good mics will hold value second hand, like i bought a Bees Neez tube mic for $600 and i can sell it (can, but never will) for that or more. Its a good way to find out if you like a mic or its not for you without loosing money.
Buying used will always have it's risks. Trust your seller, ask plenty of questions over what's not disclosed (like tobacco or musty odors, etc). If & when you feel confident with the offering, pull the trigger. Most of us buy used gear all the time & mics are on the top of the list (preamps are surely a tight second place). Most times great deals can be had, now & again a bum sale comes your way. The good deals always outweigh the bad ones, so the sour grapes come out in the wash & hopefully you learn something from them. Most times both buyer and seller walk away happy. Good Luck in your hunting Oh, and whatever you do avoid eBay seller "9guitar" a.k.a "Flower Pot Guy" (he's a reckless price gouger!!).
I personally have not experienced any problems buying used (knock on wood). I've been through at least a dozen mics including the AT4033. It's funny because the last three mics I've bought have been new which is unusual for me. The only downside to buying new is that if you decide to sell it you will normally lose out on money.
The AT4033 is a very solid mic. I think it works better with a 'less clean' preamp though. I've heard great things about the MXL R144 but have not used one yet. Saw one for $50 a few weeks ago and I regret not getting it. I got a Cascade Victor instead and it sounds schweet. I hope I'm not boring you to death. I know ribbons are supposed to be more fragile than the alternatives so maybe you should factor that thought into your decision somehow.
I was thinking about a Victor but nobody has said much about them. I can get one for like $169. The AT 4033 will rum through a Joe Meek Twin Q (tube) so according to your post that will bring out the best in the AT4033. Ya me get bored talking about mics RIGHT
I have bought many used mics. Only had one issue with one mic, which I returned to the seller and got my money back immediately. If you buy using ebay/paypal, you should have all the protection you need.
I've bought a lot of mics used, and have always had good experiences.
The beauty of it all, is I've turned around and sold most of them again when they weren't perfect for what I was looking for and because I bought used, I usually sold em for the same as what I got em for.
For me it depends on the usage... if it will eventually end up in front my face (or someone else's) then going new is more likely. Stuff that I will stuff in front of an instrument, I'm more than happy to buy used. Just a personal cleanliness OCD sort of thing, but I'm more than happy to break out some sanitizer / disinfectant for a good deal on a microphone.
Anyhow, so as to not go to off the rails here. I've bought a lot of new and used mics. There is no hard fast way to answer this. Right now, I need to pick up some 57s to replace the last two that where killed by my own sloppy stick work. Those are a no brainier. I'll go find em on craigslist.
I also have an ATM25 that I got a deal on at a guitar center for $100. And that was brand new. It's also a fantastic mic that normally sells for about $280. Why did they sell me one for 100??? I have no idea, but I love that mic.
+1 R40. Great bang for buck when on sale at MF for $69. The R144 is near identical but never drops in price...go figure. The Cascade line will afford you with higher quality out the door though. MXL ribbons "might" arrive saggy however I've personally not had a problem.