Unique prototype EMS Synthi A. Complete with hand-drawn circuits and notes. Serviced by the original designer late last year.
Historic prototype dating from the 80s. This is a more muscular take on the Synthi sound and offers a unique featureset: highly recommended!
Covid-19 Update: We remain open but are currently operating at reduced staffing levels to comply with distancing regulations. While most shipments are being delivered swiftly, some services could be impacted and delivery times may be extended. We appreciate your understanding and will endeavour to minimise any delays. Read more…
Unique EMS Synthi A 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.
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 is a very muscular Synthi – we’ve become very fond of it indeed – offers another dimension to the Synthi sound.
So is it a Mk3, 4 or 5? We’ve been advised that it’s possibly most correct to describe it as a Mk5.
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.
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).
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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...
View this post on Instagram
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.
Not a another guide to Synthi AKS, but an account of my experience encountering and using one of these remarkable instruments.
PUBLISHED: 17th Jul 2018
The first live gig from the Soundgas Studio. A pair of EMS Synthi AKS back-toback producing the fabulous music of Pin Park.
PUBLISHED: 22nd May 2019
Tony goes deep into the Synthi HiFli - history, some of the ways it can be used, and the different versions we've had through the studio...
PUBLISHED: 2nd Oct 2018
Most modern synths, effects and amps are surely more energy efficient than their predecessors, but what is the cost of continuing to deplete precious resources by...
PUBLISHED: 24th Oct 2018
"The packing job to get it over to the US was superb, and the sound and performance of my Space Echo exceeds all of my expectations. I hope to do business with Soundgas again in the future. Many thanks!”
"When you are spending big money of vintage gear it's nice to have the confidence of impeccable service, sales and support... some of the best in the industry! Impeccable people, incredible equipment… my poor poor fiancé"
“The Space Echo made its way to me - it looks and sounds beyond dreams, thanks guys for your great service and communication.”
“The perfect place to hear, learn about and then buy your most wanted piece of vintage music gear! I've not only managed to buy a rare piece of equipment I really wanted, but I have the guarantee it's been serviced, and I got it from people who are clearly passionate and knowledgeable about what they do, as well as super friendly and responsive by email. Thoroughly recommended!”
"Packed with love and care. A stampede couldn't have crushed this thing. Works great and sounds like a dream. I love you Soundgas."
"DREAM. COME. TRUE. My music has taken me around the world a few times...and if you are like me and absolutely adore vintage gear...Soundgas is the stuff of LEGENDS. It's the shop that people like us search for our whole lives- fantastic and rare selections, and the technical know-how to repair and or mod these vintage items to get them into shape to flow with your modern setup."
"Soundgas provided the absolutely top service in terms of item quality as well as service and communication. Shipping was fast, packing was top notch. These people deserve the best reputation they already have. Many many thanks, guys."
"Still in shock! Can not believe how good the seller is. This product was inspected, and shipped from the UK to the USA quicker than orders from my home state. Highly recommend these guys."
“If not a new language, then at least a very challenging, old dialect that will take me some time to assimilate. I’ve been waiting a long time for the challenge. Thank you @soundgasltd, she’s a beaut...and nobody prepares and packs like you fine folks.”
"Soundgas has an unbelievable selection of the cool, old stuff that’s hard to find. Tony knows his stuff and goes out of his way to make sure the transaction is a smooth one. Thanks guys!"
“Imagine the perfect eBay.... with everything you never knew you wanted… and you can rest assured that your vintage and rare wobbly sound device will turn up on time and in one piece and possibly in even better condition that when it left the workshop. Soundgas - literally amazing."
"Soundgas offer a great service, sourcing esoteric gear that works great."
"Finally, a company that tracks down all those brilliant curiosities that bring so much character and personality to a studio."
“I’ve bought a number of items from Soundgas recently, and have been really impressed with their service. It takes the stress out of buying vintage gear to know it’s been properly (and faithfully) serviced or restored. Their after-sales service has also been exemplary. Highly recommended.”
“If you are a vintage audio gear head then this is the place you have been looking for all your life. Pretty much any piece of classic or obscure kit that you are after is available here... But the clincher for me is that the gear they sell has been restored by their top techs (unless otherwise noted) which is really very important when dealing with, for example, synths from 30 years ago.”
"Just received my Roland RS 505 Paraphonic! Thanks so much - arrived very promptly, well packaged, in great condition and sounds amazing! Best seller."
"Excellent equipment, wonderful service. I fully recommend Soundgas to anyone in the vintage gear market and I will definitely be a return customer. The gear itself was exactly as advertised and in great condition."
“I purchased a completely overhauled vintage valve Binson Echorec 2 T7E modified with varispeed, wet-only output, and a new paint job from Soundgas in early 2018. Tony and his team did an amazing job during every step of the purchase”
“I have bought two Moog synths from Soundgas over the past year, and I cannot say enough wonderful things about their selection of vintage products, the level of service, diligent responses to email, and expedient shipping with copious protective packaging. Soundgas is an impressive operation. My synths also sound amazing! These folks have made my vintage keyboard dreams come true in short order!”
Wow. So all of a sudden we have 50,000 followers on Instagram. A chance to look back at a few highlights, and to share a few...
PUBLISHED: 12th Aug 2020
We have been helping Nils assemble new equipment for his next album and live rig. Inevitably some old faithfuls are being replaced - this is the...
PUBLISHED: 12th Mar 2020
We stand behind our gear with a guarantee of your satisfaction - see the FAQ section above for full details and buy with complete confidence.
When buying more than one item you only pay the shipping on the item with the highest shipping cost. Calculated automatically at checkout.
Get in touch via the contact page. We know & love our gear and we want to ensure you get something that matches your needs (that, and we just like talking gear).