Any brand that changes models frequently.
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I was disappointed with what I sold my Manly Labs 300 Neoclasic preamp for,and how long it took to sell. I did get it at demo price but it still stung when I sold it. What I replaced it with ( not going to mention a name) I purchased used. Funny thing if I were to put my current preamp up for sale right now I wouldn't lose a dime, and it's not a mainstream brand.
Complex high tech components drop in value significantly as they become obsolete when new technologies are available. In terms of brands, I have never seen anything lose value quicker than Lexicon. Take the MC-12B preamp. The MSRP was $14K, and you can easily buy one for under $300. IMHO, that $300 is generous for such a horrendous machine.
So many answers to this. The ones that get me are the really great components that are just priced way too high.
Manley Steelhead - this is as good as it gets for a phono stage. I used one for a few years. No way I'd pay $8400 for a new one when you can get a used one for about $3500.
Trenner & Friedl Art - one of the best shoebox monitors out there (I own an older pair), but the new model is $6000, which is ridiculous. You'd be lucky to recover even 50% of that in resale. Most people are going to walk right on by to the Harbeth P3ESR which costs about a third less.
This is a big reason I went with the ps audio FPGA based dac. I get free upgrades every 6 months whereas most other dacs become more out of date, plus the ps audio dac is very very good. Even manufacturers that build components with individual boards for future upgradability miss the mark, expensive to start and each board is expensive.
‘I hope classe makes a comeback
I think there is a difference between "junk" audio and gear that doesn’t get it’s due. I walk the vintage audio road and there is gear that I have tried that gives great audio but doesn’t get the respect it deserves...
Interesting you mention Realistic. I have heard that the Lab (400, 500) series turntables are actually quite good. I read somewhere that Mitsubishi made the direct drive motors for these and they are very good quality. Haven’t picked one up to try. The Realistic brand, unfortunately, shadows it as "low rent".
Weren’t some of the earlier Realistic speakers using Altec drivers and horns?
The components that don’t seem to hold their value relative to their performance (for me) were from the small boutique brands like Apt Holman. The AH One is a great little preamp. I had one early in my journey and it sounded great. You can still get them for $250-350 in the used market with prices slowly climbing as the word starts to spread.
Tandberg amps and preamps don’t get their deserve as well as the Sony "TA" series amps and pre-amps. The Sony TA N80ES amp and TA E80ES preamp give spectacular audio and are still a great value if you are willing to walk the vintage road.
I’ve bought only used gear for the last 15 years or so. I try to stick with brands I know will give me most, if not all of my money back when I resell It (eg McIntosh, Manley phono). Buying before listening to a component is a crapshoot, no matter how good the review is. The worst one for me was a wyred 4 sound integrated, STI-500 I think. I overpaid for it used, hated the sound, and promptly fried the left channel (don’t ask). After getting it repaired, I sold it after months of trying, and lost quite a few dollars on it.
The reasons are many for a product not holding value, with the most common being that the MSRP was too high and once the advertising hype is gone, the item is not so great anymore.
Someone mentioned the Apt-Holman preamp and it was a great amp, which I enjoyed for many years, but the printed circuit boards were cheaply made causing the leads to lift. I had mine repaired once, but PCB deterioration made further repair impossible, so I gave it to a fellow who had another. Also, you can bad mouth Japanese gear if you want, but the reliability of their stuff was outstanding.
One of the many contributing factors that has influenced the more traditional home audio solution is the home theaters in a box, sound bars, and the big sound Bluetooth speakers.
I think some of the well designed “vintage” gear can outperform the more modern equipment.
Occasionally when family and friends ask me for audio equipment advice. I usually recommend that they consider “vintage”equipment with the suggestion that they have it serviced.