MATRIXSYNTH: ARP Avatar Vintage Guitar Synthesizer with Many Extras

Monday, August 28, 2017

ARP Avatar Vintage Guitar Synthesizer with Many Extras

via this auction

Cosmetic: there are no slider caps on this Avatar (they have long since crumbled or been lost); there is a bit of tape residue marks on bottom center of back panel (see pic); slight wear on right wood end panel; the Sustain slider in the ADSR envelope generator section is broken off almost flush with the front panel (still moveable/functional).

Electronic: scratchy pots/sliders (gently working the sliders seems to help); VCO 2 not as loud as VCO 1; Some sliders don’t seem to affect the sound as they should ( i.e. sliders routing signals to the filter don’t seem to be working correctly); oscillators drift substantially (although became more stable the longer the unit was on and being played); oscillators act like portamento is on even when portamento slider is all the way down; i.e. synth response to guitar sounds “sluggish”; i.e. tracking seems to lag.

Good Things:
Cosmetic: This Avatar is in excellent cosmetic condition; virtually no scratches, dents or dings (other than the broken slider tip in the ADSR/EG). It has been well protected over the years. Wood veneer end panels in excellent shape with a few small blemishes (see pics);
Electronic: Synth powers on normally; main power switch and main output button both light normally; all sliders are completely moveable; no stuck ones; Hex pickup (both clean and fuzz) work normally and sound fine (or at least as originally intended). The hex fuzz sounds distinct and clear. The guitar pickup works normally and the string select lights all work normally; the Guitar Interconnect cable (connects the hex pickup to the synth) is completely functional. The tracking of the guitar seems to be working well (although the oscillator response is as mentioned above). Filter (both LP and HP) and resonance sliders work normally as do EG sliders, oscillator frequency sliders, pulse width mod sliders, etc.

Original manual, patchbook, instructional cassette tape; Hexaphonic guitar pickup w/ original box, guitar to synth cable, original filter foot pedal and sustain foot switch all included. More pictures available if needed.

I have recently tested the Avatar out on a small portable synth, not a stereo sound system. The basic functions of the synth seem to be OK; it comes on, it makes sound, most sliders work normally. As mentioned above, there are some issues with the synth..."

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