This page displays the information available for the various-Syntec Banana, rare but incomplete (Sphere item # 16440). To enlarge the image, and access any other images, please click on it.
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Syntec Banana, rare but incomplete
This very rare, neat Oberheim-inspired German-made polysynth looks great, but has a terrible secret. It was sold last year on eBay 'as seen', 'not working' - but what the scumbag seller omitted to say was that every one of the CEM and SSM voice chips had been removed. By the time the buyer realised, the seller was long gone, 'no longer a registered user'. So here's a great opportunity to buy one of the rarest polysynths ever - but then you'll have to wait for the practically inevitable re-issuing of the missing chips, unless you're sitting on a great stash of them already. **STOP PRESS 16/3/17 from Uli Behringer: 'We just received the first batch of our 3340 VCO chip.
It is a 100% exact replica of the Curtis CEM3340 which even includes the
40 year old, 8 micron manufacturing process. It was a difficult and expensive undertaking but we are very pleased with the result as this VCO is considered one of the best sounding oscillators.
We are continuing to invest in reviving other legacy Curtis and SSM semiconductors ....'
PLUS SOME REALLY VALUABLE INFO from a knowledgeable Banana owner - thanks, Kenny! :-
'The missing chips per voice card are:
-> CEM3340 VCO (2)
-> CEM3310 EG (2)
-> CEM3360 VCA (3)
-> SSM2044 VCF (1)
In total you are missing:
-> 12 CEM3340
-> 12 CEM3310
-> 18 CEM3360
-> 6 SSM2044
The other thing I can see is that this one is still wearing its old tantalum caps. Mine had the exact same line of tantalums - these all need to come out. The critical ones are on the power supply and the voice cards. I don't think the motherboard ones are as critical.
The rest of the parts on the Banana are off the shelf. The critical things outside of the voice chips are the EPROM and the mod wheels (which are custom made).
Its a sad sight to see this machine stripped like this.
The good news is, you can run a Banana on a single voice.
To do this press 'A' and 'H' at the same time. Then the numbers 1 to 6 will turn on and off their respective voice.
Voice 1 is closest to the keyboard.
The power supply header to the motherboard appears missing, at least there are dangling leads there. Also, the 'CALIBRATION' toggle on the back (which was optional) is not there. There appears to be a loose wire there. This toggle was not installed on all Banana's. I only mention it as there are holes drilled in the hull that are unpopulated.' He also kindly emailed a copy of the voice board schematics, which we will print out and include with the Banana.
All electrical items sold in VEMIA are deemed to be trade sales. No warranty of electrical safety is given or implied. Many items are vintage and would not pass current electrical safety standards. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that items are safe to use in their future environment - if necessary by using the services of a professional.
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