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Vintage High end gear as investment?
Old 20th July 2017
  #241
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
This is just speculation, but say you had a '65 Mustang, and it needed a part to keep running, and that part was not available in OEM. And say that affected the value, as if you replaced it with something a machinist made for you, it was no longer "original". To what extent is replacing caps, tubes, variable resistors, etc. with aftermarket parts making your Fairchild or Neve no longer "original" and hence less valuable? Meaning - how long can you extend the value of these vintage units, given that parts are getting scarce?

If you recap an 8088, is it still vintage? It will certainly sound different than if you left the original caps in.
That's the rub, isn't it? First of all, what they sound like today is not what they sounded like when they were new. The electrolytics have to be replaced, they simply get old and dry out. If they short out, they will take the power transformer with them. If you put in a bigger cap, less 60 cycle hum, but doesn't sag as much--effects sound (better/worse?)

Those old carbon composite resistors--well, they are noisier than carbon film, and their resistance value tends to migrate over the decades. That will impact the sound, maybe cause more serious problems.

To my knowledge, regular caps age gracefully.

So, unless you want to mount it in a lighted plexiglass box as the centerpiece of your living room, the passage of time will change it. Personally, better electrolytics and less noisy resistors sound better than original IMHO, but I'm not holding myself out as a tastemaker in this sort of discussion. As a teen, I played around with tube gear and I never lost my loathing for the ever-present 60 cycle hum.

There is the same sort of discussion with old guitars and guitar amps. A 1959 les paul may be emanating more mojo than a busload of wiccan priestesses, but almost nobody wants to use the original equipment tuning heads, as they have been dramatically improved on. So, that change is almost to be expected. Original strings--not expected. Frets? Hard to say, but if you want to play the daggon thing, might need to re-fret. Pickups, those should be left alone. Noisy potentiometers--tough call.

Transformers can have the paper absorb moisture--effects the sound--can cause rust--effects the sound. If some windings short out--now that's a dilemma. Last time I checked, Mercury Magnetics will so a painstaking re-wind to original specs, but at that point, its kind of a different transformer...

Its interesting to me how many of these issues cross over to different technologies. Back in my audiophile days I re-capped and wrestled with enough old tube amps and got tired of it, and I feel very comfortable with clones now.

PSS: Not as versed in transistor gear, but in some of that early stuff, the coupling caps are electrolytics, so changing those will definitely change the sound. If they were leaking current a bit before replacement, the re-cap will change the sound more noticeably.

PS. I had a 1972 100 watt marshall. Tone monster. Brought it in to be re-capped and checked out. Dude in store warns me that re-cap can change the sound. I was young and didn't take heed. Thing comes back WAY louder and it simply will not distort until your ears are tingling. Live and learn... (It was a Night and Day (tm) difference.)
Old 20th July 2017
  #242
Lives for gear
 
DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
PS. I had a 1972 100 watt marshall. Tone monster. Brought it in to be re-capped and checked out. Dude in store warns me that re-cap can change the sound. I was young and didn't take heed. Thing comes back WAY louder and it simply will not distort until your ears are tingling. Live and learn... (It was a Night and Day (tm) difference.)
True - as I can attest, having had some similar experiences.

Most likely, however, after the recap it was probably a fair bit closer to how it sounded in 1972. FWIW.
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Old 20th July 2017
  #243
Lives for gear
 

The cogent question of this entire thread is whether or not we can depend upon subject vintage gear to provide sonic quality advantages that are otherwise unavailable. In the event subject vintage gear is supplanted with ergonomically superior contemporary equipment and retro offerings that emulate the best qualities of subject vintage gear the demand factor of same will deminish. There will always be a psychosomatic attraction to "yesterdays home runs" however it will not be sufficent to overcome the proable losses in consumer confidence in functional dependability. This is the essence of obsolesce!
In my posts, #99 & #228 , I tried to make the case that vintage gear and quality performance were not synonymous. The media paradigm shift we are experiencing does not commercially favor any past percieved advantages with vintage gear: My digigrid/waves LV1 system is far better suited to my work flo than a truck full of rack cases loaded with vintage gear. Also a relative quality comparason between yesterday's and today's gear is a highly subjective question that is based on bias, not empirical reality.
The really good news in the whole discussion is the age old wisdom in remembering the following: "We do not all like the same things, if we did Baskin Robbins would serve only vanilla ice cream and we would all be Roman Catholic".
Hugh
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Old 20th July 2017
  #244
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robert82's Avatar
Rich hobbyists. That's the future of vintage gear.
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Old 20th July 2017
  #245
As an investment? Nah, fun to rent and use sometimes though...
Old 20th July 2017
  #246
Gear Guru
Hey Hugh I think Brett was just having a good humored poke at you..... he has a lively sense of humor, look at his avatar!
Old 20th July 2017
  #247
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Rich hobbyists. That's the future of vintage gear.
Where I live, that's the present of it. A wiring/installation guy I've known forever tells me about the installs he's doing for "Attorney X" and "Celebrity Y" and I just wanna barf.

On the other hand, a young, super-talented drummer friend was telling me she was going on the road with "TV Star Z" and I kinda made a face, and she said, "no, really, he's actually a great musician and a wonderful guy and it's totally cool." In a second conversation, his merch gal confirmed as much. So there's that -- nice to know. From what I hear, he has a spectacular studio, too.
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Old 20th July 2017
  #248
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Rich hobbyists. That's the future of vintage gear.
I totally agree with this. Why on earth would you pay double price for an aging piece with pedigree, rather than something that was carefully engineered to duplicate that piece? Even an instrument is hard to justify and those do get better with age. They also aren't electronics that need servicing.

I know a doctor that has a pre war Martin, he can afford it. A lot of collectors never or rarely play what they have. I'm all for the 5% difference in sound adds up, but I think the gap is seriously closed with companies like Fearn, Mercury, Neve, etc, making incredible sounding gear.
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Old 20th July 2017
  #249
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
The really good news in the whole discussion is the age old wisdom in remembering the following: "We do not all like the same things, if we did Baskin Robbins would serve only vanilla ice cream and we would all be Roman Catholic".
There's a big difference between those two examples. I know people who actually like vanilla ice cream. And it might make you fat, but it might also make you happy and it certainly won't make you fear an eternity in Hell.
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Old 20th July 2017
  #250
Gear Guru
Most of the Western World are Roman Catholics (or Jewish, Protestant and Muslim). They just have radically different rituals and names for their messiah. (Mohammed, Jesus and Abraham come to mind.) The belief is really the same when you get down to the nitty gritty, and take the "non believers are damned" out of it.......No messiah to my knowledge ever invested in high end gear or ate ice cream.....
Old 20th July 2017
  #251
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
Yeah, I skipped Paris and hit Epcot Center.

Can't wait to hit the brothel later for some GFE.
Vintage gear is SO much like Paris. And new gear is SO much like the Disney version of Paris. Great analogy, as usual, Monsieur Trash.
Old 20th July 2017
  #252
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
And new gear is SO much like a cheap version of Paris.
The Las Vegas one, perhaps. Although I do like their buffet.
Old 20th July 2017
  #253
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
The Las Vegas one, perhaps. Although I do like their buffet.
On my first visit to LV, I was kinda stunned when I got close to their replica Eiffel Tower to find that it is much smaller than the Paris tower. Coming in from the airport in a cab I could see it in (what I thought was) the distance and assumed it was bigger and further away than it turned out to be.

Then I was like - oh huh we're here already?! that was fast! But then I looked again and realised it was basically a toy one. Oh well...

Occasionally I get that feeling with re-creations of vintage gear, but there are a number of them that "go the whole nine yards" and manage to be a fair bit more 'convincing'.
Old 20th July 2017
  #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Vintage gear is SO much like Paris. And new gear is SO much like the Disney version of Paris. Great analogy, as usual, Monsieur Trash.
Simulations and emulations are always so much more real, right?

I was thinking about Baudrillard and hyperreality - this plugin precession of Simulacra.



"Disneyland produces a clear cut distinction between reality and imagination. Disneyland can be thought of as a second order simulacra, one in which reality is somehow reflected in its representation and the way American ideology is manifested there can be studied. But this distinction between the real and imaginary in Disneyland is nothing but a desperate attempt to hide the fact that there is no difference. According to Baudrillard, all of America is Disneyland. Reality is not distorted in some Marxian fashion, it is the cultural code that pre-establishes life in America which is manifested in Disneyland. Disneyland doesn’t let you be a child; it hides that fact that you are a child."

You can make all the excuses you want.

No $99 plugin is ever going to Be the real... or is it, for some?
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Old 20th July 2017
  #255
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
Simulations and emulations are always so much more real, right?

I was thinking about Baudrillard and hyperreality - this plugin precession of Simulacra.



"Disneyland produces a clear cut distinction between reality and imagination. Disneyland can be thought of as a second order simulacra, one in which reality is somehow reflected in its representation and the way American ideology is manifested there can be studied. But this distinction between the real and imaginary in Disneyland is nothing but a desperate attempt to hide the fact that there is no difference. According to Baudrillard, all of America is Disneyland. Reality is not distorted in some Marxian fashion, it is the cultural code that pre-establishes life in America which is manifested in Disneyland. Disneyland doesn’t let you be a child; it hides that fact that you are a child."

You can make all the excuses you want.

No $99 plugin is ever going to Be the real... or is it, for some?

Umm my original point was about companies Fearn, Neve, and Mercury making hardware replacements of older gear. They don't make plug ins....
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