They’re Bringing Synthex Back


Finnish keyboard and pro audio products manufacturer Generalmusic – which announced plans earlier this year to reintroduce its ‘legendary brands’ GEM, LEM and ELKA – has gone live with a new site, dedicated to Elka.

No details are available on the site yet. Instead, the site is focused primarily on gathering email addresses to gauge interest. 


Here’s what they have to say on the new site:

in 2015, we want to bring back the legendary Elka Synthex synthesizer. If you love the Elka and want to see it make a comeback, sign up and be a part of something exciting.

There are some things that are too good to be forgotten – and the Elka Synthex is one of them. Be a part of its return this year.

The Elka Synthex and its unmistakable sound are loved and used by some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. Be a part of its return this year.

The Elka Synthex synthesizers will be made with selected original vintage parts in Salo, Finland. And now you can be a part of its return.

The Elka Synex is an 8-voice polysynth, manufactured from 1981-1984. It offers 2 oscillators per voice, multimode filter and a 4-track sequencer.

via matrixsynth

35 thoughts on “They’re Bringing Synthex Back

  1. I feel like there are so many cool synths coming out I’ll have to sell a kidney and then find out other non essential organs to be sold for decent sums of money.

  2. All I can say is: please don’t make this a limited edition. It will take me a year to save up for it I’m sure

  3. My favorite of the old analog polys.

    To keep the price low, just do a Korg. Build it in China with cheapass parts and slave labor and slap some mini keys on it.

    1. I hate myself for agreeing with you. Now I have to go listen to some Jello Biafra and remember that good synths aren’t worth human suffering.

  4. Umm, no. I doubt very much that they could release the Elka Synthex as it was, because the original used eight CEM3320 filter chips that haven’t been made for almost 30 years.

      1. I know, right? Everybody is like cool, a new Synthex. Great. Awesome.

        Then frodo has to go and kick you in the scrotum.

        1. The chip issue was exactly what I was thinking.

          All of the classic polysynths used chips that are no longer made and that creates the largest hurdle to overcome in recreating them.

          Maybe they can arrange a limited run of new chips. Doesn’t Dave Smith have the connections for such?

          Then again, lots of new synths, analogs included, have tons of chips you will never find again for repairs.

          1. someone can figure out how to do it! lord knows people have been trying. doesn’t hurt to gather up steam and interest to keep that flame going however. there will be some tipping point where major new experimentation will produce market capture and we’ll be in synth heaven again, perhaps with some combination of digital and transistor emulation like the great sounding Anode Meeblip voice. VCOs are making a comeback too in lots of affordable synths, so we may see a complete revival of the old designs without need for much modification to the voice cards. We can have new prophets, synthex, ps3100s, jupiter 8s, hell even new memory moogs. There’s no real reason companies can’t keep scaling down and modernizing these designs like the ms20 mini and so on.

            I say hell ya and anything’s possible on the market these days

  5. Their site talks about bringing it back by 2015.
    I highly doubt that timetable, if they are only now gauging interest.

  6. For a while, I felt a little jaded to see so many vintage recreations, but the fact is, despite the many variations, a synthesizer DOES have an overall base shape. Its defined by the purpose of making sound and follows the behavior of your bleepin’ EARS. I own several synths and so do you, because like guitars, they each have a tone, a “personality.” So I’ve modulated my attitude about it. Having played a real Synthex for a couple of fun hours once, I suspect you’ll love a good revamp. Its a very inviting poly with aspects not seen elsewhere. It drew me in like a good piano. If they can do it as well as Arturia did the Obie Matrix-12, it’ll earn its keep. It goes beyond mere detuned sawtooth waves and bucket-brigade delays. I hope more makers will keep the Prophet-6 in mind, where the basics are solidly old-school, but modern amenities, carefully placed, up the game like a sumbitch.

    1. That would be amazing. I got to play a CS-50 and it was the most glorious sounding synth I’ve ever played. 4 more voices of that tastiness would be a dream

  7. We are getting spoilt for choice synthesizer wise. I am pleased to see any ‘realistically priced’ synths coming onto the market. The second hand market increases and at the end of the line more music is made with the cast off gear. Just like the late eighties again!!

  8. Bring them all back! Elka, Octave, Oxford/Oscar, Gleeman, EDP etc. etc…
    The more the merrier, as they say.

  9. I have to say, those phishing sites are getting more sophisticated… “Just give us your contact details, and maybe we’ll come back to you with some exciting synthesizer news (yeah, right!).”

  10. From what I read these things will be built in Finland. The plan is to use as many original parts as is possible and to substitute modern parts where it is more affordable or the old ones are unavailable. I think they can get pretty close to the original like Korg did with the Karp Odyssey.

    However, this thing is not going to cost 800 bucks. A two oscillator, 8 voice synth is going to have 16 oscillators, filters and envelopes per voice, and lots of knobs and buttons. All of that stuff costs money. I think they could do a DSP based synth for way less, that could sound really original. But there would be all of the whining (it’s not real analog!).

    So it will be interesting to see what they come up with. It will cost near the same as a modern poly. $2,500- $3,400. There will be some whining about that as well. Probably.

    I would love to see them do an affordable, DSP based String Ensemble similar to what Waldorf did recently. Modeling has come a very long way and it is possible to make a VA synth that sounds very “real analog” as Korg has proved with the King Korg.

    1. You’re sort of right, I think. There’s no reason for modulation sources to be analogue. Digital oscillators would probably be much more usable than analogue oscillators and sound identical if they modeled them correctly. On your generic east coast synth like this, the only real parts that create the analogue sound are the filters, amps, and noise generator. So recreate everything digitally except the filters and amps, MAYBE the oscillators, and they’d have a very cheap synth that sounded nearly the same as the original for massively reduced production cost.

  11. lets hope we see something at musikmesse ……a few similarities between the synthex and the prophet 08 …..2 dco per voice…..8 voice poly ect so here’s hoping it will cost the same!!

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