Hourly cost of ownership

I bought a new olive Nait 2 (with 100 feet of NACA5), a new Magnum Dynalab Étude tuner and a new Sota Sapphire thirty years ago and still use them almost every day. I have no idea how much is the hourly cost of ownership but it is not something that prevent me from falling asleep at night.

I regret not to have bought a pair of Rogers LS3/5a at that time!

I didn’t do an exact calculation per hour, but it something I consider when deciding whether to spill out large sums on a luxury item. Since my equipment is used pretty much every single day it was justifyable spending some more. The record player was difficult as it was more than originally budgeted and not something used more than once a week. (Did it anyway in the end).

Another example is furniture. I’d be willing to spend significantly more on a cabinet for the middle of the livingroom where I spend most of my time awake than one for the bedroom. The bed I use for close to one third of the day, so happy to shell out on that one.

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When I sold my Rega Planar 3 last year, I got a lot of money for it (can’t actually remember the exact figure but it was around £400 I think).

I also can’t remember how much it was when I bought it in 1999, but probably around the same amount.

So the cost in real, or unreal terms was maybe possibly less than zero!

That’s a lot of lovely spinning of vinyl platters for the square root of minus not very much…

There’s an assumption in the question that there’s something else that the cost of a hifi could be better spent on, which isn’t the case for most on here I’d expect. What else is there to do with surplus funds than to spend it on what you love the most? Even ignoring residual values it’s a sunk cost – the money was there but it’s been put to good use to provide huge and endless enjoyment, there’s plenty left and still coming in at a faster rate than we can spend it. From where I sit that’s better than wishing things could be a bit better but at least the savings pot is an arbitrary amount of money higher than if it hadn’t been spent on a decent stereo.

In short; we go to work to earn enough to provide a quality of life that suits. Naim gear pushes that button, for me at least.

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My cost per hour has shot up this year. I’ve no idea what it was before or now. And I couldn’t care less. I’ve worked long & hard hours to be able to enjoy music, films and tv through the system and hope to do so for as long as possible. I’m far far from being rich but I’ve not spent money I can’t afford either. I just drive an old car instead. :grinning:

For bit of perspective though, a colleague is just in the process of upgrading his TT. He’s also currently undergoing a second course of treatment for cancer that’s returned.

I’ll bet the money he’s spent on his hifi/cost per hour is the last thing he’s thinking about.


£400 in 1999 is equivalent to about £680 today, so net cost of £14 per year or 4p a day. How can you sleep at night with that sort of money wasted on hifi? :smiley:


Luke, My assumption is that what is really required here is an MRI scanner. Cost/ hour of kit is not enough. We need to know how many dopamine hits there are per listening hour too :slight_smile:

Just one problem, I don’t think anyone inside said scanner will be able to hear their Naims!


The positive about the silly stats is that they keep improving continuously as long as the person refrains from upgrading.


Ask any American lawyer worth his salt. It is all about hourly billing…

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I did cost per album calculation when i wanted to add an expensive turntable to my already very good Digital sources

İt was going to be 4-5 LP per week max, let say 40w at home 200LP per year, 2000LP in 10 years…

10k usd for turntable, 5$ per LP for listening my old collection of 500+LPs

I did not bought it:)

Maybe new Rega:))

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This sort of question raises many responses as of course we are all individuals and different, and there is no simple way to look at the answers.

Recently I had reason to look at the details of my system, and it is now easy to add up the money spent on hifi, and I can work out a cost of ownership per hour to satisfy the original question.

I started an interest in music in my teens, and via some quick and cheap purchases I started to look at “HiFi”, and via some amps and turntables started to consider I had a HiFi system. If I just consider the start of the purchase of Naim equipment, I had completed a Naim system in the late 1980’s, and this was using my second pair of loudspeakers, and a turntable which was changed just before the Naim purchase.

That system has remained unchanged since then, and has only been serviced this year, (prompted by some clear signs of failure). So if I take the initial purchase cost in the 1980’s, and add the recent service, and the 30 year life to date, cost per year is about £140.

There is no attempt to include any inflation factors, just the price paid at purchase.
I have NAC62, HICAP, NAP140, NAT02, Alphason Sonata with HR100 MCS, AT-OC7, Atlas PSU, and Rogers BBC Studio Monitors on Partington stands, and a Ron Smith Galaxie14 FM aerial, a Target Wall shelf for the Alphason, and bespoke design and build wall shelves for the 4 Naim boxes (some pictures posted in System Pics).

The cost per day is say 40 pence; per hour, well say 3 or 4 hours per day (radio, TV and records), a bit over 10 pence.

I have purchased bits other hifi stuff over the years, but these have been for other small projects, (for example I thought about gainclone amps), some of which never got off the ground. However the main Naim system has been unchanged apart from adding the TV sound when we were forced to change to digital.

I have said previously I often see myself as an imposter here, and my own “hifi journey” and current expectations seems a little unusual. I have kept the same system for over 30 years, and not tinkered. Maybe I have another view of what the value of the forum has to offer, but I think that is another correspondence.

Sorry for the length and rambling nature of this…


A toilet is a necessity and inexpensive. A 50k stereo is not… I rarely consider these things, but I’m certainly at the point where it’s a pretty serious investment and difficult to justify further investment for the return (I personally get).

I guess the thing I was trying to learn more about from you all was how does it change as you climb the ladder and approach your own ‘I’m done’ point…


I believe there is a term in economics known as ‘utility’. I think it’s the value we derive from a purchase; therefore cost/hr is a valid way of looking at the utility of a Naim System.

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yikes - I could have bought a lot of Mars bars for that - they were only 10p when i was a kid

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You seem like the opposite of an impostor to me. You have one of the classic Naim amps, which you’ve owned and used for 3 decades. Who is a better fit for the Naim forum?


Thank you…

Most of the activity here is about the latest and greatest, and how cables must lay (nearly wrote lie), apart from the Chrome Bumper and Olive conversations…

If I were to think of it , I would put into the case of diminishing returns. We all know a humble Nait 5 costs a fraction of your Nap 300 , but will it offer the best pound per sound of any Naim Amps ?

If you were an accountant you would value the trade in value, how long you wanted to keep it for.

Most Naim users have ( I think) quite pressured jobs, I know I wouldn’t have been able to afford mine if I hadn’t .

So relax, enjoy, don’t worry about costs and enjoy the sense of ownership and the ability to lose yourself in music, a film or if you are really naughty a Playstation.

A Naim is for life, not just Christmas


Or lives longer.

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Off to my sixth hospital appointment today, pre surgery check for a second go at the melanoma on my face, whilst waiting for a CT scan for my arteries. Bit of a wake up year, taking the summer off to reassess things. Three fellow work professionals dead this year, all pre retirement. Melanoma, heart attack and a suicide…

Anyway, I posted above about the great value I had with my first Naim system - UQ2/NAP100, now traded on. Last year I upgraded to a Nova and then moved that into a media room setup in my home office, which was a long time dream/goal.

Then, I left a business partnership this year and went back to self employment to get my family life back and reduce stress. That enabled a new main system that cost more than I ever intended to spend (SN2/HICAP/NDX2/XPS DR). I’m a young 53 and figured that it would see through the next 30 odd years of this lifetime and I’d do it whilst I had a stronger income, as if I left it close to retirement there would be too many what ifs.

Both systems give me great joy, and it is my only vice, so the value is priceless at the end of the day, but pretty good if broken down over a long time as well.

Happy days.


Sorry to hear of your ongoing medical treatment - I wish you all the very best with it. At the end of the day health is far more important than hifi - but music can help keep your mental health and give you strength and fulfilment as well as simple enjoyment. And that is priceless.