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
Music gear as investment ? Condenser Microphones
Old 31st December 2010
  #1
Gear Addict
 
bringmewater's Avatar
 

Music gear as investment ?

Is there any music gear that goes up appreciably in value over time that would make for a real investment? Stock up on gear from Vintage King ? Or is it like all my gear that I buy for $2000 and sell for $800 ? :-)
Old 31st December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Mardi Gras's Avatar
 

as long as dance music exists I dont think 909's will go down in value
Old 31st December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 
BradLyons's Avatar
 

The only products that I've seen appreciate over long periods of time are instruments, primarily guitars....such as PRS Custom Stocks, collectors guitars, etc.
Old 31st December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
Investments rely on supply and demand. The big question is, do you believe that demand for equipment you will buy today will substantially increase over your time frame (10 years, 20 years, whatever)?

In my personal opinion, it seems like recording one's self is very popular today, the way that taking photos with film was in the 1960s. My guess is that this market is already pretty mature and will not grow enough that our tools today will become highly coveted (and expensive) items in the future.

Having said that, I could be dead wrong. In 20 years, perhaps Apple will be defunct and my Great River MP-2NV will be worth $100K in today's money. But I doubt it.
Old 31st December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
euphoria89's Avatar
 

Usually anything limited/anniversary edition holds its value, certainly on things like guitars and other sought after instruments. Usually, your talking top of the range stuf, but not always. The need for items to be in pristine condition still remains imperative though.

Most items that are replaced year upon year are the items that have little value, such as a lot of lower budget audio interfaces, and cheaper studio monitors.

You usually get what you pay for and all that..
Old 31st December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bringmewater View Post
Is there any music gear that goes up appreciably in value over time that would make for a real investment? Stock up on gear from Vintage King ? Or is it like all my gear that I buy for $2000 and sell for $800 ? :-)
I would look at it this way....
The only real investment value is buying gear that you will enjoy and create with, and if it some of the items go up in value over time, cool.
One item that seems to appreciate in value are mint condition classic guitars...I suppose people buy a few Les Pauls and Strats and leave them in the closet for 40 years.lol
Old 31st December 2010
  #7
Gear Addict
 
bringmewater's Avatar
 

Yeah but do those classic guitars go up 5% a year or more ? I'm just thinking that they might not be a great investment either.
Old 31st December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
cdog's Avatar
high end, well maintained vintage gear retains its value quite well
Old 31st December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
I'm coming from 20y of collecting electric guitars and related stuff. In the day of Ebay and the internet it's hard for something to fly under the radar if it's truly game changing. Buying new stuff and hoping to make a profit or even keep your investment is a crap shoot. Here's how it looks to me:

1. Class A investments: classic stuff that's not really replaceable in today's world: 50s Fenders and Gibsons, first few years Marshall and Vox amps and so on. I suppose in the world of studios, the classic tube processors and mics would fall into this category. They're all hurting a bit right now, and didn't do as well with the recession as coins or even the stock market, but there are some bargains to be had and it's WAY more fun owning an old Gibson that a stock certificate.

2. Class B: chancier stuff. Offbeat or small print instruments and gear from the golden age (right now things like Kay, Silvertone, Teisco etc are doing pretty well due to influences like Jack White). Limited availability stuff that's really good would fall into this category but long term prospects are a crap shoot. For example, the Klon pedal is selling for 3-4 times its new price now that it's discontinued. Will it still be that valuable in 10 years? Who knows. Another example: the Clay Jones Overdrive-100 made about 4 years ago, initially for $250, resold instantly for $400 and now in the $1000 range. In 10 years? Some "limited edition/collectable" stuff shows up here: the Clapton Martins, the Jimmy Page Les Pauls have appreciated in value. If you can guess which handbuilt guitars or gear will be recognized in 20 years, you can do really well. For example, early PRS are great value.

3. Sucker bets: this is where the majority of "limited editions" fall: any Les Paul EXCEPT Clapton or Page for example, loses money as do the Martin "guitar of the months", most handbuilt guitars and pedals drop 20-40%, even when they're hard to find. I'd guess most modern "high quality" studio gear will fall into this category-will keep some value but you're not going to make money on it.

Everything else is a depreciable cost, not an investment... Almost anything digital, unless the Edge starts using it falls into the "buy it and eventually give it away" category.
Old 31st December 2010
  #10
Gear Addict
 
bringmewater's Avatar
 

h but retaining value is not an investment that delivers returns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
high end, well maintained vintage gear retains its value quite well
Old 31st December 2010
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Bending_Bus's Avatar
 

Music gear as investment ?

If you buy classic gear you can use it for 10yrs and sell it for about what you got it.

For investments go foreign equities...
Old 31st December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 
decocco's Avatar
 

I think of all the gear I buy as an investment. I don't buy anything I would ever want to sell. heh
Old 31st December 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
My guess is that older Les Pauls and Strats are experiencing a bubble as baby boomers with a lot of money try to grab a shred of their youth. I'll bet that, over the next twenty years, this bubble will slowly deflate. Of course, I've been wrong before!

One factor to remember is that our population keeps growing, which means that what seemed like enough instruments in, let's say, 1960, seems inadequate now. This drives up prices. I guess that if the U.S. hits 900 million people by the time you retire, what's common to us will seem pretty sparse then, and it might be more expensive.

Then again, by the time you retire, we might be recording onto devices the size of our toenails which sound so awesome that going back to Pultecs and Fairchilds would seem as reasonable as going back to Edison disks.
Old 31st December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bringmewater View Post
Yeah but do those classic guitars go up 5% a year or more ? I'm just thinking that they might not be a great investment either.
True.
I am going to have to stop tying up all my closet spaces. lol
Old 31st December 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 
mhs2xs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons View Post
The only products that I've seen appreciate over long periods of time are instruments, primarily guitars....such as PRS Custom Stocks, collectors guitars, etc.
That's right, and even that's a crapshoot. Look no further than the first run Gibson Robot for a recent history of what can happen over hype. Maybe in another 30 years they might be worth the $4g's people were paying for them at one point, but I doubt it. Unfortunately, instruments and gear are not enough of a sought after commodity to be like gold. Especially when the economy gets bad.

I always say, if you like it and can afford it, then buy it and enjoy. If you take care of it and you're lucky, one day you may get your money back and then some. That's about the best you can hope for.
Old 31st December 2010
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Stick to the good stuff: U47, U67, 1073, 1176, 4038, La2a, KM84, Pultec, M49, etc. and you'll never lose a penny.
Old 31st December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 
The MPCist's Avatar
 

One thing for sure: software is worth nothing. heh

Personally I look at music gear investment as an investment in tools to allow me to make more music product. To me, that's the investment.
Old 31st December 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 
TornadoTed's Avatar
I know a guy who retired with no pension and is living on guitars he collected. He worked at music shops most of his life and had brought limited edition guitars only. I can't remember what he had altogether but stuff like Jimmy Page Les Paul, only 100 produced all signed with certificates was one that I can recall.
Old 31st December 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTed View Post
I know a guy who retired with no pension and is living on guitars he collected. He worked at music shops most of his life and had brought limited edition guitars only. I can't remember what he had altogether but stuff like Jimmy Page Les Paul, only 100 produced all signed with certificates was one that I can recall.
Yes, but then again, what about all those people in Nashville whose retirement was essentially tied to their instruments that got ruined in the flooding? That's tragic.

I'm glad for the guy you know, but I always get nervous when people put all their eggs into baskets which can get stolen, water damaged, etc. They'd better buy insurance, and factor that cost into the total cost of ownership, and hope that the insurance actually pays out if there are any problems (far from a sure thing).
Old 31st December 2010
  #20
Lives for gear
 
79_Limited's Avatar
 

Music gear as investment ?

My Rickenbacker collection has gone up over the past 20 years. I have a old delay that has gone up quite a bit. Everything has mostly gone down or held it's own.
Old 31st December 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
BradLyons's Avatar
 

Speaking of "investment"..... I had a debate with my wife about this several months back when I traded in my 3-year old GMC Envoy for a fully-loaded, top of the line Mini Van. She wasn't happy with the total but I said "it was an investment". Technically an investment is something you buy and hang on to, it goes up in value, you don't re-sell it----at least that was her side of it. But my side is you have certain things you need to have or want to have---if you buy cheap, you're going to spend more money later to either fix it, replace it, or deal with the problems. If you buy what you really need LONG-TERM, it saves you more money in the long run as well as headaches and issues. So I see the van as an investment that we keep for 10-15 years, something that works for our family, and something we just won't need or want to replace.......as opposed to buying something to get buy and have to upgrade in 5-years again.

The same is true for audio gear.....
Old 31st December 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
there is lots of gear that holds it value and that can be considered an investment if you are making $$$ off it. I suppose any gear that pays for itself is an investment looking at it form a capital equipment perspective.
Old 31st December 2010
  #23
Gear Addict
 
bringmewater's Avatar
 

My idea of an an investment is something that goes up in value and can actualy be sold. Cars generally suck in this way. Want to buy a paris sytem Brad......kidding. John from old paris group.
Old 1st January 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
 
BradLyons's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bringmewater View Post
My idea of an an investment is something that goes up in value and can actualy be sold. Cars generally suck in this way. Want to buy a paris sytem Brad......kidding. John from old paris group.
Wow---the Paris group, that's going back some days! What's your last name?
Old 1st January 2011
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bringmewater View Post
My idea of an an investment is something that goes up in value and can actualy be sold. Cars generally suck in this way. .
Yep...most things that are really cool suck as an investment..
Invest in a ;
Bass Boat?
Golf clubs?
New computer?
Motorcylcle?
Snowmobile?
Music gear?
Hot babe with big boobs?

All very cool, very fun toys....not really an "investment", but you need these things in your life to be truly happy!
Old 1st January 2011
  #26
Lives for gear
 
travisbrown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by decocco View Post
I think of all the gear I buy as an investment. I don't buy anything I would ever want to sell. heh
Then that's not necessarily an investment. Investments have to have an ROI factor. They either function in an ongoing manner as to make you money (production or rental), or they accrue value realized only by selling them. If you never intend to sell, then it's just collecting.

To the OP, investment in gear, like any other thing, is speculative. If something was known that it would accrue value,

You are only looking at investment as resale value. That's not what gear is made for, so you are really engaging in an ancillary market. Gear is meant to be a working (and depreciable) asset - you buy a piece of gear because you can use it to do things that will make money. That's where the investment is intended. It is not like investing in art. The best thing you can do with gear is wear it out.

If you want to buy collectable gear, your guess is as good as anyone's about what darlings will increase in value. As current production models, new gear will have supply to meet demand. Unless you are some sort of oracle, do what every other collector does and buy something of decreasing supply that is already increasing in value and hold on to it until you want to cash it in. C12s, 1073s, Fairchilds, U87s...whatever.

But, if you are looking to invest, there are faster growing things to invest in. I don't know of anyone who has successfully collected gear for investment purposes. In the time it takes for gear to accrue any value to make collecting a worthwhile endeavour, like a Fairchild 670, you'll be near dead.
Old 1st January 2011
  #27
Gear Addict
 
ZFire's Avatar
 

Something with a history that makes it uniquely collectible might be a decent bet. Like a piece previously owned by a famous artist, or used on a classic album.

Otherwise, investing in any technology is likely going to lose you money, as progress continues to chip away at the usefulness of older tools. Heck, in 30 years, I would guess that someone using any analog processing gear might be viewed as being a total anachronism.
Old 1st January 2011
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Kingtone's Avatar
 

I look at gear as an investment if i get it at such a price that i could sell it the next day for more than what i paid for it. All those folks who bought old neve 1073 modules for a few hundred $$ could definitely say their gear was an investment. But none of that is really guaranteed... as i guess most investments arent either.
Many business minded folks look at a purchase as an investment if, it costs less to buy the item than to rent one for a predetermined amount of times. I worked with guy who used a 1 in 10 rule.
eg. If we needed to rent a microphone more than once, and rental cost 10% or more of the purchase price, then we would purchase the said item. (there were a few stipulations we would look into... such as if it was actually conceivable that we would use it again etc) By the time I claim losses on depreciation and then look at salvage value in 10 years time, some items could be considered an investment with all other things considered.

I usually just make it simple for myself and buy great, used, vintage gear that i can sell the same day for more than what i paid for it.
In the meantime, taking servicing, depreciation and later salvage value into mind, If owning it helps me make money, to me, It is an investment.

Cars are never investments unless they are increasing in value.. (eg.. vintage collectors pieces etc) Looking at it any other way is a dangerous mindset in my opinion. I look at software, plugins and digital the same way. They are just necessary liabilities.

here is another thread from a few years back that had some thoughts on this subject too.
Is it still worth it to invest in high end outboard gear?
Old 1st January 2011
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Igotsoul4u's Avatar
I actually think audio and musical gear is a great investment. If I sold all the gear I have I could probably put a down payment on a house and who knows, I may do that one day if need be. The key is to get it at the right price. Buying used but in pristine condition is the best way to maximize your dollar and minimize the loss gap from buying new. I bought a custom shop strat for 950 and sold it for almost 2k. I have some trumpets that are never going to lose a certain amount of their value. Mics and mic pre's are also a great investment. API, neve, akg, etc... will never go out of style. Buy smart and be prepared to keep it in perfect condition with proper service and documentation. This will always increase value. Get things restored by the manufacturer etc.. It's not much different from investing in other valuables like Rolex or jewels. They will always be in style and in demand.

This excludes anything digital. Buying anything digital will ultimately lose it's value.
Old 1st January 2011
  #30
Lives for gear
 
ionian's Avatar
The only investment I see at the moment is if you were one of the lucky ones to buy a Manley ELOP before they jacked up the price $600! Now you can probably sell it used for more then you paid for it new, but less then Manley is selling it now and people will buy it!

THAT'S an investment!!

Frank
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
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
sleepwalker / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
57
Jack Luminous / High end
86
dannygold / High end
32
heisleyamor / So much gear, so little time
20
sleepwalker / So much gear, so little time
24

Forum Jump
Forum Jump