E.M.S. Synthi KB1 Synthesizer Rediscovered

Digitana – a company that specializes in modules to complement classic Electronic Music Studios (EMS) synthesizers, has announced that they’ve acquired a one-of-a-kind piece of E.M.S. history – the E.M.S. Synthi KB1 synthesizer.

Here’s what they had to say in their announcement:

“We are pleased to announce that Digitana Electronics has acquired an important piece of E.M.S. history..the E.M.S. Synthi KB1 keyboard. Only one prototype was ever made, for the band YES in 1971.

The synth never went into production. It has remained essentially unused for 46 years though Steve Howe (YES guitarist) did use it on a track in the first of his ‘homebrew’ demo recordings, some of which featured on the bands albums.

We plan to release more photos and audio demos of this keyboard in the future so that E.M.S. fans everywhere can finally hear and find out more about this beautiful and historic instrument.”

11 thoughts on “E.M.S. Synthi KB1 Synthesizer Rediscovered

  1. have read and dreamed about this forever. prob the only thing i would purchase out of eurorack. please remake. i love the esthetic. yes especially the mini keys.

    1. They look to be shortened keys, cut in half or so length-ways.
      Compare in the picture the K1 knobs to the key width, the K1 knobs are 25mm in diameter.
      So they would be far better than the modern mini-keys.

  2. Ha! Of all the people in the world to have one locked away… Steve Howe! I hope he got a good price and can afford a good meal. Recent pictures of him show the dangers of a life of being vegan. He may already be a Zombie.

  3. Simply amazing! WOW! It actually exists!
    Always wanted one of these, such a excellent layout.

    Thank-you so very much for sharing this! Love to see more pics!
    Internals please!
    Also much respect for Steve Howe for taking such excellent care of such an important historical ‘could-of-been’ EMS product!
    Best synth picture of the year!

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