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String Machine (for hopeless vintage gear fans only)


Bobro

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I've been bitten by the funky old keys bug. Monkeying with instruments is nothing new for me, I've designed and built some unusual electric guitars from the ground up, and owned some unusual instruments, but funky keys is my new passion. I've been wanting to get away from softsynths and use the computer for what I do best and enjoy most, which is simply run a multitrack recorder- record, rewind, record...

 

Anyway, the analog string machine I bought on Ebay.de just came, it's in great condition, everything works, sounds fantastic! About $95 dollars including shipping and bank transfer fee.

 

But what is it? I didn't know that when I bought it, it was just a gut feeling from the photo. Waiting for the delivery, I did some research on the internet and found absolutely nothing about the "Hohner Stringorchester I" I had bid on. The Hohner instruments I found were all quite different from this one.

 

In the course of my futile search to identify the synth I had bought, I read an online SOS article about string machines, in which Gordon Reid mentioned a couple of vintage string machines which he regards as superior to the Solina, Rolands, Omni. He mentioned Godwin, Logan and a certain Hohner, not the one I had bought.

 

So out of curiosity, I googled for Logan and found an Italian site featuring vintage Italian synths, and there was an image of my new toy! The Italian synth nut revealed the secret- for the German market, the Logan String Melody I simply had the badge Hohner String Melody added on, they even left the Logan System logo on.

 

Don't have the original manual and have found no reference to "Stringorchester I", although there is a Hohner Orchestral String Performer, not my machine. At any rate, it's clear from the labelling on the synth itself and from the info and pics at the Italian site, it's a Hohner International String Melody, a badge-engineered Logan String Melody I, and I love it!

 

The sound is noble, which I expected, but I am surprised by how low-noise it is.

 

If you've got this far your either a psychologist or a gear nut, thanks for bearing with me. I would have a couple more tales, but unfortunately I seem to be blessed- or cursed- with a certain instinct because the other bids I've lost (last-second sniping) have been to dealers. The irony is that I'll probably wind up buying a Vermona (East German analog gear) from the very dealer who snatched one of the prizes away- he has some real beauties for sale at other sites.

 

Interestingly, it must be a fairly small circle, because the same names keep popping up and I've been able to do searches and find these guys and their sites/shops. You'd think dealers would cover their tracks a bit and not bid using online names that clue you to their site, where you can find the same machine you were bidding on a couple of weeks ago up for sale at a markup...

 

Okay I'm like a little kid about this, so sue me. And here's the icing on the cake- my wife loves old instruments, she said wouldn't it be great to have a house full of them?

 

-CB

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Since no one else was biting on this one, I just had to empathize.

I have seen all kinds of equipment come and(mostly) go through these developmental years.My favorite is the enormous wurlitzer drum unit with the rotating drum which keys the various rhythm voices.Having this unit next to your Organ was quite a treat "way back when".

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Is that the Solina that was up for auction?

 

If it is, then what you have there in its original form is the Arp String Ensemble made famous by people like Tony Banks, Dennis DeYOung, and a host of others.

 

Arp imported 'em, put their name on 'em, and sold 'em as Arp.

 

It was a great sounding instrument in its day...

Setup: Korg Kronos 61, Roland XV-88, Korg Triton-Rack, Motif-Rack, Korg N1r, Alesis QSR, Roland M-GS64 Yamaha KX-88, KX76, Roland Super-JX, E-Mu Longboard 61, Kawai K1II, Kawai K4.
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Originally posted by Bobro:

If you've got this far your either a psychologist or a gear nut, thanks for bearing with me.

 

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif Okay, so I am not a psychologist, what's your point...?

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32

 

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Originally posted by MusicWorkz:

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif Okay, so I am not a psychologist, what's your point...?

 

 

No point! Just enjoying myself. Well there is a point in there- as I'm hunting for inexpensive tools, I'm finding quite a bit of "badge-engineering" and synths coming out in different countries under different names, etc. Also looking at prices and reading fan-sites, it's clear that

many people value a synth more if one of their heroes used it. It's all good for someone just looking for overlooked but characterful musical instruments.

 

-CB

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Originally posted by Bobro:

No point! Just enjoying myself. Well there is a point in there- as I'm hunting for inexpensive tools, I'm finding quite a bit of "badge-engineering" and synths coming out in different countries under different names, etc. Also looking at prices and reading fan-sites, it's clear that

many people value a synth more if one of their heroes used it. It's all good for someone just looking for overlooked but characterful musical instruments.

 

-CB

 

 

Just joking mannnnnnn http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif...I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I have silenty begun my quest for unique instruments that could be musically useful to me today...Always looking for an edge...

 

Peace,

MusicWorkz

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32

 

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Here is a unique instrument for you.

 

http://gem.generalmusic.com/en/products/oriental/pk5oriental.html

 

Maybe with this bad boy I could replace that chick on the Koto in Hiroshima! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif

 

Don.

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong: James Bryce
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I've got a Solina.

Wouldn't think of selling, ever.

This machine does only one thing, but it does it so well.

A true musical instrument.

In my mind, it belongs right up there with the other classics: Rhodes, Wurly, B3, Mini, Prophet 5 etc.

 

It's a real gem.

 

/Mats

http://www.lexam.net/peter/carnut/man.gif

What do we want? Procrastination!

When do we want it? Later!

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Originally posted by Bobro:

I've been bitten by the funky old keys bug. Monkeying with instruments is nothing new for me, I've designed and built some unusual electric guitars from the ground up, and owned some unusual instruments, but funky keys is my new passion. I've been wanting to get away from softsynths and use the computer for what I do best and enjoy most, which is simply run a multitrack recorder- record, rewind, record...

 

Anyway, the analog string machine I bought on Ebay.de just came, it's in great condition, everything works, sounds fantastic! About $95 dollars including shipping and bank transfer fee.

 

But what is it? I didn't know that when I bought it, it was just a gut feeling from the photo. Waiting for the delivery, I did some research on the internet and found absolutely nothing about the "Hohner Stringorchester I" I had bid on. The Hohner instruments I found were all quite different from this one.

 

In the course of my futile search to identify the synth I had bought, I read an online SOS article about string machines, in which Gordon Reid mentioned a couple of vintage string machines which he regards as superior to the Solina, Rolands, Omni. He mentioned Godwin, Logan and a certain Hohner, not the one I had bought.

 

So out of curiosity, I googled for Logan and found an Italian site featuring vintage Italian synths, and there was an image of my new toy! The Italian synth nut revealed the secret- for the German market, the Logan String Melody I simply had the badge Hohner String Melody added on, they even left the Logan System logo on.

 

Don't have the original manual and have found no reference to "Stringorchester I", although there is a Hohner Orchestral String Performer, not my machine. At any rate, it's clear from the labelling on the synth itself and from the info and pics at the Italian site, it's a Hohner International String Melody, a badge-engineered Logan String Melody I, and I love it!

 

The sound is noble, which I expected, but I am surprised by how low-noise it is.

 

If you've got this far your either a psychologist or a gear nut, thanks for bearing with me. I would have a couple more tales, but unfortunately I seem to be blessed- or cursed- with a certain instinct because the other bids I've lost (last-second sniping) have been to dealers. The irony is that I'll probably wind up buying a Vermona (East German analog gear) from the very dealer who snatched one of the prizes away- he has some real beauties for sale at other sites.

 

Interestingly, it must be a fairly small circle, because the same names keep popping up and I've been able to do searches and find these guys and their sites/shops. You'd think dealers would cover their tracks a bit and not bid using online names that clue you to their site, where you can find the same machine you were bidding on a couple of weeks ago up for sale at a markup...

 

Okay I'm like a little kid about this, so sue me. And here's the icing on the cake- my wife loves old instruments, she said wouldn't it be great to have a house full of them?

 

-CB

 

hey, you are lucky. when i get married itll be "honey? could you move these things into the attic?"...
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Originally posted by mats.olsson@rockfile.se:

I've got a Solina.

 

It's a real gem.

 

/Mats

 

Wow! Solinas were made by GEM????

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gifhttp://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gifhttp://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gifhttp://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gifhttp://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Setup: Korg Kronos 61, Roland XV-88, Korg Triton-Rack, Motif-Rack, Korg N1r, Alesis QSR, Roland M-GS64 Yamaha KX-88, KX76, Roland Super-JX, E-Mu Longboard 61, Kawai K1II, Kawai K4.
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