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Didn’t buy your vintage analogue synths in 1989? Sucker.

Submitted by on August 11, 2010 – 9:50 pm 6 Comments

Peter Forrest’s book ‘The a-z of Analog Synths’ contains graphs over time of the average selling price for pretty much every analogue synthesizer ever made.

The graphs are all extremely interesting, but what sticks out like a sore thumb after looking at a few of them is that pretty much every single synthesizer has a very visible low (antapex?) price point around 1989.

Check out some examples of prices for The Moog Modular, Korg MS-20,EMS VCS3, Roland System 100M, Korg PS3100 and the Arp 2500:

Yes, really – an Arp 2500 for $500. Every single graph is like this.

When you’re finished kicking yourself, go and buy the book, it’s absolutely fantastic. You can get it here.



  • Andrew says:

    But why? What was happening in 1989 that made synths so cheap?

  • WHI says:

    1989 = DIGITAL !!!!!

    But seriously these are a bit misleading as they don’t appear to be adjusted for inflation. For example, an ARP system in the early 70’s for around $4~5K. You could buy a car for this kind of money back then. I don’t know what the charts would look like, but they would certainly be different….

  • Nick says:

    Shouldn’t the title be: “Did you SELL your analogue synths in 1989? Sucker!”

  • Nick says:

    oh, never mind, misread it.

  • mellotronic says:

    Pure speculation and generalizing on my part, but seems like by the mid to late 80’s if it wasn’t a DX7 then it wasn’t on the radio or MTV… older synths just didn’t sound as fresh at a time when each new artist had a to have a Flock of Haircuts to get noticed. It was a shame in my opinion because I think early 80’s synths like the Memory Moog and Prophet 5 always sounded so much better to my ears. (I’m personally not a fan of the DX7 or mid to late 80’s production in general, gated reverb snares, Aquanet and all.) While in the mid-80’s we were being told that guitars would soon become obsolete and old fashioned the backlash was brewing and in the rock scene… keyboards = enemy. House and Techno not withstanding, you had this backlash against synth-pop in the form of guitar oriented underground rock, Punk and Metal. This little “war” was in full swing in Seattle when Grunge emerged and that’s when you could buy a Wurli for $125 and my Mellotron for $1800. Since the mid-90’s people realized that stuff was very cool and now it’s all worth a fortune.

  • kibibu says:

    FYI: The opposite of an apex is a nadir

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