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Original retail prices of old gear
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Original retail prices of old gear
nuromantix
Has anyone got info about this? I'm interested to know the original UK prices of things like 70s & 80s Japanese synths.
Ranxerox
Old copies of Sound On Sound and Electronics & Music Maker are your best bet.

A whole bunch of E&MM magazines from the era you're interested in are available on-line here:

http://www.muzines.co.uk/mags/emm
nuromantix
Oh yeh good idea. I love muzines.
The Real MC
http://www.synthfool.com/pricelists/
h4ndcrafted
Holy crap I knew the Polys could be pricey , we are very lucky today! Ploys may not be the beasts they used to be, but for the money you sure get a lot these days.
nuromantix
You certainly do. I am pretty amazed by people's expectations these days in terms of features/price.
muzines
nuromantix wrote:
Oh yeh good idea. I love muzines.


Me too! thumbs up
Navs
muzines wrote:
nuromantix wrote:
Oh yeh good idea. I love muzines.


Me too! thumbs up


Me three! we're not worthy

Thank you! SlayerBadger!
khyber
Sound on Sound is nice and comprohensive, but if you're not a brit like me having the price in £ is annoying.

Vintage Synth Explorer has a nice forum where users seem to be pretty responsive to retail price inquiries. I find myself on Audiofanzine a lot too when I google for gear retail figures. I keep a spreadsheet where I try and capture as much of this info as I can for the gear I own/have owned.
Blairio
khyber wrote:
Sound on Sound is nice and comprohensive, but if you're not a brit like me having the price in £ is annoying.

Vintage Synth Explorer has a nice forum where users seem to be pretty responsive to retail price inquiries. I find myself on Audiofanzine a lot too when I google for gear retail figures. I keep a spreadsheet where I try and capture as much of this info as I can for the gear I own/have owned.


I guess we need to know the value of our gear for insurance purposes. Otherwise, unless we are not planning to sell it, what's the point?

In Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windemere's Fan" a character suggested that "A Cynic knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing". I worry that we are getting perilously close to that.
doombient.music
nuromantix wrote:
Oh yeh good idea. I love muzines.


So do I, particularly those classified ads sections of the mid to late 1980s when people were keen to get rid of their analogue rubbish... these make me wipe away a tear more often than once.

Stephen
muzines
doombient.music wrote:
nuromantix wrote:
Oh yeh good idea. I love muzines.


So do I, particularly those classified ads sections of the mid to late 1980s when people were keen to get rid of their analogue rubbish... these make me wipe away a tear more often than once.


Indeed!

Might be a quite fun exercise to OCR and database those classifieds and chart the value trends of each gear item over time...
thispoison
Superthanks - I've only just discovered Muzines because of this thread.

I've just spent hours going through magazines I used to buy and read every month, and it doesn't feel like 37 years ago. we're not worthy
muzines
thispoison wrote:
Superthanks - I've only just discovered Muzines because of this thread.

I've just spent hours going through magazines I used to buy and read every month, and it doesn't feel like 37 years ago. we're not worthy


thumbs up
felixer
nuromantix wrote:
I am pretty amazed by people's expectations these days in terms of features/price.

sure thing. but then again the price of manufecturing has come down a lot ...
and they simply don't make things like the cs80 anymore. alas ...
Sir Ruff
felixer wrote:
nuromantix wrote:
I am pretty amazed by people's expectations these days in terms of features/price.

sure thing. but then again the price of manufecturing has come down a lot ...
and they simply don't make things like the cs80 anymore. alas ...


Yes, but also arguably a lot of gear isn't overengineered the way it used to be, allowing for prices to be lower? Just thinking of Yamaha for example--any of the CS polys probably contained at least one tree and a mine's worth of metal. I guess with time, we learn how to make things more cheaply to achieve the same thing (thinking of the SCI Pro-1, which to me was the culmination of 10 years of portable monosynth production/research and a benchmark for design efficiency--everything is on one board, etc.).

But I also agree that price expectations are out of whack with reality a lot of the time. One of the SonicState dudes pointed out (re: Moog One) that it's not whether or not it's too expensive, it's whether or not you can afford it. No one back in the day was whinging because an Oberheim was too $$; they just saved up for it, or bought something cheaper. Synths were and are luxury goods and for that reason they certainly don't have to justify their existence in terms affordability.
rod_zero
Some I have from around some earlier discussions with their respective prices adjusted by inflation

CS80
2000 units
1976-80
original MSRP $6,900
Price 2017: $29,770.95

Prophet 5
6000 to 8000 units
1978-84
original MSRP $4,595
Price 2017 : $17,303.06

Jupiter-8
3300 units
1981-84
Original MSRP: $5,295
Price 2017: $19,939
Blairio
Sir Ruff wrote:
felixer wrote:
nuromantix wrote:
I am pretty amazed by people's expectations these days in terms of features/price.

sure thing. but then again the price of manufecturing has come down a lot ...
and they simply don't make things like the cs80 anymore. alas ...




Synths were and are luxury goods and for that reason they certainly don't have to justify their existence in terms affordability.


No - synths have become more democratised, thanks to modelling and virtual analog.

Three of my favourite polysynths are the Audiothingies Micromonsta, MicrokorgXL, and Roland JU-06. All were less than 300 GBP. I am not suggesting that is a trivial amount of money (of course it isn't), but it equates with a basic bicycle or mid-range TV. Back in the 70's and 80's, polysynths were closer to the price of a car.

So there has been progress in driving down synth prices, but equally there will always be crazy expensive examples of the genre.
Sir Ruff
Blairio wrote:
Sir Ruff wrote:
felixer wrote:
nuromantix wrote:
I am pretty amazed by people's expectations these days in terms of features/price.

sure thing. but then again the price of manufecturing has come down a lot ...
and they simply don't make things like the cs80 anymore. alas ...




Synths were and are luxury goods and for that reason they certainly don't have to justify their existence in terms affordability.


No - synths have become more democratised, thanks to modelling and virtual analog.


That doesn't mean it's still not a luxury/non-essential item. No one needs a synthesizer to live. Just because they are more affordable doesn't mean that we should expect them to be so.
cornutt
IIRC, a Fairlight CMI retailed for about $30,000 US in 1981. That's one reason the Emulator was such a huge hit -- it did a lot of the stuff the Fairlight did at about 1/6 the price. Then there was the Ensoniq Mirage, for which the street price in 1985 was about $950; it was the first sampler to retail for less than $1000. That was a huge deal at the time.
Blairio
Sir Ruff wrote:
Blairio wrote:
Sir Ruff wrote:
felixer wrote:
nuromantix wrote:
I am pretty amazed by people's expectations these days in terms of features/price.

sure thing. but then again the price of manufecturing has come down a lot ...
and they simply don't make things like the cs80 anymore. alas ...




Synths were and are luxury goods and for that reason they certainly don't have to justify their existence in terms affordability.


No - synths have become more democratised, thanks to modelling and virtual analog.


That doesn't mean it's still not a luxury/non-essential item. No one needs a synthesizer to live. Just because they are more affordable doesn't mean that we should expect them to be so.


Nobody needs a tambourine to live, or a work of art for that matter. There comes a point in any line of argument where it becomes absurd to pursue it.

Synths have become affordable - just look at the incredible proliferation of softsynths, if you still struggle with this.

My favourite softsynth is the Arturia CS80: perhaps 1/100th of the cost of the original.
sizone
Blairio wrote:

No - synths have become more democratised, thanks to modelling and virtual analog.



they're -substantially- cheaper to make nowadays. surface mount components and automated board populating go hand in hand. it took me at least two or three days of hard work to get a jasper all stuffed and soldered and functional. I bet it takes the robot less than a minute or two to stuff a monologue.

circuit simulation, cad for casing, the whole process of turning an idea into an electronic device is way faster and cheaper than it used to be.
Joe.
I'm sure the prices of early synths properly reflected the R&D costs and labour intensive production.

no excuses for these types of shenanigans though...
(well over $1k in Aus)

doombient.music
rod_zero wrote:
Some I have from around some earlier discussions with their respective prices adjusted by inflation

CS80
2000 Units [...]


With serial numbers starting at #1001 (according to the service manual) and ending at #1791 (highest serial number seen by a notable CS80 tech), 2,000 units seems a bit unlikely.

Stephen
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