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$3k synth doesn't sound 3 times better than a $1k synth- Reasonable thinking???
Old 2 days ago
  #1
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$3k synth doesn't sound 3 times better than a $1k synth- Reasonable thinking???

I'm not picking on any particular individual, but I see this often- (example) "$5k for this synth is overpriced because it doesn't sound $4k better than this new $1k synth." A synths price should not be solely based on sound potential, but as a whole of its sound, features, customer service, reputation, and BUILD. Not to pick on the young, since I'm just 2 years shy of turning 50 (dear God, how did I get this old), but it seems like the youth of today only seem to base a synths monetary value based solely on its sound, forgetting so many other factors in which....perhaps older farts like me....place a monetary value on.

To my ears a Modal 002, or 008 have a more complete sound than a DM12, for example. Do the Modal's at around $5k retail sound five-times better than the $1k DM12? I'm guessing most people would say no, no matter how much they like the Modal over the DM12. You are paying 5-times the price for the entire experience- yes, the sound, but so much more. You are paying for the much higher quality build, the metal casing, the English Leather sides, the thick weighted solid knobs, the large OLED display, and the more personal customer service, just to name a few things. You are also paying for the privilege of having something more unique, a synth that won't be owned by every other budget musician on the planet. Even if the Modals sounded EXACTLY like the DM12, a lot of people who are blessed financially would have no problem paying 3 times the DM12's price just for the Modal's tactile experience alone.

Perhaps it take getting older to appreciate little things like admiring the beauty alone of a finely built piece of equipment. I don't want to keep picking on the DM12 (which is a great synth for the price), so I'll use my Roland System-8 vs. my Moog Voyager. To me it is a night and day experience between playing with the Voyager over the S8. The Voyager is built like a tank in comparison to the S8....which feels like it will be blown off my keyboard stand if I sneezed. The Voyager's knobs feel like heaven to tweak in comparison to the S8's flimsy plastic knobs and sliders. I paid twice the cost of the S8 for the Voyager for the EXPERIENCE, not because it should sound twice as good as the S8. Heck, I'm way more of a chord guy, but cannot helping wanting to fiddle with the mono Voyager because it just feels so much more special over the S8 to play. Maybe I wouldn't have felt the same in my youth, but then again, my appreciating for this sort of thing has greatly been enhanced by age and experience....which encompasses just about everything else in my life.

Judge an instrument for the entire package. Remember, both a Ford Focus and a Ford Mustang Cobra will get you from point A to point B, but unless you are a zombie, there is no way you are not going to enjoy the drive more in the Cobra.

Last edited by Quantum7; 2 days ago at 08:05 PM..
Old 2 days ago
  #2
Gearslutz membership revoked!
Old 2 days ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 

i think this type of comparison is mostly used by people who favour sound above all other features or most other features, probably people who are looking for a return on their investment in terms of sounds and music produced.

i see a lot of people in my entourage who buy all the latest and greatest synths i'll never afford, but they're mostly hobbyists or collectors or week end knob tweakers, while i also know a lot of working producers who are always looking at new gear in terms of what contribution it could have on their work, in that stance, i think the comparison is useful for likeminded people. I agree, sometimes it's nice to have a designer couch made of the best materials that looks just awesome in your living room, but sometimes u just want something to sit on and then the question becomes : is this couch 10x more comfortable than this cheaper one ?
Old 2 days ago
  #4
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Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
It's an exponential curve. A $1000 synth might sound twice as good as a $500 synth. But $2000 synth might only sound 25% better. And a $5000 synth only 10% better than that.

But if you have the cash, you might at well get the best.
Old 2 days ago
  #5
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BassX's Avatar
yeah i too am really losing sleep over these very important issues
Old 2 days ago
  #6
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syntonica's Avatar
 

Some people buy the cheapest thing they can find. Some people buy the name. Some people buy for the quality, features and service.

Eh. What can you do?
Old 2 days ago
  #7
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Quantum7's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulgolem View Post
i think this type of comparison is mostly used by people who favour sound above all other features or most other features, probably people who are looking for a return on their investment in terms of sounds and music produced.

i see a lot of people in my entourage who buy all the latest and greatest synths i'll never afford, but they're mostly hobbyists or collectors or week end knob tweakers, while i also know a lot of working producers who are always looking at new gear in terms of what contribution it could have on their work, in that stance, i think the comparison is useful for likeminded people. I agree, sometimes it's nice to have a designer couch made of the best materials that looks just awesome in your living room, but sometimes u just want something to sit on and then the question becomes : is this couch 10x more comfortable than this cheaper one ?
I look at it as if you enjoy utilizing the particular instrument more, because of how it makes you feel when using it, you are most likely going to want to use it more and be creative with it, hence it should show back up in the music that you produce with it. I write for TV and my own albums. The album compositions are where my passion lies. The TV stuff is mostly boring and only to make an extra dollar. If I were only doing TV stuff to pay the bills, then yeah, something like the DM12 would be a wise investment. For my New Age music though, I feel extreme passion and happiness when composing....and this feeling is enhanced further when I am using music tools that I truly enjoy working with. I put out albums though, not for money, but for the pure love of composing, and hearing about how people feel about my compositions. Anyway, I'd pay virtually any amount if an instrument would give me even more passion when composing.
Old 2 days ago
  #8
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Quantum7's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufuss Sewell View Post

But if you have the cash, you might at well get the best.
Exactly! My wife is an interior designer and her motto is, "Surround yourself with what moves you." I definitely subscribe to this thinking.
Old 2 days ago
  #9
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At an average of getting $0.0049 cents a streaming play, synths pretty much pay for themselves anyway. All you actually need is only 1 million plays to pay off a higher-priced synth.
Old 2 days ago
  #10
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Quantum7's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gremlin moon View Post
At an average of getting $0.0049 cents a streaming play, synths pretty much pay for themselves anyway. All you actually need is only 1 million plays to pay off a higher-priced synth.
I've made enough money in 7 years from only 1 song "Reminiscing" playing on satellite to buy a Modal 002, 008, a Solaris, and a Voyager. There is money to be made with your music if you write quality tracks and hire a promoter. Don't let the low streaming returns deter you from trying.
Old 2 days ago
  #11
Gear Addict
More analog = better than

That's sadly what I keep seeing here.

Personally, I'll take 4 amazing voices that inspire me every time I program something over 8-12 mediocre ones any day of the week.
Old 2 days ago
  #12
Kja
Gear Maniac
 

I just love muy yammy dx.. I can't believe it was so cheap
Old 2 days ago
  #13
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this is holding me back from the OB-6 right now. have been wanting it for close to a year now, i've finally got the $$$$ saved for it, but the other things that money might get me would be of more use.... I think.
Old 2 days ago
  #14
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If everything else would be 100% equal, the quality vs price would always follow the law of diminishing results.
But everything else is not equal.
1 synth will be 1000$ because of high volume of ordered parts, another will be 3000$ because it was made at home by some hobbyist who purchased his parts in the electronic parts store at retail prices.
1 synth will be cheaper, because the manufacturer wants to create a new brand and that requires a lot of sold units, another will cost more, because the manufacturer wants to conquer the rich synth enthusiast/collectors market (look at the 150K$ new Moog 50th anniversary modular).

If you have unlimited amounts of money, this is irrelevant.
But if you want the ratio of features and quality vs price to be as good as possible... Then this matters a lot and there is some sweet spot where it is a smart decision to purchase the synth.
Old 2 days ago
  #15
Lives for gear
Well you got some snarky comments. But Let's take the Model 002 for example. You are paying for better stuff across the board. Especially in quality. Some things are more subtle. A Mercedes Benz is very expensive. But when you drive one you just know why.
Old 2 days ago
  #16
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zerocrossing's Avatar
I don't think it's useful to think in those terms at all. First off, you compare the Deepmind 12 to the System 8. Yeah, using the System 8 in it's Juno 106 plug out mode is going to give you that basic Juno sound (maybe just as good?) but, to me that's worthless. What the Deepmind lacks in oscillator, filter types, etc, it trounces the System 8 in modulation options and effects. To me, those types of features are more valuable, so the System 8 wouldn't even be on my radar. One LFO? I don't flinch unless I see at least two in a digital synth. No aftertouch on your flagship modeling keyboard? Shame on you. I can't comment on the System 8's build quality, but the DM12 seems pretty solid. Neither synth is going to win any beauty awards, but that's not really a major concern of mine anyway. So, to me the Deepmind 12 seems to be a bargain, while I probably wouldn't spend $300 on the System 8 because it's not worth the space it would take up.

My point here is that features have different value to different people. Some of my favorite hardware synths are pretty simple. If you look at the Boomstar SEM in a dollars per feature spreadsheet, it might look pretty bad, but the quality of the sound, and more importantly, the character of the sound is very good and therefore well worth the money, to me. I know you're looking at the Modal .002, and that doesn't seem like it holds up to a synth like the Solaris, on paper, but if you prefer the character of the .002 (I think I do) then that's that. If you can afford it and think it's worth the money, who cares what the cost per feature is?
Old 2 days ago
  #17
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playstation's Avatar
 

It's about what the bitches love.

Old 2 days ago
  #18
I bought a Waldorf Rocket instead of a Minitaur mostly for fat bass sounds because it just sounded so much better to me. Definitely could've afforded the Moog, but it wasn't as pleasing to my ears. It just happened to be a bonus the Waldorf costs half as much and is many times more versatile.

I had a chance to play with a Sub 37 and the P6 and OB6. Have to say I wasn't nearly as impressed as I thought I would be. They sounded nice but personally I think my Rocket and Virus TI still kills them, and it wasn't just about the Virus effects or that it's much more capable.

I could certainly afford to buy more expensive gear but I focus on what's going to work for my tastes and applications. I did splurge for an Eclipse and I'm glad for it. I could still get some really nice plugin effects that rival the Eventide, for sure. Nice gear is great but I'm sure I could even make the music I want with even my iPhone, and it would sound great too.
Old 2 days ago
  #19
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Quantum7's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I don't think it's useful to think in those terms at all. First off, you compare the Deepmind 12 to the System 8. Yeah, using the System 8 in it's Juno 106 plug out mode is going to give you that basic Juno sound (maybe just as good?) but, to me that's worthless. What the Deepmind lacks in oscillator, filter types, etc, it trounces the System 8 in modulation options and effects. To me, those types of features are more valuable, so the System 8 wouldn't even be on my radar. One LFO? I don't flinch unless I see at least two in a digital synth. No aftertouch on your flagship modeling keyboard? Shame on you. I can't comment on the System 8's build quality, but the DM12 seems pretty solid. Neither synth is going to win any beauty awards, but that's not really a major concern of mine anyway. So, to me the Deepmind 12 seems to be a bargain, while I probably wouldn't spend $300 on the System 8 because it's not worth the space it would take up.

My point here is that features have different value to different people. Some of my favorite hardware synths are pretty simple. If you look at the Boomstar SEM in a dollars per feature spreadsheet, it might look pretty bad, but the quality of the sound, and more importantly, the character of the sound is very good and therefore well worth the money, to me. I know you're looking at the Modal .002, and that doesn't seem like it holds up to a synth like the Solaris, on paper, but if you prefer the character of the .002 (I think I do) then that's that. If you can afford it and think it's worth the money, who cares what the cost per feature is?
If I could get a Solaris just as easy as a Modal, then I might get the Solaris first, but ultimately I want them both. In the meantime though, I'll bide my time with the Solaris until they become available again or I see a used one perhaps.

The System 8- It's been fun playing with it and I love all the toxic green lights it creates in my studio, but yeah, the thing is somewhat cheaply built and along with the DM12, doesn't fit the bill for what I want in a higher-end super well-built synth that I would want to hang on to possibly for the rest of my life.
Old 2 days ago
  #20
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Quantum7's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by playstation View Post
It's about what the bitches love.

Well Duh!!!!! My wife said that I would look good surrounded by Modals and the Solaris in my studio....so how am I to argue with that?
Old 2 days ago
  #21
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NEXUS-6's Avatar
 

I come from the school of 'If it sounds good use it" sometimes the cheap stuff has a charm & character all it's own that can't be replicated in the high end.

That's why I have cheap & expensive stuff side by side Boss VF1 next to H8000 Sunsyn next to A Station & so on...
Old 2 days ago
  #22
Ill never spend more than $1500 for a synth, or $500 for a guitar...Ill also never sell more than 50 cds/downloads, so it doesnt really matter

Im sure what ive got, with software, synths, guitars, and recording gear comes to over $15k, well thats what its insured for...but its spread over so many years, and is quite a lot, fills my room...cant imagine it just being a CS80 and an 808!

I think guitars follow the same curve...a $3k guitars not 3x better sounding than a $1k guitar...but you can feel the quality increase
Old 2 days ago
  #23
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Quantum7's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
Ill never spend more than $1500 for a synth, or $500 for a guitar...Ill also never sell more than 50 cds/downloads, so it doesnt really matter

Im sure what ive got, with software, synths, guitars, and recording gear comes to over $15k, well thats what its insured for...but its spread over so many years, and is quite a lot, fills my room...cant imagine it just being a CS80 and an 808!

I think guitars follow the same curve...a $3k guitars not 3x better sounding than a $1k guitar...but you can feel the quality increase
On my last album I had a very accomplished violinist who used a $30k+ violin for my project. Before I even knew how expensive it was I was admiring the build and feel of his instrument. I asked him if it was expensive, thinking it might be $6k or $7k, but almost dropped it when he told me over $30k. He said that it was worth every penny to him because of the connection to it that he felt in comparison to other violins he'd previously owned. A connection and love for your instruments that help fuel your passion is priceless IMO.
Old 2 days ago
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
On my last album I had a very accomplished violinist who used a $30k+ violin for my project. Before I even knew how expensive it was I was admiring the build and feel of his instrument. I asked him if it was expensive, thinking it might be $6k or $7k, but almost dropped it when he told me over $30k. He said that it was worth every penny to him because of the connection to it that he felt in comparison to other violins he'd previously owned. A connection and love for your instruments that help fuel your passion is priceless IMO.
I wouldnt disagree...I just have two small kids and everything I spend
I feel like its their money Im spending...I used to go daft modding motorbikes. Ill never spend like that again.

Mind you $30k on a fiddle!
Old 2 days ago
  #25
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DrJustice's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
... A connection and love for your instruments that help fuel your passion is priceless IMO.
This!

For me, dabbling in music is ultimately about enjoying life. Cheap or expensive, it doesn't matter. I love both my Monotron and my Moog (and yes, I do play my instruments and make music with them).
Old 2 days ago
  #26
Gear Head
 

I never thought I'd drop $5k on a synth until I bought the Minimoog Model D reissue ... Zero regrets and absolute love, it makes me happy every day.
Old 2 days ago
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
On my last album I had a very accomplished violinist who used a $30k+ violin for my project. Before I even knew how expensive it was I was admiring the build and feel of his instrument. I asked him if it was expensive, thinking it might be $6k or $7k, but almost dropped it when he told me over $30k. He said that it was worth every penny to him because of the connection to it that he felt in comparison to other violins he'd previously owned. A connection and love for your instruments that help fuel your passion is priceless IMO.
My moms bf had 3 different cellos he was trying out made between 1912-1952 that cost between $12k-75K, if there is anything that I have seen/learned in life is that if you're a musician who has money to do whatever you want, you buy whatever the **** you want, in every circumstance. Look at deadmau5/aphex twin/trent reznors synth collections, while aphex and trent may use every piece of gear they have I know deadmau5 has a ton of modular **** that just sits around. Probably $500k+ worth of modular. What are his twin buchla walls selling for these days? And why two of them? Because he can

I'd say i would feel extremely expired composing in a studio that looked like you're in a space ship of modular.
Old 2 days ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by playstation View Post
It's about what the bitches love.

Dang!!!!!
Old 2 days ago
  #29
Gear Addict
 

Hey Quantum7, how many concurrent threads about the 002 do you have so far?
Old 2 days ago
  #30
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Quantum7's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabar View Post
Hey Quantum7, how many concurrent threads about the 002 do you have so far?
Only 002 of them, I think.
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