About this guide
First, if you found what you think is a good deal and want to run it by us, just shoot it over to us through email. We’re probably going to be too busy to spell it all out, but we’ll give you a quick synopsis about what you’re buying.
Buying old instruments can be a bit tough. There’s a lot of conflicting info out there from our favorite sites such as gearslutz and VSE. Additionally, you find conflicting revision info from VSE and forums, and in the end, you end up with wrong information leading you to over pay for a synth you think you wanted or end up spending hundreds of dollars in a repair shop.
We’ll try and update this blog entry periodically and will time stamp updates. We’ll get into the specifics of certain synths later on, but we’ll start with basic stuff.
If you found ___ unopened in the original box, is it worth more and going to be just like new?
The short answer is no.
Electronics, and very much so, vintage synths, rely on atomic and chemical compositions that degrade with age. To make it even worse, much of the tried and true technology and parts used in vintage synths still available today were brand new and not reliable when they were implemented into the design. Specifically, this means that capacitors, which rely on their chemical composition to work as intended, have all dried up and fluctuated in value and performance. CMOS logic IC’s made by RCA and Toshiba have experienced shifts in there composition that cause them to die frequently today, especially if the power supply is not as good as it once was (see above about capacitors).
Funnily enough, the synths we service or buy from storage lockers are usually the absolute worst ones. They sometimes can look pretty good or almost new, but the repair is almost guarantee’d to be a tough one. This is made worse by the fact that uneducated owners of said storage synths decide to power them up at home before calling us.
As for the box… If you you want to pay for old decrepit cardboard, go ahead. We don’t believe it adds value, and more so, it shouldn’t be shipped inside the original box.
For this reason, we assert that “unserviced but working” is as good as “needs some minor service”, and should be priced similarly.
Consider the venerable Juno-106. A simple synth with simple circuitry. However, the black resin on the voice chips has hardened and warped, causing all sorts of issues with any juno that still has them.