The Great Testing Continues
Part 1

12 January 2015


20 more synths, organs and keyboards as well as a bunch of acoustic guitars. Let's see what we got to play with today...


First up again today is was another Moog monosynth - the Little Phatty, as shown at the top of the page. This travelled in it's own flight case that we got soon after we obtained it, and it came out in the same pretty-near mint condition as it started the journey.


Next along was the Sequential Circuits Prophet 600, in one of our refurbished cases. These worked out really well, we're really chuffed with how they stood up against the brand new ones from Swan Flight.

Since so many survived not just intact but in the same condition as they went in, we'll skip through the parade with a bit of brevity.


A pair of Theremins by Moog. These are disappointing - both are damaged. The autographed theremin (signed by Bob Moog) will only work if tilted at an angle of about 10 degrees, which makes me suspect a bit of damaged wiring or soldering, or possibly a crack in the circuit board if we're really unlucky.

The other Moog Theremin isn't doing so well - it just emits a quiet hum if cranked up through an amp that's also cranked right up. I suspect all I'm really hearing is a mains hum. Again, it coud be a simple physical shock problem, a crack or broken wire, board, joint or the like caused by being dropped. Or kicked. Or thrown. Some of what we've seen makes us suspect there was some very rough handling of our goodies.


Ah! Another Korg monosynth, this time the super Korg MS-20. Despite sharing a flightcase with the autographed Moog Theremin above, this was in perfect condition - a benefit of few wires and lots of surface- mount components, perhaps.


It's another Casio machine - this time a Casiotone 1000p.

What the hecky-decky have we got one of these kicking about for? Well, to save you going to our Casio 1000p section, here it is in a word:

Arpeggiator!

I'll repeat that...

Arpeggiator!

See? Exactly!


Another case-sharer. This is Percy. Percy Phone. Oh, alright, it's a Persephone by Eowave. It's a synthesizer with a natty ribbon controller that can be assigned across different ranges of frequencies.

Due to a little misunderstanding about the mains lead on the Moog Minimoog Model D, we ended up having to get a new case for it and could then re-purpose the first to take the Persephone and some other equipment...

... our invaluable Sequentix Cirklon, the wonder sequencer!

Really, this thing is amazing - it's been responsible for us not finishing more tracks than anything else in the studio simply because it causes us to start more tracks than anything else! It's absorbing and fun and a constant source of inspiration. Here it is hooked up to the Little Phatty for testing:


And now to the other end of the scale, away from the high-tech. It's a classic old Vox Continental. Due to the heavy-duty flight case no damage was done in transit. (Sadly, it was already damaged due to the cack-handed and bungled restoration attempt back in the UK - not only did the so-called 'restorer' take months to return it, but it was actually electrically in WORSE condition due to them removing one of the generator boards, which they never returned. To add insult to injury, the 'work' that was done on the case was shoddy too.) One to take care of personally this time, once the workshop is set up here.


We're really bouncing around technologies here - now we're on to a sample-based digital synth, the K-4 from Kawai. We got this after using the Kawai K-1r for years for pads and augmentation, and especially if we wanted a bit of an '80s' sound. It was wrapped in bubble wrap along with the Casio 1000p above, then protected in a heavy cardboard carton, and they came out without a scratch!


Technically, not part of the Audible Smile arsenal - this Farfisa TS-600 belongs to The Wife. It looks like it should be on the deck of the original Battlestar Galactica, and comes with a console frame and pedalboard.




TAGS: Heroes - Bob Moog - Moog - Little Phatty - Sequential Circuits - Prophet 600 - Big Briar - Theremin - Korg - MS-20 - Casio - 1000p - Eowave - Persephone - Sequentix - Cirklon - Vox - Continental - Kawai - K-4 - K-1rg - Farfisa - TS600 - Synthesizer - Organ - Keyboard - Studio - Gear