Elka Synthex Now Available To Pre-Order


Generalmusic has announced that the reissued Elka Synthex is now available to pre-order, for backers of their IndieGoGo campaign.

Originally produced from 1981 to 1985, only a small number of the Elka Synthex synthesizer were ever made. The 8-voice analog synth has been used prominently by Jean Michel Jarre, Duran Duran, Stevie Wonder and others.

Here is the official intro video:

Here’s what they have to say about it:

The legendary Elka Synthex synthesiser is making a comeback in 2015. Originally produced from 1981 to 1985, only a small number of this iconic synthesiser were ever made. Now it’s making a comeback – and you can make it happen.

By contributing to the campaign, you can be one of the first people to get your own Elka Synthex reissue – at a significantly lower price than what they’ll retail for.

The reissued Elka Synthex synthesisers will be hand-built in Salo, Finland, using a combination of vintage and new components. This way we can ensure that the reissue has that signature Elka sound and user interface that Elka fans love, while making use of technological advances that improve its efficiency.

The Elka Synthex will be available to backers for US $3,181. See the campaign site for details.

38 thoughts on “Elka Synthex Now Available To Pre-Order

    1. as I just looked into the specs, I find it sad that MIDI is not included (only for additional costs).
      As for a remake, at least this could be implemented..

  1. If I had the money, I’d be on that lost. I hope they get their funding so I can get one in the future. I prefer this beauty over all the other polys, old or new!

  2. I read the full specs, and really am so sorry – but this is retro gone too far. Still no velocity. Optional midi. But a cassette interface! I hope they reconsider those and some other choices, and if not I nevertheless wish them all the best. Wonderful initiative, and I love that they are Finnish. I was on their list, have the money and will by a newbuilt analog poly this year. Until today it was to be the Synthex.

    1. Let me see — 1980s specs (e.g., cassette interface) and vintage parts. Seems like General Music came across a stash of Elka Synthex parts that are pretty much ready to assemble. My guess is that they’re just going to be slapping in boards that already have all the electronic parts installed from back in the 80s. Otherwise, there just is no other reasonable explanation to include a cassette interface and not update this bizarre retro “feature” with something slightly more 21st century.

      Think of it this way: what would you do if you came across a stash of Elka Synthex parts where most everything was there ready to assemble in order to make “new” Synthex synths? And to top it off, what if you got all of these parts for a song? Then all you need to do is pay for the labor to slap it all together and then make a bundle. Voila — the General Music “reissue”.

      I wonder what kind of warranties these things will have? Let’s hope that at least they re-cap the boards. Could be quite a waste of a $3k investment if most of the critical electronics have been sitting in who knows what environmental conditions for 30 years.

      1. Who knows? Exactly. Not you.

        You’ve no idea about how much of this synth is old stock. Judging by the fact that it will use surface mounted technology, i’d say not much. Maybe wait until you actually know something about it before totally dismissing it.

        I’m guessing you were never a potential buyer anyway?

  3. Hand built at $3,181 is not bad if the build quality is good and it sounds just like the original Synthex.

    I feel bad (NOT!) for the shmoes who are trying to sell their 30+ year old Synthex synths on Ebay for 10 grand.

  4. What a beauty! I had the pleasure of playing the real thing once and it has its own sonic aroma, a darned good one. $3k is also not a radical price for it. However, I’ll echo my previous caution about vintage megasynth designs: make sure you’re really going to commit to what you buy. The design deserves it and it’ll do jack if you let it sit there too often. I learned the hard way how a stack becomes a dusting nightmare if piled too high. Any new synth increases your work load exponentially. I’m a Logic adherent now, but I’ve been through pretty much the entire GAS cycle. That’s why I strongly advise you to loosely go this way: Get a juicy central hardware synth or two, match it with a moderate batch of softsynths and then add lesser bits like Volcas carefully. You’ll spend less and get a lot more fun out of it. I’m dazzled by Shiny just like you are, 😛 but sleep on any new purchase for a while. I could easily see an Elka and maybe a Kronos or FA06 at the center of a few other toys being a serious contender for one of the smarter “stacks” you could build. I’d love to hear at least a few buyers really wring this one out. My gawd, its a Synthex… I’m twitchin’ like a dog waiting for bacon! :))

    1. If I could +10 this comment, I would. I am just getting past some of that mad-GAS, now. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to afford what I want, but it becomes a type of hoarding: HAVING keeps you from DOING.

      Watch for my sales. Good stuff coming soon!

      1. Cool that you guys have figured out what works for you, but everyone is different, and everyone has different needs to be the most productive. I know it’s all in good intention, but I am leery of absolutes when it comes to the creative process.

  5. Damn, I am sorely tempted. I suppose like any of these type things (kickstarter) there’s some degree of risk that you’ll lose your money or that the end product won’t be what’s expected, though. And that’s a lot of money to put at risk….

    1. its hard to find a sentence that better describes the self-entitlement, egocentrism, complacency, and sheer blind, spoiled consumerism of today. i guess i should congratulate you but i just feel a bit sick.

  6. It’s actually a bit cheaper than I thought it was going to be. I was expecting 5k. Weren’t they very expensive when they were originally introduced in the 80’s? Anyways, I love the sound and I hope that this reintroduction is a big success for them.

    1. Yes, they were very expensive: as far as I can tell they were in the 8-10K range in today’s US dollars. Assuming they deliver on the quality and authenticity they are indeed asking a fair price for this beast of an instrument. Act now and get it for under $58/lb!

  7. Cassette interface – and old computer interface. I recon they’re having modern substitutes planned, but I can’t find any informatiom about it. If my currency is improving (it’s been dropping like hell since the fall in the oil price started) – then I might opt for the 3x choise. I will also have to look into the companys financial strength before deciding anything.

    1. Cassette interface in a programmable poly like this seems to me an appropriate way to load effortessly the “vintage” patch collection legacy from Mario Maggi himself, Paul Wiffen and users all around, keep in mind MIDI is optional.

  8. I really do find it odd that so many here and on forums such as this seem to gravitate towards these retro synths from 20 to 40 years ago whilst eschewing current options and possibilities. The herd mentality here is in full effect. These synthesizers represented the epitome of the technological advances of their time. And here in 2015, so many of you are sadly gravitated to instruments and technologies that have long outlived their usefulness. Now I am not suggesting that you should discard these synths, yet you are actually stunting the industry by supporting these synths.

    1. SynthDesigner3, your comments ring of a broad ignorance and insecurity…what is it that you find ‘odd’ about a synthesist or performing keyboardist wanting to play a quality reissue of a classic instrument? Your handle is telling…care to de-cloak and show us what you’ve ‘designed’? Sounds as if you have more of an issue with the competition, eh? “WAAHH, no one will buy my iOS app! Boo Hoo!! You’re all just a bunch of wanking retro-proggers with lawyer money!” Heard it all before, and just as sick of your sentiment as you are of ours. More like YOUR attitude, is stunting the synth community’s creativity and productivity. Cheers…

      1. It seems to be the ‘broad ignorance and insecurity’ you are referring to is manifest in your defensive posturing. I have actually only worked on one, ONE iOS app, and it was an integration software at that. I have worked for Access, Korg, MOOG, John Bowen and even the venerable D. Smith. I starting my career actually working for General Music, and helped design the very stable OS for the S2 and S3 series workstations. Yet I also think do not believe a valid opinion need’s to be supported with a resume like mine. I find what Futureonus with the Parva and the likes of Modal’s synthesizers far more interesting than a reissue. Could you imagine if for instance the medical establishment or if auto manufacturers adhered to these misguided ideals? Ones where they were determined to reach back and practice old methods or recreate old cars….You may disagree with me, yet at the very least perhaps you can try your hands at an ‘old’ method in that and simply be a gentleman whilst it at.

  9. Yes, this is great news.

    A couple of infos i got from reading their facebook comments:

    -no it won’t be minikeys “we make instruments, not toys”
    -retailprice will be around 5000 – 3000 is only for early adopters! 3000 is without shuipping and custom
    -Yes, they have a big stash of CEM filter chips – from what i understood they have yet to validate that they can last “30 years” more.
    – there is no prototype yet and they will only beginn building one, when they get 125 pre-orders

    While the company is new, the guy behind it is the founder of Genelec, so there is some more credibility behind the project.

    I am very close shelving out the money as i always dreamt of a synthex, but without a prototype and sound demos to hear it is quite a leap of faith – but i WANT to Believe 😉

    The Prophet 6 release might also have influence on my decission. In any case , all the best for this project!

    1. Thanks for the info on the pending price increase. Sounds like preorder is a good way to go, even with customs/shipping/insurance, and even with the street price inevitably being hundreds less than MSRP. Time will tell, but my guess is early adopters are looking at an $800-$900 savings.

  10. Emperor’s new clothes!

    There are so many really good vst synths out there now, that outbeats elkas and volkas and prophets and all other exepencive hardware that was relevant 30++ years ago. Save your money and buy some good monitors.

  11. Maybe the nature of a classic. 30+ years ago the machine wasn’t THAT relevant. Funny, it’s now you can ask why a sound like this remain highly current. While I keep an eye on Modals and great stuff out there I ask myself where those things will be in the near… …sorry, I should leave… where I put my DX7?

  12. I want one! I know the sonic power of this poly doesn’t have to appeal to evrey musician. For me, this is one of the greatest polysynths ever and while no one is forced to participate in this reissue, I encourage everyone to applaud this iniciative. About a 100+ Synthexes on the next future market won’t hurt, don’t they?

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