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EMS Synth A Prototype


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Soundgas - Classic & Vintage Recording Gear, Effects and Instruments
Matlock, United Kingdom
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About This Listing

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.


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.

CONDITION: See photos for more information on cosmetic condition.

Switchable voltage for use anywhere in the world - it will be set up ready for you to use before we ship.

VAT: There is no separate VAT charged on this item (so the price is the same inside or outside the EU).

Reverb customers please note:

We are based in the UK and have many years’ experience sourcing, servicing and shipping delicate vintage gear worldwide. You can rely on us to pack your item with care, and deliver swiftly by international courier with full tracking and insurance.

We offer a professional satisfaction-guaranteed service: customer care and attention to detail are paramount. Please message us if you have any questions or feedback. Tony

Product Specs

Listeda year ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more
Made In
  • United Kingdom

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