Cost of our 'hobby' - frightening!

Having just told my local dealer to go ahead and order me ANOTHER power amp, I was just adding up in my head how much this pile of technology in the living room has cost me… It comes to over 18K!! Perhaps closer to 19K if I add in a few accessories like fancy mains leads etc. Good grief!! If anyone a decade ago had told me I would end up with a hifi setup approaching 20 grand I’d have said no darn way!! If I factor in all the money ‘lost’ with upgrades/updates over that decade then it becomes even more frightening. Sometimes it best not to think about these things :frowning:

Having once had my late wife tease me about the cost of the kit plus records and CDs, I did a quick estimate and told her it came to about £1 an hour of listening pleasure, which seemed like a bargain. Oddly she failed to see the compelling nature of that analysis.


Cost is a relative term I think. You could easily have a unitilite and still stream, play CD’s connect and turntable and listen to music but part of human nature is to try and improve, hence the upgrade path. As long as stuff is paid for and does not put you in financial preil I dont see any problems. Life would be very dull if we did not splash out on a few pleasures ! My other hobbies are cars/watches and photography and ALL of them cost me more than hifi, so you could be in a worse position ! I do get your point though, just trying to make you feel better :grinning::grinning:

I’m with you there on mentally pushing to one side the cost! I recently had to run through values when reinsuring contents, and the sharp intake of breath at the other end of the phone when we came to ‘hifi’ made me smile! I’ve been asked a few times by friends what my current system cost, and whilst loving the sound none of them ‘get it’. Then when I point out the value of the depreciating piece of metal they arrived in sitting on my drive , compared to our ‘vintage’ set of wheels, they sort of nod in understanding. It’s all different strokes for different folks.

I occasionally catch myself feeling a little envious of the few who seem able to afford £100k+ systems, and the nice cars, and the lovely cameras and expensive watches. Then I give myself a shake and remind myself of just how fortunate anybody lucky enough to own any Naim (or similar) equipment is.


Have I had 20 thousand hours of listening from my hifi? Probably not :frowning:

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I once made a calculation and showed her that she spends more on Shampoo than I do on Hifi.


Ah, I started with Naim with a Nait in 1985, so in 30 or so years listening to music for several hours every night (and weekend day) I’m in, it adds up to many thousands of hours.

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I listened to my hifi (ISTR a NAD amp, Ariston RD80 deck and Mission 700 speakers) an awful lot more back when I was a student at university. I’d say, on average, a good 2 or 3 albums a day/night. Nowadays I’d say I get to do a proper sit down listen for about one album an evening. It’s often on for more than that but just as background, e.g. I know SWMBO has it on for several hours a day using it as a radio with the odd album.

Unfortunately I smoke - not a heavy smoker - but still it pains me to think of how much that costs whilst left with nothing but knackered lungs.


In my world £20k is not outrageous or frightening. It is the cost of a new Ford Focus, which depreciates, doesn’t last so long, and doesn’t give as much pleasure. Depends on your priorities.


To put the OP’s example I to context, many people spend 18k or more on a car and don’t expect to get more than 10 years use out of it. Hifi gear should last a LOT longer, so is better value.


It is odd that people compare a car with hifi, and on the other hand say it is all about the music.

Therefore, a car is not about the car itselve, but about the journey you make with it.

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In a way the example of cost of a new car in comparison to cost of an ‘audiophile’s’ HiFi system is a good guide comparison if the whole question is addressed to all music listeners not just audiophiles. The rest of the music listeners (vast majority minus audiophiles) most probably would not be aware or even imagine that there are audiophiles out there spending more then £500 for a music system, never mind a 18k system or above!

This very much depends on the car in question. For me the car is a factor in the enjoyment.

… as Naim for most of us is indeed …

There’s cost and then there’s value.

To me, £100K spent on a good system which beings years of enjoyment is good value. £1 spent on something which you then throw away is a waste of money.

Buying a new car is a very fast way of wasting money. I buy posh and used. Sure, they still cost big money to run, but they are not bleeding money down the nearest drain, whilst just sitting on your drive doing nothing.

What I would spend on a Pre/Power pairing is about the upper limit of what I would drop on a car. At various times in my life I’ve gone without a car or chugged about in a rot box. But I’ve always had a decent HiFi system, and unlike a car, I’ve never sold it to raise money. Each to our own.


My two sources cost £14k each. Yet I can’t afford to have a house with a drive round here!

I think you need to consider the total cost of ownership. Quality hifi such as Naim and Linn has a resale value - cheap stuff doesn’t.
A recent example from personal experience: I realised I only listen to vinyl about once a month as Roon and Radio Paradise are so damn good. I considered flogging it all including the records but decided to downgrade instead as the slabs of plastic have a sentimental value for me (unlike CDs).
I flogged my LP12/Stageline system on the fishy forum for £2,200 (sold in 1 day), got a Rega Planar 3 system for £700 which sounds surprisingly close to the LP12 system (probably needed servicing but I was not inclined to chuck any more monmey at it). Used the £1500 surplus to buy nice OLED 4K tv to replace my 10 year old Sony.

Digging out the old invoices, I probably got about the same in cash as I paid 30 years ago. Not a great investment but at least I got something back which wouldn’t be the case if I had e.g. golf or fishing as a hobby.

for me it’s around 10 euros per day for 20 years. If i not upgrade during 20 years, which is not the case. But could be.

The longer you have quality stuff the better value it gets.

A few months ago I noted that the Linn Lingo PSU upgrade I got for my LP12 cost £500 which seemed exhorbitant (hmm - no h apparently, I can’t change the habit of a lifetime!) at the time especially to friends.

It’s almost 30 years old, so I’ve had an expensive ‘tweak’ for my LP12 for under £20 per annum - something of a bargain.

NAP 250 from early 90’s has maybe cost £75 per annum.

Naturally add several boxes/parts and the cost soon mounts up to something significant (especially at the time) but there are few other gadgets that still keep on giving many years on without seeming quite dated.

I’ve just had a load of vintage stuff serviced and again it reinforces the overall value for money when you can do this for old equipment.