MATRIXSYNTH: 1970s Paia Gnome vintage analog SYNTHESIZER

Monday, March 10, 2014

1970s Paia Gnome vintage analog SYNTHESIZER

via this auction

This is the one in the video recently posted here.

"This is a great vintage analog synthesizer from the late-1970s -- the Paia "Gnome", model 3740. It just came out of the estate of a musician here in San Francisco. I've tested it as best I can, so please see the video for more about the operational condition of the device.

The Gnome was Paia's attempt to build an entry-level synth at a time when the cheapest "real" synthesizer from Moog, Arp or Buchla cost $500 (the Moog Rogue); the Gnome cost just $50. True, it was a kit that you had to build yourself, and it didn't have a keyboard (the most expensive part of a synth at the time), but it produced some very real synth sounds and it taught the principles of voltage control. The Gnome has a ribbon controller, so you can get great glissando sounds -- almost theremin-like, as well as having a white noise generator and a few filters. It also had both square and triangle-wave oscillators -- each of which is adjustable in shape, and an attack/sustain envelope. And amazingly, it's powered by a pair of 9-v batteries! Just plug the Gnome into an amp and play away.

This particular Gnome is a very good example. Cosmetically, it's excellent, with three things worth mentioning: a shallow scratch on the brushed stainless steel face panel, some bubbling to the coating on the base, and a slightly melted area on the handle of the stylus. The panel has no visible wear, no evidence of abuse or repairs, and the knobs are all very good and move smoothly. There is some expected wear to the ribbon controller surface (BTW, replacement ribbons are available!) but this doesn't seem to affect the functionality. The wooden end cheeks are very nice, with no damage. The interior looks very clean..."

Some pics of the inside below.

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