The Hidden Gem of Hi-Fi: Thrift StoresRob Stumpf
Hi-Fi comes in all shapes and sizes. But despite us living paycheck-to-paycheck in order to fund this hobby, there are cheap ways to get high quality gear without the high price tag. There just happens to be one little factor involved: luck.
Luck of the thrift, that is.
Yes, we’re talking about getting down and dirty and your local thrift shop, and not that 2012 song by Macklemore either. It turns out these second-hand shops are a goldmine for Hi-Fi,
Don’t believe me? Let’s just take a look over at /r/Headphones for a few prime examples:
- Sennheiser HD 598SE: $21.50 (Price new: $299 on Amazon)
- Sennheiser HD 600: $35 (Price new: $299 on Amazon)
- Sennheiser HD 650: $19.99 (Price new: $499 on Amazon)
- Sennheiser HE-60 “Baby Orpheus”: $261 (200 GBP) (Price used: $2,600 on eBay)
And this one is cheating, but how about a near-mint Sennheiser HD800 purchased for just $20? Sure, that wasn’t exactly a thrift shop, but it shows another great source of cheap audio gear: estate sales.
While the wearable audio community is quite niche, it’s worth mentioning that just because you saw it on Reddit doesn’t mean that you’ll walk into your local Salvation Army and come across a set of Focal Elear—but that also doesn’t mean you necessarily won’t find something worthwhile. Most of what you will come across will likely be vintage and collecting dust for some time, but that could make an interesting restoration project, no?
I think the moral of the story is that people seem to love throwing Sennheisers to the wind when they’re no longer being used. So keep an eye on those second-hand stores and maybe even Goodwill’s online auction. You never know what you might find lurking on a shelf.