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Monday, March 8, 2010

The "Thriller" Console For Sale

Here's an interesting advert for the console that Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album was made on. It's a Harrison 4032 and the asking price is $200,000!

Now in its day, Harrison made a pretty good console, but even brand new it was less than half the asking price, and given the huge drop in value in recording consoles these days, this price seems almost laughable. The console has only 32 channels (you'd expect a lot more for 200k), but it's being sold more as a museum piece rather a piece of audio gear, as far as I can tell.

That's probably a good thing since there's virtually no information about the current condition of the console. Does it even pass audio? Is it automated? Does the automation work? Do all the modules work? How is the console terminated? Is the power supply OK? None of those questions are even broached in any one of three websites.

It's true that Bruce Swedien, the engineer for all of Michael's biggest hits, loves this console and even bought one like it for his personal studio, but he may be the only one. In it's day, a Harrison wasn't the most sought after console and it never had any vintage value even when console prices were sky high, that's why the price is so astounding.

Will it draw customers to a studio that features the desk? Probably some, but it's doubtful that it'll draw 200k worth. And if an artist thinks that this console will make them sound like Michael then they'll be sadly mistaken. It's never been about the gear. It's always about the ears!

Check out an article on the sale, the website for the console, and the ebay site, but unless you have more money than you know what to do with, keep it in your pocket on this one.

1 comment:

getitinwriting said...

They had one of these at Paramount when I was on staff there. Even when these were new they were a PITA. Counter-intuitive workflow, and ours broke down at least once a week. bleah.

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