Buying stereos and avoiding really dumb decisions #1

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Is this topic relevant to you?

This series will focus on how to help a buyer or potential buyer of audio /hifi equipment / stereos make better quality decisions. I'll come on to ‘quality’ decisions shortly. However I need to clarify who might find this series irrelevant. Easy – anyone who is a stereo equipment box swapper AND isn’t concerned about loosing serious amounts of money in so doing. Consequently, this series is for the rest of us.

Bite-size chunks

I going to be feeding you daily bite-sized chunks on this intriguing and controversial subject. My guess is that you’ve got many demands on your time and that although interested, perhaps only have limited time to consider this subject. Am I correct?

An unpalatable (for some) fact of everyday audiophile life

All consumer goods appear on the used market. That’s the nature of acquiring. However have you notice a curious aspect of the market for used audiophile gear? Study any brand on an auction site and sometimes you’ll see a curiously large percentage of ‘new’ and ‘nearly new’ gear for sale either from used equipment specialist and end-users. Sometimes there appear to be true bargains, sometimes of unbelievable savings. Too good to be true. Sometimes – but not always.

Within that section-within-a-section are buyers who’ve bought unwisely, a dropped a bundle of money trying to offload an item that they really shouldn’t have bought in the first place. This series is aimed primarily at them.

Yes, we all mistakes. However …

The point is to:

  1. reduce both the frequency of those mistakes and
  2. then dilute the pain resulting from those mistakes.

Does this resonate with you? Good. Follow me please. Step this way.

First-hand experience, first-hand paint and first-hand euphoria

And everything between these two extremes. I've been a hifi nut since 1972. I’ve bought wisely (initially through luck rather than wisdom) and unwisely in equal proportions. So what you’ll be reading here is the product of my wanderings through the jungle that is the stereo world. The real world and not the 'everything is so wonderful' cosmetic promoted by some audiophile magazines.

My promise #1

The entire subject of decision-making is an endless fascination for me and has been since reading http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrationality-enemy-within-Ben-Goldacre/dp/1780660251/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373883093&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=irreationality

The late Prof. Sutherland was a mentor for me. Perhaps the most influential I've encountered on a face-to-face basis. His conversations with me opened a door. I'm still gazing, all these years later, at the vista beyond that doorway. Anyway, the promise.

My promise #1

I'll try my utmost to avoid jargon. Sometimes definitions will need to be made and initially the descriptive terms will seems challenging, academic and remote. If so then I promise you that this is only because of their initial unfamiliarity.

My promise #2

Follow my explanations and soon you’ll effortlessly be making better quality buying decisions re stereos. Yes ­– really!

So, that’s it for today.

Tomorrow I'll gently as I can ease you into the world of intelligent decision-making re equipment purchasing the stereo world.

Thank you

Howard Popeck

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