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Old 02-28-06, 09:12 AM   #1
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Musical instruments, bicycles, and clothing...

An interesting question I have been contemplating for sometime and yet have a good solid answer for...

We talk about buying the best we can afford, and for some it can be overboard. Someone on the "do you care what pro cyclists do" said - I bought a 10k violin because it nearly played itslef but I did not need it at that level. In my case it is a professonal level oboe - 5500 dollars vs almost doing the same stuff on a 3000 dollar instrument. of course in the musical instrument world it is much cheeper to buy the best now than try and sell later and buy better...

So that said, when it come to things like instruments, bikes, clothing, machienes, etc, do you buy cheep and upgrade later or buy they best you can afford now even if it is above you level at the time.

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Old 02-28-06, 09:19 AM   #2
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I don't play an insturment.

Bikes: I buy good stuff, but I don't need the best. Right now I have around $2k tied up on my roadie, and about $1k tied up in my mtn bike, and around $1k in bike accessories.

Clothing: only criterias....tough, looks respectable. I rarely buy name brand unless I can'tt get the fit of it elsewhere.

A/V equipment....now there I can drop a load. I have around $4000 tied up in all of that.

Computers....don't get me started...I have ungodly levels of cash tied up in it....one component being worth over $10k by itself (2GB SSD w/integrated HDD backup and crash-safe system)....and I have yet to buy the controller card to get it operational, or the cooling system needed for it. To put it shortly, I am the computer equal of the guy that HAS to own that hot colnago with tiso/campy record mix, etc.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:22 AM   #3
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I'm not sure how an oboe pays for itself unless you're a professional musician and need such an instrument, but anyways, my answer is mostly no. Everything has a limited lifespan so depending on the useful lifespan I may or may not buy the "best". The "best" of almost anything seems to change every few months anyway. Cars, computers, clothing, bikes, etc. New and improved models always come out so no point in buying the "best". However, for things like musical instruments which haven't changed in years, I could see buying the "best" and sticking with it since it'll be the last one you ever buy. Unless it's an electric instrument like a guitar or keyboard.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:23 AM   #4
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I go for value getting the highest quality for the least amount of money. I have a USED Cort Classic guitar I paid $235, this is a direct knock off of the ten plus times more expensive Gibson Les Paul. Black body, white (that's mellowed to a beautiful ivory) binding, gold hardware, even down to the set neck. This is a stunning guitar not only in appearance but in sound and feel as well. There are a couple of die hard Gibson fans I know that in a 'blind taste test' have been fooled, thinking this was their guitar.

Price tags are nice... to impress other people. The money I still have in my purse after I've found the item of my desires is what impresses me.

Why buy new when used will do? Heck, there's people out there fool enough to pay a premium price for a new Fender Strat that looks like it's been played hard and put away wet. Kudos to the marketing dept that came up with the 'Relic' concept.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:25 AM   #5
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Someone gave me the advice long ago to not buy the cheapest, nor the most expensive, no matter what the item. Of course, there are cases where I will look for the lowest price, like gasoline. But, I wouldn't buy the least expensive clothes washer. I also wouldn't shell out extra for premium gas, or a Maytag Neptune. Middle of the road pricing generally gives decent quality, perhaps without all the bells and whistles, or bling, or what have you. My Larrivee guitar was attractively priced, sounds great, and will last my lifetime (if properly cared for). Sure, its not a top of the line Gibson, Martin, or Taylor...but its no Sears and Roebucks, either.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:34 AM   #6
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i don't go for the best, because quite often you're paying exponentially more for only a small increase in quality (if even that). but i try to look at things as an investiment. i personally have about 10 guitars which will be valuable as the years go on. they are all clean and well cared for. my dad has about 80-90 guitars ranging from gold top les pauls to no-names. we always buy used and get good deals and do all our own repairs. someday, if we need the money, there is a lot there.

for bicycles i'm a little different. i tend to go for performance over value. i like the newer technology, i guess because i race and sort of need it. but again, i don't go for the very best - but i try to get the most for my money. ultegra equipped is as high up as i go.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:40 AM   #7
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I just posted this to another thread in the roadie forum....
cheepo on everything ! The bike and the instrument are just
simple means to an end. If you are really interested in riding
and playing, anything will work....If you are interested in good
($$$$) stuff or wanting to pay alot for it, only expensive stuff
will work. I can ride or play anything and have a great time
doing it, so I would rather save my rather limited fundage for
emergencies and random vacations from gainful employment like
the one I am enjoying now.....
And clothing...Ha Ha Ha... I wouldnt even THINK of paying more
than 9.99 for ANY new article of haburdashery !
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Old 02-28-06, 09:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
I just posted this to another thread in the roadie forum....
cheepo on everything ! The bike and the instrument are just
simple means to an end. If you are really interested in riding
and playing, anything will work....If you are interested in good
($$$$) stuff or wanting to pay alot for it, only expensive stuff
will work. I can ride or play anything and have a great time
doing it, so I would rather save my rather limited fundage for
emergencies and random vacations from gainful employment like
the one I am enjoying now.....
good point. if you're only happy with the very best and most expensive something or other, than maybe your prorities aren't straight.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:53 AM   #9
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Yeah, that SSD was the worst buying mistake ever....thing was I got a killer deal on it, so I took it up. I've had it for nearly 3 years now and haven't touched it.

It was going to be originally part of a server I built...however I sold the server before I could integrate that into it. Well and oh well.

My main criteria for buying things is if it solves or improves on something in a reasonable manner. I'm not going to pay $4000 for a 1% improvement over what I have for example. for $4k, it had better be at least 50% improvment.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:54 AM   #10
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I go mid-range with everything. I see no real need to have the best and also know that sometimes the bottom range is just a waste of money.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:57 AM   #11
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For me:
I don't buy the most expensive bicycle components, but in saying that don't buy the cheapest either.
House I went as expensive as I could afford, as it's rare to loose money in real estate unless you are a real fool.
Car, well I don't need one here in Japan, but if I got the urge, it would be something two or three years old of reasonable quality. (wouldn't mind an GTR Nurburg but the good ones are expensive now )
Clothes and Shoes I buy on sale always here in Japan.
Food, well rice and tofu is nice.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:58 AM   #12
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^^^^ I didnt mean my post to be combative, only that people
look for different things in thier hobbies. A guy who will only play
a '59 flametop Les Paul obviously is seeking something different than
someone will be happy with a Fender Squire through a Pignose....
To each their own. If you get true happiness from it the money
doesnt matter. I am fortunate that being cheeep agrees with me, whereas
BMW driving Biff might have a hard time showing up at the country club
on an E-Bay Fixie when his Beemer is getting inspected.....
Cheep is good, but happiness is good-er !
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Old 02-28-06, 09:59 AM   #13
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i rely on other people to buy the best. then, after they trade it in, i purchase said object at a fraction of the price. suckers.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
i rely on other people to buy the best. then, after they trade it in, i purchase said object at a fraction of the price. suckers.
I know someone who will start a hobby and buy top of the line everything. He started mountain hiking and spent a HUGE amount of money on equipment....most of which he never used. He hiked like a crazy person for six months and then lost interest and sold everything to a sports resale shop for less than 10% of what he spent for it. Just crazy.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my58vw
So that said, when it come to things like instruments, bikes, clothing, machienes, etc, do you buy cheep and upgrade later or buy they best you can afford now even if it is above you level at the time.
Depends on how much I like something, what the relative cost of "cheap" and "expensive" choices are, and what the practical differences are.

Since violins were brought up, my violin back when I played was worth about $20K. Made by one of the finest American violin makers, formerly owned by someone in the Chicago Philharmonic. A contact of my dad's checked it against a book on the finest American-made violins, and under magnification, it appears that I may have the exact violin shown in the book as one of the finest examples from this maker. A few years after, my violin teacher insisted to my dad that I needed a better bow to better complement the violin. The bow budget was $2K.

Was there a difference? The difference compared side by side with my $2K violin was huge! The sound was so much richer and fuller. Was it worth it? I don't know. It certainly helped me develop much better musicality since it was easier to hear the difference in little changes I made to how I played. But ultimately, violin playing was a hobby just for my pre-college years, and so that was an awfully large amount to spend for that. If I were still playing (never earning a dime) regularly, I'd say it was undoubtedly worth it. It's especially true since fine musical instruments that are properly cared for tend to retain their value.

Generally, for many types of things, there's big jumps in quality in different price ranges, and then a finer subdivision within each price range. I will generally pick an appropriate range for my needs/desires/budget, then stick with the low end of that range, which tends to have the best value for the money. Cars being a major exception.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:20 AM   #16
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I usually splurge and then tighten my belt.

I've put 1600 on a bowflex
I've put 1800 on a bike and equipment
I've spent 1k on monitors
And that's pretty much everything "big" that i've boughten in the last couple of years save for my car. Everything else is bare necessities oflife that one absolutely really can't do without.
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Old 02-28-06, 12:35 PM   #17
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Here is an interesting difference which is what makes me wonder.

There are things in which only the best will do, for me it is voice, facial and genetil sergury which I look for in the next 2 - 4 years. We can not just take back a result of plastic surgery.

I play the oboe and plan on going as far as I can with it (hopefully professonal someday). With an oboe the "intermediate" models are not "full conservatory" ... i.e. they are missing some trill and alternate keys that are truly requited (and we are talking about 3k instruments). Yet within the pro categories, there are instruments that run into the 8+ k range, yet the difference, unless you are a pro in some elite orcahtra playing principle soloist, etc IMO not worth it. (I think of the loree royal oboe 7600+).

Then I am looking for a set of disc wheels for my TT bike along with area bars... do I need zipp 999 set at 2100 dollars or will a 900 or even a standard 404 set do? What about areo bars?


Clothing is another story... expecially as I am creating an entirely new wardrobe... clothes can be so expensive! - expecially when during my whole life I have dealt with shorts, pants and polo shirts... not that I complain, but dresses, and girl clothing can be pricing.
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Old 02-28-06, 12:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my58vw

Clothing is another story... expecially as I am creating an entirely new wardrobe... clothes can be so expensive! - expecially when during my whole life I have dealt with shorts, pants and polo shirts... not that I complain, but dresses, and girl clothing can be pricing.
You're really tall, aren't you? You might find that you can get clothing less expensively and have greater latitude with what looks good on you by having clothes made. Lots of dressmakers to be found on the net.
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Old 02-28-06, 01:39 PM   #19
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I should clarify ... the $10k violin I competed with was owned by my conductor. I didn't buy it, but I "earned" the oppurtunity to play it since I was first chair. Is it worth it? That instrument was worth every penny. Could I afford it? I wish!

To answer the OP, I tend to buy cheap to see if I'm interested in pursuing a venture such as music, cycling, computers ... then, upgrade to achieve some interim goals. Appropriate for whether it's competition or for fun.
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Old 02-28-06, 01:52 PM   #20
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I (now, having been burned a few times) try to buy low end until I know I'm committed to the hobby, then my price range jumps a bunch. I just don't like getting stuck (like Lex's friend) with a ton of hobby equipment for a hobby I am no longer interested in. So when I started bike commuting, I bought a $350 Giant Hybrid. My next bike'll probably be around $1000.

Actually the price doesn't always go up, but the quality does.

The problem is when you're getting into a hobby, you don't know which used items are good and which are junk. When buying new you can guess the quality by where it falls in the price range. I.E. I knew I was getting better than a X-mart bike, but at the low end of "good" bikes.

Cars have worked like that . My first car I bought new for $20K. My most recent car was $8K and blows the doors off the first one in terms of quality, options, etc.
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Old 02-28-06, 02:28 PM   #21
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Dang. Did you buy a Ford Probe for 20k first and then get a used Toyota for 8k? Cause thats the only way I see that happening
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Old 02-28-06, 02:38 PM   #22
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I'm a drummer, not a guitar player, but I've heard it said that a Fender Telecaster is a difficult guitar to play. However most people who play one don't do it because of the ease of use. They play it because they like the sound.
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Old 02-28-06, 02:44 PM   #23
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I tend to stay away from the cheap things went making any kind of major purchase. But that being said, I don't tend to buy the most expensive items either. Things that I have bought in recent years that are high quality, you get what you pay for items are:

My Scuba Pro diving gear
Both of my Road Bikes
My Mountian Bike (although this may have been about the very best hardtail MTB you could buy when I purchased it)
Rossignol skis with Marker Ti and Kevlar bindings and Dialbello Race boots
A new computer I built myself but is now after three years starting to get to where I think I will replace it.

Generally, I believe you get what you pay for. There are things I can live with the failry entry level/budget stuff and others that I have to feel I got quality and value for my purchase.
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Old 02-28-06, 02:50 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle17
I tend to stay away from the cheap things went making any kind of major purchase. But that being said, I don't tend to buy the most expensive items either. Things that I have bought in recent years that are high quality, you get what you pay for items are:

My Scuba Pro diving gear
Both of my Road Bikes
My Mountian Bike (although this may have been about the very best hardtail MTB you could buy when I purchased it)
Rossignol skis with Marker Ti and Kevlar bindings and Dialbello Race boots
A new computer I built myself but is now after three years starting to get to where I think I will replace it.

Generally, I believe you get what you pay for. There are things I can live with the failry entry level/budget stuff and others that I have to feel I got quality and value for my purchase.
Up to this last year I was still buying upgrades for my 4+ year old computer


First I got more memory for it. Spent about 150+ bucks on memory. Then I bought another 100 dollar video card. 1300 dollars worth of monitors. Now the only thing that I've gotten for it is a new heatsink/fan which I've not yet put on because I'm afraid that if I pull the old bugger off i might break something and then Ill really be SOL because I don't have the money to replace it.
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Old 02-28-06, 03:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Dang. Did you buy a Ford Probe for 20k first and then get a used Toyota for 8k? Cause thats the only way I see that happening
Toyota Rav4 first, now a Chrysler Town & Country.

Toyota quality is a load of BS, they're no different from any other manufacturer. Maybe back in the 80's but nowadays all the major manufacturers are the same.

I also quit buying top-notch computers and upgrades and stuff. Nowadays I just buy a bottom-of-the-line computer (decent brand, but lowest model) every few years. If I buy a $1K computer in 2006 and another $1K computer in 2009, the second computer will be better than a $3K computer in 2006... so I'm ahead performance-wise and financially.
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