This is my Polymoog Keyboard...

The photo wasn't scanned from some 70's promotional brochure, it was taken today, (7th July 05) in preparation for this article!

"Born" on 15th August 1978 in Cheektowaga, Buffalo NY. This is number 1017, the 17th Polymoog Keyboard ever made, (all serial numbers started at 1000)...

which means you are looking at a 27 year old synthesizer, (I can scarcely believe it myself). I'm extremely fortunate, not just because the Polymoog is a rarity but in this sort of condition, is exceptional. I was lucky enough to obtain one in very good condition and then have it completely rebuilt by a fellow Polymoog obsessive and technical wizard, Colin Vincent. This Polymoog used to belong to Marvey Mills who runs the brilliant Electromancer website, (see links) and was sold in good condition but was begining to show signs of age. Colin took her on as a restoration project for me and went way beyond the call of duty and fulfilled my dream of owning a concourse condition 280a.

Click the preview icon to hear my Polymoog Keyboard playing the "Replicas Intro" if this clip doesn't blow you away, I would be surprised!

So why this obsession with the Polymoog Keyboard?

Simple really... it's because of one particular sound it makes called "Vox Humana".

Anyone who, like me, first started getting into synthesizers in the late 70's will remember Gary Numan's

I will never forget going to see Numan live and hearing the track "Replicas" played as an intro completely solo on a Polymoog. The ground quite literally would shake and the sound is like nothing you will hear on any other synth. It is a Numan "trademark" sound but as he doesn't
big 1979 hit "Cars" and his album "The Pleasure Principle". The big fat string sound on "Cars" and the rest of that album IS Vox Humana. It's a really unique sound that many of us will have tried to re-create on various synths over the years. Sometimes, I've got close but I have never heard a truly authentic imitation of that sound in 26 years, (either my own or anyone else's including Gary Numan himself).
seem to have any interest in it these days, I think it's time for a revival!!! I've only had the Polymoog a matter of days and have already started using it in a contemporary electronic situation and believe me, it holds its own incredibly well even against the most sophisticated modern synthesizers and huge distorted beats. There is no doubt that its unique sound is due to the very strange sound generating architecture employed in the Polymoog (see Polymoog History) and would explain why no amount of "wobbly saw waves" will come close - despite my best efforts, I realised it was inevitable that I would have to own the real thing!

What now follows is a indepth photo gallery detailing all the repairs and modifications that were made to my "PMK" to bring it up to such a high standard and some eye candy pics of the completed project. The "techy" pictures were provided by Colin and sent to me via email as a series of "teasers" while the project was in progress and contain useful information for anyone considering taking on a restotation of this magnitude. Click the NEXT button at the top of the page to proceed.

Finally, I want to thank Jordan Gibson, Marvey Mills, Steve Roper and Andy Boucher for their support and understanding (we are all mutually obsessed) and especial indebted thanks to you Colin, a nicer guy you're unlikely to find. Mate, I owe you big time!

Gwyneth Paltrow has now left the building...