digital junk

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Richard Gear
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digital junk

Post by Richard Gear » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:47 am

After a 5 years hiatus, I got back into electronic and I've bought a lot of gear over the past few months.

I was looking for was a tape echo and I rather bought an Eventide TimeFactor, thinking it would be less risky than a genuine space echo. After 1½ year of sparsed studio use, it has started to act weird ; random parameter changes, sudden harsh feedback, non-responding knobs... Obviously, I have to get it fixed because it is useless as this.

I've been in touch with an Eventide tech and he said it will cost me 100$ to get it fixed, plus shipping (Canada to USA, USA to Canada). Overall, it will cost me at least 160$ for something I bought new less than 2 years ago and that worths no more than 300$ on the used market. Obviously, I realise that I should have bought a real tape echo at first.

From all the gear I bought, the newly produced/digital units have been the least reliable.

It made me realise that :
- New digital stuff is not necessarily more reliable than old analog (even when you buy expensive stuff from a reputed company like Eventide).
- Unlike analog, when digital stuff crashes, there's no way to get it fixed by your local tech.
- If the company gets out of business, the defective unit becomes junk.
- Unlike vintage gear, most new digital stuff will probably not hold much of their value.


Nostalgia asside, they are some good reasons to buy vintage/analog!!

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Re: digital junk

Post by Alex E » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:57 am

I have to stress that neither digital or analog is really better than the other. I've used and had both and they have their advantages and disadvantages over each other. Same for software and hardware.

It depends on what you need in an instrument, and what you need to make your music!

Reliability is up in the air. It depends on many different factors. However I will say that the build quality of vintage instruments can often be noticeably better in certain areas.
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Re: digital junk

Post by Richard Gear » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:00 am

Alex E wrote:I have to stress that neither digital or analog is really better than the other. I've used and had both and they have their advantages and disadvantages over each other. Same for software and hardware.

It depends on what you need in an instrument, and what you need to make your music!

Reliability is up in the air. It depends on many different factors. However I will say that the build quality of vintage instruments can often be noticeably better in certain areas.
My point is that even if you have to fix some old gear... well at leat you can find some tech to do it. But with the new stuff, you have to rely on the company to do it. And it's no good.

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Re: digital junk

Post by Alex E » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:03 am

True, true. Though I've never had any trouble with digital gear aside from broken knobs and such. But yeah, if it's brain is scrambled you're SOL.
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Re: digital junk

Post by tallowwaters » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:53 am

Seriously, another digital vs analog thread?

Unbelievable...
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Re: digital junk

Post by Richard Gear » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:24 am

tallowwaters wrote:Seriously, another digital vs analog thread?

Unbelievable...
Seriously, what's the point of this whole forum then?? :?


Btw, you're one of those who praised the T.F. so much on VSE that I got convinced to get one myself. I'm not even kidding.

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Re: digital junk

Post by space6oy » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:39 am

Richard Gear wrote:
tallowwaters wrote:Seriously, another digital vs analog thread?

Unbelievable...
Seriously, what's the point of this whole forum then?? :?
this: :facepalm:

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Re: digital junk

Post by Richard Gear » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:47 am

space6oy wrote:
Richard Gear wrote:
tallowwaters wrote:Seriously, another digital vs analog thread?

Unbelievable...
Seriously, what's the point of this whole forum then?? :?
this: :facepalm:
There was irony on my reply... but what does this blasé-moderator really expects from a vintage-synth-related forum? It reminds me those people on the Boards of Canada forum who are fed up of people speculating about the new album; unavoidable IMO.

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Re: digital junk

Post by space6oy » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:14 am

Richard Gear wrote:There was irony on my reply... but what does this blasé-moderator really expects from a vintage-synth-related forum? It reminds me those people on the Boards of Canada forum who are fed up of people speculating about the new album; unavoidable IMO.
tallow simply was pointing out how this shouldn't have been worded as the start of yet another analog vs. digital never ending debate. different wording regarding technical difficulties, repairs etcetera and it wouldn't have come across that way.

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Re: digital junk

Post by Richard Gear » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:22 am

space6oy wrote:
Richard Gear wrote:There was irony on my reply... but what does this blasé-moderator really expects from a vintage-synth-related forum? It reminds me those people on the Boards of Canada forum who are fed up of people speculating about the new album; unavoidable IMO.
tallow simply was pointing out how this shouldn't have been worded as the start of yet another analog vs. digital never ending debate. different wording regarding technical difficulties, repairs etcetera and it wouldn't have come across that way.

Respect makes debates more understandable, no doubt about it.

For sure, anyone who knows how to repair a TimeFactor without sending it back to Eventide would be very helpful.

digital junk - in other words, is there a possibility for a 2nd life with digital gear (as with good old analogue stuff)?
If not, I'm really considering not buying new expensive gear anymore.

What will happen to Fizmo synths when they break?
Is the digital future blank?

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Re: digital junk

Post by tekkentool » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:39 am

I think this has nothing to do with analogue v digital and more to do with the pricing of each item. A 300 dollar bit of kit from a brand like eventide has to be to a price.

You're comparing relatively budget bit gear to a bit of kit that was NOT budget at the time. See if you buy an eventide h3000 and wait for that one to stop working in such a manner (hint, it probably won't).

Fact is, you got unlucky. You could possibly be even more unlucky with a space echo had you bought it too. Having an unlucky experience sucks yeah, and you probably won't be buying any eventide pedals anytime soon but I don't see how that's a reflection on digital gear as a whole. With reliability, you just had ONE item not work too well.

ALL gear can be unreliable in the right circumstances. Just don't phrase being unlucky with a bit of gear as digital being unreliable for pete's sake. :facepalm:

You should know from all the fairlight/synclavier/emulator restoration threads we've had around here digital gear doesn't always stop working and stay that way. It can be harder work, but you don't get more complex functionality without more complex design.

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Re: digital junk

Post by Hybrid88 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:26 am

I think that's a bit of a stretch Tallow, I really don't see this as the same age old Analog V Digital debate.

Tek - yes I have to agree there, it's true in the end that these are Eventide's budget range and are indeed built to a price - buy a H8000 from the same company and I'd say there's a good chance you'd get a lifetime's use with no trouble from the thing.

But yes I also agree, when posed with the problem of fixing digital gear or fixing analog, I'd have to say analog is much easier in that respect - even with part availability as it is. And yes it sucks, when digital stuff does break it can render said item a paperweight scarily easily.

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Re: digital junk

Post by Richard Gear » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:48 pm

re : tekkentool

I don't say that digital gear is less reliable than analogue gear, but I kinda realised that defective digital gear is pretty much useless, unlike analog. Analog can get fixed easily in mosta cases. And that makes me doubt about the notion of long-term investment with digital gear.

And you are right, pricing is a factor in this thread. Having a damaged 450$ Eventide pedal is better than dealing with a damaged 4500$ fx rack (even though it might be rare).
...but as I'm thinking about it, I'd be less pissed off to spend 160$ to fix a 4500$ unit than to fix a 450$ unit.

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Re: digital junk

Post by tallowwaters » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:54 pm

Richard Gear wrote:After a 5 years hiatus, I got back into dating and I've met a lot of people over the past few months.

I was looking for a man and instead dated a woman, thinking it would be less risky than a genuine man. After 1½ year of sparse use, she started to act weird ; random mood swings, sudden harsh feedback, non-responding bits... Obviously, I have to get her fixed because she is useless like this.

I've been in touch with a doctor and he said it will cost me 100$ to get her fixed, plus transport (Canada to USA, USA to Canada). Overall, it will cost me at least 160$ for someone I met less than 2 years ago that is worth no more than 300$ on the used market. Obviously, I realise that I should have dated a man at first.

From all the people I've met, the women have been the least reliable.

It made me realise that :
- Women are not necessarily more reliable than men (even the upscale ones).
- Unlike men, when women crash, there's no hope.
- If the hair falls out, the women becomes junk.
- Unlike men, most new women will probably not hold much of their value.


Nostalgia aside, they are some good reasons to date men
Really, this is no less of an absurd argument.
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Re: digital junk

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:19 pm

Richard Gear wrote:My point is that even if you have to fix some old gear... well at leat you can find some tech to do it. But with the new stuff, you have to rely on the company to do it. And it's no good.
What do you think a good tech costs? You'd be looking at at least $100 just to look at something, never mind parts. These are skilled professionals who have rent and bills to pay on their workshops, not just your mate who knows a few things about pedals. $160 for Eventide to fix it (and they WILL fix it cause they know exactly how it works) is a good deal. Also I know quite a few people who have Timefactors and gig with them quite a lot and haven't had any issues with them, I certainly haven't with mine. I'm not sure what you've been doing with yours but I'd recommend keeping it out of dusty or moist environments, they don't just break by themselves.

Try getting anyone to fix a Roland Space Echo with a burnt out motor and tell me how much luck you have.

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