March 9, 2012

What Something is Worth

Category: Music — Cranky @

Over the years I’ve accumulated a bunch of rack-based musical gear. I have compressors, equalizers, guitar effects processors, microphone preamps, patchbays… all for just little old me. I’ve had my fun with it, but the truth is that I haven’t turned any of this gear on in years. Time marches on, and my computer now does the work of all that gear in a tiny fraction of the space, and there’s no chance in the near term that I’m going to need to lug all that stuff on a stage.

I tried advertising it for sale as one big discounted block, but what I got back was musicians wanting to buy single pieces. Being musicians, they’re broke, and I would have to drive somewhere to sell each one at a deep discount. That’s a really big pain in the rear, to be sure. So I thought about it again.

What is the gear worth? If I was to part it out, it’s between $800 and $1000. That’s substantially less than what I paid, but, as I said, time marches on, and nothing loses value like electronics. But what is it worth… really? Well, that’s relative, isn’t it? I’ve had my fun, and the gear is essentially worth less than nothing to me – it’s taking up space I could use. But in the hands of somebody else, that equipment might be invaluable. Computer software is nice and compact, but there’s no better way to learn how to operate a compressor than by twisting the knobs and hearing what it does.

So, in an inspired moment, I googled “youth outreach music” in my area, and presto! I found a music studio in the city that works with at-risk youth, teaching music and recording, as well as art, spoken word, dance, drama, and fashion. I called them yesterday, and today I’m dropping off the entire stack of equipment at their office.

One man’s boat anchor is another man’s instrument of expression. You can’t always measure something’s worth in dollars. May that gear find passionate users.

Cranky