Hello everyone, for the last Synthétik News of 2015 we’d like talk about a few very special instruments that we’ve had the privilege of working on this past year.



The Triadex is a sequencer-based synthesiser, produced in 1972, and designed by Edward Fredkin and Marvin Minsky at MIT. It is an algorithmic, deterministic event generator, utilizing early digital integrated circuits to generate an audio output that can sound very musical. It produces a sequence of notes based on the settings of about a dozen different parameters, including four small sliders that control Volume, Tempo, Pitch, and Fine Pitch. Only a few hundred were ever made.

The complete system incorporated a loud-speaker named The Muse, as well as a Light Show unit, and the whole system envisioned the creation of new and arbitrary melodies. The original manual suggests placing the The Muse in the living room to replace the television! It is possible to rent The Muse at Peter’s Venuto Synth Palace.

For modern surfers : Tridex Muse Simulator for Windows


One of the rarest drum machines; it was made by the British company MCS and dates back to 1983. Only about 30 were ever produced.This machine is a hybrid : half of its sounds are analogue in origin and the other half done by 8 bit sampling. In total, it has 28 sounds, each with their own volume control, decay and pitch. The most widely known use is on the Eurythmics song “Sweet Dreams”. This big beautiful orange machine contains a sequencer (from the computer), but also has inputs to receive voltage controls as well. We created 2 external boxes, one to receive triggers, the other to give access to each sound separately.


The Guitorgan was created by the inventor Bob Murrell who wanted a guitar that could sound like a Hammon organ. About 3000 Guitorgans were made from 1967 through the early 80’s by the M. Murrell, Musiconics Company of Texas, of which about 1000 are still in existence. In order to make this curious instrument, the company used a Japanese gutar made by Univox, in which a complete combo organ had been integrated. It’s the contact of the strings against the frets which activates the organ notes just as if a key on a keyboard had been depressed. In the middle of the guitar neck, there’s a bundle of 132 micro-wires that attach to each of the contacts. The switching is done by the strings which are attached to the ground of the instrument.


In 1980, this Mini-Synthesizer was the most compact synth in the world, weighing in a 2 lbs. It was designed by ARP, which explains the incredible sliders and the filter. It also has a  lot of character : a 5 octave “touch” keyboard (freaky!), phase shift (square wave), sub-oscillator, it’s sweeps on the filter and above all the battery supply and the intergrated loud-speaker.



This is a complete amplification system especially created for synthesiers, made by Moog in 1978. Apparently, only about thirty were made. The system is really impressive : 4 channels, 4 parametric EQ, 1 equaliser, 1 spring reverb, 1 optical compressor, 1 FX send, etc. As well, the sytem is 100% modular with in/outs on each module at the back. 2 six foot tall speakers fill out the system. We simultaneaously amplified a TR-808 and a VCS3 to get an incredible sound!

This polyphonic monster arrived into our workshop direct from France, after having spent a long hibernation in its roadcase. We found damage on almost all its boards, as well as many short-circuits. Even two of its IC (chips) were physically destroyed! We’ve never seen something like this before. This synth contains two complete Prophet-5’s, as wel as an internal polyphonic sequencer. Imagine the possibilties….

Made in 1979, this vocoder is the most extraordinary, efficient, and simple-to-use vocoder that we’ve ever repaired. It contains, in addition to the vocoder, a “strings” section and especially the “Human Voice”, which creates sounds worthy of a mellotron (or almost!)


In the world of pedals, those made by Musitronics are the most extravagant. This Bi-Phase contains two independent Phase Shifters, each of which can be processed by the other - creating a double effect. It has two in/outs : mono and stereo with an option to invert the phase (imagine the possibilities when intergrated into a console rack!). There’s also feedback control, which seriously augments the harmonics, and creates its characteristic sound. Vectrols are also used on the phase shift, and its technology is pretty special (read : tricky & primitve), especially when one wants to adjust the two Phasors together. No two Bi-Phase sound alike!


For all of you who are putting on shows, album launches, etc. Feel free to let us know and it would be our pleasure to share them in the next Synthétik News.


Thanks to everyone. We wish you all very happy holidays and an electronically-filled 2016!

Guillaume et Véronique

Artisans en lutherie électronique vintage