Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Moderator: Moderators

Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by OneWorld »

A few years ago I sold a Novation Supernova rack for £250 and think I was lucky to get that price. Just out of interest, I looked on eBay and people are asking £300-£500 for one, even more for version II

I also sold an EMU XL1 at £150, now people are asking £200+ and I sold a Virus TI at £750 after just 1 day

Will we be seeing synths on sale at Sotheby’s any day soon?
OneWorld
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4334 Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:00 am

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by resistorman »

I've already ranted about the vintage stuff enough :protest::mrgreen:

But I wonder if more recent synths are selling for more because of supply chain issues for new ones? Or is all the "vintage is better" propaganda propagating (sorry) forward in time?
User avatar
resistorman
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2659 Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:00 am Location: Asheville NC
"The Best" piece of gear is subjective.

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by The Elf »

I see all gear purchases as an investment in *myself*. If I can make music with it, it does something special and it inspires me, then it's worth it; I'm not going to sell an instrument that achieves this, so its value is of little consequence to me.

And if it doesn't achieve this then it's of no value to me, so out the door it goes.

I've heard all these stories about the crazy prices gear changes hands for, and I take it with a pinch of salt. It's not that many years ago I sold my Jupiter-8 and I can tell you it didn't exactly fly out the door on wings of bank notes.

Yes, I still have a few bits of ancient gear around, but as time goes on I find newer gear that achieves the same for less hassle and I'm happy to move on - I'm hard nosed about these things. Reliability and ease of use are as much a desirable quality of an instrument as any other. Most recently I swapped out my Oberheim Xpander and replaced it with an Audiothingies MicroMonsta 2 that sounds close enough for me - collectors will gasp in horror, but people buying my next album will neither know nor care as long I make the music they want to hear.

The value of current much-revered instruments won't hold forever. There's a generation of players who grew up wanting such synths. When they've gone I think prices will reflect a more true worth.

Antiques Roadshow did once want me to take my MiniMoog along to a filming. I couldn't make it, unfortunately.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 19834 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by OneWorld »

resistorman wrote: Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:24 pm I've already ranted about the vintage stuff enough :protest::mrgreen:

But I wonder if more recent synths are selling for more because of supply chain issues for new ones? Or is all the "vintage is better" propaganda propagating (sorry) forward in time?

erm..........got any old synths you don't want ;-)
OneWorld
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4334 Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:00 am

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by resistorman »

OneWorld wrote: Fri Nov 12, 2021 5:00 pm
resistorman wrote: Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:24 pm I've already ranted about the vintage stuff enough :protest::mrgreen:

But I wonder if more recent synths are selling for more because of supply chain issues for new ones? Or is all the "vintage is better" propaganda propagating (sorry) forward in time?

erm..........got any old synths you don't want ;-)

:D I'll be selling em when the market peaks :lol:
User avatar
resistorman
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2659 Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:00 am Location: Asheville NC
"The Best" piece of gear is subjective.

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by N i g e l »

supply chain issues are definitely a thing but various hardware & software clone companies must surely be erroding the market ?

Then again some people will pay £££££ for an ancient bottle of wine which would loose all value if opened and would probably taste a bit "off".
User avatar
N i g e l
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3595 Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:40 pm Location: British Isles

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Eddy Deegan »

I'm not sure 'investment' is the right term although doubling £250 in a few years is certainly a pleasant experience if it happens of course.

However it's reassuring that some older equipment is desirable enough to others that at least some of the initial cost can be realised when passing it on.

I'm with Elf on this - I buy equipment because I want or need it. There is never a thought about the resale price although I did have an opportunity once to obtain something rare and precious. It would have turned a tidy profit if I'd gone there and sold it subsequently but it was in the £40k+ range and if I had gone there I very much doubt I'd have sold it anyway so I didn't buy it because I wasn't looking for an investment; I wanted it but I couldn't justify the price for what I would get out of it.

I have only ever sold two synthesizers, both under £200. Neither of them would count as particularly desirable today (and I doubt would realise any more in value) and neither sale was in the last two decades. I sold them because I had to, not because I wanted to and I'd not sell them if I owned them today.

My synth collection is much like Hotel California ... you can check in, but you can never leave. On that latter point I differ from Elf :-)
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Moderator
Posts: 8682 Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works | The SOS Forum Album projects  

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

In a limited and niche way I think you're right. Some people are trading in exotic vintage synths as a way of making profit. But I'm not sure it would be wise financially to consider vintage synths as an investment in the conventional sense.

There is a similar high-value trade in vintage studio hardware, too, as entertainingly described in Dan Alexander's fascinating book.

Image
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/vi ... -alexander
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 38677 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Arpangel »

They certainly won’t be going down in price.
I buy old audio all the time, instruments etc, because I like it, not because it’s an investment, at my age, there’s no point in thinking about that.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16056 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Guest »

resistorman wrote: Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:24 pm But I wonder if more recent synths are selling for more because of supply chain issues for new ones? Or is all the "vintage is better" propaganda propagating (sorry) forward in time?

There is also rarity and how long it takes people to think, "hey that actually sounds good".

I have a couple that I'm guessing I could get about what I paid new for them, an Arturia Origin and a Roland V-synth XT.

And another few that I can get far more for now, nearly double: Nord G1, Nord G2EX, DSI Pek and DSI Per.

All of these didn't sell that well and for that long as they were all a little complicated for their time, times have changed now and they are rare and people want them.
User avatar
Guest

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by The Elf »

I've always been a sucker for those devices that others reject out of hand - some of the humblest and cheapest keyboards I own are amongst my very favourites.

I'll mention:
Teisco S100P
Korg R3
Alesis Micron

Future 'classics', currently slipping under the radar, I predict will include:
DreadBox Typhon
Audiothingies MicroMonsta 2

Grab 'em while you can...
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 19834 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by FrankF »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:47 pm There is a similar high-value trade in vintage studio hardware, too, as entertainingly described in Dan Alexander's fascinating book.

Image
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/vi ... -alexander


Ha! The Kindle edition is slightly more expensive than the hardback, according to your review.
It would seem that "vintage paper" prices are on the wane compared to "plug-in books"...
FrankF
Regular
Posts: 446 Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2002 12:00 am Location: La Vendée, France
Post Reply