MATRIXSYNTH: Suiko ST-20 - Vintage Analog Suitcase Synth

Saturday, August 05, 2023

Suiko ST-20 - Vintage Analog Suitcase Synth

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""SUIKO ST-20 is extremely rare and most strange Japanese electronic musical instruments originally made for Japanese traditional music circa. 1980. and this one is very rare version of SUIKO ST20 with recording function it's built in cool brown custom suitcase like EMS synth, keyboard itself is built in beautiful brown metal plate.

Oscillator - The ST-20 uses a single analog oscillator with 3 tone options - Shakuhachi (Japanese Flute), Koto (Japanese Harp) & Pipe Organ.
It is monophonic with a top-note priority.
All tones are very nice warm analog sounding.
There seems to be a subtle vibrato on some tones which may be adjustable internally.
Would easily be circuit bendable if you want to get some more interesting sounds!

Octave switch - There is a switch to raise the register up and down an octave which is useful for recording bass and lead lines.

Register Select - The top dial is to shift the key register up and down, giving you the option to solo your favourite scales over any key you like. It also allows you to create even higher or lower register notes than the octave switch allows.

Sustain - There is a sustain switch to toggle between a short pluck sound or a long drawn out release. The koto sound is not affected by this switch, it seems the tone circuit was designed this way. You would also be able to circuit bend your own sustain control for dialing in the sound you really want if that's your style.

Volume Dial - A sweeping volume dial located at the bottom left of the unit.

Fine tuning - There is a switch for shifting the pitch very slightly in quarter tone increments. It becomes sort of 'Microtonal' in a way. You can also use this to do a little pitch bending too.

Scale switch - There is a small switch just above the key buttons which seems to change the pattern of the way the notes are configured. Currently it is set to the Japanese scale but you can play around with this if you like.

Speaker - The speaker goes very loud and sounds lovely.

Output - There is also a direct mono output for headphones, this could also be used as a direct output for connecting straight into your DAW or recording setup.

The keyboard module is connected to the speaker cabinet via a 5-pin 'MIDI' looking cable. This is not actually a MIDI cable, it simply just communicates with the power/amp board which is located inside the speaker cabinet.
The unit halves are connected by two hook hinges so you can pull them apart and use them"

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