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Fairchild 670 Value/Worth/Market Pricing Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 26th September 2015
  #1
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Juppies's Avatar
 

Fairchild 670 Value/Worth/Market Pricing

So from what I could find by searching on here, it's been several years since standard market pricing has been discussed for these, and apparently that's made all the difference…. What is the market value/last sale of a 670?

As we piece gear together for the new facility, we obviously HAD to explore options for wheeling and dealing on some holy grails, and I was shocked with the Fairchild 'value' (..or at least the pricing). I've been in communication with a guy in NY currently selling his, and the appreciation seems a little disproportionate. I'm not disputing his numbers, but wow… These bad boys were $25k a few short years ago.

I first saw it online (Sonic Circus I believe) for $50k, and then saw it on eBay for $45k. After contacting him, he said $40k was his absolute bottom, but a day later, he'd received a full-price offer of $45k. This is serial #49 , a second owner, phenomenal looking besides the expected faceplate wear, and according to him, it's 100% good to go in terms of tubes, pots, caps etc… Definitely a premium for that functionality, but as I said to him, that's what I paid for my Range Rover

What gives price-wise? Have these really shot up that much in the last few years? Any sustainability to the increase? Sure as hellz beats the S&P 500 this year….

PS, those interested can head to Sonic Circus and find a helluva nice, used ADL 670 for $11,500… No I have nothing to do with them, just couldn't believe the price.
Old 26th September 2015
  #2
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Dude, just get this

I kid, I KID!!!!

But seriously... I have no experience with a 670; I am sure it is great. But is it really 45k great? What exactly do you get out of it that you don't get out of other great compressors?
Old 26th September 2015
  #3
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Drumsound's Avatar
There is a finite number of originals. This means, that as the years go on, there will probably be less on the open market. The seller can determine the price.
Old 26th September 2015
  #4
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Juppies's Avatar
 

Lol the waves version gets ripped on a lot, especially here, but it really is a decent plug... That said, there's no substitute for the real deal, and that's what's been driving the market and shot these things close to $50k. I don't see it as being '$45k great', but they do appreciate in value as the amount of legit originals can never increase, and they sound absolutely amazing (understatement of the century). You have to look at it as a usable investment, and it's fueled by supply and demand

I was on board in the high-20's, maybe even $30k, but I could have an ADL 670, a Shadow Hills mastering comp, 2 vintage 1176s, a Chandler Zener, an API 2500, a couple 160's, a vari-mu, a couple distressors and an La2a for that price point. I may even have some walking around money left over after all of that.

Wow, after I sounded it out, I'm pretty sure I just answered my own question…..
Old 26th September 2015
  #5
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Well said Drumsound, jinx.
Old 26th September 2015
  #6
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juppies View Post
Well said Drumsound, jinx.
Old 26th September 2015
  #7
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

Buying an old compressor for $45.000 is nothing short of insanity. It makes absolutely no sense under any circumstance.
Old 26th September 2015
  #8
Old 26th September 2015
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
Buying an old compressor for $45.000 is nothing short of insanity. It makes absolutely no sense under any circumstance.
Not at all if you think of it as an investment. Vintage gear proved to be a really good investment...
Old 26th September 2015
  #10
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianFernandez View Post
Not at all if you think of it as an investment. Vintage gear proved to be a really good investment...
Especially as an investment it is absolute insanity. There are zero guarantees you will get your money back. In 10 years it might aswell be an unsellable doorstop full of obsolete parts. It is a very high risk investment.

You don't put a Fairchild on the wall like a piece of art so the buyers are likely limited to recording studios, which are..... going out of business!
Old 26th September 2015
  #11
Well thankfully there are still people with big budgets who are interested in owning all sorts of vintage beautiful things. My mate Jason just sold his ex Jackson Brown 670 (the one Chenzo Townsend had the use of until he got his AT 101 clones sorted) to Mark Ronson.
I can't tell you how much money changed hands but it was as they say in the very best super yacht descriptions:
"Reassuringly Expensive":-)
PS "If you have to ask the price you can't really afford it"
Old 26th September 2015
  #12
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A good investment is something that will give you a *safe* annual 10-15% return. Meaning the $45.000 Fairchild would be worth in the $75-90.000 range in 2020. I just don't see who the buyer is.

I understand guitars and other instruments but honestly think that vintage recording gear is on its absolute peak and the only way from here is down.

If GS is around in 10 years from now I will revisit this thread
Old 26th September 2015
  #13
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All it takes, really, is for the top 5 engineers who praise vintage gear to retire and for the top 5 engineers of the next generation to be ITB to make a vintage compressor pretty much worthless on the marketplace.
Old 26th September 2015
  #14
This post is from the thread starter 'Juppies' another BCM-10 thread.
But I think this fits the topic perfectly !
The statement is from Moderator Mr. delcosmos.

"One man trash is another man's treasure"

Chris Lord Alge told me a story about how a NY Studio in the early 80's dumped a Fairchild 670 in the trash and he picked it up and found a way to repair it, go figure!

R.
Old 26th September 2015
  #15
Gear Head
 
Juppies's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
Buying an old compressor for $45.000 is nothing short of insanity. It makes absolutely no sense under any circumstance.
A pretty definitive and seemingly unobjective statement, sir. It's a phenomenal piece of outboard, a huge client draw, and it's vastly increased in value over the last 15 years. If it's not for you it's not for you, but I'm not going to tell a guy who's a huge car collector that his Ferrari Daytona is in no way, under any circumstance worth a million bucks. It is. It's all relative, and the market makes itself. Even better is the fact that we can USE these pieces of gear AS they appreciate.

If someone wants to pay an amount, that's what it's worth. As my boy Kudlow would say, "Free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity." Again, it's simple supply and demand, while at the same time owning and utilizing a piece of legendary gear.

Cheers.
Old 26th September 2015
  #16
Gear Head
 
Juppies's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
A good investment is something that will give you a *safe* annual 10-15% return.
I hate to keep picking on your quotes man, but there's no such thing as a safe 10-15% return. US markets, hell even global markets, have averaged 8.5% over the last century. Yes we have rallies and recessions, but PLEASE show me a safe 10% and I'll liquidate every asset I hold and invest in it. It simply isn't there.

My only point is that there are certain pieces of gear, 'worth it' or not for the current dollar amount they fetch, that will forever hold their 'value'. And I don't say 'forever' lightly. I'm not even sure I want to commit to a 670, but I can definitely see why someone would. It has all the elements of a proven investment.. Limited numbers, high demand, proven track record etc.

If we were talking about a *%[email protected]#$# Mackie D8B I'd be right there with you.

Cheers
Old 26th September 2015
  #17
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No worries, I respect your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

Best of luck with your purchase!
Old 26th September 2015
  #18
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Stimmt's Avatar
 

So the correct exchange rate for one Fairchild is about 5-6 Jupiter 8's. Ahh, how it hurts getting older.
Old 26th September 2015
  #19
Here is Cenzo experimenting between the old original ex Jackson Brown one and a new AT101.

There is a bunch of young chaps out there that are interested enough to suppose that it's worth making these old tools brand new again.:-)
PS just because someone invented the Uzi machine pistol, doesn't make a Holland and Holland valueless.:-)
Old 26th September 2015
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juppies View Post
I hate to keep picking on your quotes man, but there's no such thing as a safe 10-15% return. US markets, hell even global markets, have averaged 8.5% over the last century. Yes we have rallies and recessions, but PLEASE show me a safe 10% and I'll liquidate every asset I hold and invest in it. It simply isn't there.
I was just thinking the same thing: "Does this guy know where I can get a stable 10% return? Maybe I should sell my house..."

But more seriously, it's ridiculous to say that buying gear CAN'T function as an investment with the way the vintage audio tool market has exploded in the last twenty years. There are pieces I've purchased that have increased in value way over 100% since I purchased them, and even though (like any investment) it's not real money until you sell there's no sign of a new wave of digital causing the whole analog market to collapse.

What you can say is that it's not a very good investment (probably true), but at the same time most appreciating assets aren't also tools you get to use every day. As for the idea that it's a draw that's going to bring in business, I'm not sure that any one piece of gear can have an real effect on how busy you are as a recording studio. Maybe once in a blue moon I'll get a booking because people want a U47 for something, but 99% of the time they come in because (A) they know records we've done, (B) a friend told them we're great, or (C) the total sum of our equipment makes them feel like it's a place they want to work.


Sorry that this is all kinda off the original train here, just felt like piping in a bit on the same old argument.

To answer the OP: The last couple 670s I've seen sell (literally two) went for upwards of $40k each. We have a ADL 670, and while it's obviously not exactly the same thing I can tell you that it's an unbelievable design. We usually don't do big A/B tests, but we recently put up a whole bunch of compressors on vocals just to see what would happen, and the ADL won hands down. Nothing sounds quite like it, and it's a sound that was used at the end of the chain of literally thousands of classic records. Even when the plugin sounds 100% as good the originals will still be valuable.
Old 26th September 2015
  #21
Gear Addict
 
spectrasound's Avatar
$50K for 1% distortion ???

No disrespect for any users, but we had 2 of them in the studio I worked at in the 80's. 40 tubes to keep an eye on, lots of heat, calibrations, distortion. I didn't use them very much. The Pultecs were enough color for me. But to each his own.
Old 26th September 2015
  #22
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When I was a kid working at a guitar store, vintage guitar prices had exploded (many valued far more than 45k) and although that bubble did burst for the most part, you still can't buy a 60s strat for what you could in the late 70's or 80's.

If the gear market goes the same course, we're seeing the values on vintage mics and gear skyrocket currently, but there's a ceiling to everything.

Just how vintage guitars were priced out of the hands of actual players, plenty of vintage recording gear is going to end up in the home studios of the wealthy.

I think 45k is too much to pay for what a 670 does functionally. You factor in the "wow" factor and rarity, sure it could bring the price up, but at 45k someone bought it more for the collectibillity than its actual practical use.
Old 26th September 2015
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
Buying an old compressor for $45.000 is nothing short of insanity. It makes absolutely no sense under any circumstance.
I'm sorry but I agree... you gotta draw the line somewhere.

If I was in the market, I'd hire a tech to make a pair of the Drip clones (or whoever happens to have the hippest clone) and be done with it.
Old 26th September 2015
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
Especially as an investment it is absolute insanity. There are zero guarantees you will get your money back. In 10 years it might aswell be an unsellable doorstop full of obsolete parts. It is a very high risk investment.

You don't put a Fairchild on the wall like a piece of art so the buyers are likely limited to recording studios, which are..... going out of business!
This is true...
Old 26th September 2015
  #25
Gear Head
 
Juppies's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmec View Post
PS just because someone invented the Uzi machine pistol, doesn't make a Holland and Holland valueless.:-)
This. And what an awesome pic!
Old 26th September 2015
  #26
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
A good investment is something that will give you a *safe* annual 10-15% return. Meaning the $45.000 Fairchild would be worth in the $75-90.000 range in 2020.
Eh, your math is a bit off. With a 15% appreciation in 5-6 years, the street price would be about 52k. Not 75-90k.
Old 26th September 2015
  #27
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juppies View Post
Lol the waves version gets ripped on a lot, especially here, but it really is a decent plug... That said, there's no substitute for the real deal, and that's what's been driving the market and shot these things close to $50k. I don't see it as being '$45k great', but they do appreciate in value as the amount of legit originals can never increase, and they sound absolutely amazing (understatement of the century). You have to look at it as a usable investment, and it's fueled by supply and demand

I was on board in the high-20's, maybe even $30k, but I could have an ADL 670, a Shadow Hills mastering comp, 2 vintage 1176s, a Chandler Zener, an API 2500, a couple 160's, a vari-mu, a couple distressors and an La2a for that price point. I may even have some walking around money left over after all of that.

Wow, after I sounded it out, I'm pretty sure I just answered my own question…..
There you go!
Old 26th September 2015
  #28
Gear Head
 
Juppies's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
We have a ADL 670, and while it's obviously not exactly the same thing I can tell you that it's an unbelievable design. We usually don't do big A/B tests, but we recently put up a whole bunch of compressors on vocals just to see what would happen, and the ADL won hands down. Nothing sounds quite like it, and it's a sound that was used at the end of the chain of literally thousands of classic records.
If I got honest with myself I think this is the route we'll go. Despite the original's wow factor, this seems to make more sense. A quarter of the price, and I've been hearing a lot of praise as I research more. Would need to hear in person of course, but it's looking like the more favorable option.
Old 26th September 2015
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Eh, your math is a bit off. With a 15% appreciation in 5-6 years, the street price would be about 52k. Not 75-90k.
I don't necessarily agree with his 10-15% as a reasonable "safe investment" estimate, but he's talking about a 10-15% annual return...

45k compounded annually for 5 years is 72,472.95 at 10% and 90,511.07 at 15%, so sayeth the online compound interest calculator...
Old 26th September 2015
  #30
mixmixmix
Guest
There is and expression -

"If you can't afford it, you don't need it"

Consider yourself lucky - you are saving 45 grand!!!

IMO alot of iconic gear is amazing sonically , but totally unesssary to achieve a great mix.

Great is not spectacular though. And it is up to you whether the difference is worth the money.

I use RNC. Seriously. I'm not into compression.
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