Audio Accounting And Are You Brave Enough To Do It?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Mister Pig, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

    Olympia Washington
    I am sure everyone has sat there and done some mental math and valued what their stereo system is worth, especially at MSRP prices. If you shop the used market its a fun diversion to partake, as you can think of "all the money you saved".

    So that is step one, value the stereo at MSRP if you want.

    But the real trick is to count up what you have really spent, and come to grips with that number. If you have built your stereo over a number of years, buying and saving, then selling and stepping up the next rung of the ladder, then it does not seem like as hard a financial expense. But if you haven't done this in awhile, its a good way to come back and realize your investment. In my case, when I do it, its a bit sobering. Yikes!

    Now the next step is look at your hoard, or secondary pieces that are not used in your main system, and value those, to see how much you have tied up in "non-necessary" components. In my case I currently have an extra pre amp, two extra turntables, 4 extra cartridges, and an amplifier. Figure out what all those extra pieces represent money wise, and are they worth tying that up in?

    Finally, is your stereo really what you want? If you could turn it all into a pile of cash and start over, is it what you really want? Or what would you do with the cash all those secondary pieces represent?

    Extra credit points if you do the same thing with your music collection LOL.

    Mister Pig


    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    west Texas
    There is a big difference in what I paid for my system as compared as to what it would cost to replace it. Take my MC 2505, I paid 1/2 price for it as Mcintosh dealer tech/salesaman. $250.00 in 1970. They are over 1000.00 today. Same goes for my MPI-4. I paid $1500 for my speakers and they are worth $4000.00 according to e-bay. If I had to buy speakers new of similar performance. $30,000.00. MY HT processor new was $12300.00. I can buy a pre-owned for $4000 today. I paid $3000.00. A new one would cost me $15200.00. My cassette I paid $450.00 is worth 100,00. a best. And so it goes. My Thorens has increased many times over. My Dynavector deflates a little each day. Then there are all the CD's, LP's DVD's and the display. Insurance value for full replacement $200,000. I don't think its enough, but what do I know.

    I wish I had kept my two 275's. I could have bought two MC 3500's reasonably, but I would have needed four. If well maintained that would be close to $56,000.00 today.

    I got some of my Sheffield records for free at a WCES show. At one time they were worth over $100.00 each. Today I am afraid people don't know the significance of these direct to disc recordings. But I still value them highly.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
    Bill Ferris and awillia6 like this.
  3. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

    New Jersey
    I'd like to be an ostrich and keep my head in the sand.
    While I'd say I probably overpaid a little on a few pieces. Some I've bought new and sold at the normal depreciation rate. Some I've invested in based on other's opinions and didn't get the results I'd hoped.
    Certain pieces I've moved along to (I felt ) worthy AKers at (perhaps) below fair market value both because I like the community and hate EBay .
    I sleep good at night. I like my choices , what I have in hand , and what I'm out is small compared to the enjoyment I got along the way and now.
    If this were strictly a business, I'm sure I'd be puking now:dunno:
    Bdbras84, ghazzer, GD70 and 3 others like this.
  4. OMGCat!

    OMGCat! AK Subscriber Subscriber

    El Sereno, CA
    Not to say I'm not very happy with my current set up but I've done just this not too long ago.
    By my calculations I can flip my current setup and the mini hoard to free up enough assets to do a pretty decent upgrade.
    I'm planning on moving cross country soon and having a bonus room over a three car garage turned into a listening room so I'm going to wait to change things up until I get a good gauge on what the space is going to be like.
    If the current system works it may well stay or I might just say to heck with it and set a budget for some major upgrades. I'm looking for a major step up or not at all.
  5. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

    SE Alaska
    I don't generally look at my audio as an investment. The heart of it was purchased a very long time ago, and where I live, it would be impossible to sell and start over, even if I wanted to, which I don't.

    My main amp/pre was $1500 in 1975, my Speakers were $1000 in 74. The 2 TT's I have were given to me and I spend maybe $300 on new carts. I did spend $1200 on new modern woofers for my old JBL's, but I tend to spend that much on my boat every year or 2, something I also never expect to come out on top of financially.

    I guess the bottom line for me is that I don't look at resale value for any of my pleasure pursuits. That will be for whoever this stuff gets left to once I'm gone..
    peerson and Roadrash like this.
  6. BassKulcha

    BassKulcha Cathode Follower Subscriber

    So far, I've tried to use current value as a marker for what to pick up and for how much. It's just the frame in which I've chosen to operate in, and it's honestly been really useful. Like @nj pheonix I've overpaid on some pieces, overvalued some based on AK community perspectives, and on others I've a made a few bucks when passing them along.

    My system pales in comparison, value-wise, to some of the pieces our porcine friend and others here have gone through, but I think in balance I've come out ahead (not that that's the reason for doing any of this!) The most satisfying aspect is I've used these purchases to go deep in studying and understanding that piece (an example is a c.1949 Altec mono projection amplifier that I thought was a wicked score that turned out to be pretty much worth what I paid. But the fun in researching and understanding the history of Altec/Peerless in the film biz was priceless...)

    Meeting up with other audiophiles (impecunious or otherwise) bitten by the bug has been the best part of this journey, and for that I thank all of you for sharing with me your knowledge and wisdom. Cheers—


    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. just dave

    just dave vintage rules!

    Oak Forest ILL.
    100% satisfied here.
  8. jcamero

    jcamero Who are you people anyway? Subscriber

    The Dairy State
    I get depressed when I think "cost", then toss on an album, and feel better.
  9. ducati_EL34

    ducati_EL34 Addicted Member

    I have three motorcycles in the garage. A new rear tire installed at a dealer is close to $300 for any of the three. I never keep a record of parts and maintenance costs.

    I am not worried in the least how much I have tied up in audio gear. :D
    jblnut, +48V and arts like this.
  10. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Norman OK
    I paid $6500 delivered for a lightly used, pristine integrated amp, which was a big purchase for a poboy. It has the power and SQ I wanted - enough to satisfy any speaker I am likely to acquire. Not a bad buy for a $12k amp. My MA speakers $1150, and SVS subwoofers $800/pr on sale. That is the heart of my system, which is the best-sounding rig I've ever owned.

    I said to Christine recently, "That was fun! I think I'll sell it all and do it again."

    However, when I listen, I don't think about upgrading any of the items above, though I do think about it for sources... but that runs into many other issues that I don't want to enumerate here.

    Is it really what I want? Absolutely yes. And no.

    I'd really like to dive into the bipolar panel hole, but simply don't have the space for it. Buying Klipschorns for this room taught me a lesson about ensuring the speaker will perform well with the room, and my placement options within it - really, I should have known better. Actually, I did, but they were my dream speaker for so many years that I pulled the trigger anyway, on a used pair in really good condition.

    Sometimes, in a fit of perversity, I think I should sell it all and buy a Yamaha R-S202 receiver from Accessories4Less for (currently) $90 and a pair of Dayton Audio T-652AIR tower speakers from Parts Express for $140 and call it good. But I know that wouldn't hold sway very long.

    Besides, there isn't anything else for which I'd rather spend the money.

    Magnepans or Martin Logans will just have to await my hitting the lottery and buying a bigger home with a dedicated listening room. The real truth is that my system still surprises me and makes me smile a big ole shirt-eating grin.
  11. quiet

    quiet AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I don't have much in it and can't get much for it. At this time I wouldn't sell it even for a lot of money. I'll keep the big happy for now.
    If I had it to start over I would. It would be very different, and very much the same.
    peerson and RTally like this.


    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. arts

    arts Super Member

    Qc, Canada
    In my case,the equipment is far from a problem.The problem,you see,is the room.Oh,it's a very nice,relatively spacious room.It is,quite simply,an open,airy and pleasant place to spend time. Unfortunately,due to it's shape,cathedral ceiling,and the limited speaker placement options,it just ain't a great ''listening room''.
    Frankly,it sucks. Perhaps someday I will try to track down a specialist who can assess the room and recommend sound treatments,or just tell me I'm screwed.

    So,therefore,in terms of ''audio accounting'',I blew a s**tload of money on the worst (but most important!) part of my system.
  13. donprice

    donprice Wound up workin' at a gas station.... Subscriber

    At least I have something to show for the ~$10k spent over the past 20 years. I spent more than that on cable TV, phone, internet, and cell service over the last 5 years and the spend rate is is increasing :mad:

    I looked at some un-needed upgrades today and "only" came up with $5k of stuff I might buy in the to think of it....I can justify buying the fancy stuff because it helps me enjoy the big money I'm spending on cable/internet :naughty:

    I think I failed to answer the OPs question
  14. RTally

    RTally Speaker addict Subscriber

    Knoxville, Tennessee
    No matter how I add it up, the value of my 6 current systems is not that much. What I have in my current systems is about the same as what I could sell it for. I have spent in the low 5 figures since my first system in the early '70s. As for my media, I only have CDs. I've bought more than 600 CDs this year. The most expensive was $1.99 and least $.05. My current average cost for CDs is around $.70.

    Computers, on the other hand, are a different story. Computers have zero residual value, unlike audio equipment. I have spent in the low 6 figures since my first computer system I bought in the mid-70s. And what I currently have is not worth anything if I were to sell it. Computer equipment is a real sink-hole for money.
  15. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

    Canandaigua, NY
    The amount I've spent on computer stuff and audio stuff, spread out over decades, doesn't amount to a hill of beans. That's not to say I've got crappy stuff, well OK, some of it, but I buy wisely and infrequently. Free or close to it is good too, when I can get it. OTOH, the amount I've spent on lab equipment to fix everything boggles the mind!
    ghazzer, nj pheonix and BinaryMike like this.
  16. Old Guy8

    Old Guy8 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Rockford, Illinois
    What I have, that I bought 30-40 years ago, should be depreciated off the books by now. Old stuff sold was break even on most.
    Newer stuff, I'm sure would lose $ reselling.
    What I have sounds ok. Would not drastically change it. Maybe some step up current full range speakers, someday.


    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. Chrisxo55441

    Chrisxo55441 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Twin Cities Minnesota
    I've spent about 25 percent of what my house is worth on audio equipment I think mostly it's held it's value and if I sold it all I would probably at least get what I paid and even if I only got 80 percent I would be ok with it for all the years of enjoyment but I think it will hold it's value in the future. There are a few I don't care for anymore and should think about selling but I'm very happy with the rest and have a few combinations that really knock it out of the park for me and don't think much about adding anything else anymore except LPs or possibly another cartridge someday. I've spent more on my truck and cars and they won't be worth beans in a few years so I don't sweat my gear.
    Roadrash likes this.
  18. GChief

    GChief Not well known, super member or other silliness Subscriber

    Eastern NC
    My brain cell can’t comprehend that. ;)

    I am probably all in for less than 5k for the last 35yrs. I have had some really nice stuff, most was given to me as 2 of my crazy uncles upgraded their SS set ups every couple years. They kept the same tube set ups they have had since the mid 60’s.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
    nj pheonix likes this.
  19. richamor

    richamor amateur house husband Subscriber

    Lancaster, SC
    I don't really think about the original outlay. I like my system as it is. Every time I start thinking about a change I wonder where to start. And would it be better than what I have now? I do think that to sound better it would take a good deal more money than I want to spend.
  20. Ds2000

    Ds2000 Oh THOSE speakers. Subscriber

    New York City
    Too much and not enough.
    Soundork, grillebilly and Roadrash like this.

Share This Page