When the honeymoon ends early (warning: probably anti GAS ranting)

So, new gear is fun. Usually. Sometimes you want to temper your excitement because it probably isn’t a forever synth or the best thing you’ve ever touched.

Other times… I think I’ve sometimes wanted to box up a piece of gear and send it back within an hour before. I’m feeling that again, and it’s weird. It seems to me if it isn’t knocking my socks off right now that might be a sign I should just return it (one of the simple pleasures of paying retail price). Sometimes it grows on me, but there never really was a honeymoon period. I had a feeling like that with the analog four - the first hour or so was very “why?” but then a few days later my thoughts were best summed up as “oh, that’s why”.

How do y’all sort the difference between “no way, I don’t like this” and “hmm, I’m not seeing it yet”?


I had it with the Syntakt.

For some reason I just immediately disliked it.
It might have been that it was really hot weather when I got it and it was burning my legs with how hot it gets.

I tried to get over it, but I just found I didn’t want to spend time with it so it probably didn’t get a fair shot.

I acquired an SE-02 recently and I’m in limbo with it. It sounds good, but I haven’t really used it as I just never seem to be inclined to do so. I don’t have the dislike for it I’m just a bit stuck.

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Choose stuff very carefully.

Find out what range of sound/functions it can have.

Find out how much fun/work/pain it takes to achieve that.

Decide if its worth it, for you.

Rinse and repeat.

Personally I always give gear a chance, 6 month minimum.


9 times out of 10, my gut instinct is correct. If I’m not immediately in love with some aspect of the device I probably won’t like that aspect much in the future. If I do love something about a device, I may be able to overlook things I’ve perceived as flaws. I owned a microcosm for three days, and I just knew that I would actually hate using it. I do not regret selling it. I tend to think extremely hard about my purchases, and I rarely miss.


I have a solid idea of how I plan to use something before I get it. If I find that it doesn’t suit that purpose, I return it.


Pretty much the same for me too.

Although, I’ve bought gear that I haven’t even turned on in a year, then later turns out to be essential to a new flow.

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I have one of those, too - but there is something about having it in-hand that may or may not make it either inspiring or even just a keeper.

More often than not it’s some UI quirk that is the problem (or it is for me) - if I’ve bought it I’ve already gotten a sense of what it sounds like. Usually, what the UI is like, too, but there’s watching someone use a thing and then there is using it yourself.


I don’t have a formula, only some anecdotes

I’ve owned my Octatrack nearly 2.5yrs. It’s been in a box most of this year. I want to like it, but I don’t enjoy learning it or using it that much. I’ve made a handful of sketches with it I’m really fond of, tho’. I acknowledge its usefulness, but I’ve yet to fall in love with it.

So, on this specific case, the main thing that’s making me keep it is the sheer volume of people here saying they re-bought it. I can short-cut that whole repetitive cycle just by boxing it up and getting it out again when the muse strikes.

I once bought a Polyend/Dreadbox Medusa. Within an hour I knew it wasn’t for me. Boxed it up and posted an ad on Reverb (and here) the very next day.

Sequential Rev2: beautiful and powerful, but the interface and some usability quirks annoyed me after 18months so I sold it to move the frustrations away. A mild sense of longing has followed me about ever since, giving me GAS for a different Sequential. I can’t afford a big poly at the moment tho’.

Basically, I follow my gut. It’s better at weighing up competing ideas in ways that my conscious mind isn’t. Ask “does the idea of the following action (buying/selling/boxing) give me a lift? If so, do it”.


I like that idea - there are for sure some bits of gear I was hesitant to list, but some others where listing it meant I permanently moved it out of the “things to learn” queue, which was a relief.

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I’ve bought a Medusa 2 different times, really didn’t like it both times. Like right away too.

Just bought a third one…something about it where I think there’s some magic there if I stick with it…I can’t explain it, it’s madness.


Brave! Good luck :smiley:

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If it is making me work beyond a reasonable level to get a sound I like it could end up on eBay in fit of pique. Also buggy behaviour or inconsistent UI is usually enough to put me off something. But otherwise I tend not to sell, especially if it was bought for a good price.

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If you have infinite funds and like to display gear there are people who have sports memorobilia in little clear cases and have never played on a field in their lives, that’s fine as well if you can afford a collection.

Less fortunate people will have less issues when there’s a 9 / 1 ratio of research to purchase.

After that, if you don’t like it or aren’t getting along with it, try to identify why you aren’t getting along with it, and if it’s still unclear maybe it’s not for you. If you can identify the reason, like “it’s too fiddly” or “my knowledge of this type of instrument is lacking” then it’s easier to know if it’s just a dislike for the UI, or if it’s something you may enjoy with further self education.

A lot of this can be mitigated with pre-purchase research, but if you enjoy impulse buys you may just have to live with the consequence. You can resell most things, if you buy new you can return most things.

But you can’t turn an apple into a peach.

And as mentioned directly above, I don’t usually resell most things. So the things I don’t use, are really just sitting in boxes. But when I need or want them, they’re there and it’s like having something new to be frustrated with all over again.

I sold my Analog Rytm the day after I received it and returned the Microfreak the day after I bought it.

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I for myself learned that i can never be sure if i really like a device before getting it. Even if the specs look great and demos sound nice. It could be a small aspect like slow knob behaviour or strange menu system that turns me off after i got the device in my hands. And sometimes it’s the filter or some other sound related aspect that i don’t like.

I’m at a point where i’ve accepted that i like trying out new devices to see if i like them because i found a lot of my favorite instruments that way. And i really like that honeymoon feeling. I’d say most of the time the device doesn’t live up to my expectations even if i’ll keep it. Demos and reviews (almost) always make it look more interesting then it is in reality.


I did that too :smiley:


I agree, I know what you mean.

I am happy to not feel a need for new gear. Been busy enjoying learning what I have purchased over the past few years.


I agree with this sentiment, however, sometimes a new piece of gear appears and I can imagine how it can enhance/compliment my workflow and I want to try it out :grin: Not a need but more like a productivity instinct.

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I research the crap out of everything before I buy (read the manuals, watch tutorials, watch jams). Then if I decide to buy it, I use the crap out of it within the 30 day return window, to see if I click with it.

My initial gut instinct is usually right, and the things I’ve returned I never want to revisit. The only thing I ever sold that I regretted was the Microfreak, which is funny considering other folks mentioned immediately parting with it.