Finally retrieved back my Yamaha VL1-m

It’s back. I totally regretted selling it without trying it fully. I stupidly followed an advice from some GS member that VL1 is essentially gone into history hole and there are way better options in software now. After trying some of the “better software” I’ve realized none of them sound like VL and I wanted my unit back. Although I’ve sold it on eBay, I’ve kept contact with the buyer. So two years later I asked him if he was interested in selling it back to me. Of course he wasn’t. Three years after that I sent him the same question. Answer this time was: No way!

And last month I gave it a random shot, in fact it’s been so many years that this time I’ve sent him an email just for fun, just to see where the unit ended. To my shock, the owner still had my unit and was just about to sell it on eBay. We agreed to go with the original price that I sold him for. And now the unit is back. My beloved VL1-m Ver2 that I originally bought from some confused dude, which is a story of its own*.

*Essentially I bought it in may in 2007 from this rich guy who, although knew exactly what it is, he overestimated the power of those physical modelling (PM) software synths back then, thinking Yamaha VL1 was already obsolete so he wanted to get rid of it asap. I actually came to buy his XV-5080, which was at regular market price. But in the online ads, I have noticed under his username another entry, this time with Yamaha VL1-m. It was a very strange entry because what he asked was essentially the amount just the Ver2 upgrade cost which was 350 notes. So I phoned him one afternoon and asked if it was Version 1 maybe? To which he replied, no it is Ver2, it even has a sticker.

Somewhere up the hills where rich ppl live…

Now comes the best part. So the next day when I came to pick up XV-5080 I noticed he does in fact have VL1-m Ver2. While looking for it and taking out my money I asked him if he could lower the price from 350 to 250 notes. Which he in fact did. LOL! It was an insane deal!!! He told me that VL1 is outdated technology and he is moving completely ITB. Since I bought XV5080 at the regular price of what he asked for, without bargaining hence why he probably agreed for the deal of the VL1-m. Being a rare synth it was impossible for me to check within those 20 minutes to find out the -actual- secondhand market value of VL1-m. I too was surprised their value went so “low” (350 notes), but decided to take the risk. Keep in mind – no smartphones back then. It was only a couple of weeks later I learned these things were x10 more expensive than what I’ve paid for!! As for the seller himself, I wasn’t surprised. It was a rich upper class neighbourhood with villas and stuff, those folks sometimes can’t tell a hundred from a grand. And I don’t blame them!!!

All in all it was epic, except the small detour which I had to take as there was some construction work on the road, and there were no smart phones back then so I had to drive thru some hill and forest where I got lost! LOL! I mean I could see the direction of his house on top of the hill I just couldn’t get there. Eventually I did. It was a beautiful early summer, so the forest detour felt nice. One of the best days in my gear acquisition life!!!

Back to 2017. Coincidentally, I just restored one old Power PC Macintosh, which runs OS9, which means I can run VL1 expert editor in there, export the patches on a floppy and load them into VL1. I should point out I did not buy this unit for flutes and violins, but rather for the sick sounds that it’s capable of generating. The unit can also work as a full Virtual Analog synth via another OS9 based editor.

Comments (4)

  1. Elmer Pantry

    “Keep in mind – no smartphones back then.”

    There also wasn’t electricity back in those days.

    • Patrick Norbert

      You are aware first decent smartphone (iPhone) came out after 05/2007? Plus, it took years to spread, not many people had it back then.

      • Giles

        Define decent? I had a Nokia 9110 martphone in 2001 and while nothing like modern ones, for the time it was highly advanced compared to the alternatives.

  2. Don Solaris

    Elmer Pantry which smartphone did you had back in May 2007? 😀

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