ELKA, GEM & LEM Keyboards Returning In 2015

general-music-gem-lem-elkaFinnish keyboard and pro audio products manufacturer Generalmusic has announced plans to reintroduce its ‘legendary brands’ GEM, LEM and ELKA in 2015:

It is our 125th anniversary and we will bring to market some legendary re-issue models and brand new technology.

Generalmusic will offer unbelievable Italian sound together with superior technical quality – made in Finland.

At this point, they have not said anything about what keyboards they plan to re-issue.

elka-synthexGEM is probably best known for its keyboard workstations and Elka for its Synthex 8-voice analog synthesizer. LEM is not as well known, but made the rare Bit-99 analog polyphonic synth, which some consider to be very underrated.

Given the timing of their announcement, we expect to hear more at the 2015 NAMM Show or Musikmesse 2015.

via sonicstate, Generalmusic

34 thoughts on “ELKA, GEM & LEM Keyboards Returning In 2015

  1. The Synthex looks awesome, but how about some new features? Like a mod matrix, more LFO’s, unison, that sort of thing.

      1. I’d love a keyboard that combined the ease of use of a combo organ with the sound of synths and modern drum machines.

        A sort of all-in-one synth rig that sounds good vs the cheesier sound of traditional organs.

        1. Have you not seen the Casio XW-P1? Drawbar organ, synthesizer, .wav player… Pretty cool if you can find one – and it’s a Casio!?!

  2. Now this is some crazy news! Elka Synthex is a must! Then a Bit 99 with full midi implementation and added knobs would be absolutely great! Yes, bring on a Bit 999 🙂

  3. I’m not that familiar with the Synthex, beyond what I’ve heard on JMJ albums, and have never played one, so I can’t really comment on that per se. But in principle, this is good news for those of us who are supportive of re-releasing classic gear. It seems to be going in the right direction – MS-20 Mini (just bought one) and MS-20 Kit, then Korg ARP Odyssey, (and Behringer’s ‘me too’ hint), and now Elka and Crumar are back.

    Now if this trend continues, then there are some excellent instruments that could once again be available without paying out thousands for something on ebay for which the buyer does not really know the state of the instrument.

    Here’s what I’d like to see re-released:

    Roland System 100, SH-5, SH-7, Jupiter 8, Juno 60
    ARP 2600, Quadra
    Yamaha CS-30/CS-30L, CS-40M, CS-80
    Oberheim 4 voice/OBXA
    Korg SQ-10 and MS-50 to match my MS-20 Mini
    Moog Memorymoog

    I’m not saying I’d necessarily buy all of these – but if they were made available at a reasonable price, I’d certainly buy some. But more important, these great instruments could once again be used by the current and next generation of musicians much more easily and that’s a good thing, rather than having a generation of instruments largely lost to all apart from the determined collector or the financially well endowed.

  4. I’d really love to see a Synthex reissue, even though it won’t be very cheap; also a reissue of the Rhapsody 610 would be great for all the TD fans out there.

  5. This can be huge news … remember that GEM had in the past keybeds with polyphonic aftertouch (Gem S2 and S3), and ELKA had excellent master keyboards with polyAT, both piano action (MK88 and MK88II, MK76) and synth action (MK55). Add to that their legacy with great analog synthesizers (Synthex) String Synthesizers (Elka Raphsody) and Combo Organs with synth section (Elka X-705) and you can see the huge potential this has for great things, if managed properly.

  6. Great to see a finnish owned company in this business, especially with building happening in Finland too.
    Now lets see some super high quality hand made retro-modernistic synths, complete with birch or pine wood (or something finnish like that). Enough with those japanese and yankees, give me north european cool!

  7. It won’t be easy to revive the Synthex without the CEM chips, although rumour has it that Behringer are planning on re-manufacturing them for their own analogue poly.

    I love my GEM S2, and you can still pick them up fairly cheaply. Very underrated, but probably not a priority for a revival project.

    I would love an updated version of the Crumar Perfomer.

  8. Great news!
    The world is changing, that’s for sure.

    But what the mack happened to innovations and venturing into new synthesis technologies?
    We’re at a semi-standstill point (80’s analog+90s digital)
    I challenge Elka to make a NEW synth of the FUTURE 😀

  9. Had a Gem S2 turbo from new 1994 and still use it to this day mainly because of it’s user friendly interface, large sequencer and its ability to control my external synths along with some of it’s own internal factory and tweaked sounds. In the attempt to up grade I bought the equinox Pro. Program sounds were a lot more layered, doused in effects and a majority of them almost sounded the same. but with a bit of tweaking it became a very interesting synth but navigating around this workstation was a tiring task, it was missing those hands on track selection buttons etc and that big back lit screen of the S2, so it had to go. If only it had the interface of the S2. I have bought and sold several workstations but nothing can kick my S2 off the A frame. Latest trial is a Kerzwiel K2600 which is in it’self an amazing workstation that I will probably keep.
    Bring back a modern day version of the S2 !!! A workstation well advanced for it’s day that would and should have kicked ass.

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