What makes a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Valuable

A place to discuss the ZX80's and ZX81's younger brother - the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
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RetroWill
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What makes a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Valuable

Post by RetroWill » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:57 pm

Hi

I was just wondering what makes a ZX Spectrum valuable? I saw recently on eBay a Spectrum with a serial number of 011-817721 sell for €750!! Just wondered what made this machine more valuable than most?

Thanks
Will

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1024MAK
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Re: What makes a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Valuable

Post by 1024MAK » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:08 pm

One word: collectors.

Some are so keen to get their hand on "so called" early machines, they can't help themselves and keep bidding. That's assuming that there was plenty of bidders.

If there were only a very small number of bidders, then that may have been a somewhat suspicious sale.

Mark

RetroWill
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Re: What makes a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Valuable

Post by RetroWill » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:22 pm

I did find it strange as I have a earlier mint Spectrum 48K in a perfect box with Styrofoam intact. I even had the Horizons tape unopened and I only reached €125, I was gutted.
I thought that his serial number would have been part of some important batch or something. Just wondered was there somewhere where the valuable serial numbers were categorised and why they are valuable.

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1024MAK
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Re: What makes a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Valuable

Post by 1024MAK » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:45 pm

Issue 1 rubber key ZX Spectrums with the light grey keyboard are the only "special" machines, and this is only because not that many were produced. Later machines in really good condition with like new boxes etc also normally fetch good prices.

But no, other than that, serial numbers are just numbers. But some collectors make a big deal about having a "low" serial number...

Note that Issue 2 boards, and the later issue boards were produced in the hundreds of thousands.

For more on serial numbers, have a look at these World of Spectrum threads

Mark

RetroWill
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Re: What makes a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Valuable

Post by RetroWill » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:56 pm

Cheers Mark!

Lardo Boffin
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Re: What makes a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Valuable

Post by Lardo Boffin » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:36 pm

If the serial number is 001-015000 (in green) or less then it is (or should be) an issue one. Some sites suggest that 50,000 issue ones were made but I believe it was only 15,000.
I base this on conversations with Mutant Caterpillar Games (who see a lot of Spectrums, and not just from me...) and having bought two issue ones (001499 and one about 014000) and a number issue twos with serial numbers in the range of 20,000 through to 60,000.
Occasionally a serial number above 15000 will have an issue one motherboard but have the later dark keyboard rather than the lighter faun coloured one. This is suspected to be due to Sinclair... :D

Some keyboard comparisons:-
4EB68D5F-D352-4AC0-A0FF-398533700212.jpeg
4EB68D5F-D352-4AC0-A0FF-398533700212.jpeg (2.65 MiB) Viewed 355 times

The dark one is a later keyboard - better in artificial light.
The middle one is a repro issue one -slightly darker than the original.
The light one is an issue one off my serial no 1499.

If you are looking at photos on ebay it is often the case that later ones look like earlier ones due to the effects of the flash.

I recently saw a perfectly normal spectrum go for over £800! Only two big bids (both over 800) so probably a bit dodgy.
ZX81 iss 1 (bugged ROM, kludge fix, normal, kit)
Iss 3 with ZXVid, another in nearly perfect box
TS 1000 iss 3, ZXPand AY, ZX8-CCB & ZX-KDLX
TS 1500
TS 2000
Spectrum 16k (iss 1 s/n 1499)
Spectrum 48k
Toastrack + DIVMMC future

RetroWill
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Re: What makes a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Valuable

Post by RetroWill » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:45 pm

Thanks very much from your reply. I'm a bit wiser today! Happy Christmas!

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1024MAK
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Re: What makes a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Valuable

Post by 1024MAK » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:51 pm

Also, just to amplify and clarify, Sinclair or it's service agents sometimes repaired units by putting a new board in. But also earlier boards appeared in later cases, it could be that these were either unused stock from an earlier incomplete production run, or defective/faulty boards that had been repaired. It is likely that service and repair companies swapped boards at busy times, and then repaired the faulty boards during slack times, ready for the next busy time...

And of course, with all the replacement keyboards & cases that came on the market, it's possible that some of these boards have been rehoused back in donor non-original (for that PCB) cases.

And finally, the rubber key top can wear out, so during the service life, a repair agent would use the newer darker colour rubber mat.

Mark

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