ARP Avatar

ARP Avatar Image

In 1977 ARP pushed into designing a synth that could respond to in-coming guitar signals using pitch-to-voltage technology. This gave rise to the Avatar, which in turn, was such a dud it practically sank the whole company before ARP finally sold off it's last and would-be greatest project - the Chroma - to CBS Musical Instruments. The Avatar was too expesnive for its own good ($3,000). It did seem to work, however; you use a hex pickup for your guitar which allows the guitar to play the synth sounds. Today the Avatar is used more like an expander module with other ARP and CV/Gate type synthesizers.

It has two oscillators and is very much like the ARP Odyssey in terms of its sounds, programming and interface. Many of the features that make the Odyssey great (oscillator sync, ring modulator, sample and hold, portamento, envelope follower and more) can be found on the Avatar. The Avatar makes a great and more affordable way to get Odyssey sounds. Use it to fatten up you're current Odyssey or incorporate it into you're synth studio as an analog synth module via CV/Gate.

The Odysseys have been used by Cirrus, ABBA, Bomb The Bass, Gary Numan, Tangerine Dream, 808 State, Chick Corea, George Duke, Josef Zawinul, Genesis, Herbie Hancock, and film-maker John Carpenter. The Avatar makes a great alternative buy to the Odyssey since it is capable of all the same sounds that the Odyssey has provided for these artists and countless others. But you will need CV/Gate or MIDI-to-CV/Gate ability to use the Avatar. And since only about 300 were ever made, they can be rare and hard to come by.

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The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a ARP Avatar? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

15 Visitor comments
Ohes
August 25, 2013 @ 11:21 am
Hello,
I'm searching for one, If it has mods it's even better.
asone_187@hotmail.com
thanks
Mikey
August 13, 2013 @ 10:33 am
According to Wikipedia an Avatar was used for the rhythmic slapping sound on Zeppelin's 'Boogie With Stu' from 'Physical Graffitti.'
Larry
August 12, 2013 @ 4:53 pm
Listen for the Avatar sound on the Who's album Who's Next.. They did some endorsement ads for ARP
SteveB
December 30, 2012 @ 4:43 pm
If I'm not mistaken, I think this unit was used by Parliament/Funkadelic.
LesRockets
November 12, 2012 @ 4:51 am
http://www.lesrockets.com/i_arp_avatar.asp
 
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 2 VCOs: Sawtooth, Square, Pulse
  • LFO - Sine, Square
  • Filter - Model 4075 4-pole, 24dB Low Pass Filter
  • VCA - Env 1: ADSR, Env 2: AR
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - None
  • Control - CV / Gate
  • Date Produced - 1977 - 78
  • Resources & Credits
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