So basically, the retail hi-fi industry is set up to get people to ‘trade-up’ to inferior, new equipment?

Sadly, yes.

Good hi-fi retailers don’t do this of course and it’s great to see youngsters getting into hifi, but sadly they often do it by bypassing great gear that might already be a part of the family.

Read the reviews. Every new piece of gear sounds significantly better than the one preceding it. How then is it possible for a 40-year-old amplifier for example to sound better than a new one? What about all the advancements..?!

If each year brought significant improvements, older gear would have to sound awful compared with gear with 40 years of continuous improvement, but it doesn’t and this should tell you a lot.