Random thoughts about synths

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Le Danielé
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Random thoughts about synths

Post by Le Danielé » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:29 am

Hi, I just wanna share some recent thoughts about synths. Please feel yourself free of calling me crazy if you like.

Are vintage analog (or digital by the matter) synths really worth it? Maybe things were different if i was 50 years old and had a Minimoog Model D, Jupiter 8, ARP 2600 in my room since the 70's but I'm just 29 and getting one of those synths in like new condition means I have to be rich or a member of Daft Punk/Chemical Brothers/name-your-favourite-artist.

Damn, even a pristine Juno 106 is hard to get these days.

Even it treated well, it's hard to expect a synth to work fine after 20-30 years of use (or in some cases abuse). As far as I know, electronics components are not supposed to last that long (not that i'm an expert).

Whatever...maybe I should stop analog malfunctioning synths and just accept that I live in a digital era and get some digital thing and creating weird sounds, probably that's why 80% of today's music suck, because people are afraid of discovering new sounds and only keeps going back to their musical heroe's instruments...

...Or maybe I'm just too bored and I won't be able to sneak out of my job for another hour :(

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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by Hybrid88 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:13 am

Welcome to the great synth quandry :)

Yes, cost versus musical usefulness versus how long till the thing f**k up again is something I'm all too used to. Then I have a go on a moog or something and it all seems justified immediately - the pure sonics of some of these old machines is just :shock:

But yeah it is really getting on the edge as far as being worth it costwise in the last few years, based on current eBay ripoffs I don't think it'll change anytime soon. Seriously if you don't need the vintage sound there are some great new synths that are just as useful and won't screw up on you like some of the flaky vintage equivalents, it's all about choice.

I agree with you though, looking at things like vintage Buchla's, EMS Synthi's, Jupiter-8's etc on eBay gets me more than scratching my head as to who would actually pay that kind of money :?

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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by Zamise » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:38 am

Those synths cost as much as a new car back then dude.

There is a lot of great stuff you can mess around with for relatively cheap, prices shouldn't be an issue unless you have to compensate for having a small, wrinkled up, old willy.

On the other hand, I know there are development and maintenance costs, but virtually nothing for manufacturing and distributing etc., softwares. Basically, I think NI Massive should cost $15.
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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by Scories » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:49 am

But if you really want the genuine vintage sound, rather than spending big money on a super popular retro synth, just buy something like a SH-2000 with a few pedals, and no vst plug-ins will never come close to your sound.

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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by tekkentool » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:19 am

Scories wrote:But if you really want the genuine vintage sound, rather than spending big money on a super popular retro synth, just buy something like a SH-2000 with a few pedals, and no vst plug-ins will never come close to your sound.
And the sh-2000 will never come close to the VST's either :roll:

Money to usefulness wise, it's hard to beat products like u-he ace or Ni's massive.

and in hardware i'd probably find it difficult to argue for the points of something like an Sh-2000 over something of a similar price like a virus C or a Novation supernova.

Not to say Analogue can't have a good usefulness to price ratio. Small modulars would probably be the best for achieving that goal if anything.

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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by Le Danielé » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:40 am

I don't know if I'm the worst buyer ever (I swear I do a lot of research!) or I just have bad luck, but every synth I buy always fails. A juno 106, Juno 60, 2 Ensoniq ESQ-1, a Roland JX-3p, and my last buy: a mint Alesis Ion.

I'm unloading the last one tomorrow on the mexican version of eBay due to the famous voice amp failure and a couple of bad encoders.

The worst thing about this, is that I'm really lusting for a Juno 106 again :facepalm:

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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by ygg » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:27 pm

Be glad you live in this modern age where you have the possibility to buy cheap.
In the old days everything was expensive. Very expensive!

Today must be THE BEST TIMES EVER for a electronic musican. Free vst's, cheap digitals, even cheap analogs and most of all the eurorackmodulars can be had very reasonably. There is absolutly NOTHING to cry about. Quite the opposite!

A 2600 has never ever been something cheap everybody can buy, and it never will.
That's the way it should be. Quality will always cost.

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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by Hybrid88 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:04 pm

Zamise wrote:Those synths cost as much as a new car back then dude...
Point taken, but I can't be the only one to notice that two synths in particular have shot up in value remarkably. The Jupiter-8 and the Synths A/AKS, which have as much as doubled in value over the last two to three years, there's something more than just musical worth here, people attribute huge desirability to these two without even having tried them, and let me say I have tried a JP8 and as good as it is, it is not worth 8k to me.
ygg wrote:... There is absolutly NOTHING to cry about. Quite the opposite!
Agreed. Choice is immense these days, but I don't think anyone's talking about the average high prices here, more the absurd ones which seem to be increasingly common these days.

Vintage gear prices are high in general, which is to be expected - I wont keep going on about it but I will say, I do think though that it's got a lot to do with "vintage/retro" being much more poular as oposed to even just 5yrs ago.

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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by Mush » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:15 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:
Zamise wrote:Those synths cost as much as a new car back then dude...
Point taken, but I can't be the only one to notice that two synths in particular have shot up in value remarkably. The Jupiter-8 and the Synths A/AKS, which have as much as doubled in value over the last two to three years, there's something more than just musical worth here, people attribute huge desirability to these two without even having tried them, and let me say I have tried a JP8 and as good as it is, it is not worth 8k to me.
But is a JP8 worth 500$ to you or maybe 1k. If you can sell it for what you paid or maybe even more it is not like the synth will have to be worth every penny in itself. Most stuff you buy that's rather new today will fall in value and in that way end up costing you more than an old premium one will. It is both an investment and a fun tool in that way and I find it weird that there's so much beating down on that. Most people buying JP8's today are probably 30-50 years old, makes a decent amount of cash and had a childhood-dream about having one. So it's not a huge amount of money really, especially as the vintage-synth market when it comes to models like this is one of the most stable markets there is in a rise or stay stable sort of way.

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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:30 pm

You have to remember that the one thing that drove the analog revival of the 90s was low prices...which no longer exist!

OK, you're young, you're poor and you want a synth so you look for cheap used ones. Around 1990 that meant analog. I bought an SH-101 for $25, someone gave me an Odyssey for free, found a Juno for $125, 303s were under $100 everywhere, etc.

Fast forward 20 years and the supply is way down and demand is way up. The good news is if you just want analog, there's plenty new analogs around for cheap. $399 for a Mopho (with keys for $800), $600 for a Dark Energy, $800 for a Kraftzwerg, Silm Phatty for $800, etc. and even cheaper used. No reason to buy vintage analog with all the headaches unless you really want to.
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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by CS_TBL » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:55 pm

The quality of true analogue should also be seen in context of the music you make with it. Large song with 30 tracks and quite a bit o' effects? I couldn't care less for the so called differences between analogue, virtual analogue, digital, younameit. In a dense mix, everything converges into one epic soup. And if you have put down $30k for 10 eBay-vintagesynths then it's an epic financial faillure of a soup, if you ask me. :lol:

And furthermore, I think a good mixing engineer can get a great mix from a VA and a c**p mixing engineer can't save his mix even if his whole kit has MOOG written on it.
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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by Hybrid88 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:07 pm

Mush wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:
Zamise wrote:Those synths cost as much as a new car back then dude...
Point taken, but I can't be the only one to notice that two synths in particular have shot up in value remarkably. The Jupiter-8 and the Synths A/AKS, which have as much as doubled in value over the last two to three years, there's something more than just musical worth here, people attribute huge desirability to these two without even having tried them, and let me say I have tried a JP8 and as good as it is, it is not worth 8k to me.
But is a JP8 worth 500$ to you or maybe 1k...
Well, actually to me the price was spot on about 3-4yrs ago, when they were going for around 4k and no more, to me it's not four times as good as a JP6 costing 2k, well that's my logic anyway :lol:

Some good posts here guys, if not too random ;)
Last edited by Hybrid88 on Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by Zamise » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:08 pm

So we'll never own one of those synths now.

I'd like to see more random synth thoughts perhaps like...

If synths were drinks what would they taste most like?

Which synth does the best sample & hold? Digital or Analog?

How come Peavey never made more synths? Look at this beauty:

Image

It says remote control on it, hey wouldn't it be cool to use a real remote control like for a television on our synths or use synths to control our televisions remotely? Who wants a touch screen when you've got a remote control for it and can do it all from your couch?
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Re: Random thoughts about synths

Post by Le Danielé » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:10 pm

meatballfulton wrote:Fast forward 20 years and the supply is way down and demand is way up. The good news is if you just want analog, there's plenty new analogs around for cheap. $399 for a Mopho (with keys for $800), $600 for a Dark Energy, $800 for a Kraftzwerg, Silm Phatty for $800, etc. and even cheaper used. No reason to buy vintage analog with all the headaches unless you really want to.
You're probably right, maybe I should just get a Tetra and a Slim Phatty, some shitty controller, and make some good noises with them...

By the way, the comparing synths with drinks idea sounds interesting, I wonder wich one would be a beer... :D

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