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Author Topic: The best deal you ever got buying a....  (Read 24164 times)

compasspnt

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The best deal you ever got buying a....
« on: February 28, 2005, 07:05:45 pm »

Another thing that would be fun to hear about is things people in the industry have bought which were absolutely amazing, once-in-a-lifetime "steals" of a bargain.

I haven't had many, but one is particularly satisfying to remember.

I was in Denmark, at the great studio PUK.  In fact, I was their very first client, and "opened" the studio.  It was located WAY out in the country, far from any city, in the middle of a huge farm.  When we started there, it was February, and very bleak; much of Denmark's trees had been cut down years ago, and when you'd look out of the window, you'd only see flat, snowy, dreary fields for miles.  I was there for about 3-4 months though, doing a production of a European rock band, so eventually the climate started to "Spring" up.  (Don't know if this studio is still open today...this was about '85.)

The studio proprietor, a nice guy nicknamed "Puk," had become a good friend, and we would often talk equipment.  One day, he had heard about a possible sale of some gear in a Danish city many miles away.  I wanted to go, too, but couldn't, as we were tracking that day (and every day!)  But Puk was going to go, and he promised that if he found any good stuff, I could pick out a piece for what he'd paid for it.

All day, during the session, I wondered what he'd find there.  Well, it turned out that it was actually the state-owned Danish Radio station selling all of their "old" equipment, so that they could "upgrade" with brand new gear.  What they were getting rid of was all those old Neumann valve microphones they'd had for so long.  These mics, mind you, had only sat in one position every day; they hadn't even ever been moved!  Puk, of course, bought it all.  Since it was a government thing, they didn't really know or care what things were worth; they just wanted to dump it.  So Puk came back late that night with a BIG box full of 47's, 48's, and 49's, including the V series power supplies.  He had paid the equivalent of $400 each for them!!!!

Of course, I reminded him of his promise.  He let me set all of the mics up, test them, and pick the one I liked best.  I got up VERY early the next morning and spent about 3 hours testing every mic.  I ended up picking an M-49 which seemed to have the best overall sound of the lot.  Puk took my $400, and I  still have and use that mic all the time today.  It has a couple of "Radio Danmarks" engravings on the u-shaped holder, and the mic itself.

Terry
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Hallams

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2005, 11:00:31 pm »

The best one for me is when i walked into a small guitar shop and saw a Rickenbacker bakelite lap steel , with the chrome plates, built in the 1930's for $400. And next was the Guild Jumbo built in 72 for $450. Just needed a bit of binding. And then there was the L series Strat for $375. Had a bit of a back bend in the neck that i soon fixed.
Most recently  i purchased all the modules from a desk built here in Australia by one of our best , for $20 each. Mic pres are discreet class A with hand wound transformers, and high, low and sweep mids.So its now my 12 ch X 4 x 2 sidecar and sounds great. I love a bargain......Possibly the best sounding guitar i have i purchased for $5.The neck was clean broken at the heel and a simple glue and clamp job fixed that. It is a Maton Premier F-hole built in 1955 and if I'm tracking two acoustics always sounds great as a complimentary sound to a dreadnought, and for open tuning nothing beats its unique sound.
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drumsound

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2005, 11:20:48 pm »

I paid $65 for a blackface pre-CBS Fender Bassman.  It still has the original tubes in it!
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ammitsboel

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2005, 05:06:55 am »

What a story Terry!!

The studio still excist, don't know if it looks the same though.
http://www.pukstudio.com/

I was there visiting for a day in 88' i think it was...
I remember something about a large "first of its kind" digital mixer?

Best Regards
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rexrode

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2005, 11:17:47 am »

I found a working Fender Rhodes Student Model (1969) at a second hand store for $50.  They had an idea it was worth a lot more, but didn't have the space to keep it around for long.

This is the model, I got a green one:

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/img/models/student/space-age-yel low-green.jpg

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echorec

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2005, 05:28:38 pm »

Last year I found 4 Telefunken/Schoeps M221 mics in an antique furniture store. No PSUs or cables but it turned out that they all worked just fine. Price? $50 for all...

http://web.telia.com/~u81503617/telemics.jpg
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ericswan

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2005, 11:12:18 pm »

I bought an Ampex 601-2 1/4" portable tube half track machine at a Goodwill for $10.

The transport is pretty funky, but the preamps are great and get used a lot on bass guitars.

http://recordist.com/ampex/gif/601_2.gif

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Linear

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2005, 12:27:37 am »

About two years ago I picked up a Lexicon Model 200 and an Ursa Major Space Station from a radio stations's classifieds website for $20. The freight cost me $30! I thought they'd both be stuffed but they were 100% functional and were in great nick.


Chris

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Tim Halligan

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2005, 03:17:00 am »

Hallams wrote on Tue, 01 March 2005 12:00


Most recently  i purchased all the modules from a desk built here in Australia by one of our best , for $20 each. Mic pres are discreet class A with hand wound transformers, and high, low and sweep mids.So its now my 12 ch X 4 x 2 sidecar and sounds great. I love a bargain......



Would that be an AWA desk by any chance? I can't believe that it would be a JANDS...

You know the story...Just Another Nasty Distorted Signal...that a lot of us cut our teeth on in the old days...

Cheers,
Tim
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stevieeastend

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2005, 04:10:20 am »

I bought from a producer, who was about to retire, the 900 DBX lunch box with the 902 deesser, compressors and gates, a Lexicon PCM42, a AKG C460 and a Sony mic for

jfrigo

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2005, 11:34:03 am »

I have two stories. The first was a great deal, but the gear wasn't anything out of the ordinary. The second is some really cool, funky gear.

A dozen or more years ago a studio was closing and they had some pretty good deals going. I wish I had more money at the time because all of this stuff has appreciated since then (Oh, the Neve modules I could have had...). Anyway, over the course of a couple weeks of this "going out of business sale", as I made a little money from gigging, I'd go meet the guy and get a couple things. I bought some Urei LA4s, a Urei 545 parametric, and a couple other odds and ends.

Toward the end, he had a few things left over that hadn't been bought yet. One of them was a busted Sony C48 mic. It may not have the wow factor of an old Neuman, but it's a great mic. Anyway, he didn't know what was wrong with it - it just didn't work. Sony had quoted a very large number to replace the capsule and fix the mic - within one or two hundred of the best possible used retail price, so the thing was almost worthless as-is. I offered the guy $50 and he took it. I went home, plugged it in, and it indeed didn't do anything...  until I turned on the phantom power. This mic also has a battery compartment for location work if you don't have phantom. The battery was dead and I'm guessing this guy was using it with the battery and no phantom and couldn't get it to work. It was in pristine condition with the box and everything, and I still have this mic and enjoy using it.

The next thing I got was from a Salvation Army auction. There were pupil models of wurli electric pianos (model 106P) back in the day that were just like the model 200 we all know, but short - like half of the keys. 8 of them would attach to a fold up steel rack on wheels, and they shared a common power supply and had an umbillical that went to a full size teachers model that had a musical big musical staff mounted overhead that would light up which notes were being played. The main unit also could choose which of the student pianos would come through the main speakers, and the others would be using headphones or could listen through a little onboard speaker (identical to the model 200 speakers, only one of them).

The teacher pianos were gone, but there were two racks of these mini Wurlis, 16 total,  in student beige and bright orange. They were so cool looking. Anyway, I think I paid $200 for all 16, but it might have been $200 for each rack of 8. Unfortunately, they cost quite a bit to retrofit for individual use as you need to build a power supply and amp for each one. These things are super rare and when modified are worth quite a bit. I ended up trading half of them to a vintage keys guy in order for him to modify four for me. I gave a couple unmodified ones away to friends, kept a couple modified ones and one unmodified one, and sold a couple modified ones and ended up with a couple cool Wurlis and some extra cash. The $200, time and effort were well worth it.
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stevieeastend

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2005, 11:47:44 am »

Hey Jay,

this is exactly the Sony which I got in my story! As stated above I bought it together with an PCM42, the DBX lunch box and a AKG C460 for this incredible price... like it also a lot....
cheers
steveeastend

Hallams

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2005, 04:22:55 pm »


(Would that be an AWA desk by any chance? I can't believe that it would be a JANDS...)

Hi Tim, The desk was an Optro built by Graham Thirkle. It was built for Melbourne Uni in 1972.It was a studio desk with the best components of that era and a great circut design.Definitley not a Jands. Optro also built tape machines.They were very good, so good that Ampex came out and checked them out but there were some weak points too like the relays.
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Chris Hallam.
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Tim Halligan

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2005, 05:04:52 pm »

Hallams wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 05:22

 The desk was an Optro built by Graham Thirkle. It was built for Melbourne Uni in 1972.It was a studio desk with the best components of that era and a great circut design.


Aha! Very Happy

Cluey guy...

Graham was also involved somehow with Editron (syncronisers) and now does room design/treatment stuff. He does really good work in this area.

He is however - without doubt - one of the grumpiest audio professionals I, or anyone else, has ever dealt with. Cantankerous old bugger...

Thank God Heather answers the phone...


Cheers,
Tim
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Hallams

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2005, 06:56:08 pm »

Yep, he is an interesting man, could be described as a genius.I do a fair bit of my work in a studio here in Melbourne built to his design. He was there late last year mesuring the response of the room so the finishing touches to tuning it can be done. It is a bit of a work in progress.The room also has the Harrison M3 that was formally at Ocean Way and for a short time at Disney Studios.
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Chris Hallam.
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Joe Giannone

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2005, 11:53:04 pm »

I hit local flea markets early here at least four days a week, so I have lot’s of ‘em.

An 1176LN for $5.00 out of a box of assorted junk on a summer day that was so hot, there were only five or six sellers at the market. Good thing I decided to make the trip out.

A pair of 1176LN’s (they’re all over the place out here) about a year later at another flea market. The guy I purchased them from had just bought them from someone else and was running back to his car with his booty. I asked him if he wanted to sell them, but he shook his head “no”, and said he wanted to show them to his pal, because he wasn’t sure what they were worth. I took a shot, and offered him $300.00 for the pair. He went for it. I know, I’m a heel...

A pair of MD421’s for $17.00

A beat to heck ‘70 P bass for $50.00. It’s a great player.

A beat to heck ‘81 G&L L2000E for $65.00 (why are they always beat to heck?)

A ‘67 Marshall Plexi Super Bass head for $80. I talked ‘em down from $120.00. Yeah, I know. I’m a heel. Karma struck soon after when I took it to a local tech to check it out. He was messing with the jack and he put a nice crack in the plexi-panel. I swore I could hear someone laughing somewhere...

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J.J. Blair

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2005, 12:04:50 am »

A friend of mine was on a crack run and offered me his Ampeg B-15 Portaflex for $150.  Hey, I wasn't going to argue with the guy!
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

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Level

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2005, 12:43:09 am »

Best deal.

Sony PCM3348 for 3200.00 with less than 800 hours.

10 years ago, $250,000.00

I really love it overall. The damned cables for it cost more than what the machine cost me.
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plughead

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2005, 12:54:39 am »

Well, this definately sounds better than it was. I was at a university in Canada, taking private music lessons in Detroit for 3 years - once after a lesson, and kicking around downtown, I come back to my car window busted, and my horn gone! I was astounded, and thought the worst. After thinking a bit more, I went 'round to the pawn brokers in the area - 3rd place I stop at, I see my horn - tell the owner I'll give him 300 bucks for it, and bought my horn back then and there! Unreal, huh? The kicker is I just bought the horn a few months earlier for 7 grand (brand new), so I figure i got off lucky - I've had insurance on all my gear since that episode...

When I was finishing my undergrad (at another university), I bought a Rhodes 73 with an ibanez stereo chorus for 100 bucks - when I graduated, and was leaving the city (montreal) I didn't have room for it, so sold it (kept the ibanez) for 70 bucks. Fast forward 15+ yrs., and a buddy sells me his "suitcase" 73 for 75 bucks. Not a mark on it, tho could stand a good run-over about now...

PS - raiding the local radio stations has been a habit of better "scroungers" than I - a few 1176's, Spectrasonics 610, and an Amek CIB was salvaged from gathering dust in their basement - unfortunately, it wasn't me that got them...

Great forum Terry!
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bblackwood

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2005, 10:37:05 am »

ammitsboel wrote on Tue, 01 March 2005 04:06

I was there visiting for a day in 88' i think it was...
I remember something about a large "first of its kind" digital mixer?

You remember that from when you were six years old?

Amazing memory...
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RMoore

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2005, 11:33:09 am »

PlugHead wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 06:54

 Great forum Terry!




Whitehorse posse in da house!!!

Land of the midnite sun - gotta love it!

Smile

RM
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antti

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2005, 12:12:57 pm »

I used to buy and sell analogue synths and drum machines around '93-'95.
Half of the gear I have today has been financed by the profits of those deals.
Nothing too interesting really.. Well, I once bought Korg ms10, ms50 and sq10 for
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J.J. Blair

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2005, 12:54:33 pm »

I got my Polymoog for $150.  Then I bought one that wasn't working for $100 and used the spare parts to get mine really happening.
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

plughead

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2005, 10:41:49 am »

Ryan Moore wrote on Fri, 04 March 2005 08:33

PlugHead wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 06:54

 Great forum Terry!




Whitehorse posse in da house!!!

Land of the midnite sun - gotta love it!

Smile

RM


Ryan,

Not so this time of the year, but we're gaining the light back at about 6-7 minutes/day. Yeah - gotta love it, and sometimes hate it too...

regards,
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lucey

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2005, 04:00:05 pm »

Some years ago I was in Scam Cash visiting a buddy who was a manager there and a kid came in with a small bodied Gibson.   At the time I was playing in the New Standard Tuning (CGDAEG) and was happy to hear some blues riffs on the little Gibson.

The kid was unable to sell it, as a minor, and i couldn't put it down ... perfect intonation all the way up the neck and great tone.

So I followed him out to the parking lot ... "how much?"

"I was hoping to get $250"

"How about $200?"

"Fine"



I went to the cash machine, and at the time was fortunate to have $200 free.  To this day have never recorded a better sounding acoustic than this 1947 LG2.

I caled the police to see if it was stolen and they said "It may be but with no serial number and no police report  ... enjoy it!"
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maxim

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2005, 02:57:43 am »

there's a story i heard about how this fellow in newcastle (audio dealer) was offered to buy a bunch of microphones, which were found in a box outside the local abc studios

it turned out to be 12 u47's with power supplies included

believe it, or not

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Kendrix

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2005, 10:05:45 am »

At the time it wasn't so clear to me it was a great deal.

However, Ive still got the Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville model bought used in 1968 for 200 bucks - with my paper route money.

Last year I saw one on 47th street in NYC with a 5,000 sticker price on it.

One other item.  I had the good fortune to live and work in Tokyo for 5 years in the mid-nineties (great music town).
In Japan western gear is very expensive and Japanese stuff is equal to or sometimes a bit cheaper than in the US.  I was just reviving my musical activities at the time. I bought a Mackie mixer in the US and carried it back to Tokyo.  Six months later, when affordable digital consoles with automation became available, I traded the Mackie into a dealer in Shibuya for 20% More than I paid for it in the states.
I think thats called arbitrage.
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2005, 10:32:42 am »

My best deal was five McIntosh 200 watt amplifiers for $150. A friend and I had driven down to check out an electronics surplus joint in Ohio. I spotted the power supply to a Mac 200 lying on the floor with a $75 price tag on it. I asked the salesman if there were any more. He said "sure, I've got a whole rack of that sh!t in the back. Sell you the whole thing for $150." I trashed the rear springs on my brand new 1969 Cougar driving the amps back up to Detroit.

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2005, 09:07:15 pm »

My best and worst is the same item.  In 65 or 66 I bought a gold top/P-90 les paul from Bobby Cochran (Eddie's nephew) for $75.00.  (he had LOTS 'O' Guitars...

I later traded this guitar to Jerry Garcia for a Dual Showman that was later stolen.

I am stupid!

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2005, 11:08:26 pm »

I bought a consecutice pair of pultecs for $600, 2 1176s for $800, a complete Roland System 100 for $400, '66 Jazz Bass for $1000 and 3 Prophet 5s for free!
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antti

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2005, 09:14:26 am »

tsuyoshi wrote on Sun, 13 March 2005 04:08

I bought a consecutice pair of pultecs for $600, 2 1176s for $800, a complete Roland System 100 for $400, '66 Jazz Bass for $1000 and 3 Prophet 5s for free!


Wow.. That must have been in mid to late 80s? My ex-boss bought
a pair of Pultecs from Beatles Paul's private studio for
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Dave Peck

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2005, 09:42:26 pm »

J.J. wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 05:04

A friend of mine was on a crack run and offered me his Ampeg B-15 Portaflex for $150.  Hey, I wasn't going to argue with the guy!


Ahh yes, the drugged-out musician's yard sale. A gold mine! I bought a Roland Space Echo for ten bucks and a Minimoog for fifty.
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Bigger

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2005, 07:27:25 am »

 Laughing Hi Guys, I know this is an old post, but several years ago I found my own little King Solomon's Tomb.... I visited a friend who was head tech at a major Australian television station. We went to a storage area at the station, where old, superseded or failed equipment resided before being dealt it's last rites or given a ticket to a new wholesale address... trashed or sent to the auctioneers. We were looking for a television monitor he suggested might be there with a view to rescuing it. We didn't find the television, but found 4 compact 6 into 2 mixers with coloured tops on the dials and and a modular construction giving some indication as it quality. Made by Audio Technologies in the UK, they are AD145 location mixers. Used the world over for film location recording, they are Class A, using Jensen Transformers. I paid $100 Aus dollars each ($400). I was more than happy to discover on-line that the current equivalent mixer which has a few improvements, but is in effect the same mixer, sells today for approximately $11,500 each.... not bad, $45,000 worth of mixers for $400. They are fantastic. Needed a little clean and minor repair/adjust, but are an essential part of my kit.......Cheers
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arconaut

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2005, 04:13:12 pm »

One time, at band camp.... no wait. This is a bit of a story...

Two things I yearned for during my assistant engineer years were a decent acoustic guitar and a piano. Living in NYC, though, a piano is a real burden. So I was looking for an acoustic and found one for sale in the classifieds that looked promising. I called the guy and he said he worked at Kauffman-Astoria studios, and could I come out to Queens to see it. So I hopped on the subway, signed into the building, met the guy and saw the guitar. It wasn't so great.

I asked him what he did, and he said he worked for Sesame Street and would I like to see the set. I mean, would I?!?! It was a Friday afternoon, it was the last shoot of the day so he snuck me down there. To actually be standing on Sesame Street was one of the most mind-blowing experiences of my life. Apparently it is usually a closed set, and some folks who actually work for "Sesame Workshop" have never been allowed in. I got lucky.

Riding back into Manhattan I thought, "well, that was great but I still don't have a guitar". I decided to check out a pawn shop two blocks away from the studio where I was eventually headed. I walked down a block I never walk down, 22nd, between 5th and 6th and saw what looked like people loading stuff into a car, because there was a big black case sitting there amidst some other bags. But then I realized the guys were sitting in the car, not loading it. And the "stuff" consisted of trash bags and this black case - what musician loading stuff would set their things down next to trash?

I hesitated over the black case. I stalled. I hemmed and hawed and hawed and hemmed. I looked around for some kind of sign. The man in the car rolled down his window. He said, "I'm the super of this building right here and that thing has been in our hallway for years. It's some kind of piano and if you want it, it's yours".

And that's the story of how I got to Sesame Street and trashpicked a Fender Rhodes 73 within a two hour period on one day.

The end.

Noah
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slicraider

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Re: The best deal you ever got buying a....
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2005, 09:16:07 pm »

 Cool I once put my name on a waiting list for a Moog parametric EQ. The shop never called to say they got one in and then three years later I got a call saying that the unit I sought would be auctioned on line. A couple of engineer budies had them in their racks for about $800 so imagine my suprise when my eleventh hour bid of $240 bought me a rare unit. It's great when you want to have a big wide bass sound that has lots of fur!

Rick Slater

NYC
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