Vintage Value vs Whatsitsname again

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by Bas, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. Bas

    Bas

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    IMO
    Hi Fi equipment has become pretty much like the auto industry....new models every year with minor tweaks here and there to justify the need for users to trade-in and buy-up. Once the warranty expires however you'd better trade-in and sell fast or else your asset will have become a liability. Built-in obsolescence is creeping in and that craftsmanship and pride which assured a "built-to-last" component are fast fading out.
    Sure, new technologies and new materials are appearing at at ever accelerating rate and replacing the old BUT is one seeing a significant improvement in build quality, endurance, performance, IOW VALUE? It begs the question; Is this not being done primarily to reduce manufacturing costs and increase margins?
    Given the warp-speed at which new players and brands are entering the market (seemingly appearing from nowhere) and for Mk II, III, IV etc to replace the former models in quick succession, one is left to infer that there is little R&D and a lot of plagiarism or trial and error taking place.
    When it comes to sound quality and performance, the audio mags are quick to review and "shoot-out" all the latest gizmos, products and fads but I have yet to see intelligent or informed comparisons being made between component A of 1997 vs component X of 2017. But there again the 1997 stuff has probably run its course and has travelled its last journey to a charity shop or is sitting sentimentally under dust covers in a garage or attic?
    The pressure is on to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade....Not that that hasn't been the quest of audiophiles since needle was placed on shellac BUT the frequency of change has become overwhelming; enabled by an endless stream of new offerings, championed by the seductive audio-equipment marketing machine and driven by the mystical compelling urge to attain the perfect sound.
    Given the cost of high-end audio equipment (WTMB), one should be able to safely regard such as being an investment which one in turn reasonably expects to last a decade or more and even appreciate in value.... BUT once again it seems that the spectre of the auto-industry has over-shadowed us and that equipment which once stoically held its place and price, is now dramatically devalued as soon as it leaves the showroom floor.
    The spectrum of equipment now on offer is unprecedented, compared to 20 years ago and almost incredible, when considered from the audio market of the 60's. The great effect of this is that more folk are able to listen to and hear music in a manner and of such quality that was rarely before possible.
    By affording easier access to more users it is hoped that the market forces of supply and demand and open competition will exert their influence upon price, value for money, etc. to the benefit of all.
    A puzzling thing however about the current market is how a pair of tiny ear-phones (circa 2017) can cost nearly twice as much as my high-end floor-standing speakers which won best floor standing speakers > $10 000.00 and 5 stars international critics' awards... 2012 (5 years ago)!?
    In the words of Lennon/McCartney: Help! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody.....
    To restore sanity and value to a maverick market.....
     
    Bas, Jun 1, 2017
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