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Author Topic: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles  (Read 19231 times)

Dan Mortensen

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The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« on: May 18, 2015, 02:43:12 pm »

I just found an ad in the Marketplace trying to sell nearly half a dozen large consoles:

Yamaha M3000a 48ch 1 ps no case $700
Yamaha PM3000 40ch 2 ps with case $800
Yamaha PM4000 48ch 2 ps with ps combiner and case $1200
Yamaha PM4000m 52ch 2 ps with case $1000
Soundcraft MH3 48ch 2 ps with case $1000

Is that really where the market is for large consoles? I.e., nearly valueless.

OTOH it's not surprising, knowing what's involved in large analog vs. digital in terms of space, weight, and features per both. OTOH, that represents a sizable disappearance of investment that gives pause.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 03:02:24 pm by Dan Mortensen »
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Tim Halligan

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Re: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2015, 02:56:08 pm »

...that represents a sizable disappearance of investment that gives pause.

It's not just big analogue that's falling out of bed price-wise...

About a year ago, there was a listing on Soundbroker for an AMS-Neve Libra Live console. I frequently work for a TV station that has one, so I'm familiar with the console...and the one listed had a very similar spec to the one I work on, and had apparently come out of a TV station in Florida.

I told the head of audio, and the chief engineer of the station about the listed console, as it could be used for spares, and to augment the I/O count, so there was some interest, but the console was sold before the station could act.

That console - in that configuration - was close to AU$500,000 when purchased new.

It was listed - and presumably sold - for US$7500.

It will be interesting to see what something like a fully loaded Midas XL8 will go for after 10 or 12 years.

Cheers,
Tim
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2015, 04:09:32 pm »

I just found an ad in the Marketplace trying to sell nearly half a dozen large consoles:

Yamaha M3000a 48ch 1 ps no case $700
Yamaha PM3000 40ch 2 ps with case $800
Yamaha PM4000 48ch 2 ps with ps combiner and case $1200
Yamaha PM4000m 52ch 2 ps with case $1000
Soundcraft MH3 48ch 2 ps with case $1000

Is that really where the market is for large consoles? I.e., nearly valueless.

OTOH it's not surprising, knowing what's involved in large analog vs. digital in terms of space, weight, and features per both. OTOH, that represents a sizable disappearance of investment that gives pause.

I know where those PM4000s came from, and yes, that represents a sizable disappearance of investment.   ::)

There was a great article in the Study Hall by Chip Self of Logic Systems in St. Louis, about Return on Investment (ROI) and how for entertainment providers (as opposed to corporate) some capital items like large frame consoles never recover their costs let alone provide a direct return for the investment before they become obsolete.  I hope that someday the webmaster at PSW can find that article and bring it back.
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2015, 07:41:33 am »

Adam Smith remarked on the applicable concepts/phenomenons of "value in use" v. "value in exchange" in 1776. No, he wasn't specifically talking about large format analog consoles.

Halo purchases should not be regarded/depreciated as mere capital items, but as marketing tools, used to attract new business, keep current clients, and train staff.

 "Line-iteming" these products to a crude accounting structure devalues their essential need for any ongoing and progressive  enterprise. 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 11:46:17 am by Jim McKeveny »
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Brian Jojade

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Re: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2015, 09:23:48 am »

The higher end items will always see a faster drop in value than the more mainstream products.  If you have the desire for a $500,000 console, and the means to get one, would you buy a used one for $400,000?  At that point, the $$ aren't the issue.  New and customized to your needs are.

With today's digital realm, very few people want big analog.  If they do, the price has to reflect what's available as an option.  When you can get a great digital solution for $5K brand new, spending much on an analog board with far less features doesn't make any sense.  Technology moves along.  Prices go down.

When buying gear, make sure you've got a plan in place to pay for it.  Estimate how long it will live in your inventory and what it will sell for when you decide to move it. Then set the rental price according to how many times you think it will leave the shop to be profitable.  You would be amazed at what the rental price would need to be on a high dollar item for that to make sense.  Now, at the lower end, you would be surprised how CHEAP you can rent stuff out and still make a profit.  Go figure.
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Kyle Van Sandt

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Re: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2015, 10:57:49 am »

We "totalled" our Heritage 1k a year and a half ago due to this issue.  They console was worth less then 5 grand in the used market.  We needed to have 5-10k worth of work done on it (re-cap, total cleaning, oxidation removed).  That console is now sitting in the basement and a Pro2 is in its place.  At the same time good analog outboard is disappearing so even if you want the console you will have problems finding the outboard. 

The guys who want the analog will keep it running.  We still see an XL4 once a year or so.  However, they have a case of cards and are usually soldering on one in the production office.  For the rest of us who have to think of ROI analog just does not make any sense anymore.  You can't buy the large format consoles new anymore.  The outboard is hard to find and keep running.  Most "ONLY ANALOG" riders are disappearing simply because most places can't keep the gear working fully.  They would rather have a digital desk that works vs an analog desk that has stuff taped off. 

Our smaller room is still analog... we are one dead BSS 404 away from having an M32 go down there. 
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Kyle Van Sandt
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Ray Aberle

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Re: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2015, 11:25:47 am »

  Now, at the lower end, you would be surprised how CHEAP you can rent stuff out and still make a profit.  Go figure.

I was talking to the ops manager at a local staging company yesterday; we were talking about this sort of thing. I recalled when I was still DJing weddings pretty much all the time, and that was the bread and butter of my business-- and weddings love their slide shows. I was buying cheap (<$700; <2000lumen) projectors at Best Buy, and whereas I never actually ran one to the point of needing to relamp it, I told him if I ever hit that point, and the lamp died, I would just Craigslist it for $150 and buy a brand new one. At a $50 rental charge every wedding, they are long since paid for...

-Ray
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Josh Millward

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Re: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2015, 11:46:39 am »

The guys who want the analog will keep it running.  We still see an XL4 once a year or so.  However, they have a case of cards and are usually soldering on one in the production office.  For the rest of us who have to think of ROI analog just does not make any sense anymore.  You can't buy the large format consoles new anymore.  The outboard is hard to find and keep running.  Most "ONLY ANALOG" riders are disappearing simply because most places can't keep the gear working fully.  They would rather have a digital desk that works vs an analog desk that has stuff taped off. 
BUT...
Perhaps an analog rig that has stuff taped off may be preferable to a digital console that does not function.

I had an issue this last weekend with a new-ish Yamaha CL5 which clearly has some sort of loose or otherwise problematic connections inside. When it would finish booting up, the handles on the surface were all non-functional. They did not even light up. Several times it would not finish booting up.

Anyway, I was thankful to have a backup console on hand so we did not have to run monitors from FoH. That little X32 made itself extremely worthwhile to schlep along to the gig.
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Josh Millward
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2015, 12:32:04 pm »

While digital consoles may be criticized as more likely to suffer from single point of failure shut downs, analog consoles can also. Mature robust analog designs, and carrying the all too familiar back up power supply can deliver somewhat more robust up-time, but these days carrying a back up, digital or analog mixer is not that much of an imposition.

I suspect Yamaha knows how to make professional consoles, but "stuff happens" to every manufacturer.

JR
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2015, 02:37:41 pm »

It's not just big analogue that's falling out of bed price-wise...

Hi Tim,

Thanks for that story. It just confirms that digital consoles, which are really just computers with a more elaborate and specific user interface, are going to follow the computer long-term-value model, which is new models have more features at a lower entry price than previous generations but turn into junk as yet newer generations appear.

That is why the price vs. feature set vs. longevity is much more palatable to me for an X32 than for a CL5 or Vi6 or XL8 or whatever for my world.
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Re: The Value of Large-Format Analog Consoles
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2015, 02:37:41 pm »


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