Why is Expensive Gear More Expensive?

I’m guessing it’s the quality of components on those boards, the cost of R&D to make it as similar to the sound of the originals, plus the cost of the enclosure and controls. It certainly feels like an expensive synth, more so than the Pro-3 (both versions) that I just had and I would imagine the Take 5.

And it sounds better to me than any Dave/Sequential that I’ve owned, including the P6. Is that partly confirmation bias? Maybe.

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It could be the legacy though? Your buying a bit of history.

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Well it doesn’t have wobbly knobs or jumpy encoder values like most P-6 and Rev2 do. That’s a plus for Dave :pray:
The reason my mate had me open it was to check that the tone killer capacitor was removed, which does question the QA standard. So I had a good peak around inside. Looked as well made as the Rev2. Sounds damn good too. But the bastard has my Ventris reverb permanently attached to it. Think I’ll start charging him.

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A brief illustrative comparison:

• Creating complicated and totally specialized software and hardware from scratch for a limited purpose (can’t extract additional value from R&D expenditures)
• A single product category with no backup revenue streams
• Assembling in a very regulated and well-paying Swedish manufacturing environment
• Paying employees in a very regulated and well-paying Swedish business environment

• Huge revenue from massive sales of bread & butter MI products allows the more niche products to sell with lower sales volume and profit margin
• synth products are not only built on pre-existing R&D and comparatively uncomplicated software, but also benefit from decades of product hype, market pricing information, and market buzz from “legendariness” and rarity.
• the ability to use the same parts across hundreds of diverse products allows for insane cost reduction by volume purchasing

But to address the original question: I think it’s the engineering manpower more than the raw materials costs. I could be wrong.


Is this bait? I’d take it. Everyone has different budgets for this and propensity to spend. Add to the fact that value proposition of gear vary not just between individuals but over periods of assessment. How to meaningfully compare what is expensive or not. Beats me. Buy what you will and for stuff you arent willing/able to fork out you can use the Internet on laptop etc.

Add: like asking why are some cars more expensive than others.

Not true, currently Elektron devices are made in Estonia, Finland and Poland.

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Nope… market (ie. buyers) acceptance is another important factor. Some brands have higher margins than others, while having comparable costs.

I think part of it is service + support. I have bought synths from Abstrakt Instruments and Black Corp and theres no manual (BC) and you never get a reply if you email them.

Then I look at Sequential or Elektron and yeah they cost more but if you email support you will get a response, they will fix things if they break and you also get good quality manuals.


Oh! This is a rather recent change I was unaware of. Thanks for clarification = )

My new-ish Digitone was made in Sweden.


As was my Syntakt

Yeah, but they also have manufacturing or assembly in said countries.

I think it is more of a company image thing. If you want to be seen as a luxury brand, just set your prices high and market to the correct demographic.

As many allude to, it’s subjective; dependant upon consumer habit. A Chinese synth is cheaper to make than a Chinese upright bass. The effect of quality is more critical for the acoustic instrument vs the electronic one. The acoustic instrument must be built to a standard of playability which equates to build quality. Electronic instruments can play fine and bad soldering can kill it in a few months or a year.

Look at DJ mixers and FOH mixers. A quality four track DJ board costs as much as a quality 24 track mixing board. Why? Cause DJs are willing to pay for it. The different feature set is relative as far as cost.

So simple answer- “consumerism”.