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Resale Value Survey
Old 22nd January 2007
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years
Resale Value Survey

Hello Folks. I'm putting together a business plan for my personal songwriting / film scoring studio. I need more accurate data about resale values.

I am willing to do the legwork on this if you're interested in participating. I'll tabulate the results of all complete replies and present the data in a sensible way (maybe some scatter plots, graphs, dorky stuff like that). I promise to do all the data entry and analysis ... its the least I can do for this good info. I've tried to cover a wide variety of tools.

The rules

Estimate value of the following items (expressed as a percentage of original value) 12, 24, and 36 months from now, based on these guidelines:
  • Item is purchased new and sold with original packaging in very good / excellent condition.
  • Item is stored in a non-smoking studio, and is maintained for duration of ownership
  • Item is purchased new at competitive street price and is sold used in a competitive auction

M-Audio FireWire 410 (50,30,20)
Ampeg SVT Classic Head (60,50,45)

If you're not familiar with an item, leave that item blank. This is not a thread for bashing other people's estimates (or justifying your own purchases). This is not my own personal list of items. Let's work together to pool our knowledge.
  • Ampeg SVT Classic Head
  • API 500-6B 6 Slot Lunchbox
  • Apogee Ensemble
  • Apogee Rosetta 800
  • Apogee Symphony
  • Apple Mac Pro Dual 3.0GHz
  • Auralex Venus Bass Trap
  • Digidesign Digi 002 Rack
  • Digidesign Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel
  • FXpansion BFD
  • Genelec 8030A
  • Great River MP-2NV
  • M-Audio FireWire 410
  • Neumann U 87
  • Pacifica P1
  • Royer R-121
  • Shure SM57
  • Soundcraft Ghost LE 32
  • Universal Audio 6176
  • Universal Audio LA-610
  • Waves Platinum TDM Bundle

Many apologies if this is a boring post.
Old 22nd January 2007
Lives for gear
Geoff_T's Avatar
🎧 15 years

If you are worried about the devaluation of an SM57 (around $90), perhaps you should review the logic in your business plan!

Why are you worried about the devaluation values? Are you planning for your business to fail? Most big businesses allow a fixed rate of devaluation over the years, all the way down to zero.

Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
Lives for gear
SK1's Avatar
🎧 15 years
OK , I'm not going to get as specific as you had requested, but I will give my opinions based on what I've learned from buying a bunch of gear.

Computers, computer hardware and software decline super quick. 50/30/10 ??

Midi controllers take a quick dive

VINTAGE mics/pres/eq etc MAY have a chance to maintain value or even appreciate. 100/110/120 ??

The smartest studio cats I know will buy something when they know it will make them more money by adding a REAL value to their services. There by , justifying any depreciation. ( ie. buying a controller saves time mixing, allowing more projects to be completed quicker .... )

Anyway, depreciation is a cost of doing business, so inflate it in your business plan just to be safe.

Ha, ha .....

Good luck !!!
Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years
Thanks SK1 and Geoff

Hi SK1 and Geoff,

Thanks for the sound advice. To answer your question directly Geoff, I'm not planning on the business failing. I'm just trying to do my homework. I included the SM57 for a reference to the more expensive mics.

Resale value does baffle me though. I just visited ebay and found a "used" SM57 selling for $55. The ad does not mention the age of the mic. yet there are 11 bids. Lets say that the mic is 3 years old, then in reality the mic has lost less than half of its value in three years. On the flipside, you'll see dual G5s losing 40% of their value in the first year. The G5 is no less compromised in its ability to deliver the goods. I guess you get customer (studio client) perceptions, the demands of new plugs, etc. in effect at this point.

SK1 ... you make a great point.

Sorry about presenting such an overwhelming post. If anyone wants to take a stab at even one or two of the items, that would be very cool.

My buddy simply asked ... "How much is this stuff going to be worth in a year, or two, or three". I took the path of saying "well, most businesses assume that gear will depreciate to 0 in a couple years". He said, "well, that isn't much collateral is it". I did more research and found that the this really isn't true, hence the post.

Thanks for your time.

Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Geoff_T's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Hi John

I think this is the reason why large companies use a fixed depreciation rate... individual items vary enormously. I think that anything connected with a computer devalues as soon as you get it out of the store... especially as in this area there is technological advancement and fierce price competition.

On the other hand, vintage equipment can sky rocket.. I know someone that paid $400 for a Fairchild some years ago and thought that he'd overpaid. Now they are worth around $25,000.

It's a gamble and the fixed depreciation is a safer route. You shouldn't really look at gear as collateral... especially if computer based. I recently gave away a perfectly good Toshiba laptop to the Salvation Army because, with a 133MHz clock, 128MB RAM and Win 98, you would not be able to run many modern programs on it.

Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
Lives for gear
popmann's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
the only thing you can be sure of is that computers/hardware/software will be worth 30% at BEST in a few years.

Digital converters and effect processors...maybe 50-60% in the same time frame.

Other stuff is very trend based, and will vary greatly from piece to piece. They all seem to have a pretty sizable "drive it off the lot" penalty. The less known the gear--the bigger the hit, for the most part.

If you're thinking you'll buy gear, make an album or two and sell it...just rent out a studio/engineer. You'll end up spending less time and have better sound. Not to mention avoiding the hassle of resale. Not saying this is the plan...but, I see that logic a lot. On some purely finacial level it does seem to make sense. But, in the real world, time is money...and you won't go from not knowing how much gear depreciates to making a good sounding recording for a few years at best. So, you've wasted the first few years of inspiration hashing out details.

My 2 cents.
Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years

Popmann. You make a great point about the investment in time spent dealing with the details. I intend to keep some of this gear for a lifetime. I was hoping to give my buddy some assurance that if all went to *rap, I'd be able to repay a certain percentage of the loan immediately.

For now I'm going to go with 50% after a year, 30% for two, and 25% in three.

Better err on the side of disaster.

I'm probably like a lot of folks on this board. I write and record my own tunes (www.myspace.com/thegreekembassy), but I'm really interested in taking the plunge into writing for others, and scoring films. The gear requirements are very different I think. When you're doing your own music, the goal is to find gear that works well with your style. When you're working for other folks, you're gear requirements start to expand.

From the outside, it is easy to get wrapped up in the details, make spreadsheets, stress the small things. I'm sure once you're up and running, you realize it is much more about working fast, working smart, and facilitating great music as an engineer, producer, composer ...
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
Lives for gear
SK1's Avatar
🎧 15 years
OK ... since your so nice about it ... here's my best guess on some of the items heh

Ampeg SVT Classic Head 70/50/50
API 500-6B 6 Slot Lunchbox 80/80/80
Apogee Ensemble 60/40/20
Apogee Rosetta 800 60/40/20
Apogee Symphony 60/40/20
Apple Mac Pro Dual 3.0GHz 50/30/10
Auralex Venus Bass Trap 40/20/10
Digidesign Digi 002 Rack 50/30/10
Digidesign Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel 75/55/35
FXpansion BFD
Genelec 8030A
Great River MP-2NV 80/80/80
M-Audio FireWire 410
Neumann U 87 70/70/70
Pacifica P1 80/80/80
Royer R-121 70/70/70
Shure SM57 70/70/70
Soundcraft Ghost LE 32 60/50/50
Universal Audio 6176 60/60/60
Universal Audio LA-610 60/60/60
Waves Platinum TDM Bundle 60/30/10

Keep in mind that I always get the best price on the stuff that I purchase.

Hardware (pres comps eq) and mics have the best chanceof maintaining value. Vintage staples include old api, neve, pultec, urei etc from the 60's and 70's ..... as a rule, they depreciate the least.
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