An Original Synton Fenix | Fess' Find

This original Synton Fénix just rose from the ashes. Although only 75 were made, this rare semi-modular analog synthesizer was said to have been used by the likes of Martin Gore of Depeche Mode and Richard D. James, better known as Aphex Twin.

Synton was a Dutch company that was successful in the 70s and 80s as both a manufacturer and importer of synthesizers. In the early 80s, they created the Syrinx, a monophonic analog synthesizer with unique features such as a metal touch plate and formant filter, as well as the Syntovox 20-channel vocoder. However, the company eventually went bankrupt in 1989. Product specialist Marc Paping and designer Bert Vermeulen, who were part of the original team, sought to keep the brand alive after they disbanded. In 1997, they collaborated to create the Synton Fénix 1, a modular synthesizer with 31 unique analog voltage-controlled modules.

This is the 	
Synton Fenix 1
Synton Fenix 1

What makes the Synton Fénix so special? A combination of factors: its hand built rackmount style design by Paping and Vermeulen was influenced by their past experiences with synths from various makers. Fénix was designed with unique features that give it a distinct sound, tailored to the needs of its creators. The synthesizer is ideal for live performances, with conveniently placed, highly responsive knobs and multiple modules, each with their own parameters, inputs, and outputs. Take the VCOs for instance: all three have all the common wave shapes, while VCO1 has additional controls for pulse width mod, sync, two sub-oscillators, and a phase shifter.

On top of that, there are two ring mods, a comparator, and a sample & hold generator. The VCOs are versatile and can be used as additional LFOs. If that's not special enough, there is an external sound processor module that can receive audio and produce gate and envelope signals from the external audio. Fénix uses 4mm banana plugs for patching, and could be patched with some Buchla and Serge modules, although the voltage ranges may vary. It also has CV and gate on the back and TRS stereo jacks on the front for audio outputs.

Some consider this to be the rarest Dutch synth ever made, and its price certainly reflects that. Open to offers and shipping from the Netherlands, the seller has listed it in very good condition and has made a claim to have never used it for gigs despite its reputation as a performance instrument.

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