MATRIXSYNTH: Roland CMU-800R for Sale

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Roland CMU-800R for Sale

Remember the Roland CMU-800R demoed by James Gallant at this year's Pacific Northwest Synth Meeting? Well, at the meeting James mentioned he purchased one brand new from a school that was going to auction off another one. Well here it is. Note these are extremely hard to find with interface card and software. This one is brand new. If you ever wanted one of these, here is your chance. Note that the proceeds will go to the school, so this is also for a good cause. No title link as there are just these two shots.
Here's a link to the auction.

"This is the second of two extremely rare units from the same source (described below). There is a very cool blog [Matrixsynth! :)] devoted to synthesizers. You can see videos of the first unit we listed in operation and being demonstrated by the successful bidder at the following link.

Up for auction is an all original (and very very rare) Roland CMU 800R in ABSOUTELY NEW condition. This unit is in original Roland packaging, and has never even been unbagged until now (we opened the shipping bag to take a picture of the back of the unit.) It includes the original box, original manual, Apple interface card, interface cable, power cord, and a copy of the original Apple format 5.25” floppy disc with Apple software. The disk copy was made by the gentleman in the above mentioned video, and is an exact copy of the original software (The disk in the picture is the original disk, not included in this auction.) Several Roland brochures are included as well. The Apple interface card has the original metal foil around it used for ESD protection (we will add a modern ESD bag for the card – but we will leave the metal foil intact.) It appears this is exactly what Roland shipped – Box, manual, cable, interface card, power cord, and the unit itself. The original Styrofoam inserts for the box are missing – we will use bubble wrap to pad the unit.

Special Feature: The winning bidder of the first unit spent a fair amount of time figuring out how to get it to work. He has written a wonderful 1 page document to help guide you through that first power-up. This invaluable “Setup Tips” document is included with this sale! It includes a color photo of how to orient pin 1 on the interface cable – a very valuable piece of information.

The winner of the first auction has suggested I include a couple additional interesting facts about these units:

First, they require an Apple II e with at least one floppy disk drive to operate. These are available on Ebay for reasonable prices.

Second, all the eight channels of control voltage and gate outputs on the back of the 800R can be used to control both vintage and modern analog synthesizers that work on the 1V/octave standard. That's pretty much every analog synth out there except for those by Korg and Yamaha.

A history of these units can be found at: link

Scroll on down a little over half way at the above link, or search for the heading “Milestone: The Roland DG CMU 800R CompuMusic”. This unit is a piece of history. Well, maybe a small one. The Sound on Sound page says it all. These were way way ahead of their time, and almost none remain in operating condition.

This unit was donated to a local school decades ago, and sat untouched for years. Unfortunately the original Roland box has “Sound Mixer” written on it in black felt pen by confused band director. To the best of our knowledge, this unit is exactly what was shipped from Roland. We have no way to test it, so it is sold as is, with our belief that it is exactly as shipped by Roland in its day, a couple decades ago. Check out the matrixsynth link for details on how the first unit ran.

All proceeds from this auction will be donated to the local public school instrumental music program. Bid with the assurance you’re helping a small town music program!"

Again, here's a link to the auction.

Update: Note that this seller has been known to sell the software.

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