Vintage Gear - Myths and Reality
This section of our store is dedicated to the best items of Vintage Gear.
We have been fans of vintage gear for many years. And we would like to share our thoughts on the subject. Why do some vintage items constantly skyrocket in price and still are so desired by professional sound engineers?
There are things that over the years only grow in value, like antiques, long-aged wine, paintings of great artists, etc. This applies to the music industry as well: for violins and guitars the older the better as the sound becomes more musical and exquisite. The dream of many professional guitar players are Vintage Fenders or Gibsons from 1960s.
As with any other kind of human activity, in order to consciously approach the matter one requires good knowledge. Not all old violins, guitars, paintings or ornaments are valuable. The same applies to the sound gear.
Why do some vintage items have special value?
- Unique and successful implementation
- Quantitative restrictions
- Examples of successful application, legendary records and worldwide all-time hits
- Special sound, unique distinctness and musicality
- Relative quickness in achieving desired results
- Workmanship, build quality, custom-made, often handmade
- Lost technologies and skills
- Collectible value, source of investments and savings money
- Lost component base, transformers, tubes, etc.
When the first samples of studio gear were created in 1940s, 50s and 60s, people generally could only hear music at a live performance. Therefore, engineers when creating their equipment focused on the most faithful reproduction of live sound. There was no such thing as fast-moving consumer (crap) goods and almost all the component base was of the highest (often military) grade. The task of minimizing costs and ensuring massive sales was not so paramount. Recording studios were rare, equipment and maintenance costs were very expensive.
Perhaps the most high-quality and valuable are units that were created on the basis of German quality standards in the field of electronics during or immediately after World War II. Here we would like to note one interesting fact. In our opinion the German technology of those years was at a higher level of engineering and had higher-quality sounds. But the popularity and value in today's market of studio vintage gear provide examples of successful implementation. The best music and the legendary recordings of all time were largely, if not exclusively made in the US and England. Germany did not have so advanced entertainment and show business. Therefore we all know such brands as RCA, Western Electric, Altec, Langevin, API, UREI, Fairchild and Neve, Chandler, Trident, Helios, etc. And even despite this, the Germans reached the highest level of recognition and everything that holds the brand name Telefunken, Neumann and Siemens will have ever lasting value.
People complain that the prices for Neve 1073, Neumann U47, Fairchild or UREI 1176 are reaching astronomical orders. But there is also a positive side, as it cuts off ignorance, because for most users the highest-level vintage units have become no longer affordable and therefore of no interest. This gear may interest only real professionals or collectors who do not need any explanations or reasoning.
But the sugar is valued for its sweet taste or is it only seems sweet because of its price? Our advice is to trust only your ears and your personal practical experience, but not some advices from sound forums or a buddy sound engineer. We have been always eager to conduct various tests to find out the real value for money. So, please have a look at some sound tests here.
All sound engineers have different tastes and studio equipment should be chosen according to your own style and objectives.
This section will be exhibiting some of the best examples of vintage technology.
You can contact us in order to buy smth – firstname.lastname@example.org. We accept PayPal and ship the same or the next day after payment.
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