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Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:29 pm
by balma
Can a bunch of new Youtube videos, or a new VSE synth review affect the prices of used synths on Ebay? have any example of this??
How elastic are the prices?

Sometimes I make a search of videos of synths that I have, just to get a glance of other producers' techniques or skills. I confess I'm always dissapointed, just a few times found videos of really skilled users... Maybe if the videos were better, people would pay a little more for that synth :?

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:19 pm
by TauVoyager
The prices of all vintage synths rise naturally. Take the old samplers, digital and hybrid synths for example. They used to go for peanuts not very long ago but recently they have gained popularity and fetch higher prices.

Yamaha DX7 seems to be getting more and more respect - 5 years ago it was a cold digital preset machine, today it stands next to the Jupiters and Prophets in terms of a unique sound character. Similarly, nobody moans about the "static" or "dead" sound of the romplers from the 80's-90's today. People have learned to programme romplers to overcome their shortcomings. Hybrids like Ensoniq ESQ1 go for almost the price of a regular small analogue synth now.

There's little wonder in it - following all the dissing the digital gear endured between the end of the 90's and early 00's, combined with the prices of analogue instruments going up like crazy, people slowly realised that the digital stuff is mostly professional equipment that in many cases sounds great and still feels much better than software.

Additionally, Youtube videos of underrated synths playing innovative music are more frequent than the videos from the users of THE "desirable" gear doing the same, even if the only reason is that much more people own the cheaper gear.

So, digital goes up, samplers go up, romplers go up, analogues are in orbit now. It can't be exclusively due to forum reviews or videos. I think, it's because people tend to grow to appreciate their tools more and open their minds on new approaches to music making. How many threads "digital vs analogue" did we have this year? How many were there 5 years ago?

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:23 pm
by Christopher Winkels
Speaking only for me (and I believe I've posted this before), a crappy video probably won't affect me one way or another. There are lots of them with an 8 or 16-note loop and somebody just twiddling knobs. Bores me to tears; I might as well just watch a guy playing one or two octaves of a D major scale with one hand while turning knobs with the other. I understand in advance that a video of someone noodling that way is, by definition, not going to showcase any instrument in a particularly good light. It's especially true if they slather on a half dozen layers of delay, reverb and chorus.

So in that context, outside of a few people who find the strength to engage the Caps Lock button and type "DOOD THAT IS SOOOO PHAT" I don't think those sorts of videos every sway someone positively.

On the other hand there are some really good ones of people who give really tour de force demos. There's a Japanese guy (his YouTube name escapes me) who did some quality OB-8 ones. No effects, no endless sequencer loops. Just a few bars at a time of various riffs from recognizable songs by a bloke who's clearly familiar with the instrument. Made me want an OB-8 the first time I heard it.

I find the RetroSound ones on YouTube are good too. He'll actually put it in a musical context and do a short minute track with two or three other instruments.

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:34 pm
by edfunction
re: the 8-16 step loop videos.
for many electronic producers that's the way the gear gets used. ;)
still, it's hard to find decent showcase videos that's for sure.

i'm especially interested in checking out the cheaper end of the spectrum (early nineties digital gear), but some of the videos on offer are pretty painful to watch...

the prices seem to vary over time due to fashion, availability etc. but what i find most interesting is that things can be cheap or expensive depending on where you are. bargains can be had wherever you are, you just gotta be dedicated, lucky and well informed. some things that are cheap here (switzerland) are expensive elsewhere and vice versa. i don't see youtube affecting prices too much, maybe it's different in the US though...??

at the moment i have been able to try out some of the late 90s VA gear that was too expensive when it came out (for me) and can be had for next to nothing if you keep your eyes open. some of this stuff is quite useful if you don't expect too much... i also like that some manufacturers seem to be making their new gear to competetive and useful in a software world (eg, dave smith and waldorf)

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:40 pm
by edfunction
and balma.
you may be affecting the prices of the command stations.
i know i am keeping my eye out for one (at the right price though) after reading some of your posts ;)

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:10 pm
by balma
yeah, I know at least 20 persons that have bought a command station due to my advice on several forums. Maybe I should shut up my mouth for consideration for the next buyers.... :mrgreen: but all of them are very happy with the sequencer, indeed a great machine and investment, besides they are underpriced that's an undeniable truth, always has at least one answer for each one of my needs...they are always a good purchase since they are multi-task and versatile synths.


There are a lot of fluctuations on the price of certain devices... but the oldest ones keep a stable price.

Maybe it's pure coincidence. You know I just bought a Fizmo. Price of this weird synth is around $650. There was not a single good video of Fizmo on youtube. Until 2 months ago, a guy uploaded a bunch of fizmo videos showing its power.....
there are two fizmos in this moment on Ebay, up to $1000, as I said, maybe its just a coincidence. :

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid ... Categories


btw edfunction, I let you know about Fizmo's vocoder when I get it this week. With that superb FX sections, I have big expectations about it....

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:09 am
by cornutt
The Fizmo is kind of a weird case. A lot of the ones produced got fried by the faulty voltage regulators, and for a long time, it was hard to sell them because nobody wanted to take a chance on one. But it seems to have stabilized now down to a core population of ones that are still working and have had the regulator mods done, and this is pretty stable now. So interest in them seems to be increasing. Plus, there's starting to be a bit of a mystique about Ensoniq, now that Creative has destroyed them. I wonder if the same thing will happen with E-mu in a few more years.

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:18 am
by Yatmandu
The smell of cat piss is a factor that tends to decrease the price of a vintage synth. I know it turned me away from a Juno 106 last year. :lol:

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:23 pm
by balma
Yatmandu wrote:The smell of cat piss is a factor that tends to decrease the price of a vintage synth. I know it turned me away from a Juno 106 last year. :lol:

Are you saying that because my Fizmo comes from momerath?? :mrgreen:


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Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:59 pm
by _seph
i actually watched this happen years ago. this would have been towards the end of the 90's on the old TGS forum ... anyway, i had recently stumbled across some of Korg's old MS series, a MS-10 and VC-10 (purchased the pair for about $500) and had been watching the prices on the rest: MS-20, MS-50, SQ-10 as having them all wouldn't have cost much and would have been a lot of fun... anyway while saving money and watching for the best buy, one day i thought i'd start a discussion about them, see what experience other had, posted pics, etc... and there was much excitement as most seemed unaware of them and this was when the 'analog craze' was just warming up..., this all might have been coincidence but after about 30 days i started to notice prices creeping up. the MS-20 used to consistantly sell for under $500, now a couple sold for over... i didn't quite have the money i needed together yet, and i wasn't going to pay $500+ for a synth that generally sold for $400.... but, within 90 days of me starting that topic the price kept climbing and then soon reached up to $950 and never came back down.

sure, that is what ended up happening to all of the comparable synths over the next few years, but, the MS-20 prices were just a bit too coincidental for me to think i didn't have an impact and by opening my mouth ruin the chance i had at buying them all ... and now these days after Aphex Twin, "Flat Beat", Ladytron, etc... i've just decided to forever forget about them.

but yes, any amount of hype at all will have an effect on vintage gear prices. be it someone on a forum talking up a piece of gear or someone of fame using one ... but, the hard lesson i learned was no matter how excited you are about purchasing something.. unless you have questions that NEED to be answered, just keep your mouth shut about it until you actually have it. once you have it, then by all means let the world know just how cool it is.

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:18 pm
by Automatic Gainsay
No amount of my raving about the immense power of the CS-15 has seemed to have an effect on its value.
I'm disappointed in all of you. :lol:

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:58 pm
by TauVoyager
No amount of my raving about the immense power of the CS-15 has seemed to have an effect on its value.
I can't see many of them on ebay. I don't know what's worse - making the prices go up or convincing people to keep their synths because they are too good to be sold. You must have done the latter. :lol:

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:25 pm
by Malik
4 Years ago, some brothers and I loaded into a 1986 Saab 9000 and headed 6 hours from Boston, MA to po-dunk New Jersey to buy a Korg Mono-Poly for 420 bones. One hour out of the city, we busted a flat. It was the weekend and we didn't have much cash, so we fixed up the spare donut and used that for the rest of the trip. Car looked funny, but it didn't seem to mind. The guy who sold me the Monopoly had an English accent and used to write for SOS magazine. He had an entire room full of synthesizers, and- because us Indian kids reminded him of his home neighborhood- he cut me a deal on the MonoPoly at 380.00

A night in New York and a speeding ticket later, I had a near-mint specimen of an amazing 4 oscillator monosynth sitting on my bed. I refused to let it touch the ground until I cleaned and painted the room, and so I slept on the floor for a week. It was my first analog synth.

The following week, I painted the web pink with reviews- 10 out of 10 for everything in this magical monster. It was my first analog synth.

In four years, that synth doubled in value- due, in no small part, to revved-up turkeys like myself who couldn't keep shut. Shamefully, I traded it for a Virus Indigo. Heard one at Guitar Center and "liked the reverb". I'm still limping from that one.

These days, I'll have to acquiesce to the popular opinion. Analog is just too expensive. (with the exception of the Ensoniq gear...ESQ-1s never seem to go up in value) And the digital stuff? Totally out of fashion. MPC2000s are going for lunch money, these days. The Jupiter-6, however, riseth like the phoenix. When digital technology is ousted by something else, we'll all be rich, I tell you. Or our kids will be.

BTW- I haven't really been jonesing for anything outside of the MS-20, these days. That's the only synth that I'd probably be willing to pay current coin for.

I have been buying up a number of reel to reel players, though. A little less accessible, perhaps, but just as much fun, and they can cost less than guitar cables if you watch craigslist like a hawk.

;->

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:28 pm
by otto
I think that there are a variety of factors that come into play:

There is a large general interest in all things retro and retro technologies. Let’s face it, analog synths look cool and can make cool sounds so I think there is an immediate attraction to many people. As more people find out about them more people become interested.

They are more out there in pop-culture. You can buy t-shirts with synths on them that come from large retailers who otherwise have nothing to do with synths or music. Along with cassette tapes, boomboxes and what not synths are “fashionable”.

Many people who wanted these synths when they were kids can now afford them. Children, teens, etc. of the 70’s and 80’s have more disposable income. It’s the same concept as what Baby Boomers did to the price of vintage guitars.

Synths obviously made a huge resurgence in music from the 90’s on with a seemingly increased tendency for vintage as opposed to new and different. The younger audience who wants the same vintage gear is competing with the older audience that wanted it when it was new.

Even the way many manufacturers promote their products promotes an interest in vintage gear - analog modeling software, virtual analog hardware, new analog products, etc.

Seeing that a band you’re interested in (new or old) using a particular piece of equipment inspires desire.

Many people wanting but not being able to afford synth A creates a demand of the less expensive synth B thus driving up the cost of cheaper analog as well.

I think forums do play a part but if you’re on a forum you already had the general interest, it just helps to possibly better direct or influence your purchase.

I do think forums and video demos make some difference but I don’t think it’s as huge of an impact as the whole general trend that pushes most vintage synth gear higher and higher. I think the larger price separation is just do to increased demand for synths that were always considered the better gear. What I find more interesting is the resulting impact on lesser gear. I remember not very long ago, few people liked the Jupiter 6 much, you could regularly purchase it for much <$1000. So it’s funny seeing what used to be undesirable gear jump up in price. If the vintage guitar market is any indication this upward trend will continue for some time so if you want something, get it now. I’ve seen most vintage monosynths literally double in price in just the last few years. Odysseys, MS-20s, EML gear, SH-5/7, etc. ran about $800 each just a few years ago. Interestingly, some like the Pro-One and Source haven’t climbed nearly as much…

Re: Factors that increase/decrease price of vintage synths

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:17 pm
by sensorium
Only 2 factors influence the price of synths:

1) Supply
2) Demand

Sorry for my smart a*s-ness