MATRIXSYNTH: CLEF B30

Sunday, December 14, 2008

CLEF B30


via this auction

CLEF MICROSYNTH B30
"featured as a Kit in Practical Electronics around 1982... the Synth could be bought professionally pre-built for £199 or as a complete kit for £129 - either way it was a small fortune in 1982... Two of the knobs have lost their coloured caps but I have sourced replacements from, surprise surprise, Maplins - the link is here.
Update via Richard in the comments: "I worked for Clef (what a weird outfit it was) between 82 & 85. This synth was the only product not designed in house, we licensed the design from Allan Bradford MSc who went on to design for Drawmer, 3G, WEM, Joe Meek, PMI and many others. The B30 was far more versatile than the Roland SH101 (which outsold us about a million to one) but it used only 1/3rd volt per octave control voltage which made tuning stability an issue if the PBC got damp, so we put silica gel in the demo model to keep it in tune! We sold 30 PCB's & cases to the government spies at GCHQ for their apprentices to build, so I always imagine there are 30 very stable B30's somewhere, due to using military grade components. I now have Allan Bradford's own very nicely constructed demo model, and would be very interested to hear from anyone who has a Clef String machine (working or not) which was also published in Practical Electronics but was only available as a kit. Contact me at hodgheg hotmail.com"

1 comment:

  1. I worked for Clef (what a weird outfit it was) between 82 & 85. This synth was the only product not designed in house, we licensed the design from Allan Bradford MSc who went on to design for Drawmer, 3G, WEM, Joe Meek, PMI and many others. The B30 was far more versatile than the Roland SH101 (which outsold us about a million to one) but it used only 1/3rd volt per octave control voltage which made tuning stability an issue if the PBC got damp, so we put silica gel in the demo model to keep it in tune! We sold 30 PCB's & cases to the government spies at GCHQ for their apprentices to build, so I always imagine there are 30 very stable B30's somewhere, due to using military grade components. I now have Allan Bradford's own very nicely constructed demo model, and would be very interested to hear from anyone who has a Clef String machine (working or not) which was also published in Practical Electronics but was only available as a kit. Contact me at hodgheg@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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