The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Low End guys, how do you go about saving your pennies? Condenser Microphones
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 
goom's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Low End guys, how do you go about saving your pennies?

I normally have to sell a bunch of stuff and buy my next thing immediately or else I'd spend it on something dumb like food or vehicle inspection stickers. People hate that I have no body fat. They don't know!

Last edited by goom; 2 weeks ago at 01:36 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
I have saved lots of pennies by buying the best I could afford years ago and just using the heck out of it since then.

Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Let's see, back when I was poor, I did the following:

1) Avoided going out or having a social life. This saved me TONS of money for gear.

2) Avoided having a romantic life. Yea, I was pretty lonely, but at least I had gear!

3) Bought used. Ebay.

4) Bought a lot of "sleeper gear." Stuff that was real good, but fell out of favor due to poor marketing. Either the unit looked ugly, had a goofy name, or had other things about it totally unrelated to sound that made the gear hard to sell to those looking for the sexy factor.

Examples include anything made by Rane or Symetrix. Symetrix used to make everything in these ugly grey boxes with real ugly knobs. Rane gear looks like they cut every cosmetic corner imaginable. But their stuff usually blows the doors off anything you'd buy from Guitar Center, even today.

5) Bought stuff that stopped selling due to being slightly out of date. Example: You can get an Apogee mini me off flea bay or Reverb for less than a few hundred bucks. Ten years ago, that thing was not out of place next to the finest mic pres and a/d converters of it's day. It didn't suddenly start sounding bad just because it's but ugly, has weird form factor and is over a decade old. I'd consider grabbing one right now if I needed something like it.

6) Bought stuff that was real well-designed, but had corners cut during manufacturing. The above-mentioned Symetrix and Rane gear, for example, were often loaded with cheap components. 5532 op amps, cheap ceramic caps, etc. I used to buy up their mic pres and channel strips for around $100, take them down to the local electronics/repair guy, and pay him another $100 to replace the caps and opamps. At the end of the day, I'd have a $200 box that sounded like an $800 box.

Nowadays, with all these replacement capsules you can buy from microphone-parts ... you could buy a $60 ISK microphone .... stick a $100-200 capsule in it and have yourself a $300 mic that sounds like a $600 mic. If you wanted to be even more creative, you could scour ebay for an old mic with a good capsule for cheaper than the microphone-parts capsule.

Here's an idea: buy an old, ugly Oktava MK219 for $100, put that thing's capsule in the $60 ISK and enjoy yourself a poor man's U47.

7) Used flat/accurate, boring sounding mics and brought them to life with EQ. With a little midrange scooping and presence boosting, you can make a $100 Oktava small diaphragm condenser sound like an expensive mic.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Its called maturity. Eventually you learn to put your passion into making music and stop thinking its the gear that's preventing you from making great music.

You need to immunize yourself against the sales people and hucksters who know how to push your buttons and make you pay out like a slot machine every time they want to sell you something.

Instead focus all the passion and emotion on actually making good music and look at the gear as "tools" only. The gear becomes far less important and your music will sound far better as a result.

Also you buy the right gear used and it's just like putting it in the bank. It can go up in value as you get to use the gear at the same time. You cant find a better investment then that, one that will let you use it as it gains value.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
superstupid's Avatar
 

stay away from gearslutz
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
I have saved lots of pennies by buying the best I could afford years ago and just using the heck out of it since then.

Sound like the best way for save money.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Stay in-the-box. Plugins are way cheaper than hardware... I also sell unwanted old gear to get new gear.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
I simply started a separate savings account at my local credit union. I put every dime I earned playing gigs in there. It took several years, but when I moved out of my rented apartment into a purchased house, I was ready to start shopping.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by superstupid View Post
stay away from gearslutz
@MartinCooper

No, this is the best way to save money...
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Cardinal_SINE's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goom View Post
I normally have to sell a bunch of stuff and buy my next thing immediately or else I'd spend it on something dumb like food or vehicle inspection stickers. People hate that I have no body fat. They don't know!
you buy used
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
CJ Mastering's Avatar
Everyones disposable income is different. Some have a monthly or yearly budget on buying gear and some have to save and starve to buy something.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
goom's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal_SINE View Post
you buy used
Buying used is a risk that can end up costing more than new. With new, you have a good window to return it and a warranty period.

Also with new, you can keep it in excellent condition and not throw away everything that it came with so resale breaks near even.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Cardinal_SINE's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goom View Post
Buying used is a risk that can end up costing more than new. With new, you have a good window to return it and a warranty period.

Also with new, you can keep it in excellent condition and not throw away everything that it came with so resale breaks near even.
I've owned recording studios for 35 yeas I have never used a warranty on anything even analog machines and desks. If a product is going to need a warranty, you don't buy the product
Old 1 week ago
  #14
For me it's about flipping what I don't sorely need, sometimes in conjunction with a small cash injection, to keep maximising my studio ergonomics and upping its flippable value. Maybe once a year I will have a decent amount of spare cash to get something "expensive" (< $600)...
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Gear Head
 
Strick9's Avatar
For me it's doing lots of research to find ways to get more out of less. This forum, recordinghacks, and GroupDIY are good resources. You really have to search every possible way you can think of sometimes. That may be a specific topic, or finding someone who I respect and read all of their posts like a creeper.

I like to buy things used, and also go the DIY route. Sometimes I have to sell things I don't use anymore to offset the costs of new gear and projects.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Poopypants's Avatar
 

Buy what's available when it's available at a good price instead of looking for a specific piece of gear. If there are ten items that you want, and they're things of varying value, buy them in the order that they show up in your life rather than the order you might prefer to acquire them or by how much money you currently have to spend. Over time, you'll acquire all your items at decent price points. So, if you have different microphones on your wish list and the expensive vocal mic shows up at a decent rate, that's when you buy it, even if that means you can't buy anything again for a year, and even if you feel that a new kick drum mic would be more beneficial short term. And if have the dough for the expensive vocal mic, but it doesn't show up, but the kick mic does, buy the kick mic. Buy in the order that it presents itself.

And yes, buy used.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Unit Sound View Post
6) Bought stuff that was real well-designed, but had corners cut during manufacturing. The above-mentioned Symetrix and Rane gear, for example, were often loaded with cheap components. 5532 op amps, cheap ceramic caps, etc. I used to buy up their mic pres and channel strips for around $100, take them down to the local electronics/repair guy, and pay him another $100 to replace the caps and opamps. At the end of the day, I'd have a $200 box that sounded like an $800 box.
Nothing wrong with 5532s. Really.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
AlphaDingo's Avatar
 

I started "The Sylvester Fund". It was named after my neighbor's cat. I would take all of my coins at the end of the day and put them into a glass jar next to my bed. It adds up pretty quickly! I got mics, plugins, you name it. Not in two weeks, but reasonably fast. I'd add that the more money you have in savings the more you'll be able to maximize opportunities to get "that piece" for a great price. Some good advice that I was never able to follow is this: save up twice the cost of any particular piece so you're never out of cash. I'd also suggest looking into Vanguard index funds. They're the lowest cost and it's a decent way to maximize your money. When you're poor, every cent matters. Smartphone? Drop it, get a flip phone and put the difference into your gear fund. Cable TV? drop it. Put the difference into your gear fund. No roommate? Get one. Put the difference into your gear fund. Shop around for car insurance. Put the difference into your gear fund. Get renters insurance if you don't already have it. Enjoy the **** out of what you get!!
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmorris View Post
Nothing wrong with 5532s. Really.
If there's better out there with higher slew rate, lower THD figures, etc., and they cost like a buck a piece, then why not? I get that any track will likely pass through 1 million 5532's on it's way to the listener's cheap earbuds. Why not cut that figure down to 999,999 if you can?
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
goom's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaDingo View Post
Smartphone? Drop it, get a flip phone and put the difference into your gear fund. Cable TV?
My 7 year old iPhone 4S still works like brand new. Handy Peterson strobe tuner app.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Unit Sound View Post
If there's better out there with higher slew rate, lower THD figures, etc., and they cost like a buck a piece, then why not? I get that any track will likely pass through 1 million 5532's on it's way to the listener's cheap earbuds. Why not cut that figure down to 999,999 if you can?
I get what you're saying. and I often say that it's worth, for example, swapping out TL072 for, say, OPA2134 where you need the FET input type OpAmp.
My point though is that there's no reason to open up a piece of kit, see a load of NE5532 Op Amps and think - "well they need to go".
Op Amps that are technically better in one or more parameters may be available but they tend to cost more than a $ / £ / Can't find a Euro sign - at least for DIY quantities. As did NE5532 'back in the day'.
Slew Rate in particular is a moot point - how much Slew is really useful - but high GBW does get you nearer to the ideal wrt THD / IMD.
But on a slightly wider point you really need to know what the circuit is to get an idea of whether a change of op amp is likely to be of advantage.
eg if there is no common mode signal then it's pointless to to replacxe NE5532 on the basis that the replacement OpAmp has lower Common Mode distortion.
eg. LM4562 will be better than NE5532 in most instances but not if the source resistance is high enough to cause higher noise than NE5532 (LM4562 has higher current noise IIRC)
In many cases the limiting factor will be found to be the resistor noise.
Often resistor values can be reduced to improve this but , of course, you need to know what you're doing ! And it will increase the demand on the Power Supply.
Actually one good reason for swapping out NE5532 might be to reduce power consumption and thus heat. Probably more of a concern in mixing desks with loads of OpAmp stages where the cost of electricity itself becomes an issue.

Also bear in mind that lots of OpAmps now becoming available only in SMT so if replacing DIP then will need adaptor PCB so the detail of the PCB layout is changing albeit slightly. And 'faster' OPAmps may be more 'touchy' wrt decoupling etc so check for oscillations with a 'scope'.

And don't forget the basics - esp grounding - 'Pin 1' Problem etc.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
I quit spending money on nonsense like alcohol and tobacco. Then I decided to learn to fix stuff rather than paying someone else to, or throwing up my hands and replacing it. I like old used gear. People will get rid of great stuff - lots of times they'll simply give it away. I take it all and repair it.

Also, I decided to stop being a collector. I don't need thirty-seven guitars and ten different amps. I have one electric - a Telecaster that I wired and loaded with pickups to achieve all of the tones that I required, and I settled on one acoustic. I have one tube amp. I have maybe five microphones. I stopped feeling the need to buy new stuff and I work with what I've got.

Necessity is the mother of invention.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goom View Post
I normally have to sell a bunch of stuff and buy my next thing immediately or else I'd spend it on something dumb like food or vehicle inspection stickers. People hate that I have no body fat. They don't know!
That's what I do, but suddenly I'm interface shopping due to M-Audio's decision not to update their drivers anymore for their Profire series. The 610 that I bought used for $200 is now worth pretty much $0. Grr.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Gear Nut
 

I'll often take an educated gamble on buying non-working gear to repair, so long as the seller doesn't seem to be trying to pass off something that's been seriously mistreated and provided that the current owner hasn't tried to "repair" it himself.

Like AlphaDingo, I also literally save my pocket change. If I find that I have accumulated a wallet full of singles, I'll sometimes drop $2 or $3 in bills into the jar. It does add up, and it's fun to spend this "free" money.

I don't pay for any sort of TV or video streaming service -- just get the occasional thrift store DVD.

I look for gear that's not specifically sold for pro-audio studio applications; some broadcast-oriented gear has excellent specifications.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbel View Post
That's what I do, but suddenly I'm interface shopping due to M-Audio's decision not to update their drivers anymore for their Profire series. The 610 that I bought used for $200 is now worth pretty much $0. Grr.
yeah - drivers / OS compatability is a real issue for interfaces and plug-ins.
I'm 'tied' to XP since the hardware I use (Soundscape Mixtreme (TDIF)) doesn't run effectively on any later Windows OS.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmorris View Post
My point though is that there's no reason to open up a piece of kit, see a load of NE5532 Op Amps and think - "well they need to go".

Real good points, and I appreciate all of the technical detail. As more of an "ears" guy, I like replacing all of the opamps with sockets, and then just swap 'em out, and listen to see if I hear a difference. More often than not, there's no audible benefit. But in some cases, the difference was immediate and noticeable. Almost any time I've seen one of those cheap Japanese "JM" opamps and replaced them with an OP275 or an OPA2134, I hear just a hair more accuracy, and I can usually identify it in a blind test.

And that's not even counting the immediate improvement I hear when upgrading an older mike pre using one of the pre-INA163 amps (I think they were the 2117 or something like that). Immediately noticeable improvement in high frequency clarity.

And if you do this with 3 pieces of gear, and only one experiences a slight sonic improvement, that's still an improvement that can add up incrementally.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Unit Sound View Post
Real good points, and I appreciate all of the technical detail. As more of an "ears" guy, I like replacing all of the opamps with sockets, and then just swap 'em out, and listen to see if I hear a difference. More often than not, there's no audible benefit. But in some cases, the difference was immediate and noticeable. Almost any time I've seen one of those cheap Japanese "JM" opamps and replaced them with an OP275 or an OPA2134, I hear just a hair more accuracy, and I can usually identify it in a blind test.

And that's not even counting the immediate improvement I hear when upgrading an older mike pre using one of the pre-INA163 amps (I think they were the 2117 or something like that). Immediately noticeable improvement in high frequency clarity.

And if you do this with 3 pieces of gear, and only one experiences a slight sonic improvement, that's still an improvement that can add up incrementally.
Yeah - def replace inferior opamps for a quick upgrade

'2117' = INA217 ?

If using FET type opamps one thing to consider is that if you opt for a very low dc offset spec' you can realistically consider omitting electrolytic dc blocking caps as the potentiometer 'rustle' will be very low
Otherwise I suggest that increasing the value of dc blocking caps as space allows is a good thing - less voltage across an electrolytic = lower distortion.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 
bowzin's Avatar
Ebay alerts, and patience...
Old 6 days ago
  #29
I put a number of gear makers on a 'never ever buy sh!t list' whenever I find they won't update drivers. You know who I mean... That saves the need to replace hardware whenever Microsoft decides a new release is the only way to boost income.

I buy reels of Belden cable and XLR connectors and make my own mic cords.

I fix things that break, and keep an electronics workbench set up for that purpose. I clean and maintain stuff. I only buy something I really need for an upcoming recording or gig, unless it is a special find at a special price. I also fix amps for various local musicians, which occasionally brings in a few bucks.

I stash all gig and recording income into a separate place and never use it for anything else.

I buy oddball cables for fixed-install in-studio use from Monoprice. They don't wear out just laying there...
Old 6 days ago
  #30
Gear Nut
 

I'll second the "never, ever buy sh!tlist". Got burned with the lack of driver updates on an interface not too long ago. I was thinking about buying a new interface with more I/O anyway, but I'm not happy that I can't use the old interface as part of a portable rig.

I also extend this "blacklist" to companies that won't provide replies to technical inquiries. I don't necessarily need a service manual for every repair, but if I do need part numbers or a schematic, I expect that they'll be available (I'll pay a reasonable fee for schematics or other service literature -- but I expect it to be available).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philbo King View Post
I put a number of gear makers on a 'never ever buy sh!t list' whenever I find they won't update drivers. You know who I mean... That saves the need to replace hardware whenever Microsoft decides a new release is the only way to boost income.

I buy reels of Belden cable and XLR connectors and make my own mic cords.

I fix things that break, and keep an electronics workbench set up for that purpose. I clean and maintain stuff. I only buy something I really need for an upcoming recording or gig, unless it is a special find at a special price. I also fix amps for various local musicians, which occasionally brings in a few bucks.

I stash all gig and recording income into a separate place and never use it for anything else.

I buy oddball cables for fixed-install in-studio use from Monoprice. They don't wear out just laying there...
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump