Finding Equipment in England

Discussion in 'British Audio' started by Turnip, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. Turnip

    Turnip Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Midlands, England
    So this isn't about British equipment directly, but I was wondering how many other people over here manage to find most of their bargains?

    I'm new to the scene and only really been looking for the last week or so but been finding it really hard to find anything other than on eBay, which is fine but I'd really hoped to find something not online. The other thing is the eBay doesn't really seem that cheap when I look at people in the USA getting similar items cheaper.

    It seems as though most people in America find them at thrift shops. I've found a couple of charity shops selling electrical items, but the only audio equipment they ever have are just cheap things from the 90's and 00's. I've also checked a couple of car boot sales and the only thing I found was a misc. vinyl player which had a layer of dust on so thick I don't think I'd have been able to see any branding if there was any!

    Is this an area thing? I'm from the midlands, and I do imagine that near bigger cities there are better places to check.

    The best thing I've found is a pair of speakers made by a company in Loughborough in the 80's, which is only about an hour from me, so I might grab them, but I currently have nothing to actually play through them other than TV or PC.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

    Messages:
    4,992
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
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  3. Turnip

    Turnip Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Midlands, England
    Ok wow, that is pretty useful. Seems I was right in thinking that eBay wasn't showing as much as I suspected it could. Kinda a shame that I have to search for a term though, I like to just generally browse and see what's around. Still, thanks very much for that, sure it's going to come in handy.
     
  4. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,498
    Location:
    West coast
    what works for me may work for you. look for the upper income areas that audiophile
    might have been able to afford the lecsons, quads, leaks, radfords, and such. and
    look at the charity shops.

    print up a bunch of cards with your contact information, and a "looking for old tube
    and audio equipment" and leave them everywhere with the proviso that finders
    fees will be paid. include things like tubes, LPs.

    I have thought about printing up samples of equipment desired. but...

    don't know if you have estate sales but there's an entire ghoul population hovering
    around weekend sales - the root cause of America's passion for the poor hunted
    zombies.
     
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  5. Turnip

    Turnip Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Midlands, England
    I guess looking in the "richer" areas might not be a bad suggestion actually, I've mainly been looking in city centre shops, where there is exclusively old tat.

    The card leaving idea is a nice one too, have you tried that? I don't know if I'm confident enough in my knowledge of the local charity shops to start leaving my contact info with them yet.
     
  6. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,498
    Location:
    West coast
    hah. I've offered rewards for tube equipment - buy the stuff at a per pound basis and
    a finders fee also based on weight.

    most people forget what you tell them so the card can be an email address
    and a google number that when called gets forwarded to your real phone
    number. on voice calls even if you call them back only uses the google number
    (iow they don't see your real number) HOWEVER, texts show all - so do not text back
    which will use your real number.

    I've been even crazier - stories for another time though.

    back to the original topic. find out from the towns around you what happens
    when the poor audiophile ascends to audiophile heaven. where does his
    stuff go? around the US there are estate sales and many an oldtimer
    leaves his expensive American stuff around.

    BTW I think the best classical LPs come from the UK's golden age
    like Decca, EMI, etc. you folks take great care of these treasures.
    Us Americans like to throw parties where everything gets trashed.
    this is one reason why I never buy rock LPs from ebay, our craigslist,
    or our thrift stores.

    Lastly, there may be stores in the big cities London, York (I love the
    history of this city), and maybe parts of Edinburgh, that may have
    stockpiles of old equipment ready to buy. I'd skip Bracknell
    I didn't find anything there during multiple visits.
     
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  7. Beobloke

    Beobloke Super Member

    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    South UK
    I assume you know of the twice-yearly Audiojumbles, formerly organised by vintage guru John Howes and now run by his children? If not, they're held in February and October in the Angel Sports Centre in Tonbridge, Kent and are not to be missed! The next one is on Sunday 1st October; website here: https://www.audiojumble.co.uk/ A lot of dealers and enthusiasts attend and there is a huge variety of equipment to be found, but still plenty of bargains.

    The other good one is the National Vintage Communications Fair, held every May at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre. This is spread across general vintage audio, radios, TV and general communication stuff, but there are plenty of hi-fi bargains to be had. https://www.nvcf.org.uk/
     
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  8. Turnip

    Turnip Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Midlands, England
    Well I've found being more vague in my eBay searching but only searching for local stuff and spending a load more time scrolling is coming up pretty good, found a few things that are only a few miles away from me which are actually of interest, so feel like I'm starting to get alittle better. Now just to man up and commit to spending my money on something and getting my set-up started.

    Still seems more expensive than I've seen people getting similar things for over in the USA, but seen some decent amps in the range of £50 near-by now.

    Sounds like it could get expensive with some older equipment haha.
    I'd never even heard of a Google phone number! Sounds like a good idea in general to be honest, hate giving my number out to companies and people I don't know, get so many nuisance calls these days.

    You're right, I've been thinking of where to look in the wrong way I think, it's given me a few other places I should look not right in the nearest city centre or car boot sales full of people re-selling what they bought of eBay last week with an extra couple of quid stuck on.

    Unfortunately the only big city I live near if Birmingham, and even that isn't really too near. Nottingham isn't too far and it's certainly bigger than the local towns I've been searching, seems like a better bet.

    Thanks for all the help!
    I hadn't heard of either of those actually, so thanks! I'm quite a way away from either of those, but never know, I might convince myself to go along.
     
  9. MarZutra

    MarZutra Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,281
    Location:
    New Scotland, Canada
    You might consider dropping a pm to Dazaa. He's there in the UK and finds some amazing kit at the local electronic recyclers...
     
  10. Dandy

    Dandy Super Member

    Messages:
    4,149
    Location:
    North West, UK
    I would also suggest contacting the dealers who advertise in the UK hifi mags. They get part exchange and repair stuff in and are often willing to sell stuff on at a fair price. You aren't going to get yard sale prices though.

    BTW, if the Loughborough made speakers are in cabinets marked LNB, grab them.
     
  11. cleverdick

    cleverdick Active Member

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Outlets like Cash Converters, Cash Mart etc. are good places to look. Unfortunately, most charity shops can't afford to pay somebody competent to check stuff over and do the requisite safety testing before putting on-sale.

    There is a well-known vintage audio shop in North London - but their prices are astronomical. (I mean, £200 for a Garrard SP25 Mk IV. If that's not pure greed I don't know what is.)
     
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  12. Turnip

    Turnip Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Midlands, England
    I've discovered a couple of decent things in Cash Converters actually, though they normally disappear pretty quickly and then there's just a load of tat left.
     
  13. Dazaa

    Dazaa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    578
    Location:
    London England
    Gumtree and ebay are your best bet. Make friends with local scrap yards and recycling places. Or pm me with what you're looking for, I'm happy posting gear.
     
  14. SteveA

    SteveA AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,048
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I think there is a pretty active market in used Naim stuff in the UK. I also think it is supported by the dealers as they like their customers to keep upgrading by trading stuff in. So a Naim dealer might be a good place to visit and ask questions.
     
  15. Beobloke

    Beobloke Super Member

    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    South UK
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  16. Dandy

    Dandy Super Member

    Messages:
    4,149
    Location:
    North West, UK
    Great suggestion from beobloke!
     
  17. Beobloke

    Beobloke Super Member

    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    South UK
    So, did anyone go to the Audiojumble then?

    I had a stall, sold loads and picked up a Sony PS-X7 for £30! :biggrin:
     
  18. Dandy

    Dandy Super Member

    Messages:
    4,149
    Location:
    North West, UK
    Wish I could. Sunday's always a working day for me. Luvverly purchase. Will you be doing a show and tell in the turntables section?
     
  19. ben_

    ben_ Active Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Funny, here in France we have plenty bargains done on eBay with UK based sellers, nationals dont use it that much and I've found it was a good source for used gear.

    You can try to look across the channel, in FR/BE/NL the postage costs should not be that high and there are plenty of offers for used and vintage stuff
     
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  20. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    I seem to be lucky in that one of my local charity shops is run by a chap who likes audio, so it often features some reasonable stuff. And, although he knows the prices that might be achievable with eBay, he prices quite generously, and is more generous to his 'regulars'... I have a nice pair of TDL NFM-1 speakers I got from him for £20.

    He also put me on to a strange shop called 'Computer House' in Maidenhead, which doesn't have many computers in it, but is stuffed with esoteric audio stuff, ranging from fairly cheap CD players, up to Martin Logan electrostatics, with valve amps piled here and there. I hardly recognised any of it, and had to look up Focal and ML. I got the feel it was a means for the owner to collect hi-fi; there were no prices on anything... Don't bother looking at their website; it doesn't mention the audio stuff at all... I suspect it won't be cheap; whilst I was in there kicking tyres, a bloke walked in, asked casually 'how much are those speakers?' (pointing to a large pair of B&W studio monitors I didn't recognise). 'I'd have to check with the owner, but I think about £2500'. Bloke did a cartoon-like double-take shake of the head 'how much...?'. I smirked a little, and left the shop...

    I also have a BHF 'furniture and fittings' shop that has a regular stream of pretty good stuff going through, amongst the dross (NAD, CA, Marantz, etc.).

    My Oxfam record shop also has stuff, but that's fairly eBay-priced

    And I've picked up some useful stuff in Cash Generator; my local seems quite happy to consider offers; they had a Denon DRA-N5 marked at £70. I offered them £40, and, after a bit of umming and arring, they accepted it. I've also picked up my Audica AVR-1 and CS-LCR1 from there, and a £25 Win8.1 tablet I use as a DMC. Oh, and a CA Azur 640p for £10. They also have a cooling off period, and a guarantee.

    It's very easy to fall into the 'I can't just leave that languishing in a charity shop' trap... But I console my self that at least it's for charity... I seem to be accumulating bookshelf speakers at the moment; at about £10 a pair, it would be rude not too, and it's cheap entertainment...
     
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