Vintage vs. New

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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Carey M
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Post by Carey M » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:51 am

I sold a few vintage pieces to be able to afford a SunSyn. I chose modern over vintage, but not because I wanted a modern synth (my SunSyn was bought used and is way out of warranty), but because I was after the SunSyn sound. Many people are after a certain sound and I think that is a big reason why people prefer vintage stuff.

Price is another factor. I just bought an MKS-50 for 150 euros. You can get them and Alphas even cheaper.

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Post by JSRockit » Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:38 pm

eskimo wrote:I need limitations, a glass ceilling that will allow me to stop, play, finish, and polish whatever turd I have and call it:
"my turd"
Yeah, that's how I feel...but my limitation is my brain and skills. I keep on keeping on anyway though.
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Post by CS_TBL » Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:04 pm

Software (e.g. modern).

It's just so practical in a production, all the stuff saved in the project file, no more polyphony or multi-timbrality limits ever more, all the effects I want. Oh, and I'm not an uneducated kid in a room full o' 50.000 musical Lego bricks.. :P Why ppl keep mentioning "pro with limited gear vs kid with uber-computer/gear" is beyond me, I'd rather opt for : "pro with uber-computer/gear".

The vastness of all today's sound possibilities may scare people. But if you're into vastly layered music (e.g. dense orchestral combined with synthetic layered soundscapes), then the last thing one's waiting for is a limitation somewhere.
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Post by xibalba » Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:13 pm

theotherleadingbrand wrote:When I travel somewhere to jam I like to show up, power on, and play. Old mono-synth in one hand, Thunderbird in the other. High tech stuff just takes up too much of my beer time.
is that thunderbird as in gibson thunderbird bass? b/c if so that f---ing rules, i use to have my dream guitar gibson firebird (reverse headstock, banjo tuners, chrome plated pickups...sigh i miss that guitar :cry: )

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Post by adsr » Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:57 pm

WOW...what a great thread. everyone is civil and its a great topic. thanks JSRockit.

JS makes a good point in asking "why". i own a little of everything (vintage and modern). i started playing piano at age seven and graduated high school in 1990, meaning i was a musician drooling over every single piece of gear out there in the 80's (all the stuff we now call "vintage"). i had a DX21 and borrowed a Korg M1 from the guy i was in a band with. when i graduated college in the mid 90's and got a job, i realized i had the money and opportunity to buy all the s**t i wanted while i was in HS. so i started researching and buying. i like my Micron and microKorg a lot, but there is a reason i have kept my DX21 and own an AX60 and CZ3000. i grew up listening to the music that these machines made and it has become a part of who i am, but i cant not buy new synths when i see that they can help me make the music i want to make...

i also think that eskimo makes a good about limitations. i often find the stuff i did ten years ago with a K1r and a DX21 on my MMT8 much more interesting then some of the c**p i write now. i had little to work with and made sure i made the most of it. i once wrote an entire EP on a borrowed Korg X3 and its actually really good stuff (to me, anyway). limitiations are a good thing. pick out three synths and a hardware sequencer and see how great stuff can sound...

ok...i am done...
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Post by SWAN » Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:57 pm

eskimo wrote:Now, I have too many options. Actually, I'm thoroughly convinced that buying a Nord Modular is what killed any creative force I ever had. After I got that, all I wanted to do if find the perfect beep. 7 years later.. I still haven't found it. I play with the m-er f'er all day.
lol

I know exactly what you mean. "the perfect beep" I like that. I thought about a Nord Modular but I knew Id get horribly bogged down and never make any music. Now I like simple synths which do one useful thing WELL. Modern or vintage.

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Post by wilsontherocker » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:10 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:6. Computers can do anything, and as a result, what which they do is not particularly impressive or fun. A musically ignorant kid can use a computer and software to create something in minutes that electronic music pioneers required months, education, and creativity to generate. Which is better?
You do realize that unless you are holding up two specific pieces of music for comparison, there is no answer to that question, right? The tools, time, or even amount of musical knowledge used to create a piece of music (i.e. the means) cannot be used to judge the quality of a piece of music (i.e. the ends). Also, just because the hypothetical kid on his computer may be musically ingorant and lacks education, does not mean that he also lacks creativity, as you suggest.

Often the pioneers of any field have to come about their accomplishments "the hard way," and their work is often that much more impressive when taken in that context. But that doesn't mean that the methods of those who come after, building on the work of the pioneers, are any less valid. Anyhow, none of this is really on topic, is it?

As far as the vintage/modern decision goes in my gear selection, money and convenience are probably the key factors for me. I definitely want patch storage and midi from my synths. And I can't afford large synth purchases. But there's a lot of "vintage 1980s" quirky/interesting/unique stuff out there to be had for under $200. That's less than a lot of softsynths out there. And there's plenty of free softsynths that can make wonderful sounds and music too. So, I'm obviously not coming at this from a "I want this certain vintage tone" perspective. I'm more of the "what will be fun and unique sounding for not a lot of money?" mind.

Truthfully, I've never laid my hands on any pre-80s synths (except for the minikorg 700, which I didn't stay with long enough for it have a chance to really impress me), so I really don't know what I'm missing. I'm sure there's a real difference in the sound and feel of an old analog which I would probably enjoy; I just don't have the money or real desire to experience that difference. :)

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Post by kuroichi » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:36 pm

i dont usually care about vintage or modern, but I find that most modern equipment tends to be of low quality build, just plastic for example, or is just DSP with no real effort put into providing a unique sound.

I like older gear because although most are simplistic, they do what they say, with no messing around, well in most cases.
New equipment seems like its built only to be replaced a year later by a newer model.

And everything is relatively priced. For example, rather than one good piece of equipment, there are about 4 different versions, with the most expensive only costing so much because it offers the things the cheaper machines should have but don’t.
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Post by esqoner » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:41 pm

kuroichi wrote: For example, rather than one good piece of equipment, there are about 4 different versions, with the most expensive only costing so much because it offers the things the cheaper machines should have but don’t.
damn business.

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Post by redchapterjubilee » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:13 pm

Price, simplicity and tone. In that order.

Vintage analog often costs less than new analog, and sometimes less than virtual analog. And, as it has been argued to death here, often the virtual analog and new analog fail to have that certain something that old school analog has.

I love my Source. There is the immediacy of touching the membrane then spinning the data wheel, though not as immediate as grabbing a knob and twisting. Last year I bought JSRockIt's MonoEvolver Keyboard. I had the Realistic/Moog MG-1 and I loved it, but I thought I was ready to move up to a more complex instrument. I was not. While the MEK could make some stellar sounds and was super-deep, it did not inspire me to make music. It inspired me to make presets. The Source is the best of both worlds for me. Presets and real-time manipulation. Not a deep synth but it is easy and quick to use, and it has a world-class tone.

When I conceive my music I hear analog synth tones 90% of the time. That is why I own analog synths, and the digital stuff I own either consists of analog synth samples or analog synth emulation. I would prefer to own the real thing but I have recently come to know the heartache of a vintage analog dying on me and would not want that to happen again. And, let's be honest, the days of budget analog synths being real bargains are starting to disappear. And now that I've been forced to seriously use the software I have since my 106 is dead and buried, I'm beginning to enjoy using the laptop less as a sequencer and more like a synthesizer. My music itself has taken a turn towards playing overdubbed parts rather than sequencing anyways. While it would be nice to have another Micron or even an Ion or Nord Lead, my laptop armed with MiniMoogV, CS-80V, FM7 and Reason 2.5, can do just as fine a job.
JSRockIt wrote:But how about people who buy a Moog Source over a Moog LP (about the same price these days) when the purchase isn't linked to nostalgia? Is it due to the fact the LP is being used by too many people and you want something different? Is it because you like older stuff and its simplicity?
Because I bought a Source for $500 last fall and at that point the only LP available was the $1350 version. There were rumors the LP Stage would be priced at $1000 and I was going to wait for it but...the Source popped up and the LP Stage did not come in below $1000 like we'd thought. I contemplated upgrading the LP Stage this past summer (I even posted a thread on here about it), but I decided that I'd probably just wait and be happy with what I have.
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Post by JSRockit » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:23 pm

redchapterjubilee wrote:Price, simplicity and tone. In that order.
JSRockIt wrote:But how about people who buy a Moog Source over a Moog LP (about the same price these days) when the purchase isn't linked to nostalgia? Is it due to the fact the LP is being used by too many people and you want something different? Is it because you like older stuff and its simplicity?
Because I bought a Source for $500 last fall and at that point the only LP available was the $1350 version. There were rumors the LP Stage would be priced at $1000 and I was going to wait for it but...the Source popped up and the LP Stage did not come in below $1000 like we'd thought. I contemplated upgrading the LP Stage this past summer (I even posted a thread on here about it), but I decided that I'd probably just wait and be happy with what I have.
Ah come on RCJ...you know I know your story, so that was not a dig at you in any way. I also know you went through a few synths that you didn't like before you got the Source...and you are satisfied with the Source. If you remember, I told you to keep the Source instead of selling it and getting the LP...because I know you went through alot to find a mono you liked.

Now, the Source goes for more cash and the LP less. I got my LP new for $1050. The Source goes for over $900 at times these days. They are very close in spec as well... That is why I used it as an example.
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Post by wiss » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:08 pm

When I bought my 1st real guitar I bought a vintage guitar, not becuase I thought it was cool. I couldnt afford the Gibson I was looking at and saw this Fender Coronado II for 400 bucks. I grabbed it and feel deeply in love.
The same thing happened to me with synths as well. I wanted a "keyboard" that had a bunch of different sounds so I could have different instruments when writing songs. I went into a store and everything was out of my price range. I said do you have anything cheaper. I just want different sounds for my music(heavy into Esquivel at the time). He pulled out a Wurlitzer combo organ and Yamaha SY-2 and I gave him a $100. I then spent the next 7 years digging in every mom and pop guitar shop and pawnshop looking for analog synths. Sadly I lost everything in a fire in 2000, thought it was going to happen again 2 weeks ago.
I've never really looked at new ever again. The few times I have tried something new, I have been horribly let down. There are a few things I do want that are new but they are simply recreations of stuff from the past that are just impossible to find. ONDES MARTENOT and ONDIOLINE

I may be the only person I know that didnt get into analogs becuase of music I was listening to. I just fell a*s backwards into it and have never been the same.
Last edited by wiss on Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by redchapterjubilee » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:13 pm

JSRockit wrote:Ah come on RCJ...you know I know your story, so that was not a dig at you in any way. I also know you went through a few synths that you didn't like before you got the Source...and you are satisfied with the Source. If you remember, I told you to keep the Source instead of selling it and getting the LP...because I know you went through alot to find a mono you liked.

Now, the Source goes for more cash and the LP less. I got my LP new for $1050. The Source goes for over $900 at times these days. They are very close in spec as well... That is why I used it as an example.
Hugs and kisses, JS. Not offended in any way! If someone were to want to trade me straight out Source for LP Stage I would probably do it. Seriously! But I learned my lesson in last fall's QUEST FOR ANALOG LEAD SYNTHESIZER. Sad story indeed. Had an MG-1 but wanted something more so I sold it to buy your MEK; didn't like the MEK's interface then sold it; bought a Korg Mono/Poly (a synth I've had a serious three-year jones for) that arrived broken; then used the insurance money on a surprise find in a local pawn shop (a broken Source that only needed a different power plug). So now I am very cautious about my major synth purchases.

This fall I had to sell some other gear to help move my kids from one school to another, so I no longer have any extra gear to let go to fund new purchases. I have a Xmas bonus coming to me plus a little cash in the spring. As I think about how to finally replace the Juno 106 I begin to drag my feet a bit. I am learning to be happy with the softsynths/laptop combination. Do I really need to spend $$ on other synths when the laptop is doing fine already?

Somehow in the last few years Great Unwashed Luminaries went from being a hobby side-project to my main thing. I gig about once a month and I'm contemplating putting out a record for-real (instead of homemade CD-R/inkjet jobs). Now that I carry stuff around a lot, I don't really feel like dragging around a gigantic analog anymore. Smaller and faster to setup is better. Meanwhile, the laptop allows me to cop a variety of tones in a small box. When I first recorded my songs I didn't think I'd play them live. Now that I play live a lot I find that I often need to play two overlapping parts on the Moog. So I do the triangle lead on the Moog, then the saws lead on MiniMoogV. And I cop most of the dead 106's tones from CS-80V or the Polysix VST. Leaving the laptop at home could be a $750 proposition (1 VCO analog lead, 1 VCO analog poly) or a $500 proposition (Nord Lead or Alesis Ion). And the Arturia/NI/Korg softsynths sound just as good as most hardware virtuals. Sadly, methinks economics may force me to hold pat.
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Post by Alex E » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:33 pm

For me it's mostly affordability. I mean I got really nice deals on a lot of my gear. The only synth I'm the original owner of is my Microkorg.

Some vintage stuff can be very expensive but most new stuff is always out of my range anyways.
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Post by JUGEL » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:02 pm

Why I like vintage

1. $$$$$$$ cheaper (all the synths I "overpaid" were still cheaper than a Juno D)
2. no menu's
3. I like my synths dry usually (pinch of analogish delay?).
4. Not usually made with a marketed "attitude" in mind.

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