My £500 bargain vintage studio - so much for so little!

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gunark
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My £500 bargain vintage studio - so much for so little!

Post by gunark » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:53 pm

Hello All

After previously owning hardware gear that set me back thousands between 96 and 2000, I, like many others, dumped it all and went software. However a friend recently re-ignited my love of hardware and after sitting on eBay and the SOS ads I've go myself a great setup for less than 5% of what I paid back in the day! Most compiled armed with knowledge from these very forums. Oh and for a rough conversion, double the prices for $.

Now I did have some bits already, Macbook, PC (that was running my projector), Mbox, M-Audio Monitors, Broken Poly 800. That's it tho. So with frugal searching, some shrewd ebaying and so eagle eyed advert scanning I now have:

Alesis Ion - £135 - due to one damaged key. Otherwise fine
Roland JX-3P - £100 - Lost volume knob, pitch bend needs sorting.
Kawai K1 - £39 - Excellent, no issues.
Roland JV1080 - £100 - Near showroom condition!
Yamaha TX81Z - £27.50 - Scratches, that's it really.
Tapco Mix 100 - £35 - as it was a (working) return.
Akai S900 (+ 50 disks, all DD!) - £26 - shows it's age but works apart from 3 of the multi outs.
Korg Poly 800 II - £10 - Fixed with lithium battery and added Moog Slayer.
M-Audio Midisport 2x2 - £12.50 - As new

The PC now runs and old copy of Vaz Modular too which is one of the greatest soft synths IMO and I'm looking into OSX Midiquest to add sme decent editing to the more awkward ones (JV, TX..).

I used to work in a pro-audio shop from 89-91 so saw alot of these old monsters pass through so seeing them go for so low was sad but also to good to resist! It needs some outboard (like a 3630 and maybe a lexicon x), The K1 may go to make way for an AN1X and if I see a CZ1000 or TX7 cheap I may be swayed, even a EOS based EMU for a song may tempt me.
But for now I am very happy I have some fantastic synths and a sampler for pretty much buttons and they sound different and more often than not, better than my software (Lately Bass being a point in case).

Thanks to all the people on here who's words I have read and helped me to make the right choices too!

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nathanscribe
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Post by nathanscribe » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:13 pm

Excellent work! And if you ever decide to sell anything, you'd have a really hard time not getting your money back. Some good finds there. And with your talent for spotting bargains, let me know if you see something labelled "funny old organ" that looks like this:

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:wink:

gunark
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Vermona DRM Mk. III
Jen SX1000
Band: British Airwaves

Post by gunark » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:24 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Excellent work! And if you ever decide to sell anything, you'd have a really hard time not getting your money back. Some good finds there. And with your talent for spotting bargains, let me know if you see something labelled "funny old organ" that looks like this:

Image

:wink:
Don't! Seriously, got one shaped more like:

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From a local cash converters for £60 in 1995. Sadly that was all I had and on it's own the novelty wore off. The local synth shop could 'only' give me £100 for it as it would have been hard to sell on(!). I took the £100 and got a Cellnet analogue mobile phone. It pains me now to know how much they are worth. The one saving grace was a possible broken VCO. At least that's what I like to reassure myself with!

Thanks tho, much appreciated!

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Post by gfriden » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:29 pm

Wow! I've heard of circuit-bending, but never of synth-bending! That Ion looks wicked tilted! No wonder one of the keys won't work! :wink: Seriously though, great finds you have there! Nice rig!
Art is not a copy of the real world. One of the damn things is enough.

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Post by Bitexion » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:47 pm

Funny, I was also thinking that there was something strange about that picture. The Ion is warped in time and space, probably. Space-time.

gunark
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Post by gunark » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:47 pm

gfriden wrote:Wow! I've heard of circuit-bending, but never of synth-bending! That Ion looks wicked tilted! No wonder one of the keys won't work! :wink: Seriously though, great finds you have there! Nice rig!
The crazy panorama feature on my phone, partly due to your fellow countrymen at Sony Ericsson, offers up some odd things. I do actually have it slightly tilted towards me tho (using some grip exercisers underneath) for the screen angle problem.

Thanks!

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Post by rockmanrock » Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:35 pm

Excellent work gunark! Gear has never been so cheap if you avoid the trendy/newish stuff. The problem is to avoid buying too much of it, there's bargain after bargain and only so much space to put it in.

Agree about the EOS Emu's, one of those or an S5000 for 150 quid is mighty tempting.

gunark
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Post by gunark » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:22 am

rockmanrock wrote:Gear has never been so cheap if you avoid the trendy/newish stuff. The problem is to avoid buying too much of it, there's bargain after bargain and only so much space to put it in.
Totally! Some total bargains to be had and that space soon goes. The best seem to be ones with a little problem, like the K2000 Keyboard I saw go for under £100 as the main outs didn't work. I'd have just used the phones ones for that kind of cash. I feel a bit like someone who takes in unwanted dogs! In the case of something like a cheap JX10, it's a bloody Labrador..

Going against my ideals a little, more through need than want, I've been looking at offing my mbox mini and tapco mix 100 (and K1) for a more effective solution in the Edirol M-16DX. This would allow me to run each synth into my Mac and record multi channel, allowing me full reign with different fx on each track and easy recall. Version 2 software also makes it a control surface for Logic. At £280 they are a touch steep but if I can sell the tapco, mbox and K1, it may be a softer blow to the wallet. Anyone got any experience with this, or even offer up an alternative multi track input box?

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Post by sequence » Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:28 am

OP U shouldnt have any trouble finding an An1X. Over here good clean used ones run about $300 USD. One of the best soundin digital synths IMO. nice curved Ion too :D

nice depreciation free setup there. That's the prob with buying new stuff--it's like buying a car, most of the time, depreciating asset-wise.
twentyfirst century fizMO man

gunark
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Casio HT-700
Vermona DRM Mk. III
Jen SX1000
Band: British Airwaves

Post by gunark » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:53 pm

Well there's been a change which pushes the AN back for a bit. The tapco has got a fault with the output fader (odd panning and sound still comes through when it's all the way down) so it's going back to Turnkey. I've also put the mbox mini up to and the K1 and it's all going towards my new Edirol M-16DX, which I got brand new for the awesome price of £248!

With the version 2 software I can use it as a DAW surface and assignable controller and I can run up to 18 inputs at once into Logic, giving me all the FX I need for my synths. Just getting to grips with it but it is very cool and the detached mixer unit is pretty sweet. More than I'd have liked to have paid but a bargain too (kinda...).

Of course, if someone is giving an AN away, I know a happy home for it! (That may sound stupid but two days ago on the SOS readers ads there was one for a S1000KB free to anyone to collect and even more amazingly someone was giving away a totally fine D50! Advert said free, I don't need the money!)

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cartesia
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Post by cartesia » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:22 pm

£500 is actually a pretty large sum of money if you are from anywhere other than england :lol:

gunark
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Casio HT-700
Vermona DRM Mk. III
Jen SX1000
Band: British Airwaves

Post by gunark » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:55 pm

cartesia wrote:£500 is actually a pretty large sum of money if you are from anywhere other than england :lol:
I agree - although it's a big amount here too! h**l, £50 or £5 is a lot to some, speaking as someone who has had their fair share of financial dire straits over the years. My point was more compared to how much they used to be and what great gear you can get for comparatively less money. I was lucky enough to get a wealth of inspiring gear for what some people pay for a mid range LCD TV. Who knows - if I ever make a couple of pounds from it I'd like to think I'd give the gear to people who aren't as lucky as I am.

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Post by bluedad » Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:07 pm

congrats gunark, that's a fine list! I'm going through much the same as you. In spite of being a mod at a large vst forum, it's to the point now where you can pick up a decent piece of hardware cheaper than many vst synths.
I'm maybe two pieces away from having all I need for my studio (yeah right!)

gunark
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Gear: Roland: Alpha Juno 1, HS-60, JX-3P
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Casio HT-700
Vermona DRM Mk. III
Jen SX1000
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Post by gunark » Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:30 pm

bluedad wrote:congrats gunark, that's a fine list! I'm going through much the same as you. In spite of being a mod at a large vst forum, it's to the point now where you can pick up a decent piece of hardware cheaper than many vst synths.
I'm maybe two pieces away from having all I need for my studio (yeah right!)
Yes I recognise you from KVR!
I know what you mean. Something else I found was that as softsynths are so often pirated, so loads have them. If you want to sound a little different then hardware seems a pretty good way now. I'm sure you notice on KVR too, that there is many threads like "softsynth that sounds like JX/CZ/etc?" or "VST for Lately bass?" (which the FM7/8 isn't good at and an actual TX is probably cheaper!) showing people still want the sounds. Buying a physical unit also just works for me - I'd be more inclined to delve into it, where as with VST (esp free) if you don't find the sound you want you move onto another VST.
I'm still using Vaz Modular as it's still got one of the most analogue sounds, and it hosts the Korg plugs (save me buying an M1). I'll maybe look at the Kontakt orchestral bits too as they are superior for genuine strings and that, for when I need the real thing.
I'm happy tho as I have a good balance between the two, real and virtual, using VST fx with analogue synths and recallable mixer setting, etc... Such fun, I just need to stop noodling and fiddling and get some music done - I forget sometimes that the reason they are made is for music!

You have some good gear too, I always wanted an M3R (if that's the old M1 based one you have). Have you modded the DW at all, a la Poly 800 Moog Slayer mod?

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Post by bluedad » Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:03 pm

gunark wrote: You have some good gear too, I always wanted an M3R (if that's the old M1 based one you have). Have you modded the DW at all, a la Poly 800 Moog Slayer mod?
The M3R is a fun bit of kit..I got it in a trade from a fellow. I restrung his piano, so I think he came out better monetary-wise, but it was at a time when I was able to supply more labor than money, so I was thrilled.
The DW came with the Angel City Turbo mod already installed. I'm still not sure what it does. Can the Moog Slayer be put on the DW? That would be cool if possible. btw, initially I just looked at your list of gear, and just now noticed the prices you paid; even if in pounds, wow, you did well!
I've been looking at a JX 3P at a pawn shop (not that I need it, but..) waiting for the price to come down a little bit. Do you have the PG programmer, and if not, how easy is it to program without it?

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