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December 2013 editorial

Kruipen.com, a new Audio Blue Book!

[Audio Blue Book]

Author: Lucio Cadeddu - TNT Italy
Published: January, 2014

How do I know if the price I'm paying for used HiFi equipment is fair? This is the question that motivated Adam Sapek to create his no-profit website Kruipen.com, a kind of an Audio Blue Book. Kruipen is, essentially, a website where you can search for the average second-hand prices of many HiFi components. Just insert the brand and model you're interested in and Kruipen will deliver a page of responses that satisfy your query, even if your keywords weren't too specific. For example, inserting "Naim Nait" provides you with a list of 9 different links. Choose the model you prefer and Kruipen displays a graphical chart like the one below, where you can read price quotations (average) and the variations over a certain time period. The system retrieves second-hand prices from Audiogon (and, in the future, from other websites) and is updated on a daily basis. Moreover, you can subscribe to a free e-mail alert service that warns you when a particular item is put on sale.

[Kruipen query result]

The system does not take into account the year of production, so differences between an older model and a newer one are not displayed. This, for components with a long lifespan, might be slightly misleading, since prices can vary in a consistent way depending on the age of the component. For example, if you search for "Klipsch Klipschorn", a loudspeaker that is still manufactured after 60 years ("The only speaker in the world to be in continuous production for 60 years" reports the Klipsch website), you should expect substantial variations of the price depending on age! The query, instead, reports 2500$ as average value, which isn't sufficiently accurate. The same can be said for a component like the Linn Sondek or the Denon DL103, for example.

Extreme situations like the ones above aside, the website proves to be a handy and intuitive tool for anyone searching for something on the second-hand market. Since the system is based on Audiogon, prices are displayed in US dollars. Average prices in different currencies or Countries might vary considerably.

The graphically minimalist web interface meets my idea of what a website should look like: essential and filled with useful data. Moreover, the absence of banners and advertising is a welcomed plus! Here's what Adam replied when asked about some technical features of his service:

As of this moment the raw database contains 334799 price points. There are 6901 items on the website - some may be duplicates (the algorithm can't always de-duplicate if there are more then one common way to spell an item name). The average price displayed on the page is a trimean of price points on the graph. Every day there are about 5 new items/pages added to the website.
There is an undocumented feature in email alerts: you can filter alerts to specific category by adding one of the following category names: So for example if you send email to alerts@kruipen.com with the following subject line: "mcintosh inta" then you will be subscribed to alerts for McIntosh integrated amplifiers. It goes without saying but email addresses are used only to send relevant alerts and are deleted when a user unsubscribes. The item with most price points at this moment is Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2. The search supports regular expressions.
For more infos: feedback@kruipen.com

Kruipen.com proves to be a very clever idea which might be quite useful for the audiophile crowd. Kudos to Adam if he succeeds in maintaining the service free and banners-free. We love no-profit websites :-)

© Copyright 2014 Lucio Cadeddu - direttore@tnt-audio.com - www.tnt-audio.com

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