High-grade audio equipment is typically a long-term investment that’s expected to last for some time, especially with proper care and maintenance. However, there are various cases where an upgrade is an appropriate move, especially if it’s been a while since you made your last purchase. Other factors can affect this kind of decision as well, such as moving into a new place with a different acoustic environment, or simply deciding that you want to move up the ladder in terms of audio quality.
Trying a New Style
If you’re currently using a specific amplifier configuration and you’re growing tired of how it sounds, and want to explore some new horizons, sometimes the only way to go about that is to switch to a new type of amplifier. This is a common situation with mono vs stereo amplifiers, and sometimes making this kind of change in your configuration can have a huge impact on the way your music sounds. Unfortunately, this may also involve a significant rearrangement of your current audio equipment, but sometimes the long-term benefits of this can be well worth it.
Do plenty of research before you make a major change like that though. You can read our amp reviews here to see what you can expect from the various popular models on the market right now, and you should set aside plenty of time for this research.
Audio standards have been relatively stable recently, but new ones come and go on a regular basis, and it’s important to keep up with the current trends if you want to always get the best possible quality out of your equipment. It’s not just about that either, as new standards may sometimes make it impossible to hook up your system to a new device you’ve just bought, forcing you to go through a major upgrade just to keep things running. If you get this taken care of sooner, it will allow you to respond in a much more calculated and efficient manner when you do eventually run into a problem with compatibility. It’s not that hard to stay in touch with current standards either, as long as you follow some specific sources of information.
Can Damage Be Repaired?
If you’re looking to replace your amplifier because it’s gotten damaged, you should consider repairing it first before making the jump to a completely new device. Sometimes, certain problems are not as scary as they might seem initially, especially if you have a little know-how in fixing electronics. A simple tube replacement may be all you need to get the device up and running again. Capacitors are another area worth taking a look at if you feel comfortable with a soldering iron in hand. In fact, that’s one of the most common areas where problems in amplifiers tend to develop, and if you can identify capacitors that need replacement and switch them out properly, this can completely revitalize the sound of your amplifier.
Check to verify that the problem is within the amplifier itself in the first place, too. Certain speaker issues could mislead you into looking for the problem source at the amplifier, wasting a lot of your time in the repair process. And when the final solution is as simple as replacing one of your speakers, you might feel a bit silly for having gone through all that trouble with your amplifier.
Altering the Environment
You may also be able to get some good results out of making some changes to the environment in which you use the amplifier. There’s a lot to be said about correct equipment placement, especially if you have specific types of flooring that may interfere with heavier bass. Interference should normally not be an issue with modern audio equipment, but it’s still not out of the question in some places. We still occasionally see stories of people experiencing severe distortion in their audio due to some surrounding factors, such as high-powered electric trains running through the area for example.
On the other hand, as we mentioned above, when you find yourself moving into a new place, you should put some effort into coming up with an appropriate layout for your audio equipment. You can improve your situation a lot by just considering this aspect more carefully, and you may even see significant improvements with the exact same equipment when comparing it to how it sounded in your old place.
Repurposing Old Equipment
When you’ve decided to get a new amplifier and have committed to that, don’t just throw the old one away immediately. Try to come up with a new use for it – if you’ve been thinking of developing a new entertainment area in one of the rooms of your home, now is the best time to get things started. Even if the old amplifier is not in a perfect condition, you should still be able to put it to good use with some minimal changes.
And even if you don’t plan on using it in your home, try to find some people who might be in need of a quality device. After all, chances are you’ve invested quite a bit in this model in the past if you’re a true audiophile, and just because it doesn’t match your current expectations, doesn’t mean that it won’t satisfy someone else out there. Plenty of people out there are looking to get into the audio community but are limited on resources, and this is a good way to help someone out.
So, whether you’re going to make a major upgrade or a small one, make sure that you explore the market very carefully in advance and know what each model can offer you. Familiarize yourself with any peculiarities imposed by your local area as well and know when your problems can be resolved with a different kind of change than an outright major purchase. A good amplifier is not always what you need to fix the perceived problems with your audio setup, but it might still improve the situation beyond what it was initially, and that’s a good start.