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Speaker Discounts, & New vs Used

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
In general, what level of discounts do people get when shopping for new speakers? I've been doing some casual auditioning recently and it seems discounts of ~20% can be had from MSRP (I know MSRP may not mean much, but it'll be used as a baseline).

On side note, if buying used and the speakers are in good shape, how much value do they retain? Lets say we have a $1000 MSRP speaker, you might be able to pick that up from a dealer for $800. Now lets say we're going to buy the same generation speaker privately, how much would you offer?

Basically I'm debating between getting a cheaper set brand new, or a more expensive (when new) in the used market.
post #2 of 8
Imo, it depends on brands and where the speakers line up in those brands, as to how valuable they are in the used market...I am familiar with Klipsch speakers and the top end of their Reference line (i.e., RF-7,RC-7,RB-75 and the RF-83, RC-64) would be a better bang-for-your-buck in the used market compared to what you could buy new if you trust the source or could audition...The lower-end Reference should be able to be had with a 20% discount new and comes with a 5 year warranty and would be something to consider when comparing to what you find in the used market. My 2 cents.
post #3 of 8
In the past 15-20 years most speakers have been built with materials like neoprene or silicone for surrounds - no more foam rot. This makes older speakers a bargain. Its the surrounds that rot out in old speakers.

Take my main speakers for instance - Infinity Interlude IL40s (10 year old model). You can buy perfectly good examples of this speaker on Craigs List or ebay for $200 or so for a pair. I defy anyone to come up with a set of speakers that can come close to the sound of the IL40s for that price. It simply can't be done. Here's a pair on ebay that will close in a few hours - I doubt that auction will go over $200. And if you live near Dallas Tx you can pick them up and forgo the shipping charges.

If you can pick the wheat from the chaff when it comes to used then there is a goldmine of great sounding speakers that not many seem to want to buy. Even if a speaker needs a driver or grille - those are often very available. I can buy grilles - crossovers - any of the 3 drivers I need etc. The only thing I can't buy is the cabinet. And I already have 2 of them in great condition.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Nice Find on those Infinity's, they did end up going for <$200 which is an amazing deal. I have a pair of the RS10 towers and they are just great overall speakers.

Nice to see the change in the driver materials, I also have a pair of Yamaha towers that sound good for music, but the foam is breaking apart on the mid's, mind you they're also ~26 years old!

Right now I'm debating going for a full Paradigm 5.1 setup and can't decide between old vs new, there is a savings but I'm just not sure how happy people have been buying used speakers... and if they've ever been burned.
post #5 of 8
It just depends on the speaker. Some hold their value pretty well while others crash and burn. Another factor is local pickup vs shipping charges. As an example I paid $900pr ($1250/pr MSRP) for my Boston Acoustic VR3s and ~$250 for the matched center. When I listed them on Craig's List I asked $450 for the 3 piece set. That's a very fair price but shipping would be a deal killer.

You can also save money on discontinued and b-stock items. Hsu Reseach, EMP Tek, and Ascend have had some good b-stock deals lately.
post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by cool5abi View Post

Right now I'm debating going for a full Paradigm 5.1 setup and can't decide between old vs new, there is a savings but I'm just not sure how happy people have been buying used speakers... and if they've ever been burned.

Ive been burned once with a blown tweeter in a cheap center I bought for my bedroom years ago. But that's once out of a half dozen sets of used speakers over the last 10 years. Unless you can do local pickup and listen to them all you have to go by is the seller's reputation. I'd buy used again if the price and circumstances were right.
post #7 of 8
I'm a firm believer in buying used speakers! In fact, I've only bought one new set in the last 30 years. My last purchase was Klipsch LaScalas. They're 35 years old! To meet my goals would have cost much more money in modern offerings. They don't have any rot issues (yet), but when they do I'll spend a minimum on them and then get another 35 years of enjoyment!

Prior to these I had a pair of AR towers from the early 80's that I bought in a pawn shop for $200 and used for the next 20 years (reconed them once for all of $80)! These are about to go on craigslist and I'll get my original $200 back out of them.

I've seen people throw speakers in the trash when all they needed was a new surround on a woofer. My Dad had some Infinity Kappa 9a. Even though I'm the one with a passion for them, he gave them to my brother. They sat in his garage for years, the surrounds rotted out and he THREW THEM IN THE TRASH!!! I don't bring it up to this day because I'd be too harsh and piss him off. I would have put a few hundred into them and enjoyed for many years!
post #8 of 8
Used speakers that were very expensive when new is worth the shipping or drive. I drove 6 hours for used La Scala's, about 18 hours for used Klipschorns, paid over $60 of shipping for used Heresy II. Considering the price of new Heresy III speakers, I might have overspent on the Heresy II; but not for the bigger boys.
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