Sometimes the deal that seems too good to be true...IS true!
by, 03-27-2011 at 09:40 AM (1967 Views)
I have been collecting mics, off and on, since the middle 70's. Some have been stolen (including a U87, several Sennheisers, and a pair of C451EB's), some were traded off, others died unexpectedly at the hands of gorilla drummers. A few have broken my heart. Lately, I have been on a binge snapping up a number of used mics in good or great shape. In January it was a Beyer M160 and a Shure SM7b. Last month it was a pair of AT4050's (from 2 different owners) and a pair of Audix D2's. This past Sunday it was a Shure KSM32 from a home studio. And I NEVER pay more than half the MAP...not MSRP, but Minimum Advertised Price. Never. And always in person, in a situation where I can TEST the mic and ensure that it's the "real deal". Anyway...
This past week there was a local Craigslist post that simply read: "For Sale: Neumann U87 mic $1500." No pics, just a phone #. I posted a reply, no response, so after a couple of hours I called the #. Nice guy, and, yes, the mic was still available. I asked what I always ask: "Do you have anything else for sale?" Sure, he had a "small Neumann spot mic" and an "AKG 414, the one for instruments, I think it's the silver one". How much? $350 for the Neumann, $500 for the AKG. Anything else? Yeah, he had a "2-channel preamp that cost $2000." What brand/model? "Don't recall. It's black and has 2 meters, it was $2000 from Sweetwater. I'll look at it when I get home and get back to you". OK...
So Friday morning I get the call. The preamp is a PreSonus ADL600 tube mic pre. Hmmm, how much? "It cost me $2000 a couple of years ago. I don't know, how about $500?". I swallowed hard, my pulse was quickening. Davedog on RO had been singing his praises of that pre. I told him that I wanted the 2 Neumanns and the Presonus. I would have to think about the AKG, though. He offered to come to my place the next morning (Saturday) with everything and let me see what I wanted to buy.
All day Friday I milled the deal over in my head. I started to get nervous, you hear horror stories of people getting ripped of on CL deals. Why were there no pix? Why was this gear that was claimed to be in "like new" condition so cheap? What if it was stolen gear, and the cops showed up at my door 2 weeks later? This guy knew that I would have at least $2350 in cash on me, maybe more, what if it was a scam to rob me? Oh, shit, why did I fall for this? I was a nervous wreck, and got little sleep Friday night, with nightmares (really!) of getting robbed.
Saturday morning I got up early and headed to the Credit Union. I have a special savings account for my gear purchasing. I withdrew $2600 instead of the $2350, I just had this feeling. True to his word, he arrived at my place at 10:30am. He's another old fart like me, and is driving a Subaru Legacy with a bike on the back of it. He'll be heading to the beach to ride it after we do our business. I immediately relaxed, this was going to be fine. We take the 3 mics and the pre up to my condo to test everything, and he's explaining the situation to me. He's an Avid bluegrass player (guitarist) and has an amateur group. He had bought a Roland VS 24-track recorder a few years ago to make a CD of his group. He wasn't happy with what he called the "depth and quality" of the initial recordings, so he called his "trusty sales engineer" at Sweetwater to set him up. "You need better mics" so he's sold on the U-87, the 414XLS, and the KM185. "And a really nice preamp for them", enter the ADL600. By the Sweetwater catalog's current prices, we're talking $7400 in gear, not including the cables that he had to buy from the local GC because that sales engineer had neglected to add them to the package...!
Anyway, his bluegrass group made their CD, and he was tired of dealing with the technology and politics of recording them, he just wanted to get rid of the gear (he still uses the VS to record rehearsals). I went over his asking prices, and told him that the $2350 for the preamp and the 2 Neumanns was very fair, but that I couldn't swing the $500 for the AKG until next week. He was gracious but disappointed. I added that I could do $2600 for it all, I was sorry but that was all I had. "I'll take it!" and that was it. We sat around and talked about our jobs and families for the next hour or so, and then he was off to the beach. And I just got some GREAT gear, including replacing the U-87 that was stolen from me back in 1979... it WAS a dream come true !!!
BIGTREE TEST image upload for moon and some tips. Delete after you read this Jim. : NOTE, See Advanced and the editor will expand to more options. Notice the paper clip icon.
I'll upload and image now. Click on the paper clipRO.png insert inline > the done.