Other Equipment

What, vintage PEDALBOARDS now?

1

Meanwhile, in the alternate reality we call Reverbay, where anything from 1959 is worth 1959 times anything from any other year, the three furies of Vintage, Provenance, and Wild Optimism (Greed's slightly more amusing sister) have caught up with pedalboards.

And not just any pedalboard - a Yamaha SB-100 pedalboard from the early 80s, with apparently modular units which must have been so incredibly desirably good, so highly coveted even today that they're normally kept hidden from the roiling masses, lest we should acquire for ourselves the gods' own arsenal of Heavenly Tone.

And not just any Yamaha SB-100, but one used by a famous (well, semi-) musician in a famous (well, semi-) band on a famous (well, semi-) TV show in famous 1981!

(Which is apparently almost as good as 1959.)

And not just any Yamaha SB-100 used by a famous etc, but one in full working order (which must be unusual) though the pots need a little cleaning (but what could you expect given its vintage vintage?) - and it has actual tape applied by the actual artist to the actual pedals to mark the actual settings used in a couple of famous (well...) actual SONGS!

Be still my beating! That's right, I could have a Distortion, a Limiter, a Flanger (!), and an Analog Delay from 1980, with a real Yamaha sticker on the flight case!

Now I readily confess (indeed I've occasionally bragged of it) to being one of this semi-famous band's 37 living fans, and I yield to no one in my respect for this (semi-)famous Stickman's inherent musicality, virtuosity, and accomplishment.

But even I, besotted balding aging middle-class whiteguy first-world prog apologist though I am, can't quite see my way clear to putting $20,000.00 (which, when you break it down, is really only 5K per pedal) into the board Tony Levin used when King Crimson played on ABC's On Fridays show in 1981.

Even if King Crimson DID scandalize comedian Rich Hall and actor Peter Fonda who were also on the show. (That's stickin' it to the man, though, amIright? Up yers, ESTABLISHMENT! We have disTORtion and complex time signatures! The walls of convention will not stand.)

I mean, sure, if it was just one of the guitarist's boards. Say Adrian's, or - I dare not even think it - Robert's, and not the bass player's...

I mean, maybe I would, if I had the money. Because provenance like that...wow. But I don't know...

Wait! An Official Tony Levin guitar pick too?!

OMG, OMG. Stop me. Someone stop me.

2

I like Tony Levin pretty well. But even so:

3

Wow, that's only $27,000 in Australian currency. What a steal!

4

This was the laugh of the day, hands down. "Reverbay" is the term I will be using from now on. I once passed on a Kustom head that was being sold by a reputable seller that was stenciled "CCR" on the back 'cause I thought for $250 it should work.

5

That performance makes me a Prog fan.

How much?

It'll go perfectly with my JC-120 that I played for 27 years in quite non-Prog endeavors.

6

That performance makes me a Prog fan.

How much?

It'll go perfectly with my JC-120 that I played for 27 years in quite non-Prog endeavors.

7

I thought for $250 it should work.

250.00! You were stealing it, brother. I never find Kustom heads under 400.00, working or not.

That performance makes me a Prog fan.

No, no. Not you, John...

8

No, no. Not you, John...

Part of why I'm so upset about my hospital stay is that I'm missing the 4 drummer version of KC this Thursday.

9

Hey, I used to see those pedals around quite a bit when I was a kid. Been a long time since I've seen one now, and I never saw one of those boards.

Unless you were after some extremely specific and rare, I don't really get how people get upset (not saying you are Tim) about asking prices. Asking prices are what they are, and most of the sillier ones remain asking prices. If a guy manages to get 20K for that board, he's smarter than we are, no?

10

I'd love to see that show, John, but they're not venturing near enough.

11

I don't really get how people get upset (not saying you are Tim) about asking prices. Asking prices are what they are, and most of the sillier ones remain asking prices.

Not upset, no. Just taking this one as a source of some amusement. Of course it's just an asking price, and I doubt he gets it.

If a guy manages to get 20K for that board, he's smarter than we are, no?

Not smarter, I don't think, no. My brother says it's not hard to make a lot of money - if all you care about is making a lot of money.

I can't pass judgment on the guy who's selling - though I doubt he paid a fraction of that for this teeny tiny piece of history. Maybe he did, and maybe the asking price represents a "fair profit." Hard to imagine, but who knows.

And I particularly can't pass judgment on someone who would buy this at anything near the asking price. I think we probably all figure it's technically and musically nothing special, and in a big way - so the only reason I can think of that someone would spend anything close to the asking price is that they're a really really besotted Tony Levin/KC fan who's been lucky enough to make a ton of money.

I realize there are fortunes out there out of which 20k is like 20 bucks to me, in which case whatever.

(I think I'd be a bit creeped if I was Tony Levin and knew someone was willing to pay that much for such a small piece of my past.)

Still, it would never even occur to me to ask that kind of money for such an incidental bit of musical history. SOME premium, sure. But I'd be embarrassed to stick that kind of price on it. Maybe I'm stupid. I'm definitely stupid.

Maybe it's a typo?

12

Ah! Amazing what you find within the wizards sleeve! I bet it’s being sold by the man himself. Addition of the photo and pick could be a clue. I’d ask for some socks too and see what he says. Plus I’d expect a free holiday at that price

13

Ah! Amazing what you find within the wizards sleeve! I bet it’s being sold by the man himself. Addition of the photo and pick could be a clue. I’d ask for some socks too and see what he says. Plus I’d expect a free holiday at that price

14

What's with all the duplicate posts tonight??

What's with all the duplicate posts... oh, never mind.

But I do like that "tested and works perfectly" is followed immediately by "Pots need a little cleaning"..

How's that again? If you want five figures for the thing, a little bit of pot cleaning should be performed BEFORE you light up the world with you steeluvadeel, shouldn't it?

15

My phone adds double posts, dunno why. I’ll delete if it does it again.

Still think it was Tony cleaning out his attic and thinking ‘why not?’

16

Gonna send a message to the seller...I’m your biggest fan, can’t believe I’m actually standing outside your house right now!

17

Still think it was Tony cleaning out his attic and thinking ‘why not?’

Man, I guess it COULD be. I'd like to think not. I always thought his playing had enormous integrity. But if it IS, ok, maybe he really badly needs the money. Could be a personal health care calamity, who knows. I DO feel I've gotten more value listening to his playing over the years than I've paid for, pay structure for even the greatest "side men" being what it is. (He's done multiple projects as composer and leader, but I doubt they've made him rich.)

But I don't think I've gotten like 19k more pleasure than I've paid for...

18

Gosh wow. It COULD be Tony Levin. In any case the Yammer board is just one of almost 200 items offered by his official Reverb shop, all items he's owned.

By far MOST of those items are reasonably priced, with just a modest premium for provenance. Those prices seem appropriate to me.

The Yamaha board, though, on a pure per-pedal basis, is four times the deal you get on apparently the most valuable Phase 90 in existence.

Again, I'm a fan. To ME, KC and TL are as famous as famous musicians get - and they've had more influence on me than most. I just don't know if the wider music market thinks so. (And I think he got cheated in the mix of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, which would have been a much better album had the bass been audible. It's like they didn't want to offend the absent Chris Squire by cranking Tony up.)

So - in that (gotta be small) overlapped center area in the Venn diagram of Tony Levin Fans, Pedal Junkies, and People Rich Enough to Play - is there enough provenance here to elevate these humble tools of the trade to such stratospheric values?

If there is, doesn't it still seem a bit exploitative?

Maybe not. I guess it's no different than what seem inexplicably high auction results for some art, Hollywood/movie memorabilia, clothing or personal effects of the famous, antiques, old cars, whatever. There's a bottomless ocean of money out there, and if it flows as it will among free and consenting buyers and sellers, what does my reaction matter? If there are buyers for whom these prices are a matter of course, why shouldn't the seller take their money? I get it.

As with the converted Les Paul, I don't have the money to play in this arena - so I'm probably disqualified by inexperience and utterly ill-conditioned by instinct to even comment. I just don't have the money to buy intangible value in multiples over intrinsic value, and thus lack the intellectual tools to compare those values.

I imagine that, had I the money, I still wouldn't see enough intangible value in these items (over their actual utility and an undefinable premium for provenance) to spend that big. But I don't know that to be the case. Maybe if money were really and truly no object, if the well seemed bottomless, 20k for a "famous" phaser would suddenly (or gradually) seem...reasonable?

I'd like to think I'd donate to charity before I indulged myself thus, but maybe I'd already given hundreds or thousands of times as much, and this is just a rounding error on a fortune that won't stop pouring in, that grows faster than I can spend it.

See, I can think of all that, I can tell myself just to strip zeros off the end of the number till the price seems to me reasonable (200.00), a steal (20.00), or utterly insignificant (2.00) - and just imagine a buyer so rich that 20k is like one of those numbers to him. But I still can't really inhabit that thought experiment.

And when I try, I can't help it: thoughts of income equality, social justice, the 1% and the .1%, etc just creep in. I think of public and private realms, and our mutual responsibility to each other within society, and to what extent we are our brothers' keepers - along with the Nazarene's "the poor will be with you always."

So yay. Complicated stuff.

Clearly my reaction here is more about my economics-conditioned values than about the auctions themselves - which happen in a room I shouldn't even be permitted to peer into. They just gave me an opportunity to think about the issue.

Blah blah burble banter bicker bicker bicker brouhaha. It's only talk...

19

I leave these kinds of purchases to the likes of Jim Irsay.

20

But...BUT.....it's "the official" artist store.

21

He likely got that board from Yamaha for free.

25

I was going to say to let me know when it gets down to 200.00...but actually there's no amount of cheap that would stack up to my wanting to own that.


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