Q I hope you can offer us some advice on what to do with all the leftover sound equipment we have accumulated over the years. There are some very big names like Tandberg, Theta Digital, Luxman, and a few others I know are very expensive. Perhaps most of it is destined for the heap, but I thought I would check to see if you had any other thoughts.
-- C.R., Minneapolis
A I've had a lot of questions about this lately. It must be from the spring cleaning season.
You can't put the equipment on Craigslist and say, "make an offer" unless you have a good idea of its value. I was speaking with someone once who bragged about how he got about $10,000 worth of high-end audio equipment from a widow. She advertised it after her husband's death, he went and saw the gear and offered her $200 for it all. She naively accepted. Why this person was proud of his accomplishment and was bragging about it to me, I will never understand! I quickly parted company with this person and made it a point to avoid him in the future.
One good place to check the value of used gear is at audiogon.com, and the completed listings on eBay. This will give you a good idea of where to start if you post your gear on Craigslist. You would be surprised at what sells there. I've bought and sold some pretty esoteric gear from Craigslist over the years, and audiophiles check it frequently. You will get less than you would if you auctioned it on eBay, but you get to deal locally, you don't have to ship, and get cash immediately. This is my preferred way to sell my own surplus gear. You are bound to get a lot of lowball offers. Your best bet is to ignore them.
If you have some good audio stores in your area (and Minneapolis does have quite a few) you may be able to get them to sell it for you on consignment. This will ensure you get a fair value for the gear as the shop will take a percentage, so it behooves them to get the most they can for your old gear.
Don's mailbag is overflowing: Many of you have written to me and are awaiting a reply, and I apologize for the delay. April was quite a month for me, starting with a long trip to Europe and ending with some serious health issues in my family, which, happily were resolved with excellent medical care. I am wading through my mail now and hope to get caught up within a week or two. Thank you for your patience.
Contact Don Lindich at www.soundadviceblog.com and use the "submit question" link on that site.