Synthacon Mk1

We are Brokering this instrument for and on behalf of our EU client.

Came into stock: December 2020.

Restoration Status: A full service by KSR was been carried out in December, so this instrument is ready for sale now.

Remarks: This Synthacon Mk1 forms part of a larger collection of vintage synths that we are brokering for our client. This Synthacon has been in our client’s collection for 6 years and was purchased from a Vemia action in 2014.

As you will see from the pictures, the overall condition is very good but the original laminate-wood cabinet has seen better days, but it’s 100% original to the synth.  It’s not a complicated cabinet to have reproduced, so whoever buys the Synthacon might like to have a new cabinet made for it, but this instrument is nearly 50 years old, so is entitled to show its age a little.

Rare doesn’t come close to describing how few and far between these vintage mono synths are these days, and once you have had the opportunity to play one you will understand why they never seem to come up for sale anymore.

There’s some information on the web about the Steiner-Parker Synthacon and its designer, but the fundamentals are that it’s a 3 VCO system that uses a diode-based 2-pole resonant low/band/high-pass VCF, and simple but clever modulation routing that gives this machine true sonic magic. You will read about the resonance power that does not diminish through the filter range…it’s true. The specs don’t really tell you anything really as it’s all about the sound and complex possibilities.

The Synthacon were designed and hand made by Nyle Steiner himself. They were produced under the synthesizer company called Steiner-Parker, which was a small business working out of Salt Lake City in the mid-1970s. The Steiner-Parker business was jointly owned by Nyle, Dick Parker, and a third partner. More info Nyle here:

There were essentially 2 versions of the Synthacon, the Mk1 version we have here for sale, and the Mk2. The Mk2 was a duo-phonic version of the same instrument in effect, although the Mk1 is said to have the edge on the Mk2 in purely sonic terms – manufactured from around 1975.

These instruments were all hand made, and the design and construction of the synth reflect that boutique feel to the synth, but the heart of it all is the sound and flexibility of this unique machine. A true masterpiece of simplicity and power in such an unassuming package. A synth for the connoisseur you might say.

We all appreciate that there is a small, but very distinguished, list of vintage synthesizers that transcend all logic, commercially speaking. Why indeed we should want them so badly is sometimes difficult to explain, but electronic music instruments from Buchla, EMS, Serge, and many vintage Moog synths, etc., are all held in high regard for being something special…vintage in fact (by definition). The Synthacon is in this special group of exotic vintage electronic music technology. 

This Synthacon runs on US110V – the PSU cannot be modified to operate on EU rated 220V.  If it sells to a UK/EU customer then you will supply a step-down transformer to operate the synth.

We have a PDF copy of the user manual & service notes/schematics which we will supply.

As the instrument is being Brokered through RL Music, it will be sold with a full 3-month warranty and we can ship worldwide.  

Note on Demos, and because…Covid:  The Synthacon is currently based in Surrey (UK) with our tech, Kent at KSR.  Although there are strict Covid-19 restrictions in place throughout the UK at present, Kent has very kindly offered for anyone who would like to see and demo the synth before buying it, to demo it at his premises.  Kent is able to set up the synth in a place that meets distancing rules, that’s safe for him and the customer, so if you want to check the synth out then that option is open to you. 

Alternately (recommended), Kent can produce short video demo’s to show the working condition of the Synthacon, but this is by request only.  If we get a single request to do this then we will, of course, upload that to the KSR YouTube channel and probably just post it here in the listing, but Kent’s a very busy guy (good techs always are) so he’s not had the time to proactively do this for us and/or this Synthacon Mk1.

Packing & Shipping: We can ship this world-wide, although the packing & shipping cost is not included in the sale price below, and is subject to quotation.  Again, the Covid issues are affecting our packing suppliers, so there may be some short delays in getting materials produced for shipping, although courier companies all seem to be operating normally.  We are happy to discuss your requirements so please email us if you have any questions on the logistics.

Sales Price: £9,000 GBP

Availability: This Synthacon Mk1 is now SOLD, as of 29th March 2021.

Note on pictures, again due to Covid: Click on the thumbnail for a higher resolution photo of the actual Synthacon for sale.  Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, Kent has offered to photograph the synth at his premises in Surrey, so these photos come straight from him using the best photo-equipment he has available. It’s our workaround for the Covid issues/restrictions and we’re very grateful to Kent for helping us all out…but he’s like that.

If you require specific pictures not already featured of the instrument then please contact us so we can request that Kent at KSR can accommodate your request, but there may be a short delay in getting this done for us/you.

Pictures of the actual Synthacon Mk1 for sale are below.