When should you upgrade your hi-fi? How to control ‘upgradeitis’

Way too many people just seek out deals. I appreciate we all want to save a bit of money, but someone sees a half price deal online, think "that got good reviews, and must be better than what I have as it's more expensive", and pulls the trigger thinking it'll be their be all and end all. Initially, it's the 'kid with a new toy syndrome', but once that wears off they start getting bored with it - could be because it's not right for the system, not right for their preferences, or any other number of reasons. So the hunt is on again.

If you don't choose something carefully, it's not going to fulfil your desires for very long. And if your system isn't where it should be, you'll always be searching for better stuff until you reach that point. It doesn't have to be a particularly expensive system or "ultra high-end", just one that meets your requirements and preferences in order to enjoy it.

And this way of "upgrading" just messes up the whole market/industry. Way more second hand stuff on the market (meaning you'll lose more on your unwanted item), which also draws more people into the above cycle, less new sales for dealers (so dealers numbers start dwindling). The only real benefit from it all is cheaper second hand prices.


Well-known member
Aug 24, 2021
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By far the best "cure" is to learn how to set up your system properly. Unless you spend several weeks learning how to do it as a pro would do it, all you're doing is spending money for the sake of spending money.

When you can set up an audio system as a pro would -- particularly speaker placement -- your upgrades become very focussed. Most people have sytems that can sound like they cost twice as much if they'd only learn how to set them up. Even supposed audiophiles.


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