Question Longevity of HiFi gear.

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matthewpianist

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Feb 18, 2022
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This is an interesting topic, and I think the answer relies on the item in question.

Smart devices are complicated in this respect, because of the dependence on ongoing license agreements. It's perfectly possible for a manufacturer to end or lose an agreement with a provider and then for existing owners to lose that particular functionality. There is also the fact that, even where a licensing agreement remains in place for the brand, products beyond a certain age/operating system will no longer be supported in future developments. This is where the lines now blur between more widely adopted consumer products, such as mobile phones and laptops, and specialist hi-fi.

I haven't kept anything long enough to comment on long-term reliability, but I have had plenty of experience of older secondhand kit. My PL12D is older than I am and still going strong following a service before I purchased it. I don't envisage having any issues with it other than basic maintenance, but even if I do I can't see it being anything that can't be repaired.

I've had older amps of various makes and never experienced any problems as such, but I'm sure some of them would have benefitted from a service.

CD players are more hit and miss, but that applies to recent/new ones as well as older ones. I had a Rotel CD11 Tribute that used to stopped suddenly mid-CD without warning. It went back to Rotel via Richer Sounds and was successfully repaired (new loader described), but I have also come across others who have experienced the same issue (including my own Dad). The biggest long-term issue I've come across with CD players is an increase in noise and clunkiness, with only the odd one here and there suffering from read errors.

I've never come across problems with speakers unless they've been abused, either physically or from being under-/over- driven. Disintegrating foam surrounds are an issue on some older speakers I know, but I've never experienced that myself.

My expectations from my current system are that it should all last me a long time. The Denon has a 6-year warranty, and if it serves me for that long I will have got my monies worth out of it - £299.00 over 6 years being £49.83 per year. I expect the Missions to see me through for as long as I want them to, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's for 20+ years. I've owned enough speakers to know they're special enough to be a very permanent fixture. If I get 10 years with them they will have cost only £30 per annum.
 
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Cricketbat70

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Feb 2, 2023
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I did mention this ages ago, but the tech sector is slowly creeping towards devices with no moving parts. It's cheaper.

I know we still have vinyl, but CD players and things needing cogs and washers and all this spinning stuff, is gradually disappearing and I think that's a good thing.

Solid state streaming amps and portable devices are becoming smaller and have no moving parts.

Imagine walking round with a power hungry, skip, skip, skip, skipping CD Walkman.

Not seen one in decades and not likely to see another.
I have to admit I love my Sony PMP's I have a bit of a collection an old Atrac based one the rest MP3 and my latest Sony's entry level hi-res player the NW-A55
 
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DCarmi

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I've had a Planar 3 since 1986, with only minor and acceptable refurbishment. I don't know what happened to its predecessor as my parents got shot of it. It was a Garrard SP25 MkIV which I guess dated from the early 70s. I did love the Garrard for inexplicable reasons.

I'm on my 4th amp since 1980 and only 1 was an actual "death in action".

My current speakers date from 2001. The previous ones ( 1990-ish) suffered from being poked in the tweeters by a child. The ones before that were still functioning when last I heard.

I've owned 2 tape decks since the early 80s. The last and final one died recently after about 20 years.

I've had 2 CD players since 1988 (or so) fail. The third one dates from 2019. I'd like to replace that with something a bit more "upmarket".

Secondary systems in the bedroom have been mini ones and I've had 2 since about 1995. The current Denon DM41 dates from 2018 and I am very happy with it.

Considering I've lived mostly at the lower end of Hifi, I kinda do alright, really. The dosh I would have spent on chasing the hifi bug went on media (and mortgage, kids etc).
 

matthewpianist

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I have to admit I love my Sony PMP's I have a bit of a collection an old Atrac based one the rest MP3 and my latest Sony's entry level hi-res player the NW-A55

I sold loads of Sony's digital Walkmans in my Sony Centre days, and owned one myself. Each generation has been excellent, and although margin was negligible on them I was always happy to sell them knowing it was a good product.
 
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JDL

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Jun 13, 2023
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A friend of mine recently gave me a none working Roksan Kandy KA1 mkIII. I took it into work and it was a single cap that had gone. Once repaired I used it at the same after funeral do I used my B&W speakers. My wife's now fuming that I've got this amp just taking up space in the house. I did promise I'd put it on eBay.
Why on earth would your dear Wife object to an amplifier, especially a high quality item like a Roksan? Surely she's able to understand that to have decent quality sound, one needs a decent quality amplifier.
Buy her some flowers etc and persuade her to allow the amplifier to stay. 😂
 
Personally I don't think there's any particular timescale, it depends how you look after them.

Other than my Pioneer which just gave up the ghost - that lasted me 17 years of constant use and it was purchased as 'shop soiled' (quaint old term).

CDPs are a little different as they rely on different components to produce playback. The Arcam CD73 had from new since 2005 and the transport mechanism and laser died in 2020.

Speakers, no issues, incl Wharfedale E20s, purchased in 1982 - they still work fine.

One of my Garrard turntables the motor gave up. Because it was a budget table replacing it wasn't financially viable.
 

SteveH72

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Feb 25, 2020
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I’ve found cd players to be the most prone to needing repair, and always the tray mechanism where the cogged wheel or bands have deteriorated.
Amps go on and on but the slow deterioration of caps etc. mean a 30/40 year old amp won‘t sound at its best. Speakers have gone on and on and on. I’ve only had to replace one pair when my children investigated the properties of speaker drivers by pushing their fingers through them.
 

Cricketbat70

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Why on earth would your dear Wife object to an amplifier, especially a high quality item like a Roksan? Surely she's able to understand that to have decent quality sound, one needs a decent quality amplifier.
Buy her some flowers etc and persuade her to allow the amplifier to stay. 😂
If I was using it, it would be fine but it's just currently sitting in the cellar with a Pro-ject Debut II, that was given to me by the same friend who gave me the Roksan. I also have an old TEAC Reference 300 mini separates in a cupboard in the cellar. My dad's old Celestion speakers on a shelf in the cellar, a pair of Denon speakers on the same shelf, they were part of an old Denon DRA-F101 system that another friend gave me, at least that is being used as a second system in the dining room.
As you can probably guess Rachel is a bit frustrated with my collection of old hifi gear, just gathering dust. 🤣
 
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Freddy58

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If I was using it, it would be fine but it's just currently sitting in the cellar with a Pro-ject Debut II, that was given to me by the same friend who gave me the Roksan. I also have an old TEAC Reference 300 mini separates in a cupboard in the cellar. My dad's old Celestion speakers on a shelf in the cellar, a pair of Denon speakers on the same shelf, they were part of an old Denon DRA-F101 system that another friend gave me, at least that is being used as a second system in the dining room.
As you can probably guess Rachel is a bit frustrated with my collection of old hifi gear, just gathering dust. 🤣
On a couple of occasions I’ve seen old hifi in charity shops. I’m instantly drawn to it. I have been sorely tempted to buy, not to use it, just to have it. Some old hifi is just beautiful, receivers in particular 😍🙂
 
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Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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I've still got a pioneer a400 working fine and a sansui au 505, my Marantz cd 52 eject wheel disintegrated yst so I'm replacing it.
I've heard that amplifiers sound quality dissipates over time but I haven't noticed it.
I cleaned out the pioneer as it was stored for yrs and didn't notice any swollen or blown components.
I think what's vintage equipment seems to be a higher quality build than what's out now, there was less gimmickry and computing onboard therefore less to go wrong, that's why I like the roskan k3's simple approach yet I had 2 go bad.
I've got a acram sa30 now and am scared of the update blues, so many settings 🫨
Id like to think the more expensive something is the longer it lasts.
But life's taught me that's not always
 

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twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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Hummm

anything with a micro processor inside you'll be lucky to get past 15 years. Once any brain goes with custom coding like FPGA based dac's eg chord , they will be unrepairable unless you can find donor units.

Amp im expecting my A21 to out live me. Suggy's from the 60's are still going strong and they still serivce them.

cd players 15-20 and no, mine hasn't had a belt change. Funny enough its meant to one of the worst reliability wise, Nad c540, so go figure. 23 years young.

speakers, mine are klispch heresy's and considering the there are some original heresy out there from the date of inception, 1957, with nothing done to them and still working. So again hoping they will out live me.

technics 1200 will out live me for sure minus cart.

this will be my last proper hifi. when I come to buy again ill be very much retired or very close to and dont know if I could justify another purchase such as I have now.
 

Jasonovich

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To be honest I don't know any CD player that relies on rubber bands in the mechanism to last 15 years
Those ancient Marantz CD73, did they not have direct drives?
I had an old Denon DVD/SACD player before I sold it on eBay and it was already 14 years, going strong.
 

Al ears

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Those ancient Marantz CD73, did they not have direct drives?
I had an old Denon DVD/SACD player before I sold it on eBay and it was already 14 years, going strong.
Don't know but most issues with CD players arise from the loading mechanism and belts / cogs. The laser also has to track.
Makes sense to buy a top-loader without any potential problems with a drawer mechanism
 

Freddy58

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Jan 24, 2014
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I've had a Planar 3 since 1986, with only minor and acceptable refurbishment. I don't know what happened to its predecessor as my parents got shot of it. It was a Garrard SP25 MkIV which I guess dated from the early 70s. I did love the Garrard for inexplicable reasons.
Now you’re talking. My first deck was the Mk 3. Boy I loved that thing. Part of my formative years I guess.
 

JDL

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Jun 13, 2023
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If I was using it, it would be fine but it's just currently sitting in the cellar with a Pro-ject Debut II, that was given to me by the same friend who gave me the Roksan. I also have an old TEAC Reference 300 mini separates in a cupboard in the cellar. My dad's old Celestion speakers on a shelf in the cellar, a pair of Denon speakers on the same shelf, they were part of an old Denon DRA-F101 system that another friend gave me, at least that is being used as a second system in the dining room.
As you can probably guess Rachel is a bit frustrated with my collection of old hifi gear, just gathering dust. 🤣
Oh I see, it's too easy to end up with unused audio gear sitting around isn't it.
What's the Roksan like? Any good?
What's your amp that you use in the house. I mean your main set up?
 

Cricketbat70

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Oh I see, it's too easy to end up with unused audio gear sitting around isn't it.
What's the Roksan like? Any good?
What's your amp that you use in the house. I mean your main set up?
My main set up is based around an AV receiver. Yamaha DSP-AX761 a 7.1 chanel receiver from 2008. I keep thinking of going back to just a stereo amp, I hardly watch anything in surround sound anymore. Rach says I'll regret it if I do go that route.
As for the Roksan. I only used it with the B&W vision DS2 so not the best speakers to partner with it but it sounded good and filled a decent size function room with sound.
 
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ScarboroughMark

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Oct 30, 2023
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My current CD player is a Technics SL-PG580A. That makes it, what. over 20 years old?! And it performs better than the new Arcam CD5 which I bought to replace it (see thread on the Arcam CD5). Sound is still good. Plays all kinds of music CDs without a problem. Lots of flexibility in its features. I feel a bit of a mug to think I need to replace it.
 

matthewpianist

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My current CD player is a Technics SL-PG580A. That makes it, what. over 20 years old?! And it performs better than the new Arcam CD5 which I bought to replace it (see thread on the Arcam CD5). Sound is still good. Plays all kinds of music CDs without a problem. Lots of flexibility in its features. I feel a bit of a mug to think I need to replace it.

To be honest, if that's the case return the Arcam and enjoy being a few hundred pounds better off.
 

matthewpianist

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I remember hearing one of those Technics players with an Arcam Alpha 5+ amplifier and (I think) Wharfedale Diamond 5s. It sounded rather good, despite the Diamond 5s not being especially well reviewed at the time.
 

Covenanter

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I last upgraded in 2014 (Marantz/Marantz/KEF) and everything is still going strong. As others have said, anything mechanical is likely to fail first because all mechanical devices will wear. In terms of electrical components (excluding valves) it's really only electrolytic capacitors that have a relatively short life but even then that can be many 1000s of hours of active use. A key thing to do is to keep your equipment cool so enclosed spaces are a bad idea.

Valves have a limited life but you should still get a few thousand hours out of them.
 

Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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My current CD player is a Technics SL-PG580A. That makes it, what. over 20 years old?! And it performs better than the new Arcam CD5 which I bought to replace it (see thread on the Arcam CD5). Sound is still good. Plays all kinds of music CDs without a problem. Lots of flexibility in its features. I feel a bit of a mug to think I need to replace it.
I too thought I needed to replace my aging Marantz cd 52 mk2 with a more modern audiolab player after the tray eject wheel crumbled but after hearing it and even lying to myself to justify the purchase still preferred the Marantz.
Luckily I could take the audiolab back and since repaired the Marantz with a 14 £ purchase of a new wheel.
Initially I didn't think to repair the Marantz as I presumed the parts wouldn't be available but unbeknown to me it's an inherint problem with the cd 52 and ebay had it listed.
Kinda goes along with what I mentioned in a prior message about older hifi, it seems to be built better and when it does go faulty there's always a chance of repair especially if mechanical.
New kit as a chap mentioned contains more electronic chips etc yet to my ears doesn't seem to b better but more to equip wireless connectivity and such like
 
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