I need a new HDTV and am looking to spend $400-600 on a
50-inch model. I am considering buying used on
Craigslist, perhaps a plasma in this price range. Any
thoughts on buying used, and any recommendations for my
size and price range?
Chris Murphy, Simsbury, Conn.
You can get a new 50-inch HDTV for $400-$600. The only
way I would consider a used one for that price if it was
a high-end model in perfect condition, with a good
ownership history. Most used HDTVs on Craigslist are
horrendously overpriced, as sellers either look for a
sucker or think their TV is worth much more than it is,
simply because it is theirs. Most of the time a used TV
will not have a warranty. I think the TV has to be very
special, or the price exceptionally low, before it is
worth taking the risk of buying a used one when you can
get a new one for the same amount.
good 50-inch HDTVs for you to consider are the Vizio
E-500i-B1 and M502-B1 for $499 and $599 respectively,
the Samsung PN51F5300AFXZA plasma for $549. Some of the
Insignia TVs from Best Buy have a really nice picture
and can be purchased at very low prices.
have a Fischer Studio Standard receiver CA-225A and
double-cassette deck CRW225 that I got at a garage sale
about 20 years ago. It has all worked well until
recently, when my cassette player began having problems.
I still get a sound when I turn it on and press
"play", and the gears seem to engage, but the
tape does not move and nothing plays. Is it worth trying
to get it fixed, or should I just jettison it, or should
I try to find another? I do have tapes I still play, but
you think it is worth fixing, any ideas on how to find
an electronics guy for this type of repair?
Marge Connoly, South Bend, Ind.
am not a repairman, but it sounds to me like the tape
deck needs a new belt. A belt replacement kit with an
assortment of different-sized belts costs about $10 on
eBay. I would suggest that you take off the cover and
see if the belt is easily accessed. You may be able to
change it yourself. Unfortunately, putting it in may not
be as easy as changing a turntable belt. If you have to
have it repaired professionally I think best-case you
are looking at about $25 in labor at a minimum if you
have someone do it for you. There are reasons you may
want to just fix it. You know its history, at least the
last 20 years of it, and it will match the receiver
since they come from the same brand and model series.
gut feeling is that you should just replace it with
another used tape deck. You can find dozens of used tape
decks on Craigslist for under $30. I did a search in my
own area and there were five listed for $25, and all of
them looked to be newer and of better quality than your
Fisher. There tend to be lots of old tape decks in
thrift stores, too.