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  1. #1
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    Are used amps a risky move?

    One thing is for sure.......this is getting more expensive than I had originally planned on! Now, I find out with the size of my room and my speaker choice, it would be almost a must that I get an amp.

    I plan on getting B&W or Monitor RS6 speakers with a paradigm PS-1200 sub. The recevier will probably be an Onkyo 705 in a 18'x32' room with 17' tall ceilings. I would like a used amp that could do a fine job driving my speakers and would help the speakers fill the room up a bit more.

    Honestly, I am not very educated espeically in the amp department. I am looking for something around $500....maybe less. Do I have any decent options?

    Any suggestions would be greatly apprecaited!

    thanks

  2. #2
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    With buying used, especially over the internet, there is always some risk. With that being said the savings can make the risk worth it.

    For $500.00 on www.audiogon.com I'd look for an Adcom 555 or 5500 both 200x2. They are a good bang for the buck. There's better but you gave a budget. Actually, I have a 5500 and I'm really impressed with it for the price it was at retail and for the used selling price it's a steal.

    Here's another option. Notice it's bridgeable to mono, so you can use this one until getting together another $550.00, buy another, bridge both to mono for a cruising speed of 300 watts per channel. http://www.spearitsound.com/nad/C272.asp

  3. #3
    Bash Registered Member
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    Just a little note of to settle you fears. I have bought and sold 5 home theater amplifiers in 12 months on Audiogon and had no trouble at all. Great amplifiers are all over the place for 500.00. What are you trying to achieve? My last purchase was a Musical Fidelity Ht600 that I am waiting for delivery. Go to ebay and audiogon and look at what works for you.

  4. #4
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    I have also purchased several used amps through a variety of sources. I think if you do your homework and try to verify your purchase is from a reliable seller you can do alright. While I have never bought from Audiogon I know many others who have bought from there repeatedly w/o any problems.Once you buy something just take your time to check it out and clean it if needed before hooking it up to your main gear.

    The cost savings can be significant and you might be surprised at the deals you can find when the buyer is motivated to just get rid of the gear.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Have no fear using audiogon for your audio needs. Just remember to use your common-sense though. If a seller with no feedback points is selling a 9/10 MF Mu-Vista amp for $300 then you should always reconsider.....

    JRAQ

  6. #6
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    I guess it falls to me to be the contrarian, here (sorry!) but I've actually had some pretty dreadful experiences using Audiogon -- some of them in close-enough proximity that local friends of mine started openly questioning my judgment.

    I certainly agree that buying anything from a seller with a zero feedback rating is probably a bad idea, but be sure to check the feedback the seller does have, to see that it isn't all from sellers. Also, it's worth asking if the amp or preamp has been in storage for a long time (I had two clunkers in a row for which the seller claimed not to know anything because the unit had been in a closet for two years), and to at least inquire about what your recourse would be if there's a problem.

    I don't want to make it sound like audiogon is riskier than it is, or that the majority of the sellers on audiogon are disreputable, but my own experience is significantly less glowing than that of the other respondents to this thread. Indeed it's around fifty percent, at least in terms of the stuff being exactly as described and doing exactly what it's supposed to, with exactly the accessories you'd expect.

    The good:

    Linn Ninkas: Perfect condition, original boxes, bought from individual

    Linn AV5105: Ditto, bought as demo stock from a dealership

    Arcam FMJ-CD23: Never been happier with a single piece of audio gear, anywhere, ever.

    Rotel RC-995: Shipped with no original containers and no remote, but otherwise as advertised. Price was right, too, at about two hundred bucks.

    Audio Physics Spark IIII's: Perfect until I broke one of the grills during installation. Ugh.

    McCormack DNA-HT5 multichannel amp: Perfect but a lot of money.

    McCormack MAP-1 multichannel preamp: Quirky but otherwise fine.

    Naim CD5: Performed 100% to specifications, I just didn't like it (too bright).


    The Bad:

    Linn Katans: Seller accepted my paypal payment but never marked the item sold. Didn't respond to e-mails for six days, then said he'd sold them to someone else the day before. Then didn't refund my money for eight more days, until I threatened to dispute with credit card, then threatened to leave negative feedback if I did.

    Parasound Halo A23 and P3: Faulty ground led to intermittent drop-out in both channels.

    Rotel RB 985: Arrived with blown output stage.

    Audio Research SP-5: Generally and comprehensively shot, sonically speaking. When I asked how it could have been shipped in the condition it was, the seller replied that he hadn't had it plugged in to his system in several years.

    Naim Nait5i : shipped with loose chassis screw tumbling around inside, was obviously tampered with by previous owner

    Bryston 3B: Arrived with cracked interconnect connections.

    Naim AV2: Faulty volume pot, firmware problems, unacceptable noise floor

    Totem Mite-T's: Arrived with a damaged tweeter


    ...I'd tell you that all of the bad experiences were from zero-feedback sellers, or that something else was obviously amiss and I'd have caught it if I'd slowed myself down a little, but unfortunately no. These purchases were as random and all over the place as any casual sampling from audiogon could possibly be.

    I'm sorry to be such a nay-sayer when everyone else in this thread has said there's no problem at all with buying stuff on audiogon, but you know what? I'm even sorrier that all of those things happened to me....

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Good stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by dogorman
    I guess it falls to me to be the contrarian, here (sorry!) but I've actually had some pretty dreadful experiences using Audiogon -- some of them in close-enough proximity that local friends of mine started openly questioning my judgment.

    I certainly agree that buying anything from a seller with a zero feedback rating is probably a bad idea, but be sure to check the feedback the seller does have, to see that it isn't all from sellers. Also, it's worth asking if the amp or preamp has been in storage for a long time (I had two clunkers in a row for which the seller claimed not to know anything because the unit had been in a closet for two years), and to at least inquire about what your recourse would be if there's a problem.
    ...

    The Bad:

    Linn Katans: Seller accepted my paypal payment but never marked the item sold. Didn't respond to e-mails for six days, then said he'd sold them to someone else the day before. Then didn't refund my money for eight more days, until I threatened to dispute with credit card, then threatened to leave negative feedback if I did.
    ...

    ...I'd tell you that all of the bad experiences were from zero-feedback sellers, or that something else was obviously amiss and I'd have caught it if I'd slowed myself down a little, but unfortunately no. These purchases were as random and all over the place as any casual sampling from audiogon could possibly be.

    I'm sorry to be such a nay-sayer when everyone else in this thread has said there's no problem at all with buying stuff on audiogon, but you know what? I'm even sorrier that all of those things happened to me....
    I have bought and sold a few items on both eBay and Audiogon. Mostly my experiences have been positive, but I absolutely agree that it is a gamble.

    Always look at a seller's feedback, specifically the seller feedback. Also check that there is some recent feedback. Also, it isn't a good sign if the seller has changed his ID/moniker.

    Now here are a couple of recent problems regarding feedback:
    • Audiogon will not post feedback unless the recepient agrees to accept it -- kiss goodbye to negative feedback. Henceforth Audiogon feedback will be fairly useless.
    • A problem for sellers, (not buyers), is that eBay no longer accepts negative buyer feedback. I suspect this is intended to put an end to "retaliatory" negative feedback such as your Linn Katans seller threatened.
    I'm sorry to hear of your equipment malfunction problems. But don't assume that the sellers necessarily knew about them or acted in bad faith. One time I sold an Adcom GFP750 preamp that was working perfectly the day I packed for shipment. The buyer reported that it didn't work when it arrived and that he had to replace the power supply.

    We had arlready had a length correspondence on other issues, specifically cross-border brokerage and duty, I think we had a certain mutual trust. Nevertheless he accused me of bad faith, selling him a component I knew didn't work ,and he asked me to pay half the power supply repair he'd had done. I refused to pay for the repair, (though I did reimburse him for brokerage and duty that he paid). In the first place, I had clearly stated in my ad that the item was offered "without warranty of any kind". Secondly, I would never pay for a repair made without my prior authorization. If he had asked to return the unit to me I might have accepted it and refunded the purchase price but this isn't what happened.

  8. #8
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    If you have $500 to spend on an amp crash, why not look into this one:

    http://www.emotiva.com/lpa1.html

    A very capable amp IM (and others') O, and right at the price you're looking to spend. It's a 7 channel amp (channels 6 & 7 are lower power output but can be bridged), but in my 5.1 scenario they drive my 5 B&W's just fine. I'm hearing things my Yamaha 3800 just couldn't give me. And yes, it can play LOUD!

  9. #9
    stuck on vintage dingus's Avatar
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    if you are aware of and accept the risks, and act accordingly, buying used can pay off handsomely. of all my gear (4 complete systems), i've bought only one component at retail and have yet to suffer an unresolved issue with the used gear. overall i would estimate that i've paid between 1/3rd to 1/4th of retail on average.
    AR MGC-1, AR C225 PS, M&K V-1B, Pioneer VSX 47TX, Oppo BDP-83, Squeezebox v3, Vortexbox Appliance.

  10. #10
    Bash Registered Member
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    Talking

    Gang

    I have spent most the afternoon looking at emotiva amplifiers and WOW I can't believe they can sell a modern amplifier with the features for 500.00. I will be looking into them more closely in the near future. I own pre/pro seperates now but not matching processor and amp this co. looks for real rich-in-texas thanks for the heads up. bash

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