Roland System-700, ARP 2500, EMS VCS3 on eBay

You could call it the “Schmidt” effect. Suddenly, all sorts of vintage instruments have risen from the dead, now available for sale. It’s very well possible that the collectors are sacrificing these beauties so they can afford a Schmidt. Or just a big, modern modular system. Or neither the one nor the other. Because trimming down is actually a good step to take somewhere in life.


The fact is: the 100,000 USD (99,000, to be exact) being asked for the Roland System-700 above should leave the seller with a little pocket money in reserve (which means we shouldn’t feel too sorry for him). By the way: the system in question is not an original. It features a (admittedly very useful) VCF-cabinet (upper left) and an extra (and not so beautiful) DIY VCF module à la Moog (upper right).



Now, in comparison to the following ARP 2500, the Roland system is actually a bargain. A mere 249,000 USD is what the buyer of the ARP “electronic music SYNTHESIZER” below has to fork over. Plus shipping costs, of course.








The included records (ARP 2500 and ARP 2600 sound files) and the manuals would definitely be of interest to us. But glancing from the US over to Europe (to The Netherlands, to be exact), there is another rare synth to be had: the EMS VCS3 “The Putney”.












The asking price of 18.699 Euro seems pretty “fair”. Of course, the matching DK2 keyboard would have to be bought in a separate auction.

Despite all these exotic prices, such auctions actually have their advantage: they display the instruments along with their rare accessories and give us – in their own way – important information about the very special world of Vintage Synthesizers.

Filed under General

“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman,, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP,, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.


  1. Matthias Elegtrosmok

    Hi Theo
    It is pretty mad what dimensions are reached meanwhile, at the pricing of vintage synthesizer gear. No musician that does his art for living, is able to afford such inspiring instruments at these prices at all. So this confirms my own work and the work of all the colleagues out there, of cloning and doing great DIY projects, to make these legendary synths again available at a fair price.

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