Use of SuperBAF Funds

Discussion in 'Loaner Programs' started by purr1n, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Throwing some ideas out here.

    What do you guys think of funds being spent on two channel gear? I guess DACs count, but I figure we can start with some affordable two channel gear with amps, preamps, small speakers. Maybe used stuff with a good reputation or value gear from Emotiva, NAD, etc. There is a lot of stuff out there, but I would like to concentrate on stuff that is available brand new for obvious reasons. It seems like a lot of you guys are moving in this direction, and the two channel world seems grossly under-served.

    Also, it has been our custom to sell gear at super-low below used market prices to Friends and Contributors. I am thinking of ending this practice. We take way too much of a hit if the gear turns out to be mediocre; or even if the gear is good: what happens is that most of you guys can't wait and go out and buy it. This has happened way too many times. I would like us to more effectively use the donations.
     
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  2. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    @Marvey - in principle I'm with you on both counts. Shipping speakers though, that can be tricky. Some Friends have already grumbled to me about how much shipping costs on normal, small gear. That's something to think about.

    Preamps, a good idea but there's a lot of trash out there. Personally, I'm most interested in DIY preamps, AMB delta 1 (or whatever it's called), Bottlehead Quickie. On the amplifier end, I personally have a bad taste in my mouth from Emotiva-type gear, but if you guys think it's worth everyone's while, let's do it. I think if we're going to do 2-channel, we should try to hit a goal. And that goal (no surprise what I'm about to say here, lol, since I've said it in at least 2 other threads), is come up with a good starter 2-channel recommendation. HD650 + Valhalla 2 equivalents on the speaker end. About the same price point too, $500. Most of the personal audio guys, besides not knowing where to start on 2-channel, probably feel like the investment necessary is steep. In a way, doing this is going for the low hanging fruit since we've already identified the OSMT and SYS as excellent cheap performers.

    When you need a cheap speaker amp, which of the myriad directions do you choose? New-cheap? (Emotiva, etc.) Pro audio? (Crown, etc.) Decade old Hifi? (Parasound, etc.) DIY? (Gainclone, etc.) Vintage? (Sansui, etc.)

    On the other point, in terms of trying to more efficiently use funds. Let's try to leverage the 2nd hand market more. Let's hifishark loaners. 2-channel gear in particular takes a big hit 2nd hand. Today I was looking up an amplifier (still in production) that goes for 35% used what it does retail.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  3. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    It seems like it would be good to buy loaner gear used, especially 2 channel gear. If you can find it cheap, you could resell with minimal loss. Some people on craigslist let gear go crazy cheap. Like right now I found somone selling empty altec a7 cabs for $32..
     
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  4. sfoclt

    sfoclt Friend

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    I personally would love some 2 channel gear, especially things that are less common that are difficult for many to get ears on, like better phono preamps or classic items that serve as good references.
     
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  5. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    I bought a used modi multibit, new crown X1000 and the affordable accuracy monitors for around $500. That's my budget epic setup.
     
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  6. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    One thing I'd like to add is that it would help if people got together when the 2ch loaner gear comes around. It's more fun to evaluate speakers and gear together, and usually more productive as well. The people attending the micro meets could split the costs of shipping as well. Obviously it's a lot easier for members living in population dense cities. I thought about doing something similar for my group but our funds is a lot more limited than what SBAF has available.

    A budget 2ch setup recommendations guide would be pretty awesome. Like @sphinxvc said, we'd love to find out what budget amps we could recommend for the OSMTs. I think the AAMs would be a great alternative to those who don't want to DIY. I'd have to hear them and compare though.
     
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  7. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Unless we want to change the name to SuperBestHeadphoneFriends I would certainly like to see a little more two channel love.

    If for no other reason, I already know what you guys like and dislike compared to what I like... so when you make comparisons it's easy for me to interpolate what it will mean to me. That's not always easy when I surf some rando 2-channel site.

    No doubt shipping will be a bitch for some of this stuff...
     
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    • On international loaner programs - @MoatsArt: I'm up for it and the governing board would be up for it. What this takes is some person to take initiative and organize. For example: "Hi Marv, I've got 9 people on this continent interested in X. Can we have $600 of SBAF funds for it?". In such a situation, I don't think anyone here would turn the request down. The only thing is that I am not going to be the one to do it - to organize something on another continent. Ask not what your Captain can do for you, but what you can do for your Captain. That is, make it easy for me to give you money.
    • Emotiva or other value gear - @sphinxvc: Yeah, I too am concerned about how great (or mediocre) Emotiva gear can be. We should purchase used gear just to check it out really quickly. Sometimes we need to get burned for everyone to learn a lesson. It wouldn't be money badly spent if it saved a lot of people a lot of money. I'd avoid decades old gear no longer in production unless it's easily obtainable. I'm not opposed to pro gear if it sounds good. Speakers are tough to ship, but I think even basic FR measurements can tell us a lot. Right now, we're just shooting in the dark.
    • Meets - @thegunner100 : This is the only way to go. Setup more meets and invite a lot of people, especially for big pieces of heavy gear.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  9. nedifer

    nedifer Facebook Friend

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    I would also be very interested in adding 2 channel gear to either the loaner program or for meets (though I agree that meets are probably a better venue--I still sting when I think of my experience w/the Gungnir Multibit loaner where I backed myself into a corner around the Christmas holidays and ended up spending a huge amount to ship it before leaving on vacation--long store, my own fault. But I can see prices rise rapidly when trying to ship heavier gear around the country.)

    For what it's worth, I'd be very interested in both commercial and DIY gear. One kit that would really intrigue me (though it overshoots @sphinxvc 's budget) would be a pair of Blumenstein Orcas or Marlins, a Schiit Saga and a pair of Nelson Pass' Amp Camp monoblocks. Sure the system would be lacking in bass, but might be a good reference/'build upon' system for full range drivers. Or substitute a pair of Tekton Mini Lores or Lores for more bass.

    @zerodeefex 's crown/affordable accuracy monitors (or swap the crown for a Parasound zAmp v.3 for cheaper shipping) would also be intriguing.

    Addendum: grain of salt appropriate on my wish listing here, though, as I am a very small time contributor. I hope to be able to contribute more financially in the future if and when funds permit.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  10. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    Are thoes mono blocks any good? I've been eying them for a while...
     
  11. nedifer

    nedifer Facebook Friend

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    I personally don't know . But they have been well reviewed.
     
  12. MoatsArt

    MoatsArt Friend

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    @Marvey @zerodeefex

    Would the SBAF board be willing to subsidise the incipient AUS/NZ loaner program by buying 2 x Schiit Fulla (one for AU and one for NZ)? We would return the funds from the sale of the units to SBAF once the tours were over, making this a cheap experiment. Domestic shipping would be inexpensive. Attempting to gauge interest in this post.

    The units are available for pre-order here for $200 AUD. This supplier services both countries.

    Thanks

    Nate
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  13. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    This is precisely my current predicament. I am looking at a decent-ish 2-ch entry-level gear, and am eyeing a pair of Dayton B652 or Affordable Accuracy monitors, but I'm completely lost as to which power amp to pair it with, in line with the entry-level goal. More community guidance à la Vali 2/Jotunheim + HD650 would be very welcome indeed...
     
  14. Besnia

    Besnia Facebook Friend

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    I'm also wondering... how big is this community? How many people typically participate in the loaner program? (I actually don't know exactly how it works. Apologies, i'll educated myself) Perhaps we could also do, is reach out to some small time manufacturers/industry outsiders, who couldn't afford to promote themselves, and see if they'd be willing to give a demo unit. I imagine they'd be interested, if there's a chance to generate a few sales. Surely, they'll ask for some deposit that can be kept in an escrow account at PayPal (if they provide such a service). If nobody likes the gear, we don't have to resell it. Perhaps the manufacturer may want to keep 10-15% of the product value, due to wear, minor scratches, etc, but this seems OK to me. We wouldn't have to sell it at a significant loss. I prefer to discover something new, rather than laying my hands on the next big brand product.

    Just throwing some thoughts...

    Btw, how many members are from Europe?
     
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