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Author Topic: So much gear!  (Read 2477 times)


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So much gear!
« on: October 19, 2004, 12:20:44 PM »

Is it just me or is this year's AES show going to offer the greatest collection of new and existing gear that has ever been available at any time?  I haven't lost my interest in older equipment, but for someone starting out with an empty room, there is no longer the need to shop the warehouse sales, studio closings, or scan the classifieds in an effort to assemble a decent system.  Just look at mic preamps for example.  As recently as five or six years ago, once you got beyond a handful of current manufacturers, most of the high quality pro preamps available were assembled from old Neve/API/other modules.  Today, there are literally one hundred different high quality preamps currently available from several dozen well respected manufacturers.  And the list is growing every day, you could purchase a new preamp every couple of weeks and never catch up with the continually expanding list of offerings.  (and I'm only talking about true pro products, I'm ignoring the glut of toy preamps that come with tube viewing windows and other silly "features.")

For anyone that even sort of follows the industry, none of this is breaking news.  This post came about while I was printing out some info for the upcoming trip to the AES show.  I had printed out the list of exhibitors and was offhandedly checking off manufacturers that I wanted to be sure to check out while wandering the floor.  In past years I'd guess that I might have checked off 30 or 40 names.  This year I checked off nearly 130!  True, some of that is due to my need to not completely ignore the digital world, but that only added a dozen or so names to the list.  That still leaves around 120 names.  

I won't even go near the question of whether an industry this size really needs +/- 120 companies building top quality analog recording equipment.  Let's just hope the home studio phenomena is neither a fad nor a bubble.  Because the core industry just couldn't support this scale of equipment suppliers.
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