The Smiley SM-01 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer – Like A Polyphonic Minimoog

The Smiley SM-01 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer is custom synth, featuring six voices, inspired by the Moog Model D voice.

The SM-01 is handbuilt by Jim Smiley, and only this one and one other prototype exist. 


  • Fully discrete 6 voice fully polyphonic analog polysynth.
  • 12 oscillators, 6 filter envelopes, 6 VCA envelopes, based on a vintage monosynth, but updated with precision components.
  • LFO mod individually assignable to voices and filter. Each oscillator individually detunable for huge vintage polysynyth sound.
  • Handbuilt in recycled redgum

It’s available at Found Sound for $7,500. 

35 thoughts on “The Smiley SM-01 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer – Like A Polyphonic Minimoog

  1. Found sound always have some great stock of unusual stuff in. Worth checking out their site. Also their prices are AUD so halve it for British pounds and knock a quarter off for quasar (ish)

  2. I’m scratching my head here. A terrible demo with horrible weak sounds.

    Surely start off with a big long moogish polyphonic resonant filter sweep and take it from there.

    1. Man you hear that the recording cames from the camera not a line input 😉

      How you can judge a sound that is recorded via cheap camera (handy) mic…

      1. It’s sold by a shop in Australia, so it’s probably AU$7500 or around $5450 US, plus (for most of us) shipping from Australia and zero local dealer support. So maybe not as bad as you thought but still indefensible.

        1. I thought Australia was still all barter.

          Don’t they have a town named that, where it’s seriously bad news to bust a deal?

    1. “The guy made a synth for himself, who cares how it sounds compared to the real thing??”

      Which is awesome! But if we can’t hear how awesome it is…

  3. Im sorry, to my ears it sounds bland and characterless. Good luck to him for making his own synth but I think (based on that demo) what he has produced is barely a step above an organ.

  4. So I started out watching this thinking to was a rare ’70’s synth that I hadn’t come across….. watched, listened… thought “Now I know why I’ve never heard of it and it was such a flop back 40 years ago… what a dreadful uninspiring sound….thank god things have moved on”… and THEN i saw that I was wrong… that this is NOW…. that someone is trying to sell this….. for THAT price?????!!!!!
    Wow… amazing….. all I can say is… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

  5. I quite liked the sound of it (though I don’t get the Moog reference at all). More than the sound though, I love the look of it. What a gorgeous instrument. Psst, Roland, check this out.

  6. Terrible demo for an expensive polysynth. The person playing certainly had no clue how to show off the sound of a synthesizer. With resonance turned down all the time, short release envelope, no filter sweeps, and triangle wave selected on both oscillators it’s now wonder it sounds bland. This thig may have a potential, but it needs to be properly demonstrated.

  7. This shows the difference between DIY hobbyist and the pro retail world. As a homemade one-off, he’d just be saying, “Hey, check out what I made!” That’s cool. Looks like good craftsmanship in the product, especially the beautiful woodworking, and good musicianship in the demo. Way to go, man.

    However, as a ~US$5450 entry (assuming 7500 is AU$) into today’s synth market, it loses all credibility. By asking that price he’s effectively saying, “This is worth more than a Minimoog Voyager XL or nearly anything else.” Is it really? That sounds arrogant.

    1. “By asking that price he’s effectively saying, “This is worth more than a Minimoog Voyager XL or nearly anything else.” Is it really? ”

      Voyager takes into account scale of industry. One-offs will ALWAYS be expensive, so you’d have to compare it to a cheaper model synth.

    2. Hey Corey – thanks mate – yeh it is what it is, I’m not really claiming it’s better than anything else out there – it’s more to do with economies of scale and the work that went into it. There’s about $1500 worth of components, plus the store then takes a cut, and it takes about 4 months to build one, so I end up working for a lot less than minimum wage. If it sells, it sells, otherwise I’m just happy I made it. Cheers, Jim

  8. For that price, I would think it would be comparable to a Modal Electronics Modulus 002. A good Demo would help immensely. Too hard to tell from the current demo. But no patch memory is a deal breaker for me.

  9. the filter does not seem convincing. It is a ladder filter? Does not sound like a moog. The Waldorf Pulse 2 with paraphony and his limitations sounds much more convincing. if i need a polyphonic synth, then the prophet 6. 7.500 $ is too too too much for a sound like a organ. i can find a better sounding farfisa organ for 300$

  10. Haha you guys beat me to it! I was telling myself ghee am I going to write anything at all considering and then I see everyone sharing the same thoughts. It should have been recorded properly and have something else than a rhodes sounding patch!!! Otherwise looks like quite a good quality build (material wise).

  11. It claims to have 6 AEG, 6 FEG etc – but how do you individually control them? i.e. achieve true polyphony? – otherwise it isn’t much better than an Akai Timbre Wolf (for 1/10th of the price).

    1. Hey Ranz – it’s true 6 voice polyphony; there’s 6 Voltage controlled filter envelopes and 6 voltage controlled vca envelopes.
      Cheers, Jim

  12. Hi all- agreed, that’s a shockingly bad demo and embarrassingly so. It was a quick plug into the nearest guitar amp 🙁 , and then filmed on a mobile phone 🙁 , more as a quick effort to show it working and stable – We all deserve a bit of an arse kicking for putting that up, should be a better demo going on the found sound site soon. I should have taken as much care with the demo as I did building the thing. Thanks for your interest – cheers, Jim

  13. Saw this in the store and thought it looked stunning. The demo on Soundcloud sounds like a perfectly acceptable polysynth. Pretty warm and lush but I would have liked to hear a sound or two with the resonance wound up.

    If money were no object, I’d consider it (but would need a good, long play) but at the price and with no memories or interfacing, it would be a luxury item indeed.

    Congrats though, Jim. That you managed to build it at all is a pretty major achievement on its own.

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