Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The "vintage versus reissue" debate makes me go ARRRRGGGHH

Seriously- how is it that a dinky little synthesizer marketed as a toy have enough indie-cred to spark debates over which version is better?

I'm talking, of course, about the Stylophone. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a small synthesizer that was literally played with a stylus, sold in the late '60s and '70s. It's most famous usage can be heard on David Bowie's "Space Oddity", and apparently it's been recently used by Jack White. I came to learn about it because I read that during the Let It Be sessions, The Beatles played with one for a few minutes.


...So anyway, I've been wanting one because I love vintage electronic keyboards, especially ones that the Beatles breathed on- so here I am listening to people play it on YouTube... and apparently there are those who say that the vintage ones are better.
This really, really surprises because you'd think something as cheap and simple as a Stylophone would be easy to recreate, analog or digital. I just wish I could get a new one and have it done with, instead of worrying about whether or not it's tone is accurately recreated. I hope at the very least it's "close enough". I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering it's still essentially sold as a toy for cheap, and it's not particularly iconic, unlike the Mellotron.

UPDATE: Okay, I found some guy on a forum who happened to have both a vintage one and a reissue. Comparing the two, he said that the reissue sounded a bit more complex and not so much raw electronic buzzing. That might actually be an advantage to us, because that would expand its potential uses... it'd be a lot cheaper, anyway.

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