Should I stay or should I go?! :-)

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Should I stay or should I go?! :-)

Postby orbit400 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:40 pm

So I'm a semi-pro MIDI home studio owner. I do a fair amount of personal work as well as some jobs for actual paying customers, however I still have a full time IT job to pay the bills.

The time has come however where I HAVE to pare my collection of synths down (and have already begun i.e my Juno 60, JD-Xi, etc), but how do you decide which children to sell and which to keep? I'd like to reduce the collection by at LEAST half or maybe more. Like kids, they are all different ages and all have unique talents that make them special in some way. And too, some just aren't worth selling due to the $$$ I would get based on current value.) So here I am, looking for your opinion.

The studio currently contains:

Akai Miniak - Awesome small with full sized keys and very versitile VA synth engine with a vocorder and pattern sequencer (an Alesis Micron knockoff)
Akai AX60 - Truly something I've always wanted - true analog with lots of dirty grit!
E-MU E-Synth - The true last of the E-MU samplers in a workstation form. Rare and VERY versitile.
Kawai K4 - Inexpensive and sounds like nothing else. Not much $$$ to be made selling this. I'll gain space, but...
Korg DSS-1 (2) - My passion. Bought one of the first ones off the line. Now I have two. Original owner of the first one. Basically 2 DW-8000's with sampling (it goes much deeper than that but....) However, I think I'm one of the very few that truly appreciates and understands this beast. Limited, but awesome!
Nord Lead 1 - Original owner. One of the first and best VA's in mint condition.
Roland JX-10 Super JX - My childhood dream. Have owned this for 23 years. Not very aggressive, but so warm and delicious analog!
Roland D70 - POS! Only half of the keyboard works but makes some decent sounds for a rompler. Want one!? LOL
Yamaha CS-2X - My "do everything" keyboard. Perhaps not the best at doing everything, but If I had to pick one...
Yamaha SY-22 - Currently my only vector synthesis keyboard. Not as good as some others perhaps, but still great at creating unique sounds.


E-MU ESI-32 Sampler (2) - Awesome, powerful piece of kit. But with them selling at $75 .....? I mean I made 80% of an album using just this piece!!
E-MU E5000 Ultra Sampler - Newer OS, More powerful than an ESI-32.....On the fence about this one, The old E-MU patches are just so great!
E-MU Morpheus - Awesome Ambient patches with those E-MU filters!
E-MU Proteus FX - Sell for $50!? Otherwise, a very useful piece of kit!
E-MU Vintage Keys Plus - Original owner with some awesome vintage sound samples. More of a personal attachment than anything else.
Ensoniq SQR Plus - Newer aquisition. Great sounds. Again, like the Kawai, the sounds are unique and it's (once again) versitile)
Kawai XS-1 - One cool patch! LOL. Otherwise not worth the trip to the post office! GM.
Korg X5DR - A favorite! Love the variety of the sounds and with new patches coming out all the time, it's amazing what this 23 year old little thing can do!
Roland SC55-Mk II - VERY nice muli-timbral synth. Original owner. Not worth enough to sell?!
Roland XV-3080 - Seems to do a lot, but have had little use since buying it a couple of years ago.
Roland M-BD 1 - AWESOME but hard to play! If I were more talented it could fool anyone regarding a real bass player!
Yamaha FB-01[/u][/b] - Ummmmm. It's 4 op FM?!
Alesis SR-16 Drum Machine - Just keep it cuz I feel I should! lol A classic!

So....I've got to thin out! What would you keep and why?

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?! :-)

Postby Pro5 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:30 am

Not being a **** but I honestly wouldn't keep anything from what you list. It's all middle ground stuff without any amazing tone/vibe (for me personally).

I'd sell the lot and buy FEWER but BETTER pieces. An analog mono, an analog poly and a digital poly. The best for your needs in each category. Pocket the change and go make music.

I hate having too many synths around these days (I've owned 70+ many dupes... so maybe around 45 different synths) and I had 14 at once at one point, inc sh-101 , polysix, jx 3p/8p, dw8000, dx7, d-50 etc ... it was just a collector/synth shop mentality. I long got over that.

I hate VAs with a passion these days even though I've had a few.

I detest the general tone, esp the weak filter of the JX-10 (Had an MKS-70 and JX-8P) but love the JX-3P, a much more characterful/analog sounding unit. THe later jx's are literally only good for that one 'soundtrack' pad sound, nothing else (because it can all be done better by other synths)

I love character digital like JD-800, and even D-50/DX7 (but have grown tired of the later two having owned 8/9 of EACH!)

I like vintage analog. DCO or VCO depending on needs. AX-60 is probably the most interesting thing you've listed for me personally, but it's not that great. I had a (DCO) AX-80 which wasn't great either, the 60 is probably a bit fruitier and fun but... ironically I think you already sold the only one I'd have maybe kept (the Juno 60.. I've owned all junos 6,60, 106 x 2, alpha junos 1/2 x 5 etc) the Juno 60 has that one thing (fast envs), it's not a favourite synth I prefer the JX-3P as Junos get boring/samey but at least it's very musical and has a real benefit to being hardware (the fast punchy real analog envs)

As said, I can't see anything desirable in your collection to be worth even debating. It's all a load of, mostly 90s, rompler/digital stuff that is outclassed and outvibed by modern digital or vintage analog.

Well, you did ask.

Sell it all and go buy 4 tasty synths and FOCUS! 8-)
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Re: Should I stay or should I go?! :-)

Postby spock » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:18 pm

I mostly agree with Pro, although I'd just keep the AX60 (as you say it is "something I've always wanted") and the DSS-1 (as it has cool analogue filters and you say "I'm one of the very few that truly appreciates and understands this beast" (maybe keep both units for spare parts if you can justify it and have the space)). If the JX-10 still lives up to your "childhood dream" and the aftertouch still works and you have a PG-800 or similar slider box, then perhaps keep that too and upgrade it:

But the rest of your descriptions are cloaked in hoarder's justifying language ("useful", "classic", "powerful", "unique", "Just keep it cuz I feel I should", etc.) - don't worry, we've all been there... :oops: I know it's not easy (VSE tells me my signature is full! :o ;)) so I appreciate the dilemma: your desirable gear I listed above is maybe worth fairly good money, whereas the others are worth much less if anything (FB01, Proteus...?). I mean, if I could trade in my VZ-1 for a Mellotron, I surely would, but alas, it doesn't quite work like that... :)

You should also ask yourself honestly what you actively use and which items you know inside out and enjoy working with. I hate menu-diving so would sell that stuff to fund better sounding hands-on gear. If the Vintage Keys Plus is "good enough" at Moogs, Trons & stringers, then maybe keep that, but I'd prefer the real things. I know the Kawai K3 is good, not sure about your K4. ESI-32 vs E5000 vs E-Synth? How many samplers does one need? :) Without having tried them all I'd just choose the DSS-1 even with its quaint limitations, but it depends if sampling is integral to your workflow.

Obviously you need a good master keyboard / nerve-centre, but I doubt the JX-10 or DSS-1 would fit that niche in a modern studio. You mention CS-2X as your "do everything" but "not the best at doing everything", and the SY-22 as "Not as good as some others" - why not just sell them and get The Best? You're worth it! :thumbsup: The Miniak's small size yet full keys with seq+vocoder might be useful for gigs (I've never heard one) - if it enables you to be productive then keep it, otherwise consider the many alternatives these days.

To be brutally frank and honest, I'd sell all those 90's modules and keyboards - even if you only get $75 per item on average, that's still lots of SPACE and ~$1500 to buy a nice vintage mono with mojo or some cool analogue effects (you don't say what FX you have/use). Or since you also have a full time income you could start a nice 5U modern modular rabbit hole - lots of great options nowadays in the New Golden Age! :D :keys1:
JP-6+Europa+TR-707 JX-3P+PG200+DR-55 Stradivarius Godwin PE-2000 SQ80 uWave VZ-1 CZ-101
126 565 H949 InstantPhaser Wersivoice SuperPrimeTime Vortex DPS-R7+F7 MU-R201+L021 M1-XL
D2 S3200XL dbx Palindrometer DB8000S Tango24 HDSP BCR2000 Ardour Debian Linux
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Re: Should I stay or should I go?! :-)

Postby clubbedtodeath » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:57 pm

Hmmm, from all the children references, I'm guessing that the big spare room is being requisitioned for family purposes! (Been there, done that).

I agree with almost all of the above. I'd avoid vintage analogue, though. There are some very good modern analogues worthy of your attention (inc. re-issues) -- Dave Smith, Moog, Korg to name a few...

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?! :-)

Postby Zamise » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:15 pm

Probably crazy but keep Esynth and CS2x and if can sell the rest. Put some of the money toward something new and shiny for yourself then the rest for diapers or shoes or formula.
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Re: Should I stay or should I go?! :-)

Postby Mooger5 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:24 pm

How much for the Morpheus? Just curious...
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Re: Should I stay or should I go?! :-)

Postby orbit400 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:59 pm

Thanks for all of your honest input! I say "LOL" to a lot of those brutal comments like "the rest of your descriptions are cloaked in hoarder's justifying language".....I think you are right. There's something satisfying with being surrounded by your favorite "toys" whether you use them or not.

No....No new babies on the way! I'm 50 and have had a dedicated studio (in this house for 20 years), but after a while you realize you just cant keep them all.

Also, in regards to some of your comments, I have sold a few vintage analog synths in the past because one of MY criteria is that it HAS to have MIDI (yes I know about CV to MIDI etc, but...). That being said, I have sold a Roland Jupiter 4, A Roland Juno-60 (as mentioned), a Korg 770 monosynth and a couple of others throughout the years.....they just weren't for me.

Conversely, I've recently purchased a JX-03 (which I consider a poor-mans jx-3 toy) and a Roland TR-8 drum machine.. Mind you NONE of this list includes outboard processing gear! lol
Last edited by orbit400 on Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I stay or should I go?! :-)

Postby orbit400 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:12 pm

As for the Morpheus, I purchased it about a year ago for just under $400USD.
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Re: Should I stay or should I go?! :-)

Postby ninja6485 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:16 pm

Roland M BD-1
" xv3080
" SC 55
Kawai XS-1
E-mu ESI-32
Yamaha SY-22
Roland D70
At least 1 DSS-1
Akai Moniak

- This is based on the descriptions you wrote for each piece. If you really have to get rid of them, don't over think it. It's like ripping off a bandaid. If you get caught up with going back and forth you can rationalize anything. If you make a decision commit to it, and don't look back, you'll be more satisfied with the decision.

One question is why do you have to get rid of half of your collection? Do you just want a smaller collection, or is there some other reason that's forcing you to do something you wouldn't otherwise do?

Incidently, small, simple, efficiency setups are all the rage right now, but they're not for everyone. Some people thrive on variety, and some people need to have everything paired back to the basics so they can focus.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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