90s synths going for peanuts...

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sydilaxe
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90s synths going for peanuts...

Post by sydilaxe » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:19 pm

I think that there might be something wrong with me, as I am trying to reduce my number of hardware synths. However, I just picked up a Yamaha EX5R and Technics WSA1R for 300.00 (for the pair). I have always wanted to try both of these and couldn't pass up the deal. Now, I know these are dated and have their "flaws," but this seems to be the time to buy "outmoded" digital synths.

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Post by gwaidan » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:42 pm

And in 20 years time you'll probably sell them in a VEMIA auction :hihi: Seems to be the cycle....

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Post by shreddoggie » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:36 pm

(thanks for the Pomeranian pix)

I see all these 'classic' 90's synths on CL and am tempted... great prices on Kurtzweil and Yamaha - its always an enormous monster or a single rack space tiny lcd issue that keeps me from pulling the trigger
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Post by Christopher Winkels » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:05 am

Last I checked some '80s classics were still cheap, if one describes "cheap" as going for less than 20% of the new price:

Korg Wavestation
E-mu's rackmount line (Proteus and its offshoots, Vintage keys, etc.)
Ensoniq VFX-series
Yamaha SY77/SY99/TG77

....plus ever single damned sampler made during that decade (many of which go for less than 10 cents on the dollar). I should know. I bought two for the price of a decent bottle of whiskey.
:hihi:

The problem with the '90s is that the majority of units shipped were ROMplers, and the more interesting ROMplers like the JD-800 aren't necessarily cheap because of the heavily populated front panels. The prevalence of ROMplers is great for doing a piano-with-choir sound; less so for wackiness.

I'm *told* the Kurzweils of the era are spectacular for mangling samples, but I have no first-hand knowledge of them.

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Post by sydilaxe » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:35 am

My first "real" synthesizer was a K2000RS. VAST is great for manipulating samples; however, it takes an enormous amount of effort to learn and actually get interesting results. The main reason that I picked up these two digital synths is that I wanted to get some experience with digital physical modelling (which both feature). The EX5r seems to have a very robust synthesis engine for a ROMpler (AN, VL, and FDSP). The Technics SX-WSA1R is just bizarre. Anyone else use one of these? It is VERY digital sounding, and I was able to coax some very ethereal pads and sound beds out of it in the first few days of experimentation. I don't know if I will keep them around as permanent additions, but they definitely are offering some tonal flavors that are unavailable in my modular, v-synth, or software.

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Post by fac » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:35 am

The EX5R is amazing and actually easy to edit from the front panel. I also agree with Chris' suggestions. Can't tell you how much enjoyed my Wavestations and Emu modules. Practically made 3 albums with them (along with some other gear).

These days I barely have time for going into deep programming (except for the modulars) and I'm trying to avoid the use of MIDI (except for clock sync), so I ended up selling all those modules, but I certainly miss some of them.

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Re: 90s synths going for peanuts...

Post by wowarz » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:47 am

sydilaxe wrote:EX5R
:tu:

it's a greally great synth - have fun!

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Post by mckenic » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:58 am

I adore the WSA1 and would love a rack version as the KB is a MONSTER!

I bought my KB for round $500 years ago and saw another one locally a few months ago for €750 :eek: Still it was the only other I'd heard about in Ireland!

If you dont like the rack - hit me up!!!

Im sure you will really enjoy the WSA - just accept it has flaws and you'll fall in love with it!

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Post by syzygywell » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:43 pm

well the JD990 is increasing in price and for good reason.
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Post by dualmono » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:57 pm

A decent bottle of whiskey can be very expensive. :)
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Post by sydilaxe » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:11 pm

Very, very true.

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Post by syzygywell » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:21 pm

Christopher Winkels wrote:the JD-800 aren't necessarily cheap because of the heavily populated front panels.


I saw one just bid out at 200 dollars on ebay the other day and then end up relisted. But generally I've been seeing them drop in price while the 990's are going up. They are a bit big and unwieldy. I like the 990 better.
Christopher Winkels wrote:I'm *told* the Kurzweils of the era are spectacular for mangling samples, but I have no first-hand knowledge of them.
Yah, Definitely very good at that.
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Post by Christopher Winkels » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:44 pm

I stand corrected then. The JD-990s are nice too, but the JD-800 was what I had up on the wall of my university dorm room back in 1992. Yes, I was a synth nerd then too.
:doh:

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Post by noobyscooby » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:46 pm

Every time a Kawai R-100 sells (always less than $100) I cry a little inside. Ludicrously amazing machine.

It's funny that people will pay $500 for a M1 but you can buy a M1R or M1REX for $200 or less.

Once you think of racks, it goes way cheaper. Most things from the 90s with a keyboard will fetch at least a few hundred bucks.

Sometimes I miss my EX5R. Loved it for its synths but a hassle for anything else. Still prefer having a JD990.

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Post by Babaluma » Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:53 am

i need to pick up another wavestation ex. cheaper than a new midi controller keyboard, with aftertouch, WAY better action, a GREAT synth thrown in, and at a fraction of the price!

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Re: 90s synths going for peanuts...

Post by chando » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:44 am

sydilaxe wrote: However, I just picked up a Yamaha EX5R and Technics WSA1R for 300.00 (for the pair). I have always wanted to try both of these and couldn't pass up the deal.
Damn you... those are the two 90's synths I want. Usually I see them for about $450 each. Good score!!

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Post by Holy Katana » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:43 am

I wanted a Wavestation until Korg decided to release the VSTi version of it individually. It's just more economical to get it, especially considering it's completely digital, and the VSTi comes with all the expansion cards. And it's only $50. Can't beat that price, IMHO.

I really want a JD-800. They're generally not all that cheap, though, at least from what I've seen. I want one, but not enough to shell out $800-900 on one, if you know what I mean. It'd be fantastic for ambient, which I've been really getting into over the past few months, but is it worth it? I've heard of people on Gearslutz scoring 'em for $300-400, which I'd definitely go for, but I've never seen said deals.

The Korg Z1 seems like it would be cool, too, although you usually only see its monophonic brother, the Prophecy, for sale. And I have a feeling it would cost as much as a small Euro system, anyway, and my modular GAS trumps all my other GAS.

EDIT: So apparently the JD-800s have been going way down in price? Hmm. I'll have to check that out, then. :)

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Post by Norman_Phay » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:15 pm

Nice score on the WSA1R, I'd likely pay 300 bucks for one of those on its own w/o the Yamaha.

The WSA1 (r only - keyboard is too big) and the Korg Z1 are the 2 that I kind of fancy. I haven't seen a Z1 for sale for quite a while.

For all the vst Wavestation is cheap, the hardware keyboard version is worth picking up at the prices it goes for because it's nice and compatc and has a real nice keyboard & controllers.

Sometimes I see one of those blue Novation boards for sale. i remember playing with the little Nova desktom box and thinking it was pretty decent. Haven't seen one cheap enough that I'd want to jump on it though.

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Post by megaohm » Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:03 pm

Babaluma wrote:i need to pick up another wavestation ex. cheaper than a new midi controller keyboard, with aftertouch, WAY better action, a GREAT synth thrown in, and at a fraction of the price!
My first synth was a K2000 keyboard. Needs repair.
What I miss most about it is the keyboard and using it as a controller for the modular and computer.
Now I'm using a M-audio Radium. :cry:
Seems like in the 90's it was hard to find a synth with a crap keyboard.
Now it's the opposite.
Crap has become the norm.
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Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:11 pm

are there actually any decent smallish (61 key or near) midi controller keyboards with aftertouch available now? and if not, why not?

i tried a roland one a few months ago and it felt ok, not sure if it had AT though.

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Post by amsonx » Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:18 pm

here i've a WS A/D , i love it but i must replace the backlight,
i got it with an M3R , an A2 and a roland R8 mkii for less than 200 €, and the gear are as new, was a great deal with a good friend.
I Think they never i'll go to sell this.
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Post by Holy Katana » Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:29 pm

Babaluma wrote:are there actually any decent smallish (61 key or near) midi controller keyboards with aftertouch available now? and if not, why not?

i tried a roland one a few months ago and it felt ok, not sure if it had AT though.
The M-Audio Axiom series has aftertouch. There's also the Axiom Pro series, which I've never tried, but I'm assuming they'd be better.

I have an Axiom 25, and unfortunately it decided to just stop outputting MIDI the other night. I already broke the USB jack accidentally last Thanksgiving, so I'd been using a MIDI interface with it, but I was trying to find a sound to complement the Rhodes in this ambient track I'm working on, and it just stopped working. It turns on and works completely fine except for the fact that it's not recognized by my MIDI interface at all, and hence not my computer. It could be my interface, since it's pretty cheap, though. I'm not sure.

The Akai MPK series also has aftertouch. I'm pretty sure most decent MIDI keyboards these days have it.

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Post by CalvaryBand » Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:13 pm

Holy Katana wrote:...The Korg Z1 seems like it would be cool, too, although you usually only see its monophonic brother, the Prophecy, for sale. And I have a feeling it would cost as much as a small Euro system, anyway, and my modular GAS trumps all my other GAS.
I enjoyed the Korg Z1 more than the JD-800. It's an amazing machine! The JD-800 could do a lot of stuff really well, mostly pads, but the Z1 has tons of potential for all sorts of crazy sounds. It has a ribbon controller as well!
are there actually any decent smallish (61 key or near) midi controller keyboards with aftertouch available now? and if not, why not?

i tried a roland one a few months ago and it felt ok, not sure if it had AT though.
There seems to be nothing good out there. I can't find anything to replace my Kurzweil Midiboard; it's HUGE and very heavy but nothing seems to touch it. The aftertouch in new keyboards is a joke, they barely have any sort of response curve and of course, no polyaftertouch!
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Post by sydilaxe » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:20 am

Is the Midiboard as difficult to configure as people say?

Spent more time with the WSA1R last evening. Boy do I wish that this thing could load samples. The onboard ROM is very vanilla, but the resonators and filters are pretty wild. It also mixes well with other synths. I haven't compared the "physical modelling" in the WSA1r to the VL engine on the EX5r. This would be my first Yamaha VL synth; it definitely makes me regret selling my EVI...now I need to track down a breath controller.

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Post by fac » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:45 am

I sold my Wavestation SR thinking I would replace it with the VST version but never did. Then I bought an A/D and eventually sold it during a studio downsize, again thinking I'd replace it with the software.... which never happened. I'm done with rack synths so it's unlikely I will buy another hardware WS.

Now the software version can be bought for only $50 and I'm really gassing for it. Actually, I'd love both the virtual M1 and WS because I love the sound of Korg romplers. Thing is, I rarely use softsynths anymore and I don't want to spend $50 (or $100) in something that I might not use at all (it wouldn't be the first time, though).

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