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The Price of New Synths

The Price of New Synths
« on: January 29, 2017, 07:41:09 AM »
I've heard some talk lately that the cost of Synths / keyboards today is exorbitantly high.

At first glance it appears that way but when you really take an in depth look, I don't think so.

When I started buying equipment in the 80,s, anything decent was $2000.

I can't remember exactly but I remember buying and Ensoniq ESQ-1 brand new from Steve's Music Store in Ottawa, I think I paid around $2,000.
1985 maybe?
Over 30 years ago!

Using a generic inflation calculator, $2,000 in 1985 in today's dollars is almost $4600.

Every decent keyboard in the 80's was around $2,000.

I'm not talking the stuff only the wealthy could afford, but keyboards everyone could afford.

As a young kid I always had a bank loan for $2,000 over 3 years and when I paid it off, (usually early) i would get another loan for $2,000 and buy another synth.

So as much as some people think today's Synths are expensive, they are probably a little cheaper than 30 years ago and when you look at what you get today compared to the 80's and early 90's, there's no comparison.

Remember when the M-1 came out? The D-50? I don't know about you guys but I was on top of the world.

When the Korg O1W/FD came out I didn't think it was possible to make anything better.

Today's stuff is so much better in so many ways and when I look at the OB-6, what it's capable of and all the features, I really believe it's a great deal and we're lucky to be able to buy such an amazing piece of kit for a reasonable cost.

I bought my OB-Xa used in 87 for $1750 (with the sequencer) and as much as I loved that keyboard, I don't miss having to take it into service on a regular basis for the dreaded tuning issues. The OB-6 packs a lot of punch into such a small form factor and I'm grateful as can be Tom and Dave made this happen.

The other thing I notice today is that the quality and capabilities on even the budget keyboards blows away the expensive stuff we had in the 80's.

Anyone remember the Korg EPS-1?
Think it cost me $1400 and back in the day. If you played one today you would be like 'omg what a piece of junk) but back pre Midi days, it was cool to be able to layer strings with piano.

Today you can buy an entry level Korg Krome for $1,000, and this thing blows away 5 or 6 keyboards I used to lug around on the road in the 80's.

It's really a cool time to be alive for Synths and keyboards - so much to choose from, the sounds are amazing and prices have even gone down with a lot of items.

Regards to all.

Re: The Price of New Synths
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 08:42:42 AM »
This is a great observation-

I bought a Prophet 5 in 1980 for $3300, and a DX 7 in 1982 for about $1800. Each was mono timbral and I spent my days programming them to replicate the sounds I needed in my band.  No sequencer, no effects, no arpeggiator, no splits, no layering. But, they both made great sounds and help me hold down my full time music job.

We are spoiled today for sure.

-dj

Re: The Price of New Synths
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 10:12:19 AM »
That is about $8500 and $4500 today.  Think of how much stuff you could get for that much now.

Re: The Price of New Synths
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2017, 01:05:29 PM »
This is what technological advancement is supposed to do though. More for less. More efficient, faster, better for less cost not only in $ but in resources as well.
DSI Synths: OB6 Module, OB6 Keyboard.

Re: The Price of New Synths
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 12:26:26 PM »
This is what technological advancement is supposed to do though. More for less. More efficient, faster, better for less cost not only in $ but in resources as well.

And yet, we all still lust for circuits manufactured 30-40 years ago.  Change is not always progress.

Re: The Price of New Synths
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2017, 04:22:51 AM »
I don't really compare the Prices of yesteryear against the cost of these synths today,nor do I really think they are overpriced in todays market,For me the Niche market of DSI and others like Moog where you can actually feel they are quality instruments made with that little bit more humanity than mass produce type companies like Roland or Korg.

What I look at is,if these DSI synths I have now are still working in 30-40 years time then the initial cost outlay was well worth the investment,2.5K for a synth that lasts you decades of flawless operation is a pretty minimal outlay if you ask me.

I have a Moog Voyager from 2002 which is 15 years old now,it cost a small fortune back in its day which for a mono synth might have seemed quite high but if you divide the cost by how many years of problem free use its given its quite a small outlay if you look at the cost of buying as a kind of rental charge for 15 years.I expect the DSI synths to be in the same position 15-20 years down the line