When you need a specific item, you have two choices: you can keep looking for an undiscovered "find" in the local paper, junk shop or yard sale. Or you can go to a broker or EBAY and find exactly what you need, but be prepared to pay for the convenience. I've bought Altec tube compressors and mic pre's for under $200 in the past year. But if I needed a specific model next week, I might have to pay $600 to $750 to a dealer. If you want the stuff cheap, you are not going to be able to shop at the vintage gear dealers. On the other hand, if you need it now and it has to work correctly the day it arrives, you may have no other choice.
Contrary to some opinions, there is still lots of cool stuff left out there, particularly once you get past the couple of "name brands" that have been thoroughly hunted down. But if you've got the cash, grab a copy of TapeOp or Mix magazine and check out the used gear dealers that advertsie in the back. Most have websites that list their stock.
Warning: the used studio gear business tends to operate on the "broker system." What that means is that the dealers often do not own the gear they are selling, rarely have they ever even seen the $*^t. Some guy with a studio in Kansas has an old Ampex he wants to unload. He calls a broker in California who has a big ad in Mix. That broker advertises the Ampex on his website. A hundred other brokers see that ad, copy the photo, post the same ad on their website, and suddenly that Ampex is being sold by hundreds of guys who have never even talked with the current owner. Thats not how many of us would prefer to purchase our gear. But its a quick way to find that unusual item you might be looking for.
I use http://www.proaudiomarketplace.com
as a starting point. David Lyons @ http://www.soniccircus.com is great.
Fletcher says he's "getting out of the vintage gear" biz, but he'll have a few goodies @ [url="(dead link removed)[/url]
I hate ebay, but people tell me they've gotten some killer deals there....
This joint has a classified section that is still in it's infancy, but I bet'll be good soon. Usenet's rec.audio.pro has some gear listings from time to time.
I'd be happy to speak confidentially via email regarding the "evil gear brokers" that I've dealt with in the past.....there ARE numerous sharks in the water, so educate yourself and you'll be OK.
Having spent a decade doing just that :roll: here are some 'tricks of the trade' and $*^t to watch out for :roll:
Fortunately, nature abhors a vacuum, so as demand for better sounding equipment became evident, several boutique manufacturers sprung up to fill that void. Frankly, in my mind there is damn little need for alot of the crap we call "vintage". There is not a session that goes by where I wouldn't and don't prefer a Pendulum Audio MDP-1 or a Crane Song "Flamingo" to a V-72 or a Langevin AM-16.
Some of the "Neve-a-likes" really blow hamster dick, some of them are pretty good. The key to the whole thing is to not get caught up in "new"/"old"/"copy"/"original"/"modified"/"stock"/etc. Evaluate the piece as 'useful tool' or 'not useful tool'. It's really that simple.
Thanks for all the tips guys/gals.
I think I'm gonna start saving copies of all my plug-in's in a time vault. That way 20 years from now, I can charge $2,000 for lo-fi! (with a VINTAGE farm card, hehehe)
Another thought: Gear vs. Stock Market... which is a higher profit investment? (I think I see some hands raised)
Originally posted by e-cue: Another thought: Gear vs. Stock Market... which is a higher profit investment? (I think I see some hands raised)
A lot of analog stuff sounds great, but it isn't getting any better (with the arguable exception of maybe microphones, and the odd rack piece). The computer stuff is still improving, and will eventually replace most of that old stuff. Very tricky guessing when each piece will be replaced by the digital equivalent. You'd have to sell the day before a plugin is announced. But then all the computer based stuff you invested in along the way will be hoplessly obsoleted too.
The stock market will be just fine, that is until Joj-dubya gets us into a full scale nookyooler war. Then all bets are off.
Stick with mics and stocks. Most importantly, continue to invest in professional working relationships with talented people. Gear doesn't make the money, after all.