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Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:31 pm
by pflosi
So here is a thread where we can discuss synth prices and inflation in order to keep the IDOW thread tidy and clean.

"Buying new synths today, especially modular ones, is much cheaper than buying them new 40 years ago. Even used virtually all synths are still a bit cheaper now than new back then (exception: 303)."

That's my initial statement (apparently provocative to some people). Discuss. :D

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:04 pm
by c-level
theses things dont heal your wounds. plow, sow or reap your fields. feed your children....

what is value?

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:32 pm
by Ashe37
I don't think he was going for existentialism.

For some people, those working as musicians or sound designers, a synthesizer does the direct equivalent of those things, like a plow or a tractor or a seeder, it enables them to do the work that enabled them to have food for their children, pay their rent/mortgage, etc.

pflosi, going by average salaries, people would certainly have to work less hours now to afford a certain synthesizer- so in that sense, they are cheaper now than they were even 20 or 30 years ago, much less 40.

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:47 pm
by Pope Jewish
I recently bought up a bunch of old "Keyboard" magazines and it's kind of mindblowing to see this stuff in the original context - ads, reviews, home users' setups, suggested setups and configurations, comments on cost comparisons and suggestions between different pieces of gear vs. their function. I sometimes wonder how people in the Reagan Eighties afforded ANYTHING in the gear world considering a car was like $5K at the time. :shock:

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:59 pm
by Walter Ego
Yeah, the deeper I've gotten into the synth world, and as frustrating as vintage prices can be, I've been realizing that both used and new gear today is much cheaper than it was when it debuted. Take my first synth, the ubiquitous Poly-800--it came out in '83 and was the first of its kind just under 1000 USD. I got it 17 years old for $100 and it worked fine. Just that example right there is 1/10 the original price, without inflation. Model D's are expensive, but how much did they retail for? I think 2013 is a great year to get into gear--Korg MS-20 for $600 or less if you're smart, Minibrute for less than that, and a sweet Moog for under $1K. To buy comparable gear back in the early 80s would have been unimaginable for me. Imagine what the $3K DSI Prophet 12 would have cost in 1980 (no need for a flame war about its digital oscillators, please)!

One of many explanations is that electronics are just much cheaper. I found an ad from 1984 advertising "the last hard drive you'll ever need" at the low price of $4399.00. Physical size? Enormous. Memory? 10MB. My non-smart phone has more memory.

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:03 pm
by Aaron2
Walter Ego wrote:I think 2013 is a great year to get into gear--Korg MS-20 for $600 or less if you're smart, Minibrute for less than that, and a sweet Moog for under $1K.
I totally agree. Plus, when you think of all the vintage synths, even some analogs, whose values have actually dropped recently, it gets even better. Go price a Roland JX-3P or JX-8P on eBay. Those can be had for right around $250 in great working and cosmetic condition. Juno 1s and 2s go for, at most, $300. As someone else mentioned, Korg Poly-800s almost always sell for less than $200. You couldn't touch any of these machines at these prices in the '80s.

Beyond the models I just mentioned, there are even more bargains for just a couple of hundred more. I'm talking good-sounding -- if not earth-shattering -- analog synths like the Akai AX-60 and AX-80, the Korg Poly-61, Roland HS-60 (just a Juno-106 with speakers) and JX-10, and probably several more. "Hybrids" like the Kawai K-3, Korg DW-8000, and Ensoniq ESQ-1 and SQ-80 also fall into this price range. You might be able to find certain SCI machines like the MultiTrak and Split-Eight in this range, too. All of these are terrific starter-to-intermediate synths, and all can be had in very good to excellent condition for under $500.

Buy 'em now, people! They won't be around forever! :D

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:06 pm
by balma
bought a Yamaha EX5 10 years ago in $2200. Now it worths $500 :cry:

bought a Fizmo 3 years ago in $600. Now it worths $1500 :P

bought a command station in $350 8 years ago. Now it worths $350 :?:


there are almost no synth dealers in my country. There are only a bunch of guys here trading synths, me and some few freaks.... :|

And yes, Keyboard magazine was my first synth reference back in the 90ies

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:46 pm
by Phollop Willing PA
Image

Retro synth advertisement.

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:16 am
by Stab Frenzy
This isn't really surprising though is it? Synths are technology, technology always gets cheaper.

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:37 am
by Tiger Jackson
c-level wrote:theses things dont heal your wounds. plow, sow or reap your fields. feed your children....
They do and i don't have children :)

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:41 am
by bhrama
Stab Frenzy wrote:This isn't really surprising though is it? Synths are technology, technology always gets cheaper.
Aye truth be told, but does technology always get better?

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:18 am
by b3groover
So how long can we go on this one before being threatened with banishment for allowing a discussion to evolve naturally?

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:39 am
by Stab Frenzy
bhrama wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:This isn't really surprising though is it? Synths are technology, technology always gets cheaper.
Aye truth be told, but does technology always get better?
Depends on what you want it to do. :dontknow:

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:45 am
by EmptySet
This is more or less why my GAS is so insatiable. I'm seeing all of this untouchable gear from my teen years (80s) that I can now actually afford. Or find almost-for-free "broken" synths that I can easily fix up.

Of course, computers are also having a significant impact on synths and will continue to do so.

Re: Synth prices and inflation

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:22 pm
by condit79
b3groover wrote:So how long can we go on this one before being threatened with banishment for allowing a discussion to evolve naturally?
That's why I don't even come around here anymore. Over-moderation is pretty rampant on VSE. The threads that are "problematic" get more involvement and bring up bigger questions. Of course now I'm sure I'll get a nasty note about being off the topic of inflation, but whatever. totally worth it. I'd rather speak freely and get some flack that just be a good little boy and never get out of line. YES SIR MAY I HAVE ANOTHER. :lol:

I mean, look how incredibly boring this thread got. It's much more fun when conversations wander naturally. Its one thing I've never understood about forums. I mean, not all posts are informational and technical. Some are just starting points for other questions.

And there wouldn't have been such a heated discussion about IDOW if they hadn't come off as controversial with some of the trailer cuts, and as with all things, any press is good press, so job well done. Stopping the conversation only just made the thread that much more irrelevant and a place for them to plug something else they're selling... maybe that part where they talk about selling a module should be moved to a the "for sale" forum while we're being all OCD.