Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

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Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by guitarsandsynths » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:19 am

Is the economic downturn finally hitting the synth market? Are minimoogs cheaper these days? Low $2,000s? There's a lot of classics showing up on ebay. I don't remember seeing that many ARP 2600 for sale at the same time. And a lot of stuff go unsold.
I closed a few good buys in the past weeks.
tr606 - $150
fooger ringer - $120 (w/ exp pedal)
ARP Axxe - $200
ARP Ody - $1050

Not to mention the stuff that scaped me... :cry:
So, what to do in face of the present situation?
Sell now?
Wait for a rebound in the economy?
Is it a buyer's market yet? :?
The economists are all saying that the worst is yet to come.
Are synth enthusiasts unaffected by the crises?
Who can afford a $75,000.00 synth these days?
I should not be buying, but I can't let a good deal pass... :oops:
What you guys think?
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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by pflosi » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:54 am

I think synth prices are not at all affected by the current crisis. at least not here in central europe, where vintage synth prices are quite high anyway... and nerds like me will pay it :)

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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by Hybrid88 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:51 pm

guitarsandsynths wrote:...The economists are all saying that the worst is yet to come.
Actually, I'm listening to a news report right now where the head of the Reserve Bank of Australia said we are now safely out of the recession in Aus.

Plus I think in general you Americans get it pretty easy as far as pricing an availability goes, I mean if there is a mini on eBay on Aus (and that in itself is a rarity) then it'll likely not go for less than AU $4K. I don't think I've ever seen one go for less than about that on Aus eBay.

I have noticed some pretty decent prices on high-end synths (Arp's in particular) on eBay US at the moment, sadly this hasn't been the case in Aus - I think people here are all to ready to make up a price that they think something is worth :?

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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:12 pm

I don't know how much prices have fallen overall but I've seen a few big bucks machines popping up on my local Craigslist in the last few weeks...Cwejman S1 MkII (lust!), Jupiter 8 with MIDI, a number of Mini Model Ds, Andys.

$200 for an Axxe, eh? That's pretty sweet, I would have jumped on that too.
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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by otto » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:24 pm

Well you know how these threads go, it’s all speculation anyway but I’ll give it a go. Things can only increase exponentially for so long. The US housing market is a prime example. Of course, while it is happening many think that it will continue and want to get in before the prices jump even more. High end synths have been jumping in price drastically over the last few years. If prices dip no one should be surprised. I doubt prices will crash or return to what they were 5+ years ago but everything has price volatility. Musicians can be a strange breed, justifying large expense for gear relative to other things (i.e. the guy driving a ’91 civic living in a cheap apartment with an Arp 2600 and Jupiter 8). Why I bring this up is it isn’t all rich old guys buying these that can afford to have them sit. If that civic breaks down, guy has to sell a synth to have a ride to work. I also think that a lot of first time owners of these synths will have the stark realization that money doesn’t buy talent. Owning a Jup8 isn’t gonna make up for lack of talent or originality. So I suspect that more than a few people that run out and buy expensive synths will turn around and sell them later.

Also you got to consider your deals. Were they BINs? Well that could just be a lack of judgment on the sellers part. If I’m thinking of the same Ody, I think the seller said it had some issues. That price doesn’t seem to low for a synth that might cost some money to get up and going again (of course buyers on ebay disagree with me and will pay so much for broken gear that it will cost them more to fix than if they just spent a little more and got working gear). I’ve also seen prices on the rise. Octave Cats seem to have always been the red-head stepchild. I was searching for one recently being that it seemed to be an under-rated gem and I’d never seen them go above $800. Well much to my surprise, I bid $1k and was outbid.
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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by guitarsandsynths » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:50 pm

I also notice the Juno 6 and 60 have gonne up in price, but the 106 came down quite a bit. The ARPs were BIN. The Ody hasn't arrived yet, but the only thing mentioned in the ad was uneven keys, so I figured new bushings, add 60 bucks. Still a good deal. The Axxe turned out a even better deal. Arrived damaged during shipping. The end key and one slider shaft broken. I complained, the seller refunded me $170. The other scores were craigslist.
What about the dealers out there? Feeling the pinch, mofos? :lol:
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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by Esus » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:17 pm

Supply & Demand 101.

The housing market is in the dumper right now, because there was too much supply (available houses) to meet demand (qualified buyers to buy and keep said houses). Just add "creative financing" to the mix. A house is a house, and unless it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright or is on the 15th green at Pebble Beach, it's still 4 walls and a roof. And if you did run out of inventory, you can always build more.
Oddys, 2600s, minimoogs, etc. ceased to be manufactured well over 30 years ago. There are only so many of them, and their scarcity and cachet only add to the value. There will always be exceptions, of course, because lots of folks need to weigh eating and transportation against keeping that CS-80. My guess is that vintage classic synths will more or less hold their value during this recession, and then will climb again once the market feels comfortable enough. I wish I had the $$, I think it's a good time to start buying and holding.

My 2¢

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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by otto » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:35 am

I see what you’re saying but I don’t think it’s that cut and dry. It’s also a “pet peeve” of mine when people say things like “supply and demand 101” as if there aren’t a lot of factors involved. Supply and demand is a intense subject and while on the surface the idea of “X amount of people want and X amount exists> it doesn’t account for a multitude of variables.

There is only a finite amount of gold yet the prices change, drastically, all the time. Much like gold, synthesizers are a need not a want. Unlike gold, they are a liability as an investment, they will break down over time, many of the parts are no longer made. If you’re buying and sitting I hope you are accounting for upkeep. While you can’t buy an original (insert synth here) there are viable new options in analog and there comes a point when old synth just isn’t worth it.

The housing market will rebound and climb, the population continues to grow. There were factors that cause the housing boom but that’s not to say there aren’t factors that caused the synth boom as well that might be tames or roll off down the line.

All that said, if I had to guess I think vintage synths will continue to rise in price over the years but I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it turns to a more gradual pace. One issue that makes it even harder to know is that prices are based a little bit more on a world economy than any given economy. I usually make more money off of synths on ebay if I am willing to ship abroad.
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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by plikestechno » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:08 am

Some is booming, some is dropping. For instance JP4s are regularly going over 2k now. I balked at paying 1k for one last year.

Those days are gone while other synths around 1k have stayed the same or dropped in value.

Eurorack and 5U modular is crazy hot right now.
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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:00 am

guitarsandsynths wrote:I also notice the Juno 6 and 60 have gonne up in price, but the 106 came down quite a bit.
There's a lot of hype that the 6 and 60 sound better...OK let's not revisit that rathole, but it does affect prices...and nowadays the 106 chip issues are well known which affects the price negatively. Junos aren't a great example anyway as they have never been especially expensive.

I've dumped gear myself when money got tight or a job went south...a nice dotcom system is one I wish I hadn't had to sell :(
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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:23 am

There are some great bargains to be had at the moment, x0xb0xes are about a third of the price they were 2 years ago, V-Synths can be found all the time for under $1000 and desktop Evolvers can sometimes be had for $300. Also the E-Mu Command Stations go for next to nothing considering they're so amazingly powerful.

Generally synths on the second-hand market get cheaper and cheaper for about 10-15 years and then everyone realises how awesome and undervalued they are and then the price starts going back up again. The trick to getting a really good deal is buying just before the price starts to head north again. Things like the MS2000 and the rest of the first wave of VAs are hitting their low point about now IMO, most 70's and 80's analogue gear is really overpriced now.

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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by Esus » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:06 am

otto wrote:There is only a finite amount of gold yet the prices change, drastically, all the time.
I think it's more accurate to say that there is a finite amount of refined gold. It will probably take many decades to mine the rest of the accessible gold ore on the planet. The price of gold fluctuates because gold is a commodity, like soybeans, oil, wheat, etc., and not a finished product like a car, cell phone, or a synthesizer--although those items all use gold as a raw material. The prices of commodities are determined by not only supply and demand, but also by traders who speculate on their value down the road--commodities futures. One of the main reasons why gasoline was so insanely expensive in 2008 was due to uncontrolled speculation. The best way I can describe the difference is that all the raw materials that it took to make a Stradivarius are still available, but Stradivari are damn expensive for obvious reasons.
Much like gold, synthesizers are a need not a want. Unlike gold, they are a liability as an investment, they will break down over time, many of the parts are no longer made. If you’re buying and sitting I hope you are accounting for upkeep. While you can’t buy an original (insert synth here) there are viable new options in analog and there comes a point when old synth just isn’t worth it.

The housing market will rebound and climb, the population continues to grow. There were factors that cause the housing boom but that’s not to say there aren’t factors that caused the synth boom as well that might be tames or roll off down the line.

All that said, if I had to guess I think vintage synths will continue to rise in price over the years but I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it turns to a more gradual pace. One issue that makes it even harder to know is that prices are based a little bit more on a world economy than any given economy. I usually make more money off of synths on ebay if I am willing to ship abroad.
So much of S & D depends on perception. The perceived rarity of a synth will almost certainly increase its value. I've read that there were only 40 Roland System 700s made. Hans Zimmer bought one a while ago for a reported price of $51K. Admittedly, that's a somewhat extreme value, but I'll bet if he hadn't bought it, someone else would have.
I agree "Supply and Demand 101" is simplistic, but as far as I can see, it's accurate.

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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by pflosi » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:29 am

what? only 40 system 700s???

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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by guitarsandsynths » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:20 am

40 is alot! Who wants a synth that old and big? ;) Anyway... If anybody out there wants to sell a system 700 I'll do you a favor right now, in light of the economic bad news, and I'll take it off your hands for 700 bucks! :lol:
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Re: Synthesizer's economic crises!?!

Post by pflosi » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:44 am

:lol:

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