One year down, two to go. What's the longest you have saved for one component?

I've just reached my first anniversary. One year of my payment plan down, two to go.
What's the longest you have saved for an individual component? 

My beloved Boulder 2060 has had a troubled existence. A previous owner's partner had spilt (poured?) a drink over it, leading to some recurring issues and two visits to Boulder UK. But i found i could leave it powered up and it ran just fine. On the second visit Boulder had rebuilt it with many components from 2160, including the main board, which gave a significant increase in quality ; it was as if my room had been treated,  with all the hard surfaces softened and such wonderful texture. I was in bliss

So my cat had adopted it as a warm perch, despite my best efforts including adding spike strips designed to keep birds off buildings,  Samira found a way to conform to the gaps i had left above the vents. Then one day i fed the cats, then set out hillwalking with my dogs. Returned to find my amp in shutdown mode, a funny smell, and blown sub bass drive unit on one of my Stella Utopia.....and a trail of dried cat vomit on top of my amp, across the air vents

So one dead amp. Pit of depression.
Then Boulder took pity on me. My amp had been such a problem child they felt badly toward me, and it was now beyond repair. Then they made me an offer I couldn't refuse on a new 2160.
I did still procrastinate for a couple of months, it was still a huge sum of money. Then after considering my other options to be unpalatable, i committed to the purchase; half my income after housing costs, every month for three years

So, one year down, two to go
What's the longest you've ever saved, and what was the component? 
Boulder 2060=that's a serious amp, both in performance and $.

If I committed to that level of expense, I wouldn't be able to afford the rest of a system worthy of it! Staring at the amp on the floor would be the extent of my ownership. The electricity bill alone, would send my blood pressure north.

Good luck. 


Honestly, I never found any component worth carrying payment plan for 3 years. Your situation may be unique (not sure how lucrative the offer was) but you’re already committed and you must really like Boulder sound.

Hey, I appreciate your evident love of music. It appeals to the creative part of us which gives real meaning to life itself. So I am saying it can be one of the more valuable and worthy pursuits. Hope you really enjoy your stuff.
I mostly got my stuff on credit I think because I didn't have the patience to wait saving up.
I am not sure I have ever "saved up" for a piece of equipment, not that I have not spent a lot on pieces of equipment. Listening to music gives me pleasure, but it is more the "get's me through the days" pleasure than building memories pleasure. Now creating music, that is much different. That builds lasting memories.

It's disposable income (or should be). Some spend their disposable on getting through the day(s) and some spend it on building memories. I love music, I have built my career around it, but perhaps I don't have that visceral attachment to listening to recorded sound such that is becomes "a memory". I do have that attachment to the creation of the equipment that makes that possible though, but not to owning that equipment.
I've never saved up for a component. Nor have I ever bought anything on credit. Well except the house. But not even a car. Credit cards paid in full every month. What I do instead is save. Invest. Save and invest. While avoiding at all costs debt. What they used to call living within means. 

Debt means interest, interest means working for someone else, and its always someone who did nothing to generate the money you are now obliged to slave away to pay back. I refuse to be a debt slave. 

When it comes to components I do that different too. I search and search and search. First casting a wide net across the spectrum, reading all I can about whatever I'm interested in, regardless of price. Because even reading about something far out of my range there can be comments that lend perspective to what is within my budget. In this way I gain an overall view of what are the highest value components.  

This is a long, patient process. Speakers were on my radar well over a year, and even once the choice started to become clear it was almost another full year of checking and considering before finally buying Moabs a couple months ago. 

Then because I'm constantly perpetually always saving my whole life, never living the paycheck to paycheck life of the debt slave, I am free to buy what I want when I want. So long as I am careful about it. I guess you could say that instead of saving for a component I saved my whole life to buy my freedom- and so now can afford components.
I share this not as a harsh, unkind comment, but as a clear analysis in the hopes that the OP, or someone else who might struggle with such things can gain some direction: 

It is not "saving up" to go into a payment plan; quite the opposite. It's going into debt, obtaining an item on anticipated income, which can be quite dangerous fiscally. The depreciation on such a thing as an amp is enormous, so making payments on it is not advantageous. Especially if you have the power of compounded interest working against you, payment plans are to be avoided, especially for non-necessities. 

I will never forget my father telling me, "Every dollar spent is a two dollar decision." (Every dollar spent is a dollar less that you have to invest.)

Even as a reviewer, I recommend no one needs to go into a payment plan for an audio component. The only exception might be on zero percent interest, and at a very modest amount relative to one's income, perhaps 1-2% of gross income. Even at that, you are turning potential opportunities against yourself by the opportunity cost associated with expending the money that could have been invested. 

I strongly recommend that under normal circumstances no one spend half of their income monthly on audio - for any component. Imo, In a balanced lifestyle the expenditure of audio should fall well below 10% of income, and as a percentage much below that after house payment. 

Frankly, the financial indicator that one is spending quite disproportionately on audio can be a "wake up call" that major changes are needed in life. Usually, where there is an extreme imbalance in finances, there can be imbalances in other areas of life. I am trying not to be judgmental of the OP in this regard, as I do not know all of the particulars. It is, however, shocking to consider any audiophile expending such an enormous percentage of income on gear. Maybe the OP's income is so terrifically high, and lifestyle so ascetic, that they can pull it off. We do have people with alternative lifestyle choices who live like misers daily in order to achieve extreme goals. Hopefully, that is at work here. But, still, it's an imbalanced fiscal lifestyle. Three years of saving would theoretically achieve a similar purpose, and without the associated risks. It seems there is little wiggle room now for the OP in consideration of the potential challenges that appear occasionally.  :(

In all sincerity, I hope the OP does not get financially buried by their own zeal for the finer things in life.  :(
This is exactly why we don't build our components with circuit boards. Not sure how much you are willing to spend or what the amp you have costs but there are plenty of good options out there.

Happy Listening.
Post removed 
at least a decade [i'm working class] until a CEDAR declicker/decrackler pair turned up at an affordable price on Ebay. 
I appreciate very much your post, and - as a young person - possibly more so the great advice that has come in the comments.

This level of audio is very far outside of what I am able to afford, and thus, to have researched, so I’m curious to know the rest of your pieces of gear, gavman! Please fill me in!
Yikes. Why would you do that to yourself? I'll also bet that (apart from power) my $2000 updated and modified 1960s tube monobloc amps sound better. 
Tomic601, now that is some excellent financial advice and made me laugh at the same time. Good thinking.

What did you do about the cat?  I’m sorry this happened to you; I had a cat once that threw up every day, in a different place every time.   I included this in my considerations on upgrades and equipment replacements.  She passed on several years ago, and I do miss her, but she’s not been replaced.

Millercarbon- you have never financed a car?  Do you live somewhere where a car is not needed?  If not, you must be truly wealthy, and have been so from the time you started living on your own income, or you drove older used cars. The truth is, the vast majority of people do not pay cash for a car, I was in the high volume car business for a period of time (6 years) and I can count on one hand the number of times people paid cash for a new or newer model car.  You make it sound as if paying cash for a car is something everyone who has any financial sense should do, and it’s simply not reality for the vast majority of people, nor should financing a car be looked down upon, especially as cheap as money is now.  Credit is something people use to get something before they would be able to save up enough to pay cash for it, and when used responsibly is not a bad thing. Very few people deprive themselves of nicer things in life in order to have no debt, the responsible use of credit is simply the norm for most people to live a good life. After all, there’s no guarantee as to how long someone may live.  I’ve known of people who have scrimped and done without in order to put money away for later in life, only to not have that “later in life,” time.  I certainly don’t advocate going into the amount of debt to income the OP seems to have gone to in order to have a very nice amp, but neither do I think the responsible use of credit is a bad thing.
Institutions that supply credit do have serious investments and costs in their businesses, it’s not free to run a lending institution, people do DO something to be able to provide that service.  My wife spent 34 years working for a bank and is now a top executive in commercial real estate there, and I can assure you she does not, nor has she not ever, done “nothing” to earn her keep.

Seriously, it took you over two years to decide on buying what amounts to a pretty affordable nice set of speakers?
It’s not that hard to pay cash for cars. One must be disciplined, and then typically buy at least 2-3 year old model. Some will even buy a more expensive import that way out of an effort to get superior longevity, i.e. Mercedes that could do 200 to 300K miles. millercarbon exhibits some characteristics of net worth millionaires. Denying extravagance and extreme fiscal personal policy is typical of them. Most do not have the knowledge or self discipline to prioritize that way. :)

Of course, such matters should be looked at holistically. It seems to be the smart thing to do paying cash for a car. Not necessarily the best option, however. One may get ahead by buying a new car at 0% loan APR, then investing the amount of the car over the period of the loan. Now the power of compound interest is working for you, not the automobile manufacturer. So, anotherbob is correct that some loans are actually advantageous; some marginally so, and others - when good fiscal discipline is employed - more so.

Of course, avoidance of buying any car is ideal, and one has to weigh the necessity of it. The person who buys used and drives it for 15+ years will do better than someone who flips cars and keeps making a payment, and very likely better than someone who buys new at 0% and invests. It would be pretty easy to run the simulations, and that is what a net worth millionaire would do. That’s how they get to become wealthy. They do not just guess or care less. :)
To those that have expressed encouragement: thank you☺
To those that have expressed concern: again thank you, and a bit more of an explanation.
I haven't used credit, this is my own savings plan on my own terms, think of it as reverse hp. I make a payment every month, when I've finished making all the payments i will get the item. So no debt involved.
 I have a modest income, but an unusual lifestyle. Just turned 50, no kids, occasionally have a partner but mainly a hermit. Where I live is very remote, all so i can play as loud as i like, as late as i like and the power supply is as clean as a mountain stream; I'm the only property on my transformer. 

 I work from home, never fly, rarely leave the valley i inhabit unless to go fellwalking and recreational driving on the excellent, lightly trafficked roads here in the Scottish Borders. My main hobby (fellwalking) is free, my third hobby, tuning jap cars, is on hold for now.

I wish it were only my disposable income, but I am required to live frugally to finance the purchase. I've never owned a new car, probably never will.

To occasionallycurrent: the rest of my gear:
speakers Focal Stella Utopia, supplemented with four Velodyne DD18+ in stereo bass stacks
pre-amp Wavac pt-t1 with Amperex valves
phonostage Boulder 1008
turntables Kodo the Beat, Artisan Fidelity 301 statement, arm Ikeda IT 407 with ebony headshell, cartridge Van den Hul Colibri Grand Cru, in the pipeline Schroeder LT tonearm (the Beat) and Miyabi Fuuga (301)
Digital Esoteric P03 - D03,
Grounding Entreq Olympus Tellus, i/c Cables Entreq Atlantis, Rack Artesania Exoteryc (sic), dedicated power lines to each component and additional 100amp circuit for power amp, separately fused on my main board.
I suspect you might appreciate what I've done outside? Dug out approx 2,000 tons of earth and rock to create an amphitheatre, partially completed by hand whenever i ran out of funds. I've acquired some dolby thx- spec ex-cinema speakers, the EAW MC4973, although since the weather here is, shall we say challenging? I haven't yet completed the outdoor system and it's EAW BH883 Big Bertha - Levan subwoofers, as whenever i get some spare funds it's harder to justify spending on the outdoor system and they usually get hoovered up by my domestic system.

And yes, i love the Boulder sound.
It just does everything. From awesome power to exquisite delicacy,  it brings such a rich timbre that once you start listening, you are drawn in to the music and cannot stop. So far in my system the only other amps to manage that feat were Analogue Domain, and the Artemis is even more expensive than 2160.

To vermonter the cat is fine and distinctly unconcerned😁
I'm having a talented fabricator who works on my cars build me a frame for a cat hammock that will go above the amp, with a decent air gap and a waterproof layer beneath to catch any....discharge.
I've learned that it is futile trying to keep the her off the amp, so will instead lean into it and make a comfy, puke- proof platform for the wee beastie.

Perhaps the final piece of the puzzle?
I was a free party / rave organiser through the 1990's with a group called the Exodus Collective. My system goal is to reproduce the effect of a large dance rig playing in a warehouse, my musical preferences are 50% bass-driven electronica, so deep house, trance, drum and bass, trip hop, hip hop, trap and reggae music, which i used to dj,
 and 50% acoustic, delicate and ethereal material like Alt- j and Zero 7, with a sprinkling of rock, pop and folk
I believe in that old saying, “One person’s ceiling is another’s basement”.  I worked in a low-paying profession for 37 years, lost a house in the divorce, put my son through college.   I’m now retired, so I have even less monthly income.  I am frugal by necessity, so I find it interesting to read that some members here own $10,000 speakers or a $20,000 amp, while my whole system now cost me about $7,000.  

In addition to limited income, I have other priorities in my life that cost money.  I have not gone into debt with any of my audio purchases, and I prefer to pay cash or wait and save up.  I think I have to take what money I have and seek balance amongst the priorities — and one can never know ahead of time when sudden health expenses will appear.  Others have more money and different priorities, so more power to them if it makes them happy.  

Gasman, I’m glad you are enjoying your new amp and system — the thing that surprises me the most is your charitable feelings toward your cat.  I’m not a pet owner, but if my pet caused that kind of damage I would be highly upset and banish the critter from my listening room.  It can go lay on a heating vent instead.  Take care.

’Linn Sondek LP-12 since 1985.’

I almost fell into the same trap back in the 1980s.

The damned price kept going almost season by season.

Eventually after 3/4 years of this I bought one used and got it updated.

Not sure how much I saved by buying used, the costs racked up pretty quickly, but at least I finally got off the saving up/waiting train.
gavman, so, you're doing all this for exercise?  ;)

What an interesting situation, and obviously unique one at that! You are in the rare position of doing what you described without endangering your livelihood, it seems. It is fascinating to hear about audiophiles' personal lives; they are as varied and complex, with as many nuances as the systems they build. It's also interesting to see how personal experience and preference plays into the build process, as a search for a particular outcome. 

I do know of at least one instance where a person was highly imbalanced in life and was spending inordinately on equipment, which caused a great deal of pain and trouble. But, you seem to be on a grand adventure, leveraging your strengths to achieve unusual outcomes. Kudos! 

bob540 is also to be commended, and looking at the fiscal challenges he has had, a $7K+ system is quite an accomplishment! It's a definite labor of love, and I hope you enjoy it thoroughly! Contentment makes one happy, not money.  :) 
Thank you Douglas.
I would never claim to have a balanced lifestyle, or one that would work for most people. But it suits me and i am tremendously content.

I do have an outstanding ambition. There is a seismic survey station perhaps 8 miles up the valley, and i have yet to recieve a noise complaint from them.
Perhaps my speakers are isolated too well?
Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I guess i just lack commitment ☺

Debt does not necessarily mean interest! For example music direct often runs a promo with synchrony card, 36 months interest free/equal payments. My citi card linked to amazon offers 24 months/equal payments, no interest. Pay pal credit, the same, equal payments 24 months @zero interest. This is exactly how I have what I do have today. I wait until whatever it is is paid off, then I repeat....I am pretty much done now, I think.....
Also, if you can rid yourself of gear can assemble a fantastic system for not a lot of money. There are many budget components that perform as well as gear three times the cost. You must do your research and carefully match the choices to make it all work. 
millercarbon and douglas_schroeder are correct, you never save to buy something (especially a luxury item), you save whatever you can and invest it or at least put it into an interest bearing account to make more money. Anybody who is playing the paycheck to paycheck or buying luxury items they can't really afford is playing a losing game. One catastrophe, like a health problem, a house or car repair, and they're in real trouble. I recognize not everybody has a high enough income to save a lot, but what you can save when you're young compounds over time to become real money. It's called the time value of money. Speaking of frivolous purchases, I once bought a repossessed pop-up camper at a tremendous discount from a bank. Who in their right mind buys a frivolous item like a pop-up camper that they really can't afford?
I’m humbled, OP has tanks and major artillery and we are playing with BB guns. No doubt, without health and especially faith, all else is frivolous. 
Been saving all my life and spending it faster. I paid off my 2014 911 Turbo S over 5 years. 

Gavman, if you go to my system page and pull down the speaker picture look on the floor right in front of the speakers. You will see thin clear plastic mats that go wall to wall. You might also be able to see wires attached to the mats. There is a power supply that runs on 9V batteries. It charges up the matts to 2000 or so volts enough to give the animal a polite shock. They learn fast that going in that direction is not a good idea. If our cat got behind the speakers he would get a lot more than a polite shock. You might want to try a similar approach because if the cat does it again you will probably strangle it.
To skip and cd

I agree, Ivor seems to have perfected the true reverse- hp. Once you have the product you're obliged to keep spending to cover the upgrades.

Savvy, but certainly causes plenty of grumbling among Linn owners
Just in case anyone was wondering what 'trap' was,
and why it benefits from four 18 inch subs in a modest sized room...


'half my income after housing costs, every month for three years

So, one year down, two to go'

That's an amazing investment.

I hope it works out and keeps you well clear of the pit of depression. Never a pleasant place to be. I'm guessing many, many people will be hurting right now.

In any case I bought my LP12 in the days I was still single. When my daughter started walking a decision had to be made, so I finally jumped off the Linn train some 14 years ago.

Never regretted it for a moment.

It would be lovely to fall so in love with a component that I would be prepared to make a substantial sacrifice of time and money, but it's not a priority right now. 

Ten years from now, with the kids settled, who knows? It's not really too surprising that so many of us get the bug the strongest before and after life with the children.
@gavman Interesting lifestyle and equipment. Scotland? Lucky man. I could have all that if I didn't spend $40,000 year in property taxes and healthcare Insurance!
That equipment will never love you back.

It would be lovely to fall so in love with a component that I would be prepared to make a substantial sacrifice of time and money, but it's not a priority right now.


Thanks for that timely reminder of the very thing that we all live for. The very thing that makes it all worthwhile.

Aw shucks! Feeling a little embarrassed now.

I think you scrutinized millercarbon’s post a little too much. As pompous as it may read, it is only his view and, to some extent, I have to admit it to be my view, too. In reality, instead of going into debt, one could choose less costly item to purchase. Yes, some purchases may be impossible without financing them and for many people the car is such an item. Still, millercarbon’s experience is not wrong. He may simply be luckier than most to be able to afford it.

If you had ever sold cars to millercarbon and me, you might need two hands to count those people who bought them without financing. In fact, out of four people that I encounter almost daily three buy cars in cash. Fourth one leases. Your sales experience may also depend on the brand of cars you were involved with.

Answering OP’s question, I have never saved for an audio component. On the other hand, I rarely purchase things.