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Re: i dont get something

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:18 am
by Stab Frenzy
Jambo:
Stab Frenzy wrote:Give me a quantifiable measurement that we can all agree on to measure an aspect of older vs. newer synths performance and we can have a rational, objective discussion about it.
Quality is a great thing to measure synths by, but to be objective you need a quantifiable measurement of quality, similar to the four C's of diamonds. What's your unit of quality?

I could go through all your points one by one and point out how you're trying to argue a point which is tangential to what's being discussed in this thread, but that would be a little boring. I'll just summarise:

Do you seriously think a reissue SQ-80 would be under $400?
Not every modern synth is an SH-201.
The D-50 horns I get from my VC-1 card in my V-Synth are quite nice, thanks for asking.
Older synths are great for cheap second-hand items. Making the exact same synths today using outdated technologies and ignoring the advancements made in the last 30 years is financial suicide for a large company.
etc...

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:23 am
by Stab Frenzy
Ry-Fi wrote:FWIW, I had the great fortune of having a 45 minute one-on-one chat with a Roland employee who was quite involved in the technical aspects of the company and very privy to its business workings. He's also a huge synth nut and collector. I essentially have his word that Roland will NEVER EVER make an analog synth again. According to him, anyone in the company who had any involvement in analog synth design in the past has either moved on or is basically now at the top of management, and none of the new designers and engineers know anything (er, you know what I mean) about creating sophisticated analog synth circuitry. It would be completely unpractical for them, business-wise, to return to making those kinds of products. It's basically digital now and for the rest of time...

I hope I don't get him in trouble for saying this in a public forum... :oops:, but I hardly doubt this is any kind of "top secret" information, and I doubt anyone's too surprised.
Nah, it's been stated by Roland employees many times in the past which is why it's so funny that the topic keeps coming up.

If Roland put a jar at their NAMM booth that people had to put a dollar in every time they asked why Roland didn't reissue the 303 they'd have enough money to do another production run and give them away with every V-Synth they sold. :D

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:10 am
by JayEm
Stab Frenzy wrote:
If Roland put a jar at their NAMM booth that people had to put a dollar in every time they asked why Roland didn't reissue the 303 they'd have enough money to do another production run and give them away with every V-Synth they sold. :D

No, they wouldn't.

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:18 am
by Stab Frenzy
JayEm wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:
If Roland put a jar at their NAMM booth that people had to put a dollar in every time they asked why Roland didn't reissue the 303 they'd have enough money to do another production run and give them away with every V-Synth they sold. :D
No, they wouldn't.
Ooh, you got me there. :D

Re: i dont get something

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:19 am
by OriginalJambo
Stab Frenzy wrote:Quality is a great thing to measure synths by, but to be objective you need a quantifiable measurement of quality, similar to the four C's of diamonds. What's your unit of quality?
I suppose it'd have to be features for the price. Or maybe knob count.

How can you truly be objective about a musical instrument though? Again, is a 24 string guitar better than a 6 string just because it has more strings? Clearly it just isn't feasible to measure musical instruments in this way - due to their nature it doesn't really mean anything.
Do you seriously think a reissue SQ-80 would be under $400?
Probably not, but will it be better than the original?
Not every modern synth is an SH-201.
And not every modern synth is better than every old synth.
The D-50 horns I get from my VC-1 card in my V-Synth are quite nice, thanks for asking.
Great if you have a V-Synth and a rare VC-1 card. What if you only have $400? Is the V-Synth better for you?
Older synths are great for cheap second-hand items. Making the exact same synths today using outdated technologies and ignoring the advancements made in the last 30 years is financial suicide for a large company.
No contesting that, but this has nothing to do with my initial post:
OriginalJambo wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:4) The synths available now really are better than the old ones. It's just people living in the past who want to be Wakeman/Numan/Eno/Lemmy that think otherwise.
I think the word you're looking for may be different?
Synths are like foods - everyone has their favourites. Objectivity can only be useful up until a point, otherwise we'd all be making decisions based solely off of spec sheets - wouldn't that be fun?

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:53 am
by Stab Frenzy
Hey Jambo, go back to the start of this thread and read it all the way through. It's about why synth companies like Roland, Moog, Yamaha etc don't just reissue their old synths, instead of making new ones. You keep pulling out the $400 figure, but if companies reissued old designs they'd be much much, more expensive than what they're currently making with up to date technology.

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:43 am
by Johnny Lenin
otto wrote:I think it is only a matter of time. While they might be hard pressed to make exact replicas, due to discontinued componenets, they could make similar gear in the way that moog has the voyager and LP. I think it there will come a time when you see reissue type synths, similar to what fender and Gibson do with guitars, from companies like Roland. Roland would actually be prime for this as they have some major fanboy gear that they could probably reproduce and make a profit. SH-101, TB-303, RE-201, etc. Just wait, I wouldn't be surpirsed if it happened someday as collector prices climb and working old gear becomes hard and harder to find. I wouldn't count on it being cheap though...
That'd be cool but, for many of the reasons already noted, it's not likely to happen. In many ways, it is much easier to reproduce a guitar. Fender and Gibson still have all their patterns; swamp ash and mahogany haven't evolved much in the last fifty years; you still cut wood with a saw; pickups are fairly simple devices. The manufacturing process for a guitar has been greatly automated in the last fifty years, but it involves the same general processes.

Electronic components have evolved so much in the last thirty years that much of the original design and manufacturing knowledge just isn't there anymore, let alone the components. In the golden age of the analog polysynth, many of the components used had wide and varied applications in addition to synthesizers. A lot of what went into these machines was off-the-shelf technology that just isn't around anymore. Do you remember how hard it was to get tubes for amps in the late-80s before the wide availability of Russian copies after the fall of the Soviet Union?

Of course, Yamakorgland could set up a fab to make ICs, but quite apart from the astronomical cost of tooling up, they'd have to train whole squadrons of workers who have never learned how to make them.

Re: i dont get something

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:56 am
by Hossinfeffa
OriginalJambo wrote:Synths are like foods - everyone has their favourites.
This is very true. Now maybe everyone should put their differences aside and go savor the flavor of their favorite. ;)

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:53 am
by cornutt
One other thing I want to throw out is that, although the boutique manufacturers are doing great things for us these days, being boutique doesn't inherently mean better, nor does mass production always mean c**p. Don't forget that before there was Yamahakorgland, there was ARPMoogEMS. Back when most of the Minis were built, Moog was mass production -- and when you read some of the things about the absolute s**t conditions that existed in the Buffalo factory, it's a wonder that Minis from that era aren't looked at with the same gimlet eye that guitar players regard the CBS-era Strats with. Remember, the Mini was specifically designed to be mass produced, and it was, to the tune of over 10,000 units -- a record for any synth at the time.

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:18 am
by 30h5
Shouldn't some of us just be happy we have some nice new analog gear (DSI, Jomox, FR) and that Alesis engineers won the battle to get the A6 out? Also, even if something was re-issued as somebody said: would we even like it? probably not. Be happy there is still analog out there, be it vintage or boutique. :wink:

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:53 pm
by OriginalJambo
Stab Frenzy wrote:Hey Jambo, go back to the start of this thread and read it all the way through. It's about why synth companies like Roland, Moog, Yamaha etc don't just reissue their old synths, instead of making new ones.
Indeed it is. You gave many good reasons for this, but I don't think everyone will agree with point number 4:
4) The synths available now really are better than the old ones. It's just people living in the past who want to be Wakeman/Numan/Eno/Lemmy that think otherwise.
To me this isn't one of them, although I'm sure others may disagree but not all (again we're on Vintage Synth Explorer so I think it's feasible to say that some people here probably have a penchant for older stuff).
You keep pulling out the $400 figure, but if companies reissued old designs they'd be much much, more expensive than what they're currently making with up to date technology.
Which is one of the reasons modern synths aren't always better. It depends on what you want.

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:58 pm
by OriginalJambo
cornutt wrote:Back when most of the Minis were built, Moog was mass production -- and when you read some of the things about the absolute s**t conditions that existed in the Buffalo factory, it's a wonder that Minis from that era aren't looked at with the same gimlet eye that guitar players regard the CBS-era Strats with. Remember, the Mini was specifically designed to be mass produced, and it was, to the tune of over 10,000 units -- a record for any synth at the time.
I've read "Analog days" so I know where you're coming from.

It is indeed a small miracle that most well looked after Minis are still indeed functional. That's probably because even given the poor conditions of the factory these were built to last, like proper musical instruments - not to throw away when the new model is released like your modern mobile/cell phones that are built in automated factories with technology they wouldn't have even dreamed about back then.

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:14 pm
by Yoozer
This topic keeps popping up and people still never get the Econ 101 through their heads.

Here, try building a 2-osc, 2-env 1-filter monosynth using circuits like this thing - http://yusynth.net/Modular/index.html

Then get back saying how much x-and-x should cost. It's not Sim City, size does not automagically make stuff cheaper, and all the laments about VCOs miss one very important point - they suck in imitating a piano.

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:03 pm
by Automatic Gainsay
The answer to this question is a painful reminder that the history of synthesizers (from the 70s on, anyway) is not a musical, artistic, or technological history as much as it is a business/marketing/consumer history.

Re: why don't synth manufacturers just make the old synth?

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:32 pm
by Jack Spider
Chaps, let's not start the VCO vs DCO debate again - let's keep this 'un on topic, please!