Synth Site: EMS: EMS Synthi -AKS: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 5.0 out of 5
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Derek Revell a professional user from U.K. writes:
Finally managed to purchase an EMS AKS, this was formerly owned by Nik Turner (Hawkwind), then Inner City Unit, I bought it from the excellently run VEMIA auction operated by Peter Forrest. I have completely stripped it down, and cleaned it up. Everything works well, the electronics have been uprated, thus making the Oscillators extremely stable, I added some 10 turn pots on Osc's 1 and 2. I also changed the Miniature 3 pin Bulgin mains connector to a IEC (Kettle Plug), as advised by Graham Hinton on his excellent website, dedicated to all things EMS.

I also managed to obtain a standard keyboard DK2, and a Pitch to Voltager converter unit. and finally I'm still trying to obtain a copy of Sounds for the Synthi A, but these are very rare.

Most users of the Synthi A and KS keyboard, don't realise that the keyboard should be removed from the inside of the carrying case lid, and then mounted on the outside of the lid, even David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) has made this mistake, as shown on the video/DVD "Making of The Dark Side of the Moon".

The original AKS was supplied with a neat metal folding stand, and a plastic extension stick for the jostick controller, these are usually lost, as they get separated from the AKS, as there was nowhere to store these bits inside the Synthi briefcase.

I now have a modest collection of what I think were the best analogue synth's ever made, Minimoog, EMS AKS and ARP 2600 (Orange Faced with 3620 keyboard).

I'm in the process of making a 24 step 3 channel analogue sequencer, to run the ARP 2600 with.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-04-2007 at 02:33
Bo a part-time user from Houston USA writes:
I have a pretty decent sized synth collection (20++ including a big modular and mostly vintage other synths). They synthi is just too cool. It is not particularly musical because the oscillators wont stay in tune for a long time - and that keyboard - hah. However, mine sits firmly on my workstation for whatever odd noise needs to end up in the music.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-07-2006 at 13:57
Steve Duckworth a hobbyist user from England writes:
I bought this machine new in 1973 together with the DK2 keyboard. Let's put it like this, I would sell my house but I wouldn't sell my Synthi.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-24-2004 at 04:52
Derek Revell a hobbyist user from U.K. writes:
I bought one of these Synthi AKS)around 1973, I used it mostly for experimentation. The first unit I bought had a fault in the Ring Modulator circuit, I took it back to Hinton Electronics in Wareham, Dorset, and they simply gave me another unit.

This one I remember was reasonable stable, but Oscillator stability wasn't what these beasts were about, much more was the flexiblity of the modulation possibilities, with a 16 by 16 matrix patch board, the sound generation was mind blowing.

I made several tapes, for my own use, I sold it along with a DK Mk2 real keyboard, and bought a Commodore Pet 2000 Computer, I still miss the unit, and hopefully will be able to buy another unit soon! I do still own and play a Minimoog Model D, and a set of Taurus Mk1 Bass Pedals, but analogue is the only sound I like.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-03-2004 at 04:30
Chris from Europe writes:
I have to intervene following what Burnie said. I guess you should deepen your search about EMS sound shaping history. First of all, this synth has the reputation it has now because of the so called "unstable osc's", and it is not a bad thing for osc's to be unstable because this is why it is such a crazy is human, it lives! if you stabilize osc's..well you lose chances to shape a tone out of nowhere. On the other hand, you'll be able to make some pads or leads more easily...but what's the point, it is not the main purpose. Components are different too : I asked a few spare parts to Rbin Wood, he told me that none of the ones I wanted were used in their synths anymore, they use different components simply because we are in 2003, not in 1971!!! If circuitry is different..sound is obvious consequence. Eventually, Robin Wood is sill making very few units on demand only, with a strict minimum of 24 months of waiting and you're not sure he built it for many reasons.. I get all this from him, Robin, who personnaly advised me at the time I wanted one to get an old one and come to see him for revision for a professional freshen-up if needed. If you want stable osc's with a matrix patching type, get a Vostok with modern technology. But if you want th real thing, the one and only, get an old AKS ore VCS3. You will pay high price for a well conserved one, but hey, only near a thousand were ever made, so if you come across one, try not to miss it! Prices will go higher inevitably as they become rare, legendary good and loved and wanted by nearly every electro'musicians Ciao!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-06-2003 at 12:18
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