April 29, 2007

Vintage?

by Chris Randall
 

Okay, I'll admit that I'm getting on in my years. I'm 38, which makes me too old for pop music, just right for jazz, and not old enough for blues. But I wouldn't refer to myself as "vintage." That said, the word "vintage" is sort of like "fuck" inasmuch as it is a word entirely empty of meaning without context, and even then, it is suspect.


For instance, look at this auction on the 'bay. Maybe I'm crazy, but when I use the term in a music gear context, I use it kind of like one refers to better wines. An '01 Laffitte is vintage, while an '01 Gallo is turpentine. I mean, there's nothing wrong with an LXP1, really, but it is to effects as Gallo is to wine; it'll get you drunk, but you'd really rather be drinking something better.


In that light, I submit that there is no hard, fast "vintage event horizon," a specific date, and if a piece of gear is manufactured before that date, it is vintage. Vintage is rather a descriptor, and means the same as "desirable," I think. Or "has a certain something" or "peer reviewed and approved." And that's the difference between something vintage and something that's just plain old.

 
 
 

16 comments:

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Apr.29.2007 @ 11:46 PM
cacealian
It also seems to help if the item uses a technology that's been superceded, at least in common usage. Like the way digital reverb more or less replaced plates and springs. The LXP1 is fairly old, but the technology is more or less still current I'd say.
 
 

 
Apr.30.2007 @ 12:05 AM
tngregory
maybe vintage just means dusty. if so, i have a vintage original microverb from alesis. it has a nice reverse feature.
 
 

 
Apr.30.2007 @ 2:41 AM
Tom
I'm just annoyed they're still making Evolver Desktops. Otherwise that would definitely be 'vintage'
 
 

 
Apr.30.2007 @ 4:17 AM
retrosynth
Vintage Lexicon = 224 and Prime Time, although you could probably throw the 200, PCM41/42, and PCM60 in there too.

The list of non-Lexicon vintage digital effects boxes should include the Quantec QRS, Eventide H910/949, Ursa Major gear, AMS RMX and DMX, EMT 250, and AKG ADR68k.

-Cary

 
 

 
Apr.30.2007 @ 7:03 AM
inteliko
He's also selling a vintage Urei eq, nowhere stating it's "vintage" in the auction, he gives it the 'ol "it powers up but I have no means of testing it" which=broken!
 
 

 
Apr.30.2007 @ 12:17 PM
rapfreak
In the state of Ohio you can get historical plates for your car (which at least to me seems a fair analog to applying the term vintage) if it's 30 years old or something. Growing up I would see historical plates on really cool old cars (30s-60s). With the great classic cars that were restored you'd see an absolute pile driving around with the same plates even though they weren't even close to the same caliber. Hell, now you can get your old Toyota or Honda historical plates if you really want. I can't see anyone thinking an old Toyota or Honda is truly historical ("vintage").

Age alone doesn't seem to be a fair way of applying the term "vintage" although you shouldn't be able to call something that's only a few years old vintage either.

"Vintage" seems to be more of a marketing ploy by online sellers to try and create interest in something otherwise less desirable. Look on a site like GearSlutz; one person mentions how great this old piece is and the price INSTANTLY goes up on eBay. Maybe those people who rave are trying to create a false demand on something they've had trouble selling. Then again maybe I'm just a cynic.

I'd rather have (and do have) a brand new Purple Audio MC77 with a kick ass company backing it up than to try my luck at finding a "vintage" 1176 that's hopefully been well cared for.

 
 

 
Apr.30.2007 @ 6:13 PM
Ataru
I just looked through a seller of guitar pedals on ebay who has EVERY listing start with MEGA RARE!!!

holy eye fatigue, I couldn't read any of the titles.

 
 

 
Apr.30.2007 @ 9:21 PM
retrosynth
Come on now, only 172 of his 226 auctions were listed as "MEGA RARE!!". And we all know how difficult it is to find a Boss SE-70 or Korg Kaoss Pad these days.
 
 

 
Apr.30.2007 @ 10:09 PM
Scodiddly
rapfreak mentioned the word "classic", and that's really what people are after. "Vintage" is just an abused French word which more or less means "year".
 
 

 
May.01.2007 @ 12:20 AM
Tomer
Same thing with cars
A 50s vintage Rolls Royce is real nice,
A vintage 50s Chevy can be a piece of old junk.
 
 

 
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