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The Synthacon returns. The Killers' keyboardist wants to remake a classic

Steiner-Connolly Synthacon
(Image credit: Steiner-Connolly)

Synth connoisseurs who relish the pursuit of ever rarer and more bespoke hardware will be delighted to learn that one of 1975’s more fully equipped (but sadly under-promoted and overlooked) synths is about to be given a second chance for stardom.

The Steiner-Parker Synthacon was a sleek, silver-faced, three-oscillator monosynth produced in limited numbers by Steiner-Parker in Salt Lake City, USA through 1975. Devised as a rival to the similarly three-osc’d Moog MiniMoog while besting the two-osc’d ARP Odyssey, its filter section went one further being able to not only self-oscillate, but not lose volume as the resonance was increased – a bugbear of its rivals.

The filter also went the extra mile in that it featured multiple modes (aimed to at least ape or better the approaches of all its rivals) with bandpass and highpass controls plus the more familiar lowpass dial. 

Later models feature a darker control panel and there was even a ‘two voice’ model produced before the machine ended production in 1979.

Now – after an unlikely chance meeting between neighbours – the Synthacon is set to return. It seems that musician Robby Connolly, keyboard player with The Killers got talking to his neighbour only to discover that he was Nyle Steiner, the “wizard/inventor” at Steiner–Parker makers of the Synthacon, and the two soon decided to join forces to produce their own (faithful) 2022 take – the Steiner-Connolly Synthacon.

A post shared by Robbie Connolly (@robbieconno1ly) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

While the new unit's innards (and outer casing) accurately mirror that of the original device, the new unit features an all-new Fatar keybed and – of course – MIDI.

The Synthacon will soon be available to pre-order for £3000 and potential purchasers can register their interest via email (opens in new tab).

Or keep an eye on the new brand’s Facebook page (opens in new tab).

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