Arp 2500 Synthesizer

Jooris Benny has shared some great pictures of an ARP 2500 synthesizer.

The ARP 2500 is a synth classic, and it was the first synth I ever used, at the University of Kansas, before I could afford my own!

It uses a combination of patch chords and matrix switches to create connections. Each module’s panel has signal path lines that make it easy to identify how to patch things together. This makes patching fairly clean, but as you can see from the picture, it takes up an unholy amount of space.

The ARP 2500 was also the synth used to communicate with the aliens in the movie Close Encounters Of The Third Kind!

11 thoughts on “Arp 2500 Synthesizer

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the good comments.

    The story behind this modular is a bit strange to be honest.

    These used to be from Klaus Schulze,former Tangerine Dream member.
    Then to have been sold to a German guy who died about 10 years ago.
    At that moment the family had these left in the studio and some other guy wanted to borrow these.In fact he wanted to keep them himself,or you can read “wanted to steal” them,from that poor family.
    On their turn,the family asked somebody to get the ARP 2500’s back,and he managed to get them back and sold them to me for a very nice price.Allthough the other person who had these in his studio offered the family a ridiculous low price,wich they refused offcourse,thanks to the helping hand and information from their friend who got the ARP’s back in their possession.Now,these are in my private collection and i realy love them.Very versatile and nice sounding machines.
    I’ll try to ad some more information in the future.

  2. Hey Synthhead!

    There is no doubt that the 2500 as shown is a mighty impressive unit, but I did some “joe-jobs” for a musician in Toronto in the early 1970s, just for the opportunity to get some experience with the big ARP, and he had that cabinet full with an additional wing cab on the side. This thing was capable of blowing any previous synthesizer off the electrical grid! He eventually built a 64 step digital sequencer to replace the original ARP module.

    He actually got so bored of the ARP that he designed a prototype digital synthesizer in the late 1970s.

    Google “David McLey” or “Mcleyvier”

  3. Ken – sounds like that was a sweet setup.

    There are a lot of pioneers who had the vision and the skills but not the business savvy. Even Moog had trouble with the vision getting ahead of the business end.

  4. Hi, Tom, you say David McLey is one of your best friends.
    Do you know where he is now?
    PS he was one of my best friends late seventies-early eighties (last century) and I've lost track of him.
    Greetings, Hannelore

  5. Hi, Tom, you say David McLey is one of your best friends.
    Do you know where he is now?
    PS he was one of my best friends late seventies-early eighties (last century) and I've lost track of him.
    Greetings, Hannelore

  6. Very Sad News. David Passed just a few weeks ago .He had severe diabetes and had been in a health care facility since 1994 ,after having had a traumatic incident that had affected his cognizant faculties http://fremonttribune.com/news/local/obituaries/a… . I had also lost track of him till recently . Good to hear from someone that is his Friend
    Thanks Hannelore
    Tom

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