Roland System 700

Came into stock: Arrived at RL Music in April 2018

Restoration Status: Kent Spong of KSR completed the full 6 week restoration on 22nd June 2018, so the system now resides with RL Music in Reading, UK.

We probably don’t need to make much in terms of introduction here, but with there only believed to be 40 System 700 ever made, then you will appreciate this instrument was scarce even when it was in manufactured during the period of 8 years from 1976.

As electronic musical instruments go, this is considered by many to be the Holy Grail of synthesizers, and is without any doubt, amongst the very best designed and built analogue modular synthesizers ever made. It’s not for us to sell the virtues of such an outstanding instrument as the worlds most accomplished synthesists have shown the capability of these beautiful creations, so we will just talk here about this particular instrument that’s available for sale.

Provenance

This System 700 has very recently (March 2018) been purchased from its original owner in Japan. The owner purchased it new from Roland and had it kept in their home all that time, and although they could not recall the exact date it was bought, it was certainly around 40 years ago. The incredible instrument has been imported directly into the EU from Japan and is now being offered by RL Music for sale.

Cosmetic Condition

Upon arrival at RL Music, we checked over the system and found it to be 100% intact with all the controls, ancillary hardware (including all lids), knobs, sliders caps, switches, keys, cables and serial plates etc., all to be present and correct.

The condition of the Tolex covering on each and every Block is excellent, and the anodised control surfaces & screen print on each individual module to be superb, with only minimal wear…remarkable! Kent carried out some light restorative re-finishing to the Tolex to bring back it’s depth-of-colour and lustre. There is a ‘Roland” badge missing off the Block 4 lid, but all others are present on the other lids.

There is a small scuff on the sequencer panel, and some of the anodising on certain modules has oxidised due to age, but otherwise, this is a close to perfection as is possible, and the dream of most of us to own. KSR stripped each panel and deep-cleaned the anodised surfaces (very carefully).

Operational Condition

Kent carried out a 6 week complete overhaul of the system, so every jack-socket, sliders, block-connector, DIN-socket, inter-connect cables and switches have been deep cleaned & lubricated. The twin VU meters were replaced with NOS Roland meters as the originals were no longer working.

Each and every Module was removed, tested, deep-cleaned and fully calibrated. A number of the power-regulation capacitors were replaced due to the originals having failed due to age. The PSU has been fully refurbished.

The Keyboard was stripped and fully overhauled.

Every single function and detail of the modular system has been methodically & fastidiously addressed, and after investing over £15K GBP in restoration costs, it now works flawlessly and looks stunning!

Configuration

This is a slightly non-standard configured system, and a manufactured later in the production run of these professional studio systems, from what we could ascertain, so here is a full configuration breakdown:

Block 1-Main Console (sn: 590069)
This is the Heart of the System, and it contains all the basic modules necessary for a professional system. It has 3 x VCO, 1 x Low Pass VCF, 1 x LP/BP/HP VCF, 2 x VCA, 2 x LFO, 1 x Dual ADSR Envelope Generators, Noise, Ring Mod, Voltage Processor, S/H, Envelope Follower, Integrator (Lag Processor), 1 x Mixer, 2 X 5 multiples, Headphone Monitor Module, and an Output Module, which includes Stereo VU Meters, a six-position test-tone, Phase Shifter, Spring Reverb, and voltage controlled Panning. Most common module connections (power, cv, gate) are made internally for easier patching.

Block 2 – Keyboard Controller (sn: 630116):
The 61-key two-voice Keyboard with Portamento and Pitch-bend controls.

Block 3 – Sequencer (sn: 800097):
This offers 3 x 12 step sequencer with Pulse Shaper, Clock Oscillator, and Series / Parallel output sections – considered one of the best analogue sequencers ever made.

Block 4 – VCO Bank (sn: 800002):
6 x VCO, 1 x Dual ADSR Envelope Generator, 2 x LFO, Sample and Hold and 1 x Mixer.

Block 5 – VCF/VCA Bank (sn: 800003):
1 x Low Pass VCF, 1 x LP/BP/HP VCF, 2 x VCA, Noise Generator, Ring Modulator, 1 x Dual ADSR Envelope Generator, 2 x Mixers and 2 x Gate Delay.

Block 6 – Interface/Mixer (sn: 780089):
1 x Frequency-to-Voltage Converter (with VDU) Interface with Envelope Follower & Gate Signal Generator, a VCA, 9-channel Audio Mixer, and a Multimode Filter.

Block 7 – Phase Shifter/Audio Delay (sn: 800001):
A 2-channel Phase Shifter and a 2-channel Audio Delay, Amplifier, Envelope Follower, Integrator (Lag Processor), 2 x Mixers and a Sample & Hold.

What does it sound like?
It sounds incredible, and can be huge or beautifully musical and subtle…like any quality modular system, but the System 700 has its own sound and unique character. Kent at KSR actually wrote a short track with the System 700 just after he had completed the restoration work, so if you click the link below you can listen to the piece on his Soundcloud account:

https://soundcloud.com/ksr80/uphill-700

The System 700 is a professional grade instrument, with a price tag to match back in the late 1970s, and recent specialist auction prices ( £110K GBP at VEMIA November 2017) show that these have risen very sharply in price. Demand has always been very high for anything System 700 related, either in the Lab Systems or separate Blocks being sold, but finding a full system is exceptionally rare.

Now the System 700 has been meticulously restored, we are selling it with a full 6-month warranty, and we will ship worldwide. A quote for custom packing (by us), shipping & insurance to get it to you will be produced upon request. Delivery by us (in person) is possible for most UK destinations – prices subject to address.

This beautiful behemoth of a synthesizer runs on 110V. We are not supplying any 1/4” jack audio cables with the sale, and unfortunately, the original owners manual was not supplied to us, but we do have a high-quality version in PDF which we will include in the sale.

This is one serious music machine and words simply can’t describe the power and potential for infinite sound creation possibilities. There is such a lot to say about this legendary and beautiful modular system but we just haven’t enough room here on our website so please call or email us to discuss your requirements.

Price: £POA

Availability: This Roland System 700 is available for sale now.

Click on the thumbnail for higher resolution photos of the actual (post-restoration) System 700 for sale.

BUY THIS SYSTEM 700