Monday, January 11, 2010

1939 Novachord

The following excerpt is from email that was sent me to me a by a reader, I thought I would include it because this definitely meets the classification of vintage technology (i.e.: 1939):

"I have spent the last 3 months restoring an extremely rare example of the world's first commercial polyphonic music synthesizer, a 1939 Novachord. This beast was built in 1939, weighs 1/4 ton and has 163 electronic tubes (valves). 1069 were made between 1939 and 1941. This is now one of less than 30 or so playable examples world wide and is very likely to be the only one in the UK. The Novachord was probably one of the spookiest sounding synths ever made and can sound really creepy at times - it found it's way into countless early scifi and horror films.

The Novachord cost $1800 in 1939 - ie. as much as a house!!

Your readers may be interested in this monster as very few, even including professional electronic musicians, have any idea that polyphonic synths go back this far!

Here is an HQ recording of some sounds I recorded from the beast: (A very rare opportunity indeed!)

My restoration blog is here:


Dan Wilson
Hideaway Studio, UK. "
If you have some vintage technology that you would like me to highlight in this blog, please feel free to email me (ubergeek316 {at} gmail {dot} com).

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