My Saga Through the FS ForumFinally I can jump into this thread. I saw this thread awhile back (it may even have been a factor in one deal falling through), but didn't feel it would look right if I jumped in while my Extreme Platinum was still for sale. I thought it might look like I was trying to boost my sale. It has now been traded on very favorable terms that I am very happy about. And because that's gone, I have ordered a new Singlepower XLR, with active pre-amp outs to replace it. I think that is says a lot about my satisfaction with the Singlpower line.
First off, I've seen a lot of speculation on this thread. Some which I agree with and some which has seemed totally off. I stated it in my FS thread, but my reason for putting my amp up for sale had nothing to do with dissatisfaction with the Extreme Platinum (it's a great amp), nor was it because there was anything wrong with it.
At the International meet in San Jose, I discovered the wonderful qualities of high end balanced amps/headphones that I hadn't known about before. (My #1 goal for the meet was to listen to Edition 9s, single-ende and buy a pair if possible.) I was able to achieve this goal and more as I was able to purchase balanced Edition 9s and a very nice little balanced amp, RudiStor NX-33 (SE & balanced). With the NX-33, I was able to confirm that I both hear and appreciate a significant (not night/day) difference with the balanced topography. My Platinum was the better amp single-ended amp (but not by a big margin--the RudiStor has its own charm in it's natural quality) vs the RudiStor. But once I listened to the balanced output, the RudiStor was my favorite amp (balanced Edition 9s and now Bal Senn 650 help a lot). This is mostly what I have listened to since the meet.
As to the FOTM, not so in my case. I planned on keeping the Platinum for years, and probably would have if it wasn't for having the balanced Edition 9s. One of the first things I did was to check to see if the Platinum could be converted to balanced, but the case was too small. I have been extremily pleased with the RudiStor, but after hearing $4K-12K balanced amps at the meet I knew there was an even greater level of sound quality that could be had, if I could afford it. And I'd listen to the Platinum and could imagine what it would sound like balanced.
So I took a little while to firmly establish that my preference for balanced was holding steady. But I've consistently gravitated to the balanced set up and decided to put my Singlepower up for sale since I just wasn't listening to it. This has been a little hard until today, once I knew another tube Singlepower was on the way.
As luck would have it, no sooner did I put my amp up for sale (I really expected it to sell in a day or two), than another Platinum went up for sale. I don't know this for sure, but I suspect that there were others like me who heard new things at the International meet (or read about the ravings from the rest of us) and started thinking about upgrading. At one time there were about 4 other amps around my pricepoint (1.5K-2K). I know by checking the posts of the others that at least one other person went for a higher end balanced set up--so that's 40% right there going to balanced. It would be interesting to know how many just got the upgrade bug. And some (I am thinking of one person in particular) just seem to have multiple amps and are just selling off to move up later--in this instance I'm thinking of I believe thay are planning to move up to a high very end Singlepower. 2 appear to be motivated by monetary need. And with some of the lower end amps (not the 5 I'm thinking of), I suspect the owners are just moving up the food chain.
Whatever the case there did seem to be a snowball effect, especially when there appeared to be one or two who seemed to need money quickly for who knows what reason. I think prices fell because of this. I looked at this and could feel little pangs of panic as I preferred to upgrade sooner than later. But I sat back (happily listening to my NX-33 so I wasn't hurting), and decided to wait the storm out rather than to sell for too low a price. I did have 3 "buy it now" offers that were off by as little as $75-1X, $100-125-2X, and the another offer which got pre-empted by a great trade coming in at the same time. So I could have easily sold the amp 4X over if I was willing to sell for slightly underpriced. And there was at least one other serious buyer who went with an amp priced a little lower than mine.
Now there is one thing that I have learned and that seems to be a factor. At the price I was at, near 2K, there are less buyers and it seems to be a more considered purchase. There is a more select field, and the potential buyers have the means to buy new and not deal with the potential downsides of buying used. I'm thinking of one person who appears to have bought a new amp, along the lines of mine. Maybe my upgrade set didn't match their preference, or just the security of buying new. Right now there is a great higher end SS amp on the FS Forum that doesn't appear to be moving (but as in my case who knows what is going on behind the scenes). I was seriously considering this amp once mine sold. My greatest consideration on that amp is that it didn't have the active pre-amp outs that I prefer. I imagine there are others like me who just want what they want and will pay extra to get that.
So I can't speak for the rest but that's my story. Rather than some of the wilder speculation, someone could have PMed me and asked.
As to some saying that over 1K-2K is crazy. Maybe. But some of us can hear the difference and place a value on having that difference for our own. I truly hear more out of the balanced set up and as long as there is a way for me to get there, I'll do it. And sometimes you get lucky. And I think there have been a good number of folks on the forum who have got lucky with Singlepowers recently in the FS Forum.