Is this ugly thing really worth $750?

@TheHorse (73357)
Walnut Creek, California
February 11, 2016 11:38pm CST
In a previous post (or was it a post on "that other site?"), I mentioned a guy I do some stereo restoration work for. He owes me about $700 and always has an excuse not to pay me. His divorce lawyer is taking all his money. Sales are slow. Mwa mwa mwa. But he also has a warehouse full of old stereo gear, and sometimes he gives me partial payment with something I can either restore and sell or restore and keep. Usually, it's a pair of old speakers that are worth $40 when I get them, and $150 after I restore them (replacing dead capacitors or tweeters, refinishing the cabinets, etc). But most recently, he sent me home with a 1960s Dynaco Stereo 70 tube power amplifier that's already been restored. I'm testing it out in my "bedroom system" as I type. These things are going for $750 on eBay. The sound is really good, and it appears to be functioning properly. Should I just keep the amplifier and call it good?
33 people like this
35 responses
@vandana7 (68435)
• India
12 Feb 16
Sell it when there is a market for it...
3 people like this
@yugocean (8847)
• India
12 Feb 16
sell it to vand and take money from her
3 people like this
@vandana7 (68435)
• India
12 Feb 16
@yugocean ..You pay for it...I will keep the ugly thing in my house...
2 people like this
@yugocean (8847)
• India
12 Feb 16
@vandana7 I pay via your mylot account
2 people like this
@much2say (40452)
• United States
12 Feb 16
It may be "ugly" but if someone wants/needs it for $750, well heck - it's not so ugly after all! But I say call it good only after you sell it for that price.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
I'd be willing to accept it and keep it (at least for awhile). I'm working three jobs (plus playing music and restoring old stereo gear) so I don't need the cash at this time.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
@much2say True. If I needed the money, I would accept the Dynaco Stereo 70 and immediately turn around and sell it.
2 people like this
@jstory07 (71060)
• Roseburg, Oregon
12 Feb 16
@TheHorse Whatever cash you do not need send my way.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (120398)
• Boise, Idaho
12 Feb 16
Do you really think you will get payment rather than that?
3 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
24 Feb 16
In all honesty, no.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (120398)
• Boise, Idaho
24 Feb 16
@TheHorse ....I'd just keep it and call it good.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
24 Feb 16
@celticeagle That for sure what I'm leaning toward. I like the sound of the amplifier a lot. It's driving my main system right now.
• United States
12 Feb 16
If it appears that this is the only way you will get payment, keep it. Next time, tell him that you want half down on the work and the other half when the work is completed. Draw up a contract stating this as well.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
We're moving in that direction. But everything is ambiguous with him. I said I'd do two pairs of loudspeakers for only $80 (my usual price would be about $180) recently. But then he sent me home with three KLH 17 loudspeakers to keep, worth about $75. I was able to restore the 17s and actually had another at home. So I'll sell one pair for $125, and have another pair for my personal collection. In this case, I gain from the perpetual ambiguity. All I had to invest was my time and skill, doing something I enjoy anyway.
3 people like this
• United States
12 Feb 16
@TheHorse Well, I guess it worked out to your favor then.
2 people like this
@DWDavis (15003)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
12 Feb 16
If you are happy with the amp and it is operating according to specs, I would go ahead and call it a deal. Especially if this is a repeat customer you think will bring in more business in the future.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
Exactly, I think that will be my strategy. I don't NEED another amplifier right now. But I will use it, and having a Dynaco Stereo 70 around is a good investment. It will only go up in value.
4 people like this
@sharon6345 (141514)
• United States
12 Feb 16
That is an eye sore. Sell it
2 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
24 Feb 16
I don't know the term "eye source." But it's one of the best sounding amplifiers I've heard.
@sharon6345 (141514)
• United States
24 Feb 16
@TheHorse Then you might think of keeping it.
@Bluedoll (17050)
• Canada
12 Feb 16
Anything is worth what a buyer will pay for it? These items may also have nostalgia value.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
24 Feb 16
They also sound much better than most contemporary gear.
1 person likes this
@Bluedoll (17050)
• Canada
24 Feb 16
@TheHorse The contemporary gear is cheap. If they put something into new technology it performs well but it may not have the same sound and then style is something they only can copy. The real deal should be worth more.
@LadyDuck (181692)
• Switzerland
12 Feb 16
Do you need the amplifier? If not, sell it on eBay, so you can finally cash in the amount that your friend owes you.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
I don't need it, but I don't mind having it. I'm listening to it right now, and it sounds great.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (181692)
• Switzerland
13 Feb 16
@TheHorse It surely sounds great, it's up to you to decide what to do.
@jaboUK (55201)
• United Kingdom
12 Feb 16
I'd get my money by selling it, then not put yourself in the position of being owed money by him again.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
It's funny because it's money I don't NEED at this time. I like the fact that I always wind up with new stuff to restore. But you're right. I'll probably accept it, call us even, and then be a bit more systematic about collecting compensation from him in the future.
1 person likes this
@softbabe44 (5899)
• Vancouver, Washington
12 Feb 16
He must know something you don't.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
What do you think he knows? He's so disorganized, I'm not sure he even knows what knows.
1 person likes this
@Dena91 (4746)
• United States
12 Feb 16
I'd call it an even trade.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
24 Feb 16
He'll still owe me a bit. But he has other equipment I can keep.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24741)
• Singapore
12 Feb 16
I have no use for this kind of thing. If you can find a use for it, and you like it, then keep it. Else you can sell online, and consider it as a payment.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
Precisely. Turntables are making a comeback among young hipsters. I wonder if old tube stereo gear will do the same. It really does sound better than solid state. Many of the people who originally bought these things (people who were 35-years-old in 1968 and had finally "made it") are getting older now, and have them stored away in their baby boomer children's garages.
1 person likes this
@Lucky15 (33687)
• Philippines
12 Feb 16
i better keep it :) that is if it is me, lol keep it
2 people like this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
24 Feb 16
I think that's what I'll do.
@Drosophila (16697)
• Ireland
13 Feb 16
Sounds like you got a bargain!
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
13 Feb 16
I'll be "paying" full value for the receiver (probably), but it's worth it not to be "owed." I always give him a "sympathy discount" on my restoration work for him, but I'm not sure that he'd do the same for me. His brain works in strange ways.
1 person likes this
@Drosophila (16697)
• Ireland
13 Feb 16
@TheHorse ah well, ya he does sound very particular
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
13 Feb 16
@Drosophila Peculiar is the word I'd use.
1 person likes this
@Kikijoyce (108)
12 Feb 16
I would sell it because its a good deal
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
I'll probably hang onto it for awhile.
12 Feb 16
@TheHorse okay...your choice...anyway you know what they say..old is gold
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
@Kikijoyce I'll repeat that to myself as I look at the "wisdom lines" around my eyes in the morning when I shave. Heh. But it's really true. A 1938 Martin guitar that sold for maybe $100 then can now fetch $30,000!
@fishtiger58 (30319)
• Momence, Illinois
12 Feb 16
Depends if you don't really need the money keep it.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
That's what I think I'm going to do!
1 person likes this
@fishtiger58 (30319)
• Momence, Illinois
12 Feb 16
@TheHorse you might never see another one.
@Jessicalynnt (47879)
• Centralia, Missouri
12 Feb 16
since you never get money maybe. and I read that as first sneakers, not speakers and thought what? lol
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
24 Feb 16
That would be some expensive sneakers!
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
24 Feb 16
@TheHorse I know! Then again, I suppose someone somewhere would pay that kind of thing for shoes, unless those suckers are custom and I dunno, have emeralds in them I wouldnt, well prob not even then! lol
@biikiki (199)
• Nyeri, Kenya
12 Feb 16
if the sound is really good and functions properly its worth it.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
I agree. I'm listening to it as I write, and it sounds like it's supposed to: slightly warm and quite smooth
@biikiki (199)
• Nyeri, Kenya
12 Feb 16
@TheHorse good then you got your money worth
@boiboing (12881)
• Northampton, England
12 Feb 16
I have no knowledge of such things but whatever you decide to do, don't do more work for him without upfront payments.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Feb 16
Upfront payments? He seems to be broke all of the time, even though he's sitting on thousands and thousands of dollars worth of stereo gear. But if he keeps sending me home with valuable stereo gear, I'll be happy with that.
@freak369 (5019)
• United States
13 Feb 16
@boiboing said "I have no knowledge of such things but whatever you decide to do, don't do more work for him without upfront payments." I had to laugh .. that's almost exactly what my neighbor said about Bubblews LOLOLOL
1 person likes this
@louievill (19906)
• Philippines
12 Feb 16
I don't think you should base the value on ebay prices cause some of those sellers exaggerate the price or do not know what they are selling. The piece should be appraised by someone who is knowledgeable in the field of vintage sound systems. I think the guy is knowledgeable so he probably will give you something less than what he owes you. You may take it for several reasons 1) if you think he has no intentions of paying then might as well get something 2) If you really like it and you are an expert yourself in appraising the true price. Another option is" I'm taking it for let's say 500 so you still owe me 250" that is if you still want to continue doing things for him.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73357)
• Walnut Creek, California
13 Feb 16
The best vintage stereo gear appraiser in the Bay Area is probably...me! And Norm at Sertech Repairs in San Jose and a few others. But you're right--I should (and well may) take it for less than market value. I have a few other things of his here, and might suggest that I keep them too.
1 person likes this
@louievill (19906)
• Philippines
13 Feb 16
@TheHorse "The best vintage stereo gear appraiser in the Bay Area is probably...me!" Maybe I should consult you sometimes, one thing I do as a hobby is pick and one aspect of my business is to buy scraps and junks. Yes that's the way to go, buy what he is offering for less and take more items from him as sort of a cushion, besides he's not paying cash so if he's a picker himself then he probably bought it at a very low price, even if it's reconditioned, good pickers already know how much they would spend and still make profit.