Unique and historic prototype dating from the early 80s.
The synth is booked in for a full overhaul. While this is taking place, the buyer has the option to specify any modifications they may require. The price quoted here is for a fully-overhauled synth; there will be an additional charge for modifications or upgrades beyond original spec. We expect it will be ready by mid-April, though given the current climate this is subject to change.
Unique EMS Synthi A Mk3 Prototype for sale in good working order following a service by the original designer, Steve Gay last year. It comes complete with a sheaf of original papers, hand-drawn schematics and notes. These will be digitised before the sale and made available on the site.
Delivery time will depend on our service schedule and whether the buyer requires any modifications.
Designed by Steve Gay; the brief was to modernize the Synthi A for the 90s and make it more stable from a tuning perspective, with a more powerful filter and a full ADSR. Our understanding is that Steve and Robin Wood never reached agreement on the finished design, so this prototype is probably unique.
It had a full service performed by Steve Gay at the end of last year. The seller states:
“Everything is working well, though the Oscillator Sync and Filter Low pass / Band pass mode switches maybe should be rewired as they don’t match the panel graphics. Low pass is actually the Band Pass and vice versa, same thing with the Sync switch. The graphics show from top, off, osc 2, osc 3 but i think its wired osc 2, off, osc 3. Moving and re-soldering the wires on the back of the switch to correct positions to mirror the graphics on the front panel. In the end i decided to keep it completely original, nothing was updated, modified and the circuits and components are all original.”
This could be part of the charm of this prototype and we’ll leave it to the buyer to decide if they want to alter anything – we can do this if requested.
While everything will be been done to ensure this synth is in excellent order functionally, this is a vintage Synthi and some occasional foibles may be expected. We take the view that servicing on these units should be sympathetic – recapping where necessary, but also keeping as many original parts in the audio path to retain character, even if it results in occasional minor flaws. A little noise may be possible from some pots when it’s not been used for a while, but this will clear with use.
These synths should be used regularly for best performance – just like a classic car or bike needs a run out to stay in good shape.
See photos for more information on cosmetic condition.
For sales in UK/EU, this item is on the margin scheme for second hand goods. VAT-free sales are not possible for this item.
Switchable voltage for use anywhere in the world - it will be set up ready for you to use before we ship.
Synthis in action at Soundgas (not the unit for sale).
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Thank Synthi It’s Friday! EMS Synthi AKS is ready to go. I just lost an hour or so running a beat through it with our Roland RE-201 Space Echo (with the custom clear tape tray cover). Check our Instagram Story for the full jam or swipe to see more pics. This one features a stunning clear Perspex keyboard cover. Already a firm office favourite.
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If you think music made almost exclusively on EMS Synthis is likely to be niche and experimental, Pin Park are a revelation. Warm and beautiful music that evokes the glory days of analogue with a nod to Krautrock: an absolute delight! We can not recommend this gig highly enough.
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What’s your favourite synth? . I’d keep a 1972 Synthi AKS if I could - there’s some wild voodoo going on under the hood of these crazy synths. They never fail to astound, confound, surprise and delight: inspiration in a handy wee briefcase. . Here I’m testing @alkapranos rebuilt and varispeed modified Binson Echorec T5E which is nearing readiness.
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Red Light / Green Eye. . Two of our passions at Soundgas are EMS Synths and Binson Echorecs which make a joyful noise when you bring them together for a little cosmic chatter. . This Binson was sold on preorder several months ago and has now shipped out: a fine example. . The 1972 Synthi AKS is now serviced and ready for a new home (will it be yours?). . Each Synthi has its own character and sonic signature and I’ve really fallen for this one: parting will be such sweet sorrow...
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Freshly-overhauled 1972 EMS Synthi AKS undergoing testing at Soundgas last Friday. . Beats courtesy of the (now sold) Roland CR-78 going through the Synthi - main output via the Vestax delay. Enjoyed this extended ‘test’ session late last week. . This AKS comes with three Prestopatch cartridges (the Synthi equivalent of a preset system): here I’m using the evergreen Battle Prestopatch.
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