Poll: Buying used digital & modeling gear. Worth the risk?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by skhan007, Feb 18, 2018.

Are you comfortable buying used digital and modeling gear?

  1. Yes

    65 vote(s)
    70.7%
  2. It depends (demo model, used in home/studio only, etc. might be OK)

    18 vote(s)
    19.6%
  3. No- buy new and get the warranty, etc.

    9 vote(s)
    9.8%
  1. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

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    Curious on your collective opinions. If one is interested in getting a nice piece of gear that is over $1K, how comfortable are you buying used? Digital and modeling gear, if treated well and never left the house may be much less risk. But let's say it's a piece of gear (Axe FX, Kemper, Helix, etc.) and you buy it used, are you worried that a few months down the road it could fail and be pricey to service or worse yet, need replacing?

    I'm interested in buying a nice Roland V-Drum module that costs about $1K, but I can find them used for several hundred less. The salesman at the local music shop (of course) strongly cautions me not to buy used electronic gear, because of no warranty, etc. What do you guys think about buying this type of gear used?
     
  2. tjontheroad

    tjontheroad Just Wanna Be Misunderstood Silver Supporting Member Vendor

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    No worries as long its from a seller with a good feedback rating. Most of this type of gear is built to take abuse.
     
  3. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    'Please note that the free warranty that Roland (USA) offers is non- transferrable.'

    That's enough to worry anyone - still - sus out the seller - most guys are good
    to go and aren't trying to rip you off. The Sales Tech you spoke with has an obvious
    goal in mind - Unless he's someone that has been straight with you for the last 10
    years - take anything he says with a grain of salt.

    Now as to the risk - digital units either work or they don't work. Sometimes if the
    software gets corrupted - say from a electrical hit - the fix is often to restore the unit
    to factory defaults. But if that doesn't work - it will be obvious.

    And regarding Roland V-Drums; they rarely if ever fail. And over the last 5 years I haven't
    heard any drummers I know who use V-Drums say anything negative - nor report a failure.
     
    skhan007 likes this.
  4. RolandKorg

    RolandKorg Member

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    I bought and sold a used Atomic Amplifire. No issues on either end, but I can't remember ever needing warranty service on anything other than (Leica) photo equipment. Never on music or stereo or computer gear.

    I wouldn't buy a 'gigged' unit if I could help it, but other than that, I judge the physical condition and in each case, how much savings there would be between new or used. I prefer New, as I get boxes, etc which also helps with resale. But like with everything else, you pick your compromise. A few bucks in the pocket, or a pristine piece of gear and a bit more confidence.
     
    skhan007 likes this.
  5. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Member

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    I bought my current modeler used. The plastic guard was still over the display, though.

    Bob
     
  6. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    I bought a used Eleven Rack and used it almost daily for 8+ years, before selling it to the next guy for what I paid for it.
     
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  7. scott58

    scott58 Member

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    Bought 3 last year. All still good.
     
  8. mollydyer

    mollydyer Member

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    Totally depends on the gear - and also how popular it is. I bought my Atomic AA 12 new. Warrantee. But I spent the same kind of money on my VL3X, and I totally bought it used. (K, I got it a lot cheaper, but you get the idea). Some times it's a matter of a gut feeling, and nothing more.
     
  9. webe123

    webe123 Member

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    If you get an axe fx or kemper....then yes. I would be totally OK with buying those. If you have problems they would be in the rare category I can tell you that. If those units had bad problems....nobody would buy one.
     
  10. Incufan7

    Incufan7 Member

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    As opposed to buying a used tube amp or pedal? What makes digital stuff any different?
     
  11. Stokely

    Stokely Member

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    Caveat: most of the used gear I've bought is keyboard-related.
    I can't stand Craigslist, and have gotten a bit wary of ebay....so all my more recent purchases have been done from guitar center. Reasons: shipping tends to be cheap; prices (can) be good, though this is hit or miss and you might have to wait; but mainly, it is the 30/45 day *local* return policy. I can put the gear through it's paces and find any issues with it...any issues, I bring it back to my local GC no questions asked.

    Granted, I have no idea if modellers sell from GC used. I've bought several keyboards, a guitar and a bass this way and not only got a great deal but had peace of mind. I returned a couple of these for various reasons within the return period. And I didn't have to get stood up in a parking lot when my craigslist buyer didn't show up at the last minute....
     
  12. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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    Most gear I buy like this is used or fire sales (people selling fast to get $ for newer version of unit). Some new modelers as well, but I have had zero issues with used gear unless I bought it with known defects and that was part of discounting further.

    Drum machines, E Drum modules and pads are built pretty tough. On E drums it's more likely to be triggers in the pads that fail, or jacks in the pads or on the actual head assy. Jacks can go bad just by simple long term weight of the jack plug, wires pulled too snugly, and it can damage the jack, or crack pins internally to the pc board. Other than that just dirt and oxidation of jacks and pots that can be easily cleaned with deoxit.
     
  13. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

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    Great question- The reason digital and modeling gear is much different is because it's very intricate and PCB based technology. I have no problem with tube amps, as I built my own 18-watt Marshall clone tube amp and have gigged it out. It's built like a tank, because I was taught how to build. If there's a problem with a tube amp, I can generally see it with the naked eye and fix it; whether it's a loose solder joint, bad tube, scratchy pot, faulty jack or failing output transformer. No problem. I can use my bias probe/multimeter and fix it. One cannot easily do this with digital and modeling gear (unless you have a degree in electrical engineering, know the schematic of the unit, have all the replacement parts on-hand, etc.). If my digital gear didn't turn on one day, I wouldn't have a clue how to even start troubleshooting. As for pedals, I don't know. They seem much simpler and I've only bought one used pedal and it was really inexpensive (less than $100), so if it failed one day, no big loss. Gear that costs nearly $2K? I don't know man.
     
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  14. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    Used is OK if you do your homework, and there are brands that have a good reputation as being reliable. IMHO Roland gear is some of the best out there, the only broken and difficult to fix Roland piece I've run across in many years was a GR33 guitar synth module, and someone had spilled quite a bit of liquid in it. I bought a used early Roland VDrum module a few years ago, and it was advertised as having a hardware issue, which turned out to be a broken encoder (damage due to a user dropping it). Replacing the encoder made the unit work 100%.

    Probably the best thing a buyer of used gear can do is make sure there is a return policy, and test every function and jack on the item as soon as you receive it. If anything doesn't work, send it back. Their great return policy is one reason I do so much business with used Guitar Center gear; their prices are great and they sometimes ship used gear with problems, but their return policy is very good and they honor it.

    I almost always buy used, and since I can fix gear, I love buying cheap broken stuff if a service manual is available. One minor hobby is buying and fixing broken Line 6 modelers, when they can be found. Turns out that some of the early Line 6 PODs had a bad run of 22pF caps in the clock circuit, and I've run across several dead PODs that started working after replacing a few of those caps.

    Strangely enough, the one piece of used gear I bought that had a real undisclosed issue was a Kemper toaster sold by Kemper US on ebay, it was a factory refurb unit. There was an issue with distortion in the alternative input that turned out to be a hardware problem and I had to return the unit. But Kemper US sent me a new in box toaster replacement as soon as I sent them the tracking number for my return, and that new one has worked flawlessly for over two years.
     
  15. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    I've only had to replace fans on some amps but other than that the only gear that has truly broken down for me have been tube amps.
     
  16. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    I'm probably more inclined to buy used digital than instruments or analog. It either works or it doesn't.
     
  17. standard24

    standard24 Member

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  18. fe911

    fe911 Member

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    Roland is the industry standard for e drums. Not because they sound the best, but they work the best. They are synthesized drums vs. sampled. The drums and brains rarely have any problems. I’ve had around a dozen brains and quite a few of their kits, still have two. I’ve had other sets also, but stick with the v drums because of how they just work. They hold resale like nothing else out there.

    Most problems I’ve had were because of the TRS cables, they are junk. I keep a box full just in case, and have to replace them regularly. The newer brains don’t have separate cables, just a harness with a big plug, this makes me nervous on my td15. Proprietary cable from Roland , their parts aren’t cheap..... my td12 has separate cables for everything. Easier to change out a bad one.

    The only thing is to make sure the unit supports the cymbals and drums you plan on using. That is why I still use the td12, it supports the high hats that I use, the newer brains don’t. Good stuff, I built a hybrid kit out of an acoustic kit, mesh heads and triggers.
     
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  19. mojah

    mojah Member

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    Depends on price. I wouldn't spend 800 on something I could buy new with a warranty for 1000. But at 600 or less I've been a player...
     
  20. Rango

    Rango Supporting Member

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    I bought my Kemper new. The savings for used vs. what I could buy one new for...wasn't worth the risk. It was hard for me to do, I buy almost ALL my music gear used! ;) That and the only way to get the remote was to buy new....
     

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