My cousins 20yr old maggies sound so much better than some of the 'expensive' new stuff i'v heard.
Interesting question and no easy answer I think. I always buy 2nd hand but not 5 to 10 years old. Most boxes loose 1/3 of their value leaving the shop, so you still get great value nearly new. I was discussing this with a UK dealer I really respect and he says he despairs that nowone listens to his advice and that some kit has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. For example, the Unison Research Pre amp he feels at about £1400, is as good as £4000 units a few years ago.
To answer your question, go for in demand kit less than 2 years old, you should be able to resell at mimimal loss. For example, I bought a Lavardin IT a year ago which is still worth what I paid for it. The great advantage is low risk, buy new and if it is a mistake, you have made a big loss, 2 years old, minmal loss.
Well today is your lucky day, I owned all the pieces in your examples.. #1 SFL-1 was my least favorite tube preamp. I say look elsewhere, yes there are some newer units from small U.S. manufactures and other used units that are better in my opinion.. The mcCormack, good amp, solid state sound, not bad on the used market for 600 or so. Odyssey, is a better amp with higher quality parts from my experiance, sound is somewhat similar depending on what you feed it with preamp wise.. However WAY more power and control from the Odyssey. It is a super solid design, build quality is as simple and hiend as it gets realistically. But truth is a new Odyssey is still double the price of a used mcCormack so its a toss up. Try a used McCormack for cheap, and buy an odyssey on the 30 day trial, decide for yourself.. Worst case you either return the odyssey with a loss in shiping, or you sell the mcCormack for the same you paid. By the way, none of these or newer stuff has much of a Newer technology, but with a newer piece you will get more than likely better capacitors made today then were made 10 years ago, and they will last longer, but this is another thing that goes back to the odyssey thing, you will get a full 20 year warranty anyway.

So at the 1000.00 dollar mark, there are very good new items as are used.. At higher prices at lets say 2 k plus you then start to set apart New vs. Better stuff used. Specifically pertaining to the odyssey's, they are as good and use just as quality of parts as any Levinson, Pass, Krell etc.. In the 5 to 6 k range anyway.. They are the best A-B amp values today. You can find many reviews on all 3 of these items in the hundreds.
yes and yes...just buy from a good seller
A curve ball...which manufacturers are now outsourcing to China, when 3-5 years ago, they were building in the USA or the EU?

I don't know the answer, but it might be interesting to check!
I'm new at this + i'm not in the US, so have to be doubly certain of what I am doing. I dont have the luxury of buying and selling gear to get to that 'magic' sound.

I'm in the process of picking up a B&K st2140 from a good seller at audiogo. Have also invested in a Music Hall cd 25.2. My final upgrade will be to get a good preamp. You will probably laugh at my present system which consists of

Marantz cd-67 se
Onkyo P-301/M-501 for DIY MTM's
Yamaha AX-490 for two DIY passive subs
most importantly all the gear runs through a 2Kva serv stabilizer. And all equipment is isolated with DIY spikes.

for an 8 yr old system it still sounds very good compared to a lot of so called mid-fi systems i have heard
the question of better is very subjective. i personally consider some of the older tube amps and preamps much better than anything made today.

an example is the conrad johnson mv 125 amplifier. i have not heard anything better. i have attended ces and he shows and belong to an audio club. i would have a problem purchasing an amplifier in production in 2006--same for pre amp.

as for speakers, i still think the quad esl is ias good as it gets in the mids and treble.
dont see too many late model tube preamps below $1000 available on audiogon. Most of the bette known units are close to $2000. So if ones budget is below $1000 will it be 'safer' to opt for a ss preamp.

If you plan on going with solid state - a used Pass Labs Aleph 3, McCormack DNA 0.5, or McCormack DNA 125 would be the ticket. If I had to go with solid state - that would be my list.

I listen to a homebrew 45 SET tube amplifier with a Conrad-Johnson PF2 solid state pre.
I really like old, used preamp and amps for stricter budgets.
They don't wear out as quickly as mechanical components, unlike CDPs there's no new technology that puts their SQ in the shadows, and they yield a wise alternative to integrated amps. One just has to take more care in to what he/she purchases as far reliability and repair.
I think its a valid question..I do all my purchases along that reasoning, but I am researcher by nature.

I settled for a main system with fairly old stuff...

Berning tf10 hybrid pre and EA-230 triode amp. awesome combo as well as the Parasound CDP-2000 Ultra.

Its fun to do especially if your wallet doesnt have long legs.
how often does one have to replace tubes on a preamp. If its once in 4-5 years would be worth while saving up for a tubed unit
replacing tubes depends upon usage, tube life span and sonic preferences.

it also depends upon the tube type and the tube circuit.

it is possible to get several years. 4 to 5 is a maybe.
It's about hours of usage not years of ownership.