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Is vintage gear still worth the high prices ..? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Is vintage gear still worth the high prices ..?

I still see TB 303's for 4k, SH 101's for $1500, Prophet 5's for 6k but really these instruments are seriously getting on in age and does anyone really care now if you have the real thing, have these prices plateau'd or will they always command these high prices..?

With so much cool new gear around now it kinda seems daft to fork out these prices for old gear no..?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Kja
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For the best producers, yes. They want the best. Anything that gives an edge.. People like us are catching up quick and they know it...
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Acidizer's Avatar
i say no, technically.

seems like a phase some gear lovers go through.

you're either rich enough to buy and keep them (probably as ornaments mostly)

or you buy them, tire of the labourious and expensive upkeep then sell them again.

same as classic cars. you are scared to use them almost. modern cars do everything better except that essence - but some people are rich enough to shoulder the financial burden... and if you can, why not?

they are a showpiece.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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The notion of ‘best’ is invalid. If someone wants the Prophet 5 sound, getting the original is the simplest way without concerning oneself with digital emulation or recreating the nuances on a similar-enough modern analog.

Are they worth asking prices? From a personal perspective, that’s up to you. From an investment perspective, they cheap analog heyday is over, so one would be buying even more aged equipment at peak price.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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For the sound ? No way.

If you always wanted to have it (for the dream) ? Sure.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Syn303's Avatar
and there is supply versus demand
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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For the sound, in some case no, in other case of course it sounds way better. Some gears are overpriced, some other worth all their pennies, some are underrated.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Well, this stuff wouldn't cost this much if people didn't think it was worth it.

Whether or not its worth it depends on you and what you're doing with it.

Certain equipment, there isn't necessarily a modern equivalent as well.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabar View Post
The notion of ‘best’ is invalid. If someone wants the Prophet 5 sound, getting the original is the simplest way without concerning oneself with digital emulation or recreating the nuances on a similar-enough modern analog.
simplest? i doubt that. apart from the logistics of tracking down a decent example, it could have faulty voices, a lot of noise etc.

two prophet 5's (which are decades old by now) could sound very different from each other, for a multitude of reasons. one might have the magic you are looking for (which is just an ideal in your head). both might - even if they sound different. but none of them might. then you are landed with something physically imposing and expensive to ship.

at least an emulation will offer sonically what most people think of as that synth's trademark character. and as an instant download, for 100 bucks. i can't see how sourcing a fragile original, possibly from a different country, is the simplest way forward.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Have they ever been worth high prices? I got into vintage synths because they were cheaper at the time. Ironically the most I’ve ever paid for a synth has been for a modern one.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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BassX's Avatar
with the current amount of "new" (affordable) synths available, which is more than enough to make music with, vintage synths are mostly reserved for people with enough money and dealers.
and even when people use expensive vintage analogue holy grails, people mostly record it in a DAW and make it digital anyway
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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oldgearguy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acidizer View Post
simplest? i doubt that. apart from the logistics of tracking down a decent example, it could have faulty voices, a lot of noise etc.

two prophet 5's (which are decades old by now) could sound very different from each other, for a multitude of reasons. one might have the magic you are looking for (which is just an ideal in your head). both might - even if they sound different. but none of them might. then you are landed with something physically imposing and expensive to ship.

at least an emulation will offer sonically what most people think of as that synth's trademark character. and as an instant download, for 100 bucks. i can't see how sourcing a fragile original, possibly from a different country, is the simplest way forward.

So when was the last time you ran a vintage synth through a classic hw effects unit? If you're chasing a particular sound/vibe then yes, buying the originals is the simplest way to get there quickly and no sw will get you to that exact same place.

Ask anyone with a decent collection of vintage hw synths and effects how quickly it "sounds like a record". You don't need a ton of extra processing, extra layering, or intricately detailed programming to get there.

Agree that if you're just 'looking for the flavor' of a vintage sound then a lot of modern gear can get you most of the way there.

Also agree with the idea that sometimes the vintage gear crosses a price threshold where it no longer makes sense. My personal example - SH-101's for $1000+. If/when the Behr version comes out and sounds close enough, then I'll pick one up.

I already made the switch with the TR-808/909 for a TR-8. For me, it was good enough for what I typically do with a drum machine so it made sense. Other synths/sounds I'm not willing to compromise on, so I have vintage gear (that I maintain myself and if powered on and used regularly is just as reliable as modern stuff).
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acidizer View Post
simplest? i doubt that. apart from the logistics of tracking down a decent example, it could have faulty voices, a lot of noise etc.

two prophet 5's (which are decades old by now) could sound very different from each other, for a multitude of reasons. one might have the magic you are looking for (which is just an ideal in your head). both might - even if they sound different. but none of them might. then you are landed with something physically imposing and expensive to ship.

at least an emulation will offer sonically what most people think of as that synth's trademark character. and as an instant download, for 100 bucks. i can't see how sourcing a fragile original, possibly from a different country, is the simplest way forward.
If its lasted 40+ years, its not "fragile"

Moving any piece of equipment around or just using it will involve upkeep, old or new.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
Have they ever been worth high prices? I got into vintage synths because they were cheaper at the time. Ironically the most I’ve ever paid for a synth has been for a modern one.
Same here. There are still some good vintage deals if you know what to look for, it's really just the obvious ones that are overpriced.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haze015 View Post
If its lasted 40+ years, its not "fragile"

Moving any piece of equipment around or just using it will involve upkeep, old or new.
it is fragile because it is 40 years old, not despite.

new synths don't need upkeep. i except them to last years before crumbling from within.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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None of us pay those prices, only ebayers do. It’s still easy to pay about half of what the op stated as standard prices. And yeah, from time to time you also get amazing deals that put newer gear to shame. Vintage can be extremely cheap if you service things yourself.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acidizer View Post
it is fragile because it is 40 years old, not despite.

new synths don't need upkeep. i except them to last years before crumbling from within.
Most of my equipment is 40 - 60 years old. New stuff breaks down all the time and much of it I can't fix. The things that crumble within old stuff is usually old insulation, rubber and plastics.

What vintage things have you owned that cannot be repaired easily?
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acidizer View Post
it is fragile because it is 40 years old, not despite.

new synths don't need upkeep. i except them to last years before crumbling from within.
They can do. It all depends on what you're doing with it.

Guys like Nils Frahm tour with vintage gear for starters, a lot of old gear was built for that and part of why they've lasted. My 70's Marshall JMP has never had a single issue in the time I've owned it - It has often been lent to other bands when other, newer amps broke down.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
None of us pay those prices, only ebayers do. It’s still easy to pay about half of what the op stated as standard prices. And yeah, from time to time you also get amazing deals that put newer gear to shame.
I'm not sure you can easily find an Sh-101 in good shape for 750$. At least not in Europe atm. Prices are more like around 1000 for the good deals.( Still a bit less than 1500 but well)
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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And to OP. It all depends on what you want/need/desire.

Analog flagship monster are still worth it, because there were not so many units produced, and there are still less and less in good condition. Tbh, I'd take a PolyKobol over any Andromeda, wich is more modern, but seems to have also more maintenance problems. Those machines have worked for 50 years now. Let's speak of our new analog synthesizers in 50 years. And we'll see (or our children will see) how the are
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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yeah: what of the smd boards that won't be easy to fix?
have to hope for some sensible layouts with loads of space.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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Vintage 303, 101, P5 and others are now collectors pieces mainly owned by guys my age who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s always wanted one and now that they are a few years on either side of 50 can afford to buy them.

I would wager a guess that 99% of all the 303s, 101s, P5s, Jupiter 8s, etc are now in the hands of collectors, who either won't ever sell them or if they do want sky high prices.

Only you can answer for yourself if it's worth the cost. Over the past year or so I have sold off a bunch of stuff and purchased a ton of vintage Synths, but I am not buying old analogs, I'm buying mid to late 1980s and early to mid 1990s digitals.

Recently after a looooong search I got a Mackie 8 Bus Large Format Mixer also from the same period. It's no SSL, but was used on many many great records that I love (The Prodigy, Crystal Method, etc)

For me it's building the studio I wanted in 1996 but couldn't have because I had a wife a young son and a baby on the way.

Now that the kids are grown I could buy a classic car, a vintage Harley, a boat, but instead I buy my dream studio.

That's what is driving the market
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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autoy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LotuZia View Post
I'm not sure you can easily find an Sh-101 in good shape for 750$. At least not in Europe atm. Prices are more like around 1000 for the good deals.( Still a bit less than 1500 but well)
For 800 for sure if you have your eyes open in the local markets. And that’s a bit over what I’d be willing to pay for one.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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Zaphod Betamax's Avatar
I like ebay so much, I quit in 2002. (almost a generation ago)


Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
None of us pay those prices, only ebayers do. It’s still easy to pay about half of what the op stated as standard prices. And yeah, from time to time you also get amazing deals that put newer gear to shame. Vintage can be extremely cheap if you service things yourself.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Gear Addict
750 is still too much for a SH101 IMO, especially with the boutique SH01A/future clones.

I think during the late 90s, early 2000s before VA and software synths got leaps and bounds better with the upswing of better code and faster processors, synth manufacturers finally making knob laden gear that made sense instead of romplers (and yes, there were more than a few smaller manufacturers out there making replica analog gear (eg Futureretro/Jomox), but they were almost as much as buying the real used gear) going full out retro was the only real way to get *that* sound.

There's a little part of me that still wants a *real* TB-303 if only for nostalgia purposes to my youth, but the practicality of an Avalon that's more or less the same thing, if not better, reminds me that frivolous spending on that kind of thing could be put to more rewarding things. Like a vacation. Or actual investments.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonwhistle View Post
What vintage things have you owned that cannot be repaired easily?
I don't own it, but there's a Lexicon 70 for sale up the road from me, for a reasonable price (not cheap, but not outrageous), that personally I'm afraid of buying. It works fine now, but when it breaks, is there a tech in the usa who can fix it?
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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Thread Starter
I guess I'm one of those that's too scared to fork out 3 or 4k for a vintage synth where you absolutely have no clue of all it's true history, who has opened it, when, how often, if it's been dropped, gigged, drinks spilled on it, etc etc and even then get it home and 6 months later some weird fault develops and you have no knowledge of what's wrong or how to fix so it then becomes a serious headache and further expense, not to mention something you can't sell to recoup $$ with a fault.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
I had to pay $850 for a 10-year-old Roland M-1000 S/PDIF digital line mixer because it's the only device on the planet that does this—and I needed it. Then I lucked out a got another one for only $226 last week.

Anything's worth it if you need/want it badly enough. The most "vintage" thing I would want is a Jupiter-80, but I'm not willing to pay even just $3000 for one since my $999 B-stock Roland Integra-7 is a perfectly serviceable substitute. Many modern plug-ins' sounds are nearly as good as some vintage synths, which helps keep the vintage GAS in check. Would I want a CS80? Sure. But I wouldn't want any of the refurbishing and maintenance costs, and I wouldn't even be willing to pay more than a few $$$$ for one, especially since as fiddlesticks points out, there's just too much risk for such a steep investment.

I don't know when this analog vintage craze started, but it's clearly out of control. Most of the popular vintage synths are hideously over-valued in my opinion. I wouldn't pay what they're asking for any of these units. I typically hunt for bargains, not synths that have appreciated ten-fold. The classic car analogy is a good one. If you're rich enough, and you just WANT it just to HAVE it, those are the guys pushing the prices up.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuggaMahone View Post
I don't own it, but there's a Lexicon 70 for sale up the road from me, for a reasonable price (not cheap, but not outrageous), that personally I'm afraid of buying. It works fine now, but when it breaks, is there a tech in the usa who can fix it?
Probably. That kind of thing (I have an 80) I would not pay too much for and would not expect it to last forever.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
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re5etuk's Avatar
Worth and cost are different for me , I see adverts with ‘ free Sampe pack worth £30 ‘ ... it might cost 30 to buy but is it worth 30...? It depends on my perceived value of. What I get in return.

For me the quantum / many individual eurorack / grandmother / , 303 aren’t Worth it , doesn’t matter if they’re new /old .
I’m changing my opinion too based on other things , I’ve sold an Avalon which cost a lot , worked really well. , but for what I do a tt303 / abl3 wav is as good. For many it’s worth it and was for me until recently but right now maybe not.

I’m happy with sh01a, tr8, mb33 , if offfered tr-08 or tr808 I’d go boutique and be happy with £1000+ still in the bank..
I’m waffling ...
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