The ARP 2500

ARP 2500This one actually just popped up for auction with a buy it now of $13,800. The 2500 was ARP’s first modular flagship and consisted of the 2003 synthesizer and 3003 keyboard controller. As mentioned in last week’s post, the ARP 2500 was also the synth played by ARP engineer Philip Dodds in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. You can actually see him play it in the film. You can find a demo of the 2500 in last week’s post as well. Some details from the auction:
“This is a very rare and early version of the ARP 2500 Modular Synthesizer. It has a larger cabinet with 3 x 5 Modules (instead of 2 x 6 Modules on standard ARP 2500s) and the switch matrix in the top section has 10 positions (instead of the 20 positions on later ARP 2500s).

The ARP 2500 for sale here has the serial number 014 (model 2003, serial 70 – 014).

I have been told that these very early 2500s were hand-built by the ARP/Tonus crew to the most exacting standards, they are probably better than later models (which of course are excellent as well).

It has 4 oscillators (2 of them with invertible waveforms), 3 excellent 24dB Filters with resonance and built-in mixers for up to 4 audio and 2 CV signals (5 CV inputs per Filter total), 3 VCAs with built-in mixer for 2 CV signals (plus another 3 fixed voltage CV inputs), 6 Envelope Generators (4 of them with Gate Delays and normal & inverted outputs. All 6 Envelope Generators have a switch for single or multiple triggering), a fixed voltage source (i.e. to shift all Oscillators at once) and a pink/white noise source with built-in filters.

There is also the rather lovely model 1027 analog sequencer with 3×10 steps and individual trigger outs for each step. Voltage controllable pulse width. The internal clock is very fast and can be driven into the audio range. You can modulate it from any source and use it as a signal generator/VCO with a user definable waveshape (by setting the 10 steps of the sequencer to different voltages).”

You can find more details including the full module list and shots at the auction while it is up, followed by this post on Matrixsynth.

Wiard 300 Series

Wiard 300What you are looking at is a Wiard 300 Series modular system owned by gary. Click here to see the image in all of it’s glory. Wiard produced the 300 series several years ago only to put them on hiatus, while Grant Richter of Wiard moved the line exclusively to the 1200 series. Grant has just recently re-introduced production of the 300 series. Update: I just got the list of modules in this shot. Rather than throw the formatting of this post off, you can check out the list here.



The Patch

The PatchStephen Jones of synthwood, sevcom and of course the Prophet 5 forum recently discovered an issue of Sequential Circuits “The Patch.” He scanned the full issue and posted it here. Definitely check it out for a bit of synth history, including the “Digital Interface for the Pro-One” article, a must have for any Pro-One DIYers. BTW, if you know of where to find any other issues, please post a comment. Stephen is looking for them, and I can make sure it gets to him.

via Stephen Jones:

“I asked Dave Smith and John Bowen about ‘The Patch’ and it seems that only 3 or 4 issues were published between 1981 and 1982. I have volume 02 issue 01 (February 1982). Its got some really great information, patches and advertisements. This issue has a cool picture of a plexiglas Pro-One too.”











The EMS VCS1

EMS VCS1
What you are looking at is the prototype of what would eventually become the classic EMS VC3S Putney, followed by the EMS Synthi used by such classic acts as Brian Eno and of course EMS VCS3 PutneyPink Floyd for the bass sequence of Dark Side of The Moon. Click here for a full sized shot. The image comes from this excellent historical article on the VCS1 and VCS3 on Switched on.

“In 1983 the Powerhouse museum purchased the music and recording instruments that comprised the Australian composer Don Banks’ electronic music studio. The contents of this studio include the EMS VCS 1 (Electronic Music Studios Voltage Controlled Synthesiser attempt #1), a prototype for the VCS 3 – the first portable synthesiser.”



And I’ll leave you with a little Roxy Music with Brian Eno on the VCS3.

Roxy Music – Virginia Plain

Have a great weekend folks! BTW, I will most likely be skipping next week’s This Week In Synths post as I have some family commitments that will leave me very tight for time. However, I will be putting up my daily posts on Matrixsynth as they are pretty quick and dirty – I try to up the bar just a little for Peter on CDM. : )

As always, for more daily synth-related content check out Matrixsynth.

  • Adrian Anders

    Ah yes, the ARP 2500… a classic. Back when I was going to college we had one of these in the school's electronic music studio WWEAMS. Lovely machine, too bad I rarely played with it because the synth had a broken keyboard. A classmate actually got it to produce some killer lines using the built-in sequencer. An absolute monster of a synth.

  • eS

    I love the ARP 2500!!! (…and the switch matrix was pure genius!) :-)

  • teej

    i've touched the original prototype Serial Number 0! it's quite a site, didn't get to play it though.