The On-Topic, OFF-TOPIC Thread

If only the answer had something to do with the equator.

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I think it’s about 2:1 in terms of driving on the right vs. the left.

Which is hard to get one’s mind around, as the gear shift is clearly meant to be operated with the LEFT hand, which means steering wheel on the RIGHT … and thus driving on the LEFT.

Though, in the US it seems, this was the real reason for the prevalence of automatic transmissions, as driving a manual, on the right, means your beer-hand isn’t free. And clearly that’s not going to wash.


Gear shifts and even automatic transmissions are so last millennium.

Most electric vehicles just don’t need them. Right now I suspect my next car will be a Hyundai Ionic 6, even though I lust for the Lucid Air GT, as it looks as if Lancia won’t make it over here.

As I check out various possibilities, I find great empathy for the Italian view of cars like women. They prize spirit, design, performance. Reliability not so much.

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True enough.

But having driven all the available EVs, while some are insanely quick in a straight line, none of them have any soul. And they all look like the just let the wind tunnel blow REALLY hard on a big pile of blancmange, let it set in the shape that resulted in, and said “there, build that”.

And driven even moderately spiritedly (because … if you’ve got that much raw grunt available why poke about …) the range estimates have about as tenuous a relationship to reality as vows of fidelity in the French marriage service.

Then there’s the video-game interior.

Oh, look, the touch-screen is acting up/has crashed … where was that tiny button to put the thing in reverse again?

In all seriousness, I have nothing against EVs. The next “practical” daily-driver will be one. I’ll still need a gas car/truck while in FL regardless. But unless Lotus does an EV Emira, or Tesla actually ships the new roadster, my “fun” car will not an EV be.

EV’s current fatal weakness:

The first small, weird Toyota Prius was released in the USA in 2001. I’m just now confident enough in hybrid technology to consider buying one for appliance-like uses. Full EVs…Toyota was never on board and I’m not on board. They stand to have limited range and versatility for the foreseeable future, as the batteries are heavy and expensive and dead weight as they run down. They have a railroad-like, predictable-route niche.

Left-hand drive seems to mainly be a UK commonwealth thing:

Without India it would be far less than 2:1 vs. right-hand drive.

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Test drive a Lucid. No need to support Elon. Seriously.


I had a Prius in 2008. It was good enough to not kill me when a 17 year old girl in a Miata who was racing on the streets lost control, skidded through an intersection, crossed two lanes of traffic and plowed into me at speed. Of course it was totaled and my next car was an Infiniti M35h hybrid, followed by my current Infiniti Q50S AWD hybrid. So I’m happy with that technology; it’s been rock solid for me.

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I learned to drive on RHD manuals.
When I first drove a manual car in the US, my biggest difficulty was actually learning to steer with only my left hand, (though it doesn’t take very long to adapt) sounds dumb, but if your dominant hand is always on the steering wheel, and left assisting, it’s just strange.

Swapping isn’t very hard as long as there is traffic when you turn out, late at night with no point of reference it’s too easy to make a mistake, took me years of living in the US before I was finally completely comfortable with the swap.


I have.

It did not elevate itself above the rest of its high-spec, high-priced, performance-capable EV brethren, in terms of driving enjoyment or style, in anyway whatsoever. Yeah, it can hang its tail out, and it’s brutal in a straight line, but it feels utterly dead doing it vs. even a cheap-and-cheerful stock MX5.

And it looks like a fucking pudding.

Oh … and that range? Vanishes faster than a case of gin in the house of congress if you’re even vaguely enthusiastic with your right foot.

Beyond which … “it’s not a Tesla” is a pretty lame pitch … even if you hate Musk.

I’ve driven all over the world (>110 countries now), since I was 17, so swapping back and forth has never been an a big issue for me. A brief adjustment initially … but that was more about where I was on the road than what my hands were doing.

I was just being silly with the LEFT vs. RIGHT thing.

Anymore it’s only my “fun” car(s) that are manual anyway … and without sticking to the classics the next one will probably lock me into paddles and DCT anyway (had a few so far … some were good, some awful, and the good ones are faster than I am with a clutch and H-gate … but they aren’t as much fun).

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Anyway … back ON topic … (I think) …

As I’ve been slowly trying to sell off my headphone gear (with the intent of keeping the HE-1, the HM-1 and one, maybe two, dynamic/planar cans), I was extremely surprised to see just how soft the used market for headphone gear has become.

I’ve seen well-priced listings sit for months (yes, literally), that a year ago would have sold in minutes.

Even listing hard-to-get, highly-coveted, items for <50% of MSRP was yielding no interest; not even low-ball nonsense. This is over weeks/months of being listed.

It’s not super-surprising. Rising interest rates. No more cheap money/credit. Rampant inflation, especially on essentials. Was bound to affect the luxury goods market (and let’s face it, boutique audiophillia, even at low levels, is very much a luxury goods market relative to most other things).

Bad timing on my part.

But if you’re not seeing your stuff move … it’s not just you.

For used buyers/explorers/samplers it’s looking like a very good time ahead. For sellers, not so much.


I’m guessing that it is not the handling per se that annoys you, but all of the computer control of that torque to the wheels. Traction control on steroids. My Infiniti Q50S Hybrid AWD has drive-by-wire, which was lambasted in the enthusiast magazines. But it’s not horrible - there is even a bit of feedback to the wheel. The Hyundai Ionic 6 goes a step further in the computer and pudding direction, but still gives some feedback. Granted I have not really had the opportunity to ply the twisty roads with it, but it can be driven with some spirit.

I’ve not scheduled my Lucid test drive, but the 510 mile “range” of the Grand Touring (with the 19 inch “range” wheels) does appeal. My concern is a 130 mile drive that I frequently make. In cold weather, on a late November game day, where anything can go wrong as fans drive over 7 Mountains the last 35 miles into State College. I know that a half tank of gas will keep me warm as I wait for some idiot to be scraped off the road. I’m less sanguine about battery life in that case.

As far as that case of gin in the house of congress… well I’ve got some Old Pulteny 18 year old I’m willing to share if you’re even in the area.


It’s the weight distribution, the raw mass, the almost-completely dead-feeling steering, on top of the nanny-state traction/stability management and torque vectoring systems that kill it.

I used to own, run and drive for my own race team (I grew up by Silverstone in Northampton, UK), and came up on cars that had, at most, an ECU and FULLY defeatable ABS, TCS/SCS (if they had it at all).

Hell, one of the cars I used to run weighed less, all-up, than the BATTERY in a Model S (or equivalent).

The dynamics are broken vs. high-performance ICE options.

Not that relevant for a daily driver, but when the price tag crosses $100K I want some fun and/or style in there. Nothing like that in EV world today. Hell, style is worse than performance … someone go dig up Pininfarina …

Sounds good …

Now try and do it in real world driving. Sure, keep it under 60, in reasonable temperatures , and you’ll get right around the quoted value. With just you in the car.

Add a passenger, a weekend’s luggage or dive gear … and roads with a 70mph limit … and suddenly 500 miles is 300 … or less. So now we’re making stops on what should be a direct drive.

I can work with the practical limitations, but I’d rather burn gasoline and deal with all its attendant issues, than spend six figures on something that looks like a bad, sanitized, sketch from a pre-Jetsons-sci-fi-addicted-five-year olds when-I-get-older fantasies.

Sounds like a plan!

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The weight is a big part, the driver assists don’t really help, the closest gas powered car is something like a Nissan GTR, as cool as they are, they are an acquired taste if you are into light agile cars.

My next car will likely be electric, I did the fast car thing, and the driving around race tracks thing, my primary concern these days is comfort, though I still appreciate having the power available.
I drive so little now it’s hard to justify replacing my car.

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I have images in my head of Stirling Moss standing up as he’s driving beating down flames with his jacket. Later Jim Clark making impossibly good times in his Lotus.

I did mention Italian cars. one of my fondest memories is of a friend and his 1963 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder, 1100cc, ram air, 4 gears (1st to 2nd non synchro) and the fun we both had driving it in the barrens of central PA. Not from as privileged a background that I could afford a racing team, or even time to race or rally personally.

Lancia has a current EV concept car that is beautiful. Supposed to be available over there for about $85K. And Pininfarina has sold their 150 copies of their idea of an EV supercar. Not that it would drive like it doesn’t have some degree of nanny torque control. But the Italians have a great sense of design.

Batteries will only get better. But I fear that the current generation doesn’t know how to shift with left or right hand, Their left foot is planted solidly on the floor and they don’t know what double clutching is. With crowding and safety concerns - and GPS tracking what you do, the brief era of freedom is probably about over. So, I’m making the best of the coming EV era. My better half is willing to go hybrid, not plug in, so she’s in the petrol camp.


Have you tried Craiglist? I’ve sold heavy stuff there because no other sales channel is cost effective for value vs. shipping costs (e.g., old flat panel TVs, guitar equipment). The buyers are…different…often low information, often low Internet use, and many impulse deal seekers. I could have sold one TV to 10 different people, not counting the “charity donation” seekers.

However, I’m not sure it’d work with high dollar stuff and some shoppers are odd or worse.

If Torq lists his stuff on Craigslist, add me to the charity donation seekers :rofl:

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Not for this level of gear.

I don’t think too many local people are perusing Craigslist for $18,000 BTO headphone amplifiers and complete $40K Chord stacks. (No, I’m not listing them at retail, but you get the idea).

It was a clusterfuck dealing with most of Craigslist on $500 items …

I listed on Head-Fi, etc., with a note that local pickup is preferred, and auditioning was available.

Far too many of “those” folk.

I would get so many messages that were either obvious scam attempts, chronic low-ballers, or “mothers” with dying children/looking Christmas promises that DESPERATELY needed a 95%-100% discount on a an item they don’t understand what it is, and that if ignored/refused would turn into a raving loon and send multiple ranty messages that I just don’t bother anymore.

I’d spend ALL my time sifting through messages trying to find the one, sane, potential buyer.

Who, then, half the time (or more) is a flake anyway.

My situation is (self) complicated by the fact that I’m not willing to randomly tear apart my system. I want things sold in a specific order. For example, if I can’t sell my Chord Etude … I’m keeping the stack. If I sell the Etude, but not the Blu-Mk2 then I’m not selling the DAVE. And so on.

Head-Fi Classifieds no longer allows multi-item listings (unless it’s an all or nothing sale), and with the best will in the world the Buy/Sell category here doesn’t get nearly the same traffic. USAM/Audiogon are replete with very chatty tire-kickers and are much more speaker/2-channel centric.

If I was willing to just let things sell, in any random order, I could have unloaded my Blu-MK2, DAVE, two of the stands, and a bunch of other expensive/boutique bits and pieces already. But that gives me a pile of unusable gear … and since I don’t need to sell any of it, I’m sticking to my plan.

Though on that note, I did just accept an unsolicited offer to buy my HE-1 …

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There may be 5-10 people worldwide seriously interested in buying those items right now. And every one of them has plenty of money, and knows all about the stock-bonds-interest rate drama in progress and is waiting for lowball vulture buys. I expect many real estate speculators will be forced to sell investment properties next year, as interest rates are not likely to go down. The high-end market may therefore get worse before it gets better.

Regarding high dollar sales, I easily and happily sold a couple cars in the $10K to $20K bracket using Craigslist. This was in a small, very wealthy, and low crime community.

It is indeed the channel of last resort, but the responses have thrown me for a loop more than once. I’ve found that NEW stuff on the regular big channels actually sells for the same money USED on Craigslist. The shoppers include quirky low-information people.

That’s a hobby strategy, and seemingly common across the financially unstressed market. But if I’ll be dumping it otherwise, why not get it gone? I knew a guy who bought last years bicycles from a luxury buyer who wanted a newer model every year. So, he paid $2K for $4K hand-me-down bikes and both were happy. Again, this was in a small, wealthy, low crime community.


And my bet is that they’re not all hanging out in Southern Miami, Florida, scouring Craigslist, in case one of the literal handful of WA234 MKIIs that exist pops up for sale there - in a situation where the seller is motivated to sell it at an unusually high loss.

I think that’s spot-on.

I also think it is going to get a LOT worse before it turns around.

$10-20K in car terms is rather different, relatively speaking, to $10-20K specialty audio gear. I would think $200-500 dollar headphone gear would be a better comparison, and even then probably high.

My experiences have been far more negative than positive. Selling collectible Star Wars UCS lego sets was a great experience there. Everything electronics/audio/camera related has been ridiculous. Even among the apparently-reasonable types (upfront) will show up, late, and then claim they are $200 short on a $500 item …

Could well just be me that has these experiences … but I’m not anxious to repeat them.

The time-cost to deal with all the nonsense isn’t worth it; cheaper (for me) to stick it in storage and deal with it in a better market, repurpose it or possibly donate it.

Now, if someone wanted to stump up $150K, in one go, to buy the $375K+ of gear … and not fuck about with auditions, a million questions, and so on … that I’d probably go for. Not seeing that happening, though. But “a bit at a time” spread over weeks/months, isn’t worth the headspace or time for 1/3rd value.

Fortunately I don’t need the money - so it’s not pressing.

I guess it’s more like $300K, now, since I agreed to sell my HE-1 (an oddity, as it was an unsolicited >2x MSRP, offer … the sort of things I’ve only seen early in the ZMF SMB VC cycle and with the Zahl HM-1).