What you’ve got isn’t rubbish!

We all suffer somewhat from new product envy, and perhaps a little bit of ADD at times when it comes to hifi gear (or cars, cameras, etc.,etc.) wanting the newer, shinier thing the minute it becomes available.

Of course the people producing these products want to sell you a newer, better, zootier box. And while you might think that it’s all marketing driven, remember – that’s what said manufacturers have an engineering team for. They don’t just build a preamp or pair of speakers and send the engineering department on an indefinite paid holiday when the product launch is over. It’s their job once a product is finalized to figure out how to make it better.

Most products of any kind have a specific lifespan in mind. Some companies bring new models to market more often than others, with a number of factors to consider. Development cost, marketing cost and potential backlash all figure into the equation, and it’s always particularly difficult during the transition period for everyone when something new is launched.

There will always be a percentage of disgruntled purchasers that bought the “old model” a month or two before the “new model” hits the ground. I feel your pain, I’ve done this with more than one car, camera, computer and preamplifier over the years.

However, if it is possible to get into a more Zen state and realize that the preamplifier or phono cartridge you brought home a few weeks or a few years ago and thought was fantastic, still is. Think of how much joy you got opening the box and unpacking that shiny new jewel and hooking it up to your system; sitting back thinking “wow, this sounds great.” Revisit that feeling if you aren’t in the position to sign up for the latest/greatest new thing. It will calm you down. Your current preamp doesn’t suck, just because there’s a new offering from said manufacturer.

I drive a Porsche Boxster. Not a new, $85,000 Boxster, loaded with a Burmester audio system and tons of carbon fiber bits, but a 2001, non-S model that I bought used a few years ago for $9,000. With a 100 thousand miles on the odometer. And yesterday, out driving on a rare 67 degree sunny February day in Portland, Oregon, I was thinking about the first time I saw a Boxster on the floor of Scottsdale Porsche back in 1996, when I was driving an “old” 1988 944 Turbo. The dealer took me out for a test drive, and as much as I wanted that car, it just wasn’t the day to buy a new Porsche. 20 years later that used, blue Boxster still feels pretty damn good. So do a number of audio components that I’ve owned for years. Some for decades.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting anyone stop buying audio gear. And I love unpacking new, shiny things as much as anyone. But I do hope that if today’s not the day to upgrade your system, that you still enjoy your system as much, if not more as you always have.  – Jeff Dorgay