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Author Topic: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?  (Read 18210 times)

Klaus Heyne

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Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« on: October 08, 2009, 05:26:55 PM »

I have gotten some flak for deleting prices of vintage mics here. I deleted them in the past because:

1. prices mentioned here are sometimes used to augment sellers' claims as to what they think their mic is worth, citing this forum as 'authoritative' on such matters, despite he fact that

2. prices mentioned here rarely were linked to verifiable information, like: documented, actual sale price, in difference to asking price, or hear-say sale price without showing proof, condition of system, state of originality, etc.

With other words, lots of unreliable, unsupported talk and little if any verifiable follow-up to confirm these prices were truly obtained for mics in a precisely defined state.

I am also aware that the Mic Lab has a great opportunity to provide exactly what is missing so far from the scene: a place where buyers and seller can obtain some level of average value for vintage mics, as determined by the actual sale prices of actual mics in specific conditions.  

I am contemplating launching Klaus Heyne's Vintage Mic Registry as a Sticky, as soon as I have gotten some input from you what it would take to make it authoritative, so that owners, buyers, and sellers would use it with confidence in helping them assess a realistic value of their mics, as defined by prices someone actually paid for them at a given time.

Here is how it might work:
If someone comes across a sale of, say, an M49, he would need to post the following information if he wanted it included in the registry:

1. Specific model and year, including all accessories (e.g. 'Neumann gray wooden  
    box, original bayonet swivel mount...')
2. Functional condition ('works, but is noisy...')
3. Cosmetic condition ('embossed radio station on back of housing...')
4. State of originality ('capsule, tube, cable, power supply, circuit, etc.')
5. Sales price with proof (either eBay auction result, jpg of sales receipt,
    or other tangible proof rather than a claim)
6. Date of sale

Please chime in what you think of these items, or what else we would need to include so that you would feel comfortable using the registry.

Thanks,
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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jpaul_bordon

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 05:35:16 PM »

#6  I think a recent purchase should have  verifiability of price, But I did not keep the Ebay receipt from 8 years ago for my U48.  How do we deal with that?
One Single picture? Keep down the clutter? Serial# posted?
Great IDEA BTW!
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 05:42:15 PM »

Obliterate digits of the serial number, to protect privacy (e.g. "U47 ser. #23xx")

Yes, ONE representative picture to support the claims.

eBay receipts of 8 years ago would probably be of little use, because chances are that the price for a vintage  mic is not the same today. The more up-to-date, the more valuable the information.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 05:42:17 PM »

Klaus,

I'd think this idea through one more time.  Do you really want to spend time being the "price police"?

Barry


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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 05:44:15 PM »

Tell me more: How would I be the price police? I would just police adherence to the rules of posting, as laid down and hopefully agreed upon my most here.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 06:33:30 PM »

That's what I mean.  Do you really want to spend time making sure everyone has provided the proper information in the proper way and has provided sufficient documentation of purchase price?  Boy if I were you I could think of a million better ways to spend my time...

Barry

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J.J. Blair

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 06:48:58 PM »

Klaus, I think this is a great idea.  

I suggest that it would be better for you to list these things, because there's no way for us to do it anonymously.  I don't necessarily want people to know that perhaps I overpaid on one mic, or that perhaps I got a steal on another, even though I think those sales are good to have in the database.  If we could supply you with the verifiable info, and you make the post, I think people would be more forthcoming with the information.  

Bottom line, there's going to be no easy way to do this, and unless you have a co-moderator on that, it's going to be a lot of work.  

Excuse me for thinking out loud here, but one way you could do a co-moderator, would be to do it as a separate forum, with a single topic, and you and somebody else have mod privileges, and can help with the work load.  I'm already a mod on PSW, and would be willing to help run the database.  

So, whoever the mod is could do a post with a pic of the mic, serial number, condition, sale price, geographic location of seller, and then list if it's a private sale, from a dealer, or an eBay sale.  

Also, if there's a trusted source, like David knowing about that U47 that he inspected, and he can verify that the final price was $X, that should be able to be reported.

There will be plenty of pitfalls, but I think it could be done.
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John Monforte

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2009, 11:35:59 PM »

I would find more useful a registry of mics and serial numbers that can identify owners of mics. That way if one gets stolen and put into the marketplace, a potential buyer could identify it and verify its provenance.

Gotham Audio used to do this for the Neumanns it sold. It helped many owners get their mics back.

I will admit that any such registry would be only as good as the degree of its accuracy and completeness. Also, there would be a need for a seller to verify personal identity and record the transfer. Problems for sure, but not insurmountable.

It would be fun to trace back the ownership of a mic and see its history.

Does anyone know of any examples of similar registries? Surely there must be something in other areas such as musical instruments, art, jewlery or something like that.
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Mike O

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2009, 09:02:38 AM »

J.J. Blair wrote on Thu, 08 October 2009 23:48

Klaus, I think this is a great idea.  

I suggest that it would be better for you to list these things, because there's no way for us to do it anonymously.  I don't necessarily want people to know that perhaps I overpaid on one mic, or that perhaps I got a steal on another, even though I think those sales are good to have in the database.  If we could supply you with the verifiable info, and you make the post, I think people would be more forthcoming with the information.  

Bottom line, there's going to be no easy way to do this, and unless you have a co-moderator on that, it's going to be a lot of work.  

Excuse me for thinking out loud here, but one way you could do a co-moderator, would be to do it as a separate forum, with a single topic, and you and somebody else have mod privileges, and can help with the work load.  I'm already a mod on PSW, and would be willing to help run the database.  

So, whoever the mod is could do a post with a pic of the mic, serial number, condition, sale price, geographic location of seller, and then list if it's a private sale, from a dealer, or an eBay sale.  

Also, if there's a trusted source, like David knowing about that U47 that he inspected, and he can verify that the final price was $X, that should be able to be reported.

There will be plenty of pitfalls, but I think it could be done.


Also thinking out loud here....

It would seem that your (I believe sincere and generous) proposal to help Klaus mod would give you access to the very information that you do not want others to know about your purchases. Judging by your posts you are a pretty active trader and therefore your participation as mod would probably not encourage people to register.

Just a thought.....
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2009, 01:23:14 AM »

Nope.  Not an active trader.  Is there even such a thing as a mic trader?  I'm a collector.  Trading would imply that I buy and sell, which I don't do.  
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"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

seedyunderbelly.com

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2009, 10:50:35 PM »

Sorry but this is silly/illogical on several levels.

Edit:

First,  there is no premise to Question JJ's ethics,  Second,   if he was involved in publishing "prices" he would be affected by the supposedly altered "rules" as would anyone- IN THE SAME WAY -The notion that he could or would effectively manipulate such a market for his own devices is cute at best..
Third,  He is not a seller even.....

j

ps-  I know him and would trust him with far greater concerns-

burp182

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2009, 03:25:52 PM »

What he said.
I've known him for about 14 years. No ulterior motives, no BS.
I'd trust him with my wife. And I have issues. BIG issues.
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Mike O

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2009, 11:43:08 PM »

My sincere apologies to JJ. I did NOT intend for my post to read as questioning JJ's motives or ethics.

I was simply pointing out that JJ serving as receiver of the info gives him the same information he does not want others to have re: his purchases. That is ALL. In regards to me referencing JJ as an "active trader" I recalled a Blue 47 and it seemed (at that particular moment) a couple of other mics sold. Most collectors (of anything) 'trade up' as they find better specimens. But I realize now JJ is an exception. Again, my very sincere apologies.

JJ probably does not know it (or remember), but he has selflessly provided me high value information apart from his posts this forum. He saved me quite a bit of $ and it was much appreciated.

Providers of information to the registery will of course be able to decide for themselves if they want JJ (or whomever) to know what they paid. And no, I don't have a better solution. I had hoped someone would think of an alternative, but it now seems to me that if the registery is going to be anonymous with regard to seller, SOMEONE knowledgeable will have to serve as the 'clearing house'.

I see no reason it should not be JJ; who shares an obvious passion for microphones.

Sorry for the confusion...
Mike

P.S. If I received post alerts I would have replied sooner to stop the 'nonsense'.
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Eric H.

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 08:16:09 AM »

I was looking for another information in the forum and found this thread.
Was this mic price database project dropped? I believe it would be a good thing in general.
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eric harizanos

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2010, 09:33:08 AM »

Price ?
It would be great to have a database with serials and something like a unique code, but it must be standardized using a public authority. Like chips for bikes etc. I have a private effort to sign my mics but the problem is how a code can be applied in the body, so that no one can rip it off. Nevertheless it must be a database that cannot be public viewed. (Only members).It also must be financed. Perhaps some parameters of the mic (height,weight etc.) can be used to generate a unique code, since the mics never have exactly the same specific weight.Like radiomuseum but with coding. Only suggestions but something to think over.

.
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Jim Williams

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2010, 11:00:56 AM »

seedyunderbelly.com wrote on Mon, 12 October 2009 19:50

Sorry but this is silly/illogical on several levels.



Only one level is needed here. These are used pieces. There is not a "suggested retail price" for used equipment. It sells for what ever the seller accepts and the buyer wants to pay.

Categorizing such a whimsical event is like trying to catch fish without a rod or net. As soon as the authorities set a value, it will change from free market forces. Yes, there are the "Blue Books" but those prices are also all over the map due to condition and source.

Fashion cannot be predicted in clothing nor microphones, it's fluid. There is no order in the used audio gear market. It's chaos, just the way it should be. Some will pay less, some will pay more, that's natural.
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2010, 06:04:12 PM »

The more I think and learn, the less I like. And not only just for the reasons Jim mentions.

Even contemporary mass products, like cars, are not all that well served by services like Kelly Blue Book. Invariably, from personal experience, these numbers don't jive enough with the situation on the ground to make them a basis for decisions.

Flux of demand and supply caused by the economy at large, regional variations, quirks and kinks in the pricing stemming from forum discussions, sudden shifts of fashion, etc. all make this less 'authoritative' and useful than I had hoped for.

Add to this the devil in the detail (re-chromed head basket, anyone?) and you get price fluctuations well into the double digits.

With other words: remotely done estimates of mic values are not a good method for getting realistic pricing.
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Klaus Heyne
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joeyhavoc

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2010, 01:39:40 PM »

Klaus Heyne wrote on Wed, 11 August 2010 17:04

With other words: remotely done estimates of mic values are not a good method for getting realistic pricing.


Price guides have negatively impacted many categories where market value and collectibility meet.  A quick list are stamps, coins, antique tools, sports cards and memorabilia, trading card games, depression glass, and antique furniture.  Typically, adding a price guide hurts these markets instead of helping them.

Joe Hauck
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gk

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2010, 11:00:20 AM »

I'm guessing the pirates out there would love to see such a thing.
Just like the guitar blue book has inflated vintage gtr prices for the unknowing. The intrigue of this market is in the personal knowledge. My vote would be: leave it that way.
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compasspnt

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2010, 03:54:36 PM »

I agree; it would cause more trouble than satisfaction.


Unfortunately.
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Oliver Archut

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2010, 11:47:56 AM »

Last time I bought myself a tractor I asked my neighbor (who collects old cars and tractors) if the price is O.K. for what I found in the classifieds, instead of me going there he took care of everything even the price talks and aside I got a great working 1964 tractor he also pointed out what I should do in the next coming years to keep it in great shape.

For buying microphones, classic cars, etc, etc, etc. it is the same, find yourself someone that knows his stuff...

Best regards,

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maarvold

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2010, 11:14:29 PM »

John Monforte wrote on Thu, 08 October 2009 20:35

I would find more useful a registry of mics and serial numbers that can identify owners of mics. That way if one gets stolen and put into the marketplace, a potential buyer could identify it and verify its provenance.

Gotham Audio used to do this for the Neumanns it sold. It helped many owners get their mics back.


A friend had 9 [I think] mics out of a Neumann/Gotham Jubilee run of 100 stolen years ago.  I will guarantee this 83 year old guy would be completely thrilled if he could get even a couple of his mics back.  
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...!
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2010, 12:30:00 AM »

In the meantime, there is this for stolen mics:

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/10338/318/
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Fletcher

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2010, 06:47:23 AM »

FWIW... on the "stolen microphone" registry front... T-funk has been working on this kind of database for its microphones for the last year and change.  It is about 85-90% complete.  What we would like to do in the future is have users register the sale of their microphone so the next owner has a "registered" mic and we will have a better chance of recovering the unit if it is stolen.

While still a work in progress, the great majority of microphones made and sold over the years [especially in the last 15 months] have been registered and a couple of mics that were "misappropriated" have been returned to their rightful owners.

The idea is not new, we are working from the old Gotham Audio model which has to be somewhat modified to take a "reseller network" into account.

Peace.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

antoniosolo

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2010, 09:44:52 AM »

Thankfully, this registry may curtail the obvious price gouging the vintage mic market is experiencing.
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Fletcher

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2010, 08:51:13 AM »

If a seller is willing to sell, and a buyer is willing to buy, and they can agree on a price that is amenable to both parties, then that is not price "gouging", that is "free economy".

Price gouging is when you have a commodity item [lets say gasoline] and you have the "only game in town" [like your filling station is the only one open at 3:30 in the morning] and the general price of that commodity item [random figure] is $3.00/gallon but seeing as you are the only source of supply at 3:30am you decide to charge $5.00/gallon... that is price gouging as the item being sold is a "necessity" item and not a "luxury" item.

Microphones [especially "vintage" microphones] are not "commodity" items [food, fuel, clothing, etc.].  Their existence is for the enhancement of an artistic endeavor which makes them a "luxury item" [like you don't need a Ferrari to pick up little Johnny from school], as such, a seller can price the item at their whim.  

If someone has the money and would like to adopt the item and feels like paying the price then a purchase and sale is enacted... if nobody feels like buying the item for the requested amount then a sale is not transacted.

Not "price gouging".

Peace.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

antoniosolo

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2010, 11:56:32 AM »

Not gonna argue how you interpret price gouging, only gonna applaude an attempt by the leading authority on mics efforts to arrive at fair market values.....
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Oliver Archut

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2010, 01:33:48 PM »

Sorry I have to disagree, but the market, or better the seller, should decide what an item is worth to him; a "leading authority" should only confirm that the mic is what the seller advertises it to be.

And by the way, there is not a real way to say what is fair.
Ask 10 person and you will get 11 answers.

Best regards,

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Oliver Archut
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Fletcher

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2010, 03:14:17 PM »

Oliver is 1000% right here.  I have a couple of mics that I don't feel like selling... BUT, if someone came along and offered me enough money, I would indeed part with those units.  If they offered me a sick amount of money, and wanted to have them checked out prior to purchase I wouldn't have a problem with that.

If they came to me and said "hey you have a ______, the 'market value' is ______, so I'm going to give you ______ for that mic" chances are better than even I would suggest they perform an unnatural act with a very close family member.

Peace.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

antoniosolo

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2010, 03:37:33 PM »

I am not arguing that the value established as fair must be the selling price, we value our personal belongings differently.  Surely there can, and should, be a system whereby value is established, with "agreement" being the next step in a normal purchase agreement.  We aren't setting rules, only establishing some documented values and benchmarks to establish worth.

The term "Open Market" is a deep hole that leads to organized crime and corruption, i.e. price fixing.  Whatever, let the buyer beware, I welcome some guidance, in my future purchases, from this Forum and its respected members.
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2010, 04:24:39 PM »

antoniosolo wrote on Thu, 19 August 2010 12:37

I welcome some guidance, in my future purchases, from this forum and its respected members.


That is the reason why I usually prohibit pricing quotes on this forum. Citing "Blue Book" prices without direct knowledge of, and correlation to, an individual microphone can be tempting, and could quickly drag the value of this forum down to a mud-hole used by hucksters to cheat the ignorant.

This is what would happen if I were to allow pricing discussions:
seller of mic x will quote to potential buyer the highest price someone at some point may have mentioned here, that mic x has garnered, as "established average price", then use it to justify a similar price for his version of mic x.

Besides the points already made- that only a free market establishes the actual value of a mic, and  every time anew when the deal is struck- the cosmetic and functional condition of a used microphone varies so widely, with so many minute variations, and with often purely discretionary values attached to these variations.  The price range therefore can be very large, and therefore, pricing info too unreliable to print here.

Rule of thumb: the older the mic, the larger the price variations- due to condition and fluctuating demand.

(But then there are exceptions to that rule, too: U87s, old, new, bad, good, all range within a few hundred dollars of one another. Go figure!)
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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joeyhavoc

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry Coming Soon...???
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2010, 05:49:50 PM »

antoniosolo wrote on Thu, 19 August 2010 14:37

 I am not arguing that the value established as fair must be the selling price, we value our personal belongings differently.


This is the crux of the problem.  Would you pay $15K for a 2.5" x 3.5" playing card that cost less than $.10 to make in 1993 and you can't actually play with?  How about $89K?

http://www.examiner.com/magic-the-gathering-in-boston/bgs-10 -beta-black-lotus-magic-the-gathering-card-on-ebay-for-89-00 0

Is that crazy?  It's a matter of personal perspective.  Folks on this forum would spend $89K in some other way, but the former Magic player who came in second at the World Series of Poker and always wished he had one has a different perspective.

I bring it up because it is analogous to vintage Nuemann mics.  Less than 2000 Alpha Black Lotus cards were made.  Some got worn out, some thrown away.  No one knows how many are truly available.  If you want one in good condition, how many options (or shots) do you have?  The ebay auction claims that in the last 5 years, no Black Lotus has been offered or sold in better condition.  It's a true statement.  

Jump back to our industry and to the small studio that has lost out on three clients in the last month because they don't own a historic U47.  They may be willing to pay a hefty premium for one that a studio that already has 2 or 3 might not.  You're not just paying for a brass tube and resistors, you're paying for access to a product of unknown quantity, along with legitimacy and prestige.  That U47 is worth different amounts to those two parties and each party must decide its value to them.    

antoniosolo wrote on Thu, 19 August 2010 14:37

  Surely there can, and should, be a system whereby value is established, with "agreement" being the next step in a normal purchase agreement.  We aren't setting rules, only establishing some documented values and benchmarks to establish worth.


There are folks who buy microphones as collectibles and some who speculate in their future value.  That's no different than the stock or futures markets.  The demand and interest in a specific item can fluctuate on a weekly basis if not daily and there is no way to track that until after the fact.  At that point, it's too late.  Paper and even electronically published price guides are too slow to react for collectible categories with active participation.

Which is worse?  Having a price guide that represents itself as the authoritative advisement on pricing but is inaccurate more often then not, or having no price guide at all?

Joe Hauck
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Stephen Andrew Bright

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2010, 06:07:32 PM »

I think the Vintage Mic Price Registry is an excellent idea, and here's why -- if you are in the market for a vintage mic, the first thing to do is check ebay and see what that mic has been selling for. Unfortunately, ebay only archives about 30-90 days of previous sales, and most vintage mics don't sell very often in that time frame. Wouldn't it be great if this info was archived for years or even decades instead of just days? Who cares if the price fluctuates all over the place? The more data points you have, the more accurate your conclusions will be. Trends will be made clear -- like the selling price for a Schoeps M221b is currently going down.

The other big plus is, say you want a C414 EB Teflon, and you check ebay and the only ones for sale are from Madooma for $1299. Is that a reasonable price, or are you paying a $500 premium??? The price registry would tell you the answer.

Stephen
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joeyhavoc

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2010, 10:17:44 AM »

Stephen Andrew Bright wrote on Thu, 19 August 2010 17:07

-- if you are in the market for a vintage mic, the first thing to do is check ebay and see what that mic has been selling for. Unfortunately, ebay only archives about 30-90 days of previous sales, and most vintage mics don't sell very often in that time frame. Wouldn't it be great if this info was archived for years or even decades instead of just days?


I 100% agree that storing ebay data would be a good idea.  This is done in other categories.

Stephen Andrew Bright wrote on Thu, 19 August 2010 17:07

Who cares if the price fluctuates all over the place? The more data points you have, the more accurate your conclusions will be. Trends will be made clear -- like the selling price for a Schoeps M221b is currently going down.


I 90% disagree with this statement.  There is a saying in the market research industry; GIGO.  Garbage In, Garbage Out.  I've heard recording engineers state it as SISO...

Having "lots of data points" doesn't help if those points are not properly documented or defined.  Schoeps M221b's could be trending down because they are losing popularity OR because the last 15 sales have been for mics with serious problems OR the mics were all sold by folks with poor ebay feedback OR sold from countries that are not trusted to purchase from, OR they were described and presented poorly OR prices for all auctions on ebay trend down in Summer or a combination of all of those things.  Without proper documentation it is difficult to separate the anomalies and make an accurate statement of cause and effect with trends.

Having a generic list of prices achieved (and not achieved) on ebay would be somewhat helpful.  It would provide folks a broad range of prices paid for a mic... on ebay.  It may be helpful to folks to know that U47's sell from $4K-$9K on ebay.  But even that is flawed as prices in many collectible categories are suppressed on ebay due to the risks involved with buying something on ebay.  A U47 sold by a reputable mic repair person that can be seen and heard in person will sell for more in private than if the mic were put on ebay.

This is true for saxophones, violins, stamps, vintage games, Magic cards, sports cards, and many other products as well.

Joe Hauck
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Stephen Andrew Bright

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2010, 11:30:32 AM »

It would be VERY easy to get a Vintage Mic Registry that consisted of screen shots of completed eBay sales. This would identify the seller (and hence whether or not he is a dealer), the final selling  price, 1 photo, and the description. It can be all done with no typing in about 30 seconds time.

You don't even have to be the buyer to post. People could just follow a couple of mics -- like they might do anyway -- and just take screen shots of the completed sale, no matter who wins.

Other good places to archive would eBay Germany and eBay France, as their selling prices are consistently much less for vintage Neumann and Schoeps mics than eBay USA.

Stephen
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joeyhavoc

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2010, 11:59:25 AM »

Stephen Andrew Bright wrote on Fri, 20 August 2010 10:30

It would be VERY easy to get a Vintage Mic Registry that consisted of screen shots of completed eBay sales.


I look forward to seeing your new Vintage Mic ebay Auction Archive website!   Very Happy      ...just kidding...

Stephen Andrew Bright wrote on Fri, 20 August 2010 10:30

This would identify the seller (and hence whether or not he is a dealer), the final selling  price, 1 photo, and the description. It can be all done with no typing in about 30 seconds time.


That's solves my concerns about capturing all of the subtle ebay data.  It does not provide a viewer looking at the archived record with enough data regarding condition.  One picture, or the tiny thumbnails of inside shots won't be sufficient and the written description of many of the sellers on ebay is quite questionable.

Stephen Andrew Bright wrote on Fri, 20 August 2010 10:30


You don't even have to be the buyer to post. People could just follow a couple of mics -- like they might do anyway -- and just take screen shots of the completed sale, no matter who wins.


This is another good suggestion.  It would require an editor of the website to delete duplicate listings, ensure that a consistent nomenclature is used and at a minimum a spot check for accuracy of the information being posted.

While it might not be a price guide in the traditional sense, it would at least be an archive of ebay data which people would have to decide for themselves as how to interpret the data.

Joe Hauck
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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2010, 12:27:46 PM »

[quote title=joeyhavoc wrote on Fri, 20 August 2010 10:59]
I look forward to seeing your new Vintage Mic ebay Auction Archive website!   Very Happy      ...just kidding...

Hi Joe:

If Klaus decides against doing some kind of Vintage Mic Registry here at PSW (which would be a nice companion piece to the forthcoming book), I might actually do it myself. In my view the topic is directly tied to new mics, as some vintage mics are still outright bargains, while others are quite the opposite.

Stephen
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2010, 02:33:52 PM »

My guess is that eBay would fight any third-party data aggregation and publication of auction information as copyright infringement, or, if you are lucky, first will ask for a little financial contribution.

How do you think Meg Whitman became a billionaire?

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Greg Youngman

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2010, 05:05:56 PM »

Klaus Heyne wrote on Fri, 20 August 2010 11:33


How do you think Meg Whitman became a billionaire?



That's a loaded question.  Living in CA, I'm not happy about my choices for Gov.

As for mic values, the way the economy and unemployment are headed, I predict that prices will continue to drop as more and more people become desperate for cash.
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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2010, 05:23:25 PM »

For what it's worth, James U Steele has an Ebay price monitor section on his excellent website: http://www.k-bay106.com/market.htm
While nowhere near all inclusive (just American made "vintage" microphones,) it is helpful for those who want to buy and sell their microphones, giving in many cases, the original selling price and the high/low selling prices and pricing trends.
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2010, 05:55:17 PM »

But what am going to do with such registry if I were, say, in the market for an RCA 77DX?

He states:
77DX High: $5,049.99   Recent: $525.00

How does that help me determine a reasonable price to pay?
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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2010, 01:52:32 AM »

500 to 5000?
Average is somewhere 2500-3000.
Does it sound right (I have no idea what might sound good as fair price for this particular mic)?
Sinking economy, as well as, domination of modern popular music that doesn't require so much vintage microphones will very likely keep prices from flying extremelly high, but there will be always some demand from collectors, so some average price indicator is still possible to make (like U47 - 6 k, 251 - 12 k etc., etc.)
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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2010, 02:23:59 AM »

Mullard,
Your conclusions confirm to me why this existing registry cited above is not working, and why I would stay away from adding another one myself:  

Your arriving at an "average" price for a DX77 by adding $5000 to $500, then dividing by 2 is not the way to get at reasonable pricing data for vintage mics.
To obtain useful averages you need a recent, large, data base, not just two mics without any reference to sell date and condition at time of sale.

Your follow-up conclusions therefore will leave any wanna-be U47 and ELA M251 bidder dry. Not even in the current deep recession have I seen such low prices for genuine, stock, vintage samples of these mics.

Judging just from first hand experience alone, popular vintage mics in original, well-working, condition have not seen any discernible drop in prices over the last two years.

What as shrunk somewhat but, not significantly,in this economic climate is the market for marginal models in marginal condition.
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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2010, 09:55:47 AM »

Klaus Heyne wrote on Sat, 21 August 2010 01:23

Your arriving at an "average" price for a DX77 by adding $5000 to $500, then dividing by 2 is not the way to get at reasonable pricing data for vintage mics.

To obtain useful averages you need a recent, large, data base, not just two mics without any reference to sell date and condition at time of sale.


To quote Fletcher, "I 1000% agree..."  Also, "average" or "mean" is a misleading figure unless you have large data sets (at least 100 data points) and they happen to fall into a bell curve.  It is amazing what a graph can reveal!  Also, I have always calculated mean, median (midpoint between the extremes) and mode (i.e. price most often paid).  A graph along with the three "M's" provides the best tools for accurate analysis.


Klaus Heyne wrote on Sat, 21 August 2010 01:23


Judging just from first hand experience alone, popular vintage mics in original, well-working, condition have not seen any discernible drop in prices over the last two years.

What as shrunk somewhat but, not significantly,in this economic climate is the market for marginal models in marginal condition.


On ebay at least, this phenomenon is occurring in multiple categories.  I don't know if it is the economy or a function of ebay.  For example, in stamps, marginal, mediocre or unclear examples sell for 10-30% of catalog (which everyone knows is over inflated but no one knows by how much).  Stamps of exceptional quality with good pictures and/or some certification will sell for over catalog.

It could be a sign of the times, or it could be a function of the trust of ebay, or it could be that history has shown that the stellar samples in a collectible category have traditionally risen dramatically higher than run of the mill samples.  As the number of "collectors" increases, the percentage that can have the cream of the crop shrinks and the competition to get those pieces increases.

Joe Hauck
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Re: Vintage Mic Value Registry: Good Idea?
« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2010, 08:48:09 PM »

True, Steele"s "Ebay Market Watch" does not take into account the condition of the microphone sold.
As anyone who frequently scans Ebay knows, given Klaus' example of an RCA 77DX, that these things show up pristine and original, refurbished by known RCA microphone restorers, to beat up radio station cast offs to total trash, sold with missing parts, some just empty shells, etc.

I liked it more for the "original selling price" column.
As one who keeps track, particularly of RCA ribbon microphones, I saw the 5 thousand dollar plus 77DX. I even saved the pictures from the auction.
It was brand new, in a sealed box, fresh from the factory, with everything, including the tags and documentation.

Others in much worse condition have sold for less but some with provenance sell for more than 3 thousand dollars.
"So and so owned and sang or played into this particular microphone" is the usual claim, often backed up with pictures, letters etc. which may or may not be genuine.
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