Find of the Week: A Hit-Making Synclavier

This week's Find of the Week is a bona fide piece of pop music history: what we have here is an all-original NED Synclavier Digital Workstation/Synthesizer that was formerly owned by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the production team most famous for serving as Janet Jackson's in-house producers.

This is a NED Synclavier digital workstation/synthesizer.
A NED Synclavier digital workstation and synthesizer, formerly owned by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Initially developed in the late 1970s by Vermont-based New England Digital Corporation under the direction of electroacoustic music pioneer Jon Appleton, the Synclavier was among the earliest digital synthesizers and sampling systems. This particular model was custom-built for Jam & Lewis and was installed at their Minneapolis recording studio Flyte Time, where it was used to sculpt delicious FM sounds and make hits for the likes of Janet, her big brother Michael, Boyz II Men, and The Human League.

According to the seller, when Flyte Tyme closed up shop, the current owner acquired the system and relocated to Nashville. Expert tech Steve Hills was flown in from Europe to completely refurbish the system and update the massive sound library, making it among of the most powerful Synclaviers of its kind.

As it happens, this is not the first time our team has happened upon a Jam & Lewis-owned piece of gear: just last month, their Akai MPC3000 was a Find of the Week, and at the time of writing, it's still available for a lower price than when we first sold it. Find more information about that MPC after the jump.

Equipped with 32 sample voices, 16 FM voices, and 32 channels of direct-to-disk, this Synclavier was priced at a whopping $500,000 when it was new. The seller encourages pickup in Nashville, otherwise seriously-interested buyers will be responsible for freight shipping. Either way, be sure to check out the full listing for more details, and to make an offer on this museum piece.

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