Everybody loves a bargain, and most of us need to stretch our equipment budgets as far as possible. And of course, some of the most effective bits of recording gear date from previous decades and are no longer available off the shelf. Whatever today’s boutique manufacturers claim, even the best of today’s offerings lack the cutting edge and musicality of vintage microphones or outboard.
On the face of it, then, buying used gear can be an attractive option. But not always. Caveat emptor, or to rephrase in plain speak – Buyer Beware.
Funky Junk was born by accident in the early 1990s, in part due to the impossibility of finding good quality, fully functioning and readily available used recording gear. At that time, suppliers of used pro audio could be best described as ‘Estate Agents’ – dealers who knew the whereabouts of used gear and published a list of equipment that was theoretically available. Buyers had to part with their money, gamble that the gear they wanted actually existed and then sometimes wait for weeks to receive…what? Typically the treasured piece looked dreadful, performed poorly if at all and lacked any after sales or warranty support.
Buying used equipment was at best a lottery and at worst a total rip-off. Sadly, many used equipment ‘dealers’ still work this way.
From the outset, Funky changed the way the industry worked. The used sales model was illogical. As musicians and engineers, we determined to offer our customers a level of service that we ourselves required. The answer seemed simple, even if the process is a great deal more complicated than it appears.
Strange though it may seem, Funky Junk is unique in Europe, in that we buy used equipment into stock, offering fair prices to sellers and buyers alike. Every piece of equipment then goes to our in-house technical department, Boffin Island, to be serviced by one of our experienced engineers and is then available from stock, supported by the best after sales and warranty support in the business.
Funky Junk invests over £100,000 a year in our technical department in addition to carrying almost £50,000 in hard to find spare parts and the best test equipment money can buy. Indeed, over the years we have been unique in buying rare spares from engineers, studios and manufacturers to ensure that we can continue to support equipment that is no longer made.
We invest heavily in our technical support because we have to. If most used equipment didn’t need to be serviced or repaired prior to sale, we could save a fortune. But Funky Junk has always been service based. We have set standards that other dealers can’t hope to match, which is why the company has grown to become the chosen supplier of most professional studios, producers and engineers in Europe.
That we have done this while keeping resale prices down and continuing to pay fair prices to sellers is largely due to the fact that we can keep margins tight because we sell more equipment than all the other European dealers combined.
By and large, all used equipment requires servicing or repair to perform perfectly. The used equipment we supply performs as it should, ready to go straight into the most demanding session. And if a problem should develop, buyers have the confidence of our no quibble warranty. In fact, we have far less warranty issues with our used equipment, irrespective of age, than we do with much of the brand new ‘boutique’ gear we supply.
We’re proud to have introduced a standard into the supply of used professional audio equipment that others often claim to emulate but none can match.