How old is "Vintage"?

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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by CS_TBL » Thu May 18, 2017 11:26 pm

I'd say that vintage relates to (in this case) synths/ra/va/samplers/yadayada-everything that is now technologically outdated or obsolete, yet played a major role (or was a major milestone) in the history of music technology and music production.

But hey, it's all as vague as strawberry pudding in an active dishwasher, so why bother having a unifying definition for something that means something different for every person reading this? :lol:
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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by gs » Mon May 22, 2017 6:27 pm

I would say, based on the demographic of this web site, the distinction is quite simple and breaks down pretty much like this:

Vintage = Analog
Non-Vintage = Digital

The mention of the DX7 as the "breaking point" for this distinction, makes a h**l of a lot of sense. That was the world's first commercially marketed AFFORDABLE digital synthesizer, and one of the first ones with MIDI. The sleek knobless interface makes the distinction quite visually (and viscerally).
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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by Tekhed66 » Tue May 23, 2017 5:57 am

gs wrote:I would say, based on the demographic of this web site, the distinction is quite simple and breaks down pretty much like this:

Vintage = Analog
Non-Vintage = Digital

The mention of the DX7 as the "breaking point" for this distinction, makes a h**l of a lot of sense. That was the world's first commercially marketed AFFORDABLE digital synthesizer, and one of the first ones with MIDI. The sleek knobless interface makes the distinction quite visually (and viscerally).
Yeah OK but I think we're missing the point of the original thread...

If we are now adding new gear to the VSE database, how recent/far back can we go? ... where does 'Vintage' end and 'New' start? For example, there are reviews on a Prophet 5 but how come no Prophet 6? ... is it because a 6 is too new? I have a Roland XV5080 but there isn't an entry for a Roland Integra which (supposedly) is/was the next generation of rack mounted synths.

If we use the DX7 as a cutoff then there are heaps of synths in the database that shouldn't be here...

Personally, I'd like to see new synths become eligible for inclusion each year ... either that or we just say it's open season and add any piece of gear regardless of the date and keep the title "Vintage Synth Explorer" as a nod to the old website.

Just my 2c.

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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by CS_TBL » Tue May 23, 2017 8:48 pm

gs wrote:Vintage = Analog
Non-Vintage = Digital
Emulator? Synclavier? Fairlight? I'd say those are pretty vintage. I wouldn't want to just divide between vintage and non-vintage using the particular method of sound creation.
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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by CS_TBL » Tue May 23, 2017 9:01 pm

Tekhed66 wrote:Personally, I'd like to see new synths become eligible for inclusion each year ... either that or we just say it's open season and add any piece of gear regardless of the date and keep the title "Vintage Synth Explorer" as a nod to the old website.
Problem is that the term vintage isn't set in stone. I'm not quite sure how many people would find a JV1080 to be vintage, yet in another ten years it may be just as vintage as we think a Synclavier is vintage.

I'm also not quite sure whether the synthesis method is a good way to divide vintage and non-vintage. Just because it took until the 80's for sampling keyboards to become commercially interesting to the wide audience, doesn't mean the technology is new. It existed before, it was just bloody expensive. So, there are no clear lines if you want to bring technology to the table as a way to divide the term 'vintage'.

How about this:

Let's put the focus on user interface instead. Perhaps we label things as vintage because they had this one-control-for-one-function design. Halfway the 80's, the common synth UI became virtual, with functions hidden in menus and a group of sliders operating many sections of the synth based on where you are in the menu. It's why I feel a JD800 could be labeled 'vintage', while I somehow feel a JD990, JV80, JV880, XP50, XP80 etc. couldn't.
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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by knolan » Tue May 23, 2017 9:50 pm

20 - 25 years old - as with other vintage items such as cars. So the Nord Lead is a vintage synthesizer

There are also "classic synthesizers" that hold a special place in the history / pantheon of music. So while the liked of the Minimoog and CS80 are classic synthesizers, there could also be a case for some modern synthesizers to be considered classics - such as the Korg Microkorg, or the Access Virus

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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by meatballfulton » Tue May 23, 2017 10:43 pm

Tekhed66 wrote:If we are now adding new gear to the VSE database, how recent/far back can we go?
Right up to today actually. Until the review process ground to a halt a few years ago, new synths were being added regularly. For example the DSI Tempest (2011?) has a page.

There were never guidelines from the previous admin about cutoff dates and new reviews were prepared by volunteers.
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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by Tekhed66 » Wed May 24, 2017 1:36 am

meatballfulton wrote:
Tekhed66 wrote:If we are now adding new gear to the VSE database, how recent/far back can we go?
Right up to today actually. Until the review process ground to a halt a few years ago, new synths were being added regularly. For example the DSI Tempest (2011?) has a page.

There were never guidelines from the previous admin about cutoff dates and new reviews were prepared by volunteers.
That's interesting ... I didn't know that and it answers the question too ... if there's a piece of gear worthy of a review, new or old, please add it to the database.

Sorted!

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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by minime123 » Wed May 24, 2017 6:22 pm

I'm thinking 20-25 years, at a minimum.
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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by Mooger5 » Wed May 24, 2017 6:41 pm

The JD-XA for sure deserves an unbiased review. It´s a effin monster!
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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by gs » Wed May 24, 2017 7:09 pm

Tekhed66 wrote:
gs wrote:I would say, based on the demographic of this web site, the distinction is quite simple and breaks down pretty much like this:

Vintage = Analog
Non-Vintage = Digital

The mention of the DX7 as the "breaking point" for this distinction, makes a h**l of a lot of sense. That was the world's first commercially marketed AFFORDABLE digital synthesizer, and one of the first ones with MIDI. The sleek knobless interface makes the distinction quite visually (and viscerally).
Yeah OK but I think we're missing the point of the original thread...

If we are now adding new gear to the VSE database, how recent/far back can we go? ... where does 'Vintage' end and 'New' start? For example, there are reviews on a Prophet 5 but how come no Prophet 6? ... is it because a 6 is too new? I have a Roland XV5080 but there isn't an entry for a Roland Integra which (supposedly) is/was the next generation of rack mounted synths.

If we use the DX7 as a cutoff then there are heaps of synths in the database that shouldn't be here...

Personally, I'd like to see new synths become eligible for inclusion each year ... either that or we just say it's open season and add any piece of gear regardless of the date and keep the title "Vintage Synth Explorer" as a nod to the old website.

Just my 2c.
When I first discovered VSE around 2003, I went here because I loved the reviews of all kinds of synths, not just those considered to be vintage. I noticed there were lots of NEW (or NEWER) synths being reviewed here that didn't fit the "vintage" label... But I figured they're being reviewed so that people could see what synths these companies were coming up with NOW, and compare them to reviews of the vintage classics. I found that extremely helpful.

I guess I oversimplified (a lot) with the Vintage=Analog, Non-Vintage=Digital distinction. But really, it almost boils down to that... particularly to do with the INTERFACE. I always got the feeling from reading reviews and reader comments that this web site was devoted to musicians who loved the knob-per-function interface and wanted a return of that interface... while at the same time eschewing the sample based ROMPLER-ism of the past 1½ decades in favor of a simpler but more organic ANALOG sound. Essentially, people wanted SYNTHS and not just KEYBOARDS. They wanted user control back. Thus, the name "Vintage Synths" seemed the easiest moniker to slap on this web site... Even though there are a good number of exceptions to the rule (i.e. vintage digitals and new analogs).
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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by jxalex » Wed May 24, 2017 8:55 pm

CS_TBL wrote:
gs wrote:Vintage = Analog
Non-Vintage = Digital
Emulator? Synclavier? Fairlight? I'd say those are pretty vintage. I wouldn't want to just divide between vintage and non-vintage using the particular method of sound creation.

THere are also words like RETRO and classical.

Prophet 5 is vintage.
Prophet 6 is RETRO.
Also the recently released Minimoog D-model is RETRO, not a "vintage, manufactured by 2017".

Emulator, SYnclavier, Fairlight are vintage as their parts are not produced anymore and neither they are produced anymore.
IF they are produced again by sticking to those old schematics, then it is not vintage at 2017, then it is RETRO.


When it comes to JV1080 then sometimes the old synth is just a old synthesizer model, but not vintage, as they are just deliberately downsized model of the other models in a queue before launching "newer and better" models.
JV1080 is as less vintage as XV3080 and XV5080 as they are the same series.

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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by jxalex » Wed May 24, 2017 9:00 pm

meatballfulton wrote: Do people consider the Roland MC-303 a vintage synth because it came out over 20 years ago?
It depends if it has some details from unobtainium besides the factory proprietary chips.

Sometimes old synth is just a old model but not vintage.

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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by desmond » Wed May 24, 2017 9:08 pm

jxalex wrote:When it comes to JV1080 then sometimes the old synth is just a old synthesizer model, but not vintage, as they are just deliberately downsized model of the other models in a queue before launching "newer and better" models.
Could be. Could equally be that the JV1080 was the start of a new platform and they then "upsized" from there, creating the higher end versions with extra features and improvements at a higher price point, to cater for different people and their needs. Not everyone needs the inbuilt sampler stuff of the 5080 if they just want a MIDI module with a bunch of sounds in it. And better technology gets cheaper over time, so often it's not cost effective to use higher end components first in order to make a competitive product. These decisions are not made lightly, for sure.

Without facts, either one is just a guess, anyway...

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Re: How old is "Vintage"?

Post by HideawayStudio » Wed May 24, 2017 9:55 pm


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