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AMS Neve 2254/r prototype - bargain of the century? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 4th April 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

AMS Neve 2254/r prototype - bargain of the century?

So I have bought this Neve 2254/r for a ridiculously low price from a seller on ebay who appeared to be getting rid of a fair amount of studio gear. After a bit of discussion, he decided he would sell it to me for $500 providing that I wouldn't want a return as long as the compressor wasn't DOA. He said that he was willing to sell so cheaply because this was a 'prototype' that shouldn't have been sold, and as a result AMS Neve would not associate themselves with this unit. He said that this was the same as the current production model with the exception of the black knobs. Apparently the seller bought it from another engineer friend who knew someone that worked at the factory - the factory guy personally saw this unit being produced. The seller claimed to know little about compressors. This seemed odd to me, as why in the hell would someone like that own something like a 2254?

Anyway, although this all seemed pretty dodgy I decided to buy the comp seeing as it was a little risk in comparison to the potential gain. The compressor arrived no problem and appears to work exactly as one would expect. It sounds fantastic. I am thinking I have gotten a pretty great bargain, but I am still uncertain about this strange situation. I have attached a couple of pics of the 2254/r - it would be great if someone knowledgeable about the internal components could have a look and let me know what they reckon. I know nothing about electronics to me, but the Carnhill transformers indicate to me that this is legit.

Thanks
Attached Thumbnails
AMS Neve 2254/r prototype - bargain of the century?-2254r.jpg   AMS Neve 2254/r prototype - bargain of the century?-2254r-2.jpg  
Old 4th April 2013
  #2
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
Congrats, however it washes out.....
Old 4th April 2013
  #3
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

This may be info of the 'splitting hairs' variety, but that looks more like a pre-production unit than a prototype, prototypes aren't usually that 'buttoned up'. Prototyping is a 'proof of concept' thing, you don't even know it's gonna work half the time, and there's usually a fair amount of hand-modifying stuff to fine tune the circuit... stacked or bridged resistors, caps strapped across other caps, components totally yanked and jumpered, bits of wire connecting things.

Pre-pro is the step after prototyping, usually a small run of 10 or so units to make sure all the bugs are ironed out in the manufacturing process.

Those units don't generally get serial numbers, and since most high end companies are small mom-and-pop kinda outfits, the units end up with personal friends, friends/supporters of the company, people who like having oddball unique versions of things... that kinda deal. Because you do a small run, they tend to cost about 3-5x as much per unit as full production models.

It looks like someone penned in a serial number inside the chassis, you could always call AMS and inquire about it, make sure it didn't 'fall off the truck' or get stolen.

$500 is definitely the price of someone who got it for free or very close to it. His saying 'it shouldn't have been sold' is a red flag for me; if that's true, how did it end up in his hands? There might be a perfectly good answer to that question, but there might not.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 4th April 2013
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
This may be info of the 'splitting hairs' variety, but that looks more like a pre-production unit than a prototype, prototypes aren't usually that 'buttoned up'. Prototyping is a 'proof of concept' thing, you don't even know it's gonna work half the time, and there's usually a fair amount of hand-modifying stuff to fine tune the circuit... stacked or bridged resistors, caps strapped across other caps, components totally yanked and jumpered, bits of wire connecting things.

Pre-pro is the step after prototyping, usually a small run of 10 or so units to make sure all the bugs are ironed out in the manufacturing process.

Those units don't generally get serial numbers, and since most high end companies are small mom-and-pop kinda outfits, the units end up with personal friends, friends/supporters of the company, people who like having oddball unique versions of things... that kinda deal. Because you do a small run, they tend to cost about 3-5x as much per unit as full production models.

It looks like someone penned in a serial number inside the chassis, you could always call AMS and inquire about it, make sure it didn't 'fall off the truck' or get stolen.

$500 is definitely the price of someone who got it for free or very close to it. His saying 'it shouldn't have been sold' is a red flag for me; if that's true, how did it end up in his hands? There might be a perfectly good answer to that question, but there might not.


Gregory Scott - ubk

Thanks for your reply Greg. Yeah, I see what you mean about this being a pre-production model as opposed to a 'prototype.' It didn't seem quite right to me either, but that was the seller's wording.

Yes I must admit that seemed like a red flag, as well as the way he emphasised that AMS Neve wouldn't want 'anything to do with this.'

I think contacting AMS Neve might be the best option - I am more curious than anything and would like to find out how/why I have ended up with the comp
Old 4th April 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mini logo View Post
I think contacting AMS Neve might be the best option - I am more curious than anything and would like to find out how/why I have ended up with the comp
I don't think so.
You might put the seller into a big trouble.
It's possible that the seller was given one of the preprodiction pieces on condition that he doesn't sell it.
You've got a great deal on a great compressor. If I were you I wouldn't worry about it.
Old 19th April 2013
  #6
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetam View Post
You might put the seller into a big trouble.
It's possible that the seller was given one of the preprodiction pieces on condition that he doesn't sell it.

If that was the condition of sale, then it wouldn't be OP who's putting the seller into big trouble, it'd be the seller doing that to himself by violating his word.

NFR is common in our little world, and is a kind of favor, a courtesy; violating it is uncool.

That said, NFR on hardware usually has a time frame, 1 year is typical. After that, you're free to dump it for as much or as little as you want.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 20th April 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
If that was the condition of sale, then it wouldn't be OP who's putting the seller into big trouble, it'd be the seller doing that to himself by violating his word.

NFR is common in our little world, and is a kind of favor, a courtesy; violating it is uncool.

That said, NFR on hardware usually has a time frame, 1 year is typical. After that, you're free to dump it for as much or as little as you want.


Gregory Scott - ubk
You're quite right.
Old 20th April 2013
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Mike Green's Avatar
 

OP is very clever and the guy's selling it deserves no mercy either.
Old 21st April 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 

So how does it sound? - paul
Old 13th September 2014
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by EstockAudio View Post
That's a smoking deal! What Greg sats seems likely. It sounds like the guy sold something he wasn't supposed too. I'd touch base with AMS Neve and see what they have to say. Who knows...the thing could be stolen! However, being it doesn't have a serial number I don't know how anything could be proven. Best of luck!
Original post was over a year ago... Hopefully he's made a decision by now!
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