Mbira

I know it's a bit of an odd place to ask since we are all in to DIY here and-speaking for myself-I don't really think that the value of any of my DIY gear has appreciated over time....even though I love it.  I'd like to be wise in my future purchases (wiser than I have been).  I have spent a lot on gear, certainly-as we all have.  But I have also spent tons of money on plugins-many of which I haven't used much and are now worth nothing.  When I look around my studio it is the name-brand older classic gear that has continued to retain it's value:
My gibson guitars
My name-brand outboard (API, maybe my 2x1176)-the stuff that I have bought used that I could probably sell for what I bought it for. 
My good mics (but not my cheaper mics)
My upright piano (bought used)

So I'm thinking my strategy should be:  Buy real physical stuff, buy name-brand, buy analog (I have a hard time believing "vintage" digital is going to be a thing unless it's a keyboard), and buy it used. 

I'm in the process of selling off my modular and looking at buying some vintage keyboards. 
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com


john12ax7

In terms of retaining value no question it's quality name brand generally analog gear and instruments..

In overall investment terms it is much more broad. If something makes your job easier and/or more enjoyable, or allows you to do your job better and/or faster it's a good investment. This could be gear, software, or a comfortable chair.

One thing I've never regretted spending money on is upgrading my monitors and acoustic environment.

For general advice, a good rule is don't spend money on depreciating assets unless they truly bring you joy or a return on that money.  That means be more prudent in buying things like plugins. A quality $1k used hardware compressor, otoh,  is less of a risk, as it's a more stable asset.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 05:22:14 AM by john12ax7 »

JohnRoberts

In hindsight, perhaps some classic old microphones... That was easy.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Gold

I’m a buy once buy right kind of guy.  I have very little that wasn’t a good investment.  The first piece of dedicated mastering gear I bought was. Maselec MLA2 compressor, in 1996. I’m still using it. I bought the Maselec EQ I have now, used, in 2005. Still using it. The QE310’s I’ve had since 1990. The first nice set of converters  I got, Lavry Blue’s, I’m still using. And the lathe has gone up in value a lot.

I’ve done some dumb things too. Like build a console. That’s a giant money pit. I’ll never get 1-1/10th out of it what I put into it.

But in the end these are tools. I expect to pull the money out of the console by using it and charging a higher rate than I could without it.

Mbira

Good point on the chair-I finally dropped some real money on a Herman Miller this year. Totally fixed my back issues and totally worth it.  Also agree that DIY acoustic treatment was probably the best bang for buck I got.
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

Hello

I’m a buy once buy right kind of guy.

I'm this kind of guy too, and as far as I remember I never buy  new gear, except some mic and of course "basic perishable supplies" like cables etc.

for the good investment I can clearly define 4 consecutive steps (in this time order) in the past 15 years who had a major impact on production quality and efficiency.
-control room architecture
-"large" console...
-highend monitor (I buy this new, one of the few exceptions)
-console automation

I don't have that many outboard (some more DIY on the bench coming soon)
My room is mainly a mix/production tool, so I don't spend that much on mic and outboard porn, I let recording studio around get holes in pants pockets, and just book rec session there when requested. (drum and/or live band rec, grand piano etc...)

Definitely the good investments are those helping you to do a better job, as any tool should do...(the not so obvious)
DIY mind help a lot to target the obvious.

Best
Zam




Rochey

Stuff, even if it appreciates in value may not be the best of investments. A Guitar that you bought for $2K appreciating to $6K may not be a good investment compared to equipment that helped you get clients in the door to pay you your salary.

e.g. you buy a cheapish kit of drum mics. You can now mic up individual drums etc. Does that help you appeal to a band where the drummer is the one with the cash? Did that bring you money in today that you can use to pay yourself a salary?

I think you get where I'm going here. The best investments bring you value every month that you own them. Not on the final day when your widow finally sells them.

/R
Expat Audio Home: http://www.expataudio.com

Mbira

Stuff, even if it appreciates in value may not be the best of investments. A Guitar that you bought for $2K appreciating to $6K may not be a good investment compared to equipment that helped you get clients in the door to pay you your salary.

e.g. you buy a cheapish kit of drum mics. You can now mic up individual drums etc. Does that help you appeal to a band where the drummer is the one with the cash? Did that bring you money in today that you can use to pay yourself a salary?

I think you get where I'm going here. The best investments bring you value every month that you own them. Not on the final day when your widow finally sells them.

/R

Yes.  This is why I didn't specifically define "investment" in this situation.  It'll be different for each of us.  For example, there are certain plugins that I use all the time even if they don't have much value now, whereas others I bought and didn't use at all.  One was a great investment, the other wasn't. 
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

jensenmann

Long time ago I got a bag full of old Neumann mics for dirt cheap. That was a good investment.
From a functional point of view I´d say every buck invested in the monitoring situation (including room acoustics) is a worthwile investment. That makes all the difference between a wannabe-studio and a real one.
Jens
Quote from: PRR
The tubes of course don't care what frequency they distort

pucho812

what's funny to me is the vintage market. Not everything vintage was good and should command a high resale value.

That being said, some of the best investments I made for the studio  are items that will never have a high resale value, but they were what is needed. Things like proper furniture so you are sitting correctly go a long way but have low resale value.  Same goes for coffee makers and other necessities.

Here is a funny story about resale value.  The studio I chief at, We have an all black LA2a.  it has engraving  vs screen on it for the labels and logo. It's one of a kind.  The moment people see it, they go OMG I have never seen a black one of those before and start to salivate.  It's usually followed by but you ruined  the value.  You put jacks  1/4" jacks on the front.  and as their excitement turns to disappointment,  I tell them the story "well, we got that from Les Paul. He put the jacks on the front of it. they are unbalanced I/O. He was using it in his guitar chain after his preamps as he always preferred going direct."   they get quiet after that. See we have gear to be used, not to be a museum piece  and not because it will increase in value, although that has happened.

At the end  you never really know what will increase or decrease in value, but you do know what works and is worth it to you. Take time to really feel gear out.  avoid the slutz flavor of the month, and overall stick to your guns and do what you feel is best.
You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.


JohnRoberts

I whined about some old WE rack equipment I carried around the country with me for years...

Some member here told me it was really worth something, so I double boxed it up and shipped it to him.

So far it's worth a negative shipping cost (it wasn't light).

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Phrazemaster

I hate to say it, but anything DIY'ed generally has a much lower value than any name brand. I'll never get back what I paid for parts and time in building various gear through here, and in kits.

But I also would never have gotten the joy of learning and building stuff myself. So DIY provides an education and an outlet, but not necessarily a good ROI.

Would your customer understand, "hey I used a special star ground scheme on this unit so it's really quiet, and high quality FM caps and, and, ..."

Nope. They'll ask, "does it work?"

And if it does, they will still see it as a home-made affair.

That said, my best investments have been in DIY because I love doing projects.

My best financial investments have been in name-brand gear like Neuman mics, Avalon preamp. I plan on getting some decent monitors later this year or next, and treating my room...after I get a room :)
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mrclunk

A £20 cable tester!
 :)


 

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