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Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:15 pm
by garranimal
Which synthesizers/drum machines/samplers/workstations have the longest production runs?

Re-issues count, as long as the newer versions resemble the originals. The Minimoog Voyager started in 2002. The original Minimoog being made for 12 years.

VSE says the microKORG hit the scene in 2002. AFAIK they're still being made and sold in stores. So that's 13 years and going.

Fairlight CMI made for 13 years until '92. And Peter Vogle has recently started offering them for sale again.

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:05 pm
by ApolloBoy
garranimal wrote:Re-issues count, as long as the newer versions resemble the originals. The Minimoog Voyager started in 2002. The original Minimoog being made for 12 years.
I'd think the Voyager would be a different synth considering it has a lot of extra functionality and a slightly different sound compared to the original, no?

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:24 pm
by garranimal
That's part of the question for the jury. I side with you on this.

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:56 am
by cornutt
I don't know if it counts as being "produced", but IIRC the PAiA Fatman is pushing 20 years and is still available.

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:22 am
by Alex E
DSI Evolver is pushing 13 years. o_o

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:00 am
by Stab Frenzy
Alex E wrote:DSI Evolver is pushing 13 years. o_o
The microkorg came out a couple of years before the Evolver, they're both still in production.

The Voyager and the Minimoog were two completely different synths, I don't think anybody would argue the Voyager was a reissue. Reissues are things like the SP-1200 which they brought back into production after it was discontinued, using the same parts. I think the new Buchla Music Easel would be considered a reissue, that would give it a pretty long run.

The EMS VCS3 is still in production (in theory, good luck buying one) and has been since 1969, that's going to be hard to beat. Likewise Serge systems are still in production and available, although not from the original company.

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:08 am
by salwa
What about Alesis SR16? VSE states, that production ended in 2003, but you can still buy it new and it's still listed on Alesis' web page. Does that mean, that's in production for 26 years or it was made in such quantity, that they still have new SR16s 13 years after production ceased?

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:27 am
by Hybrid88
Stab Frenzy wrote:The EMS VCS3 is still in production (in theory, good luck buying one) and has been since 1969, that's going to be hard to beat.
Yeah good point, but that does stretch the definition of production :lol:

I can't believe the Microkorg is still going strong, is it ever going to die?

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:52 pm
by meatballfulton
ApolloBoy wrote:
garranimal wrote:Re-issues count, as long as the newer versions resemble the originals. The Minimoog Voyager started in 2002. The original Minimoog being made for 12 years.
I'd think the Voyager would be a different synth considering it has a lot of extra functionality and a slightly different sound compared to the original, no?

The interesting thing about the original Minimoog and the Voyager is that both were available for about the same period of time and both sold similar numbers of units...around 15,000 so a little over 1,000 a year on average. Compared to synths like the DX7, M1 and microKorg they weren't big sellers.

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:31 pm
by synthroom
garranimal wrote:Fairlight CMI made for 13 years until '92. And Peter Vogle has recently started offering them for sale again.
There were 3 versions of the CMI made during that period - the Series I, II (and IIx), and III. The SIII has a different CPU and audio cards are 16 bit, while the SI and SII are 8 bit. So while the chassis appears much the same, the guts and Operating System were quite different. The SIII was launched in 1985 so that cuts your production run time in about half.

The 30A reissue is a functional recreation using modern technology and not a true reproduction of the SII or III.

Now let's talk about how many Ford GT40s in existence are actually ones made in the 60s or reproductions that people have made and are being passed off as "real" GT40s...

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:52 pm
by haj
garranimal wrote: Fairlight CMI made for 13 years until '92. And Peter Vogle has recently started offering them for sale again.
How much is it now? In 1984 you could buy a brand new house for the money of the CMI in my country :D

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:31 pm
by pflosi
haj wrote:
garranimal wrote: Fairlight CMI made for 13 years until '92. And Peter Vogle has recently started offering them for sale again.
How much is it now? In 1984 you could buy a brand new house for the money of the CMI in my country :D
25k AUD

That wouldn't get you a house around here...

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:57 pm
by meatballfulton
The CMI Series I was about $27K (1979) in the USA, CMI II about $40K (1980) and CMI III $60K (1985).

I bought my house in 1984 for $75K. I bought a Subaru station wagon in 1986 for $10K. So Fairlights were pretty darn expensive.

The 2009 reissue Series 30A was only $20K.

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:01 pm
by pflosi
Adjusted for inflation, $40k in 1980 is $115k in 2016.

Conclusion: that 30A is a steal! :)

Re: Longest production runs for synths

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:04 pm
by haj
meatballfulton wrote:The CMI Series I was about $27K (1979) in the USA, CMI II about $40K (1980) and CMI III $60K (1985).

I bought my house in 1984 for $75K. I bought a Subaru station wagon in 1986 for $10K. So Fairlights were pretty darn expensive.

The 2009 reissue Series 30A was only $20K.
If my memory servers, in 1984(maybe 1983) in Japan, there were only 3 CMI in the country and it was something like \15,000,000 which is like $120,000 in today's USD/JPY rate. I read that info in a music magazine so I'm not sure if it's credible tho. I mean, I'm sure NO average person's music shop ever had one then :D Next thing we could only find was like Emulator but then it also cost a brand new car and I suspect anybody bought one was on the loan :D