Crumar Spirit Synthesizer, The ‘Italian Minimoog’, Getting Reissue

Synthesist Hainbach shared this sneak preview of an upcoming reissue of the Crumar Spirit, a rare analog synthesizer from 1983, designed by Bob MoogJim Scott and Tom Rhea.

It’s been described as ‘the Italian Minimoog’. But, while it may share some DNA with the Minimoog, it’s a very different design, with more flexible synthesis options – including a ring modulator and multi-mode with switchable slopes – and more capable performance options – including an arpeggiator and 3 performance wheels.

“My friends from Museo Del Synth Marchigiano, the Italian synthesizer museum, invited me again to visit them in Italy,” explains Hainbach. “This time, they had something new and old to show me: a faithful re-creation of the rare Bob Moog designed Crumar Spirit mono synthesizer. They teamed up with Crumar to bring this little known instrument back to life, staying as close to the original as possible.”

Here’s what Crumar has to say about the reissue:

“In this case, we don’t like the word ‘clone’ or ‘reissue’: simply Crumar, after 40 years, is putting the Crumar Spirit back into production… but this will be a limited series.

We stood firm on the aesthetics and circuitry being absolutely identical to the original, but this raised some problems since more than one part or component of the instrument was obsolete and needed a philological replacement. Starting from electronics, transistors, integrated circuits, and obsolete potentiometers. Regarding transistors and integrated circuits, we have carried out in-depth research to find the real substitutes, as far as potentiometers and sliders are concerned, we have simply remade them like the originals, in other cases we have even improved parts.

The selection switches, another obsolete and unobtainable product, have been replaced by a modern and more reliable model.

We completely redesigned and remade the molds for knobs, sliders, modulation wheel and pitch bender, the latter improved with the more ‘modern’ return spring.

A further challenge was the keyboard: the instrument has now been equipped with a modern keyboard, also Made in Italy based on the ‘bubble contact’ system, a definite improvement from the older keyboards based on spring contact technology.”

The new model uses the same through-hole manufacturing approach of the original. Key differences with the updated Crumar Spirit are a better keyboard & support for MIDI.

Pricing and Availability:

The Crumar Spirit 2023 will be produced in a limited edition of 100. The price of the instrument is €3990.00. The final price includes shipping anywhere in the world. It also includes import duties, if you are located in the United States of America. See the Crumar site for details.

12 thoughts on “Crumar Spirit Synthesizer, The ‘Italian Minimoog’, Getting Reissue

    1. If you watched the video you’d know it will cost just shy of 4000 euros, it has no MIDI and only 100 are being made.

  1. Had one of these at a studio I worked at and LOVED it. Capable of some very aggressive, gnarly sounds. I wouldn’t really compare it to a minimoog. Very fun synth and I love the old chunky switches on it, hope they keep it the same size (they could easily scale it down but the chunk factor is part of the charm).

  2. It will take them less that five minutes to sell their stock of 100 synths. Even at a price of 3999 euros.

  3. Had one as new from 1984 – 1997, very nice for all sorts of things. I guess if you have deep pockets and want just one cool totally analogue thing in your otherwise digital rig, this might be for you. Pity they did not add an external clock input for the arpeggiator, though. Hilarious that Hainbach has a Sonic Six directly in the background, from which the Spirit borrows a few functions, and not designed by the Moog team at all (h/t to Gene Zumchak for that instrument design).

  4. Don’t get why they’d only do 100. It’s such a low number to limit themselves to. I get that it may not have mass appeal, but I would have thought 500 -1000 of these would sell pretty easily. Maybe once they sell 100 they’ll do another version that includes midi and sell it as a 2nd edition?

  5. Hainbach basically said near the end of the clip that the build quality of Italian synths back in the day stinks (or is it stunk)? How authentic are these reissues?

  6. I became a Crumar fan when I first encountered the Performer in the early-80’s. And while I’m happy to see the Spirit getting a re-issue, what I’d really like to see is for someone to release a version of the Crumar DS-2 that’s not flaky as all getout… :^/

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