eBay throws up lots of crazy things for sale, just recently we came across the biggest JBL system in the world to buy, but now we think we have found one better and it and be all yours for a mere £70 000, pocket change for some, but not for most unfortunately.
The EMS Synthi 100 is a large analogue synthesizer made by Electronic Music Studios (London) Ltd. When released, it only cost £6,500 and only 40 units were ever built. The Synthi 100 was developed from a combination of three VCS3 systems, ending up with 12 VCOs, two keyboards (each of it duophonic, making it possible to play four voices simultaneously), and a 3-track 256-step monophonic digital sequencer. Two 60 x 60 matrixes were used to connect the different modules by using patch pins. The keyboard spread could/had to be adjusted, making it difficult to play a tuned temperated scale for a longer time, but allow for alternative tunings easily.
The sound of the Synthi-100 was subtly distinct from the VCS3. Both filters and oscillators were much more stable in the Synthi-100. The VCS3, however, was very sensitive to temperature changes, so it required repeated re-tuning. The Synthi 100 also had an add-on computer interface known as “Computer Synthi” which contained a PDP-8 minicomputer and 4Kb of random access memory. It featured an LED display, twin digital cassettes, Two 24 x 60 matrix patch boards, and a switch button control panel. Also the Vocoder 5000 (Studio Vocoder) was available as a separate module installed into the Synthi 100. It contained a 22 band filter, 22 x 22 matrix patchboard, mic/line inputs, two oscillators and noise sources, frequency shifter, pitch to voltage extractor, and a spectrum display driver.
The BBC Radiophonic Workshop took delivery of an EMS Synthi 100 modular system in 1970 and dubbed it the “Delaware”, after the name of the road outside the studio.Their composer Malcolm Clarke was one of its most enthusiastic users. One of the more notable scores he produced with the Synthi 100 was the incidental music for the 1972 Doctor Who serial and The Sea Devils.
According to eBay, the sellers writes
Yes you read it right – Original EMS Synthi 100 s/n 16 (of around only 28 built).
Please read the below, and email me if interested – don’t click BUY until we speak.
This unit is nearing the completion of full restoration – I am finding it hard to dedicate time to complete this project due to running my own business and a busy family life. But I will complete it if need be! At my work rate it will take at least a couple of years, despite that fact it probably only needs a few full time weeks to complete.
Selling this now as is is an opportunity for someone to jump the queue and avoid the much higher price it will fetch when completed by me. If you are after a Synthi100 – this could be the only chance to get one since most are now locked away in museums or private studios.
Email to discuss this further. firstname.lastname@example.org Full photo’s and details available on request. I will naturally ignore ridiculous questions – only message me at email@example.com if you are a serious contender.
Very briefly, to complete: Final stage of the re-wire (estimate about 2-6 days to do that). Most of the wiring has been done, it’s just the final leg. Double checking the wiring, then finally checking each card one at a time – to repair any dead components (dead due to age). Essentially the synths is complete and almost no money needs to be spent on it other than labour time and any spare to fix any faulty boards. It is so insanely large it would be a collection only deal, though, I may consider delivering to mainland Britain. Sale includes Full service documentation, plenty of EMS patch pins, original double keyboard, spares, cables – and a strong steel table if required.
Want to buy it? head to eBay for more info