MATRIXSYNTH: Vintage Electronic Music Labs ElectroComp EML-101 Synthesizer Early Production Model

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Vintage Electronic Music Labs ElectroComp EML-101 Synthesizer Early Production Model

via this auction

"You’re looking at a vintage Electrocomp 101 duo-phonic analog synthesizer, manufactured by Electronic Music Labs, in Vernon, CT some forty-plus years ago. This 101 was owned by a life-long friend and on-again off-again musical collaborator, I first met in 1974. I’ve owned it for ten years now.

This 101 is allegedly an early production model. Of the initial three manufactured, my friend said Frank Zappa received the first one, he nabbed the second, and the third went to Al Greenwood of Foreigner.

Given my proximity to the factory in the ‘70s, I worked with two other musicians owning 101s, and recorded in a studio with a full compliment of EML gear. Also, the music department at the nearby state college had a complete EML lab. Not wanting to be left out, I purchased new an Electrocomp 500 and Polybox, which I still own.

That said, I can assure you the 101 will leave here in some kind of working condition. As it’s more advanced than the 500, there may be some functionality of the 101 I haven’t been able to test. But I have put it through the paces multiple times. And loved every minute of it!

A couple knobs “travel” a little too much, and could be tightened. Most of the patch points have been tested. The keyboard was completely disassembled and all gold contacts thoroughly cleaned. If left unplayed for an extended period, a couple of keys will stick initially. (So play it!) My 500 does this as well. And, years ago, the official word from the owner of EML was, “Yeah, that happens.”

The pilot light no longer works (replacement found at, so the only way you’ll know it’s on is by producing a sound. Cosmetically it’s in great condition, except for a small piece of the veneer missing on the bottom, near one of the feet. And lastly, don’t use the handle! You’ve been warned.

Extras include a customized Univox Dual Footswitch. (e.g., enable/disable portamento, etc.), Patch Cord, Keyboard to Control Panel Extension Cable, and Owner’s Manual.

As I slowly thin out my collection, I’ve come to terms with the fact that the capabilities of the 101 are a little beyond my comprehension. So I’ve chosen to part with it, rather than the 500. If you’re not familiar with it, the You Tube video (Frank Zappa, Outside Now, Germany 1979) from 0:30 to 2:50 has been regarded as a nice example. Don’t miss this chance to own a rare piece of musical history."

1 comment:

  1. I would love to get my hands on a 101. I used to bug Dale over at EML. I have some of the components, but lost the schematics.



© Matrixsynth - All posts are presented here for informative, historical and educative purposes as applicable within fair use.
MATRIXSYNTH is supported by affiliate links that use cookies to track clickthroughs and sales. See the privacy policy for details.