gmtoday_small.gif

 


Sound Advice: How to figure out what your vintage gear is really worth

March 28, 2016 


Q. I have a pair of AR3a speakers that I no longer need. The drivers are all original, the walnut exteriors are excellent and everything works very well. I have seen some absurd prices ($800-$1,400) for these on eBay and craigslist. What do you think would be a fair price?

—Jim Wagner, Garden City, Idaho

A. It is one thing to ask $800-$1,400, it is another thing to get it. I checked completed AR3a sales and auctions on eBay and those figures do represent actual transaction prices. If you want to sell there I’d start at $500 and set a reserve of $800, plus shipping, and be sure to mention they work perfectly.

Checking completed transactions on eBay is a good way for anyone to see what their gear is really worth. I receive lots of email from readers wondering what their vintage gear is worth. Usually what is described is unremarkable and worth maybe $20, if you can even find a buyer. You definitely fall into a different category with your AR3a speakers. Good luck, though you may want to think about keeping them. The value could go up!

Consumer Electronics Show report: The Audio-Technica AT-LP60 turntable gets a lot of press in this column and elsewhere, and for good reason. Available for $99 with a cartridge, it is the only inexpensive turntable that sounds good and won’t damage your records. It offers fully automatic operation, and besides being a good starter turntable, it also makes an excellent second turntable for use elsewhere in the home. On my website I feature it in a quality vinyl playback system that includes an amplifier and bookshelf speakers for only $165 total. You can see the system for yourself at http://tinyurl.com/165vinyl.

There was a lot of buzz in the electronics world about something big coming from Audio-Technica at the show. I was not disappointed when they unveiled an AT-LP60 with integrated Bluetooth, the AT-LP60BK-BT ($179.)

The obvious application is pairing the AT-LP60BK-BT with a Bluetooth speaker or Bluetooth headphones. That was just the beginning, and I found it provided much more versatility than I was anticipating. For example, my home theater room is not turntable-friendly. I have two equipment racks and every square inch of both is filled. I have often wanted to listen to records while relaxing in this room, but did not want to add a third rack to the system to accommodate the turntable.

Enter the AT-LP60BK-BT. I placed the turntable on a table in an adjoining room and added a Bluetooth receiver to the home theater audio system. Not only could I now play records, I even improved the system’s sound quality by isolating the turntable from the speakers. You can also feed two systems at once, for example using a wired connection with your main stereo and pairing to Bluetooth in the next room (as long as you are within range.)

The sound of the regular AT-LP60 is preserved in the Bluetooth version. It sounds clean and crisp, though it does not produce the warmth and depth of pricier turntable gear. Playing over Bluetooth to a Cambridge Bluetone 100 speaker and Modern Portable Super 66 headphones it preserved the unique character associated with vinyl, though it had a very slight digital edge to it. It sounded almost too clean and clear, which is actually quite a compliment! This turntable is a great idea with a well-executed implementation. www.audio-technica.com

 

 


McClatchy-Tribune Information Services