Ridiculous resale price of vintage equiment

The price of used vintage is downright beyond ridiculous nowadays.

It seems like many hispters are buying crap based on the looks and many flippers are happily milking them.

As an audiophile and collector this really pisses me off... sure I could sell my collection for stratospheric numbers but then what would I do with my hobby?

When I see good looking stuff, like an ARC D70 MkII selling for as much as a crappy sounding, unrestored Marantz 2240.. well, I croak. Heck, I gave one of those away because they are not very good.

Today I was comparing my really recently rebuilt ( and I mean, really rebuilt, not just "recapped" ) Marantz 2325 and Sansui G-7500. The Marantz is dark but warm, the Sansui,which sounds a lot better than the Marantz, paints a nice musical landscape but has no real depth, etc... I gave them both the best chance, driving them from the pre-out of my CJ preamp so they are getting an outstanding source... and yet, well, they sound vintage.

Is the Marantz worth $2500? Is the Sansui worth $1500? From an audiophile point of view, nope. They look good, but my DIY Aleph 5 monos, my ARC D70 MkII, and a bunch of my other amps/preamps sound far better... and yet, they are not overpriced.

OK, except for the buffoon in eBay who was asking for $26K for his Pass Aleph 2 amps.

At least the poseurs have not found Quad yet.

What do you think? Are these prices interfering with your hobby?  


Value and the associated price is dependent on what the buyer will pay.  Look at the price of used vinyl if you have any questions.  

Yes the shop I know of with good prices on vintage gear also stocks and sells a lot of records and gets a good price for those so I expect the gear is mainly a way to get new customers who will buy records which is where the profit actually is.

The discussion on what constitutes "value" is centuries old. I won’t go there.

@cleeds provides the one most are familiar with, and is accepted in a wide variety of circumstances.

But to clarify in the context of this thread, that a market price may be agreed upon does not mean that anyone else other than the buyer and seller agree that that is its value.

Many may consider that to be over priced (a rip off, price gouging, ridiculous), and others consider it to be under priced (a bargain, "good" value).

That’s all. And if that can be understood, then good. KISS.

At least one book has been written about the theory of supply and demand.  Can get a bit tricky when there are stocks (vintage, NOS) as well as current production which may offer only an imperfect degree of substitution.

" I have a very nice main system, all “ new” stuff but also have vintage gear, Marantz 2325- Pioneer 1050- Yamaha 640- JBL L100 - Apt Holman- Adcom etc and love it all and the sound because it brings me back to listening to music when I was young. BTW some of it sounds really good!
Yes the prices are getting high but have you noticed a BMW 2002 from the 70’s is big money? "


Oh, I look at the ’sold’ prices first, honestly.

Anyhow, interesting you’d bring up the 2325.

I just had a Sansui G-7500 and Marantz SR2325 rebuilt... ALL the boards were redone... new caps, many resistors, low level transistors, NOS output transistors for the Sansui, rebuilt power supplies, relays, lights (no LEDs), etc. etc... I brought them up to a fully AS NEW condition, except the power supply caps are faster, stronger and more powerful.

Played through my ADS L810s (bought new in 78), the Marantz sounds... DARK and slow... sorry, it does look like the cockpit of a 747 but that’s it. It doesn’t sound so good. Reminds me of my first Marantz, a new -then- SR2220B. The Sansui, OTOH, has nice pace. That one has been on the family since new in 78. Neither paints a deep soundstage, but the Sansui is light on its feet and feels like sunlight, painting a nice left to right image with instruments floating within a shallow depth. OTOH, the Marantz sounds like a dark rainy night and the instruments don’t have body.

I suppose I will hook them up to the Maggies and see, mostly to bring in modern speakers with world class soundstaging. But I doubt the Marantz will pick up the pace, even though it has more power.

Mind you, the rest of my stereos are not new either, I tend to buy used, except for the RME ADI Pro FS R AD/DAC everything is at least 15 years old -and I got the RME used too... So are my DIY Aleph 5 monos and DIY First Watt F5 (through Audiogon), etc, etc... indeed, as I wrote, the speakers I was listening to the Marantz and Sansui are a pair of ADS L810s I’ve owned since new. I got tubes, FETs, solid state, Class D, Class A, AB, you name it. Commercial, DIY, you name it. I’m only missing a nice Sony VFET.

(Note... JBL L100... I went for the East Coast Sound... hence ADS L810 in ’78, no West Coast sound for me).

(Note 2, I spin records... Linn LP12, Lingo, etc, etc.. and do Tidal HiFi.).


Just because it’s vintage, doesn’t mean it’s worth it. I mean, technology has moved on significantly. As audiophiles we know which ones are Good For The Ages and which ones are sonically for the dump. A modern AVR is for the dump, IMHO, but a 30 year old Nakamichi PA7 MkI is for the ages.

So, today, people are paying more for a vintage receiver than an Audio Research D70? As much as an ARC VT200 Mk I? Anything from Conrad Johnson... etc?

Fools, sorry.

I guess so long as they don’t affect the price of real stuff that us audiophiles really want.

I think I’ll sell the Marantz but keep the Sansui. At least I can say that whenever I have one of my components rebuilt it is done with care and deep know how.  I can wait years to find someone who knows, and cares, about their work.  And money is not usually a limit.


Oh, the 2002? Not worth it. Perhaps a 2002tii but even so that would be a PITA to tune. I used to have a ’70 Datsun 510 with a Webber carb. Any modern econobox today, with suitable good tires, will leave that 2002tii in the weeks... I know because my Datsun always outran even the 2002tii.

Nostalgia is one thing, but I don’t want to pay for it.


And this new found greed, with the flippers, is killing the joy of being an audiophile. Like the guy who wanted $26K for a pair of Pass Aleph 2’s. I actually asked him if he had done a typo... nope. Needless to say, he never sold them. Or the used dealer than wanted 4000 for an integrated... I offered him 3000. He refused. Eight months later he finally sold it for 2500. Fool. He was greedy and blind to his greed, so he lost money. (It was in Audiogon, btw).

I enjoy dealing with audiophiles who know their stuff. I’ve made acquaintances and a few friends. Being in SoCal, I’ve had the opportunity to drive to pick up components and have spent many pleasurable afternoons with such people. When I got my latest used Maggies, I brought my wife along with me and we met a great couple down in San Diego.

I established long distance relationships with builders and buyers and sellers. The DIY builder has redone 7 amps for me now and I’ve just commissioned a pair of new DIY Aleph 2s... planning on building a pair of First Watt F5 Turbo V3 in the fall.

Excellent, having fun getting my stereo to sound like music. not a stereo. ( My wife’s words).

Got to know a local guy up the freeway who is doing my receivers. Likely will do some trading of stuff that I don’t want/need. Great guy.

But these flippers are opportunists who don’t give a damn about our hobby. They will "restore" components and ruin them.

My belief is that good components are things to be shared and passed on to the community. We are just holding them for the time being and eventually we should pass them to others to enjoy... reviving the components with honesty and respect.   My kids are an example... killer systems since they were kids... now they're young people with great audio setups.

Just my idea.  Perhaps Quixotic but honest, I guess.

So, yeah, the flippers are destroying the hobby.